Life

There’s a sex side-effect which benefits you for 48 hours, study finds

Posted by
Hayley Spencer
Published

It’s no secret that sex has some great side-effects (it’s even good for our immune systems), but what you might not know is that just one session has a benefit that stays with you for two whole days.

study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, has quantified just how long what it calls the sexual "afterglow" can last.



The research collated data from two studies which looked at how often newlywed couples were having sex and their levels of satisfaction with their sex life – as recorded in a diary from each participant. It was based on figures from a group of 96 couples, and another that included 118 couples.

The researchers were intrigued by the fact that most couples aren’t having sex every day and therefore wanted to find out how long post coital satisfaction lasts.

harry sally

They found that the newlyweds, on average, had sex four times during the 14 day period, and that sexual satisfaction was noted to be highest on the day they had sex, but also for two days afterwards, no matter what their age, gender or personality. And, as such, it was concluded that that elated, happy “afterglow” lasts for 48 hours.

"Our research shows that sexual satisfaction remains elevated 48 hours after sex," said Andrea Meltzer, lead author on the study, in a press release.



The afterglow was also found to be linked to higher relationship satisfaction both during the study and when the researchers checked in six months later. This backed up their starting hypothesis that sex continues to boost bonding between couples in between sexual encounters.

"And people with a stronger sexual afterglow — that is, people who report a higher level of sexual satisfaction 48 hours after sex — report higher levels of relationship satisfaction several months later," she said.

Time to hit the sack. 

Image: Courtesy of HBO, When Harry Sally