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People who believe in soulmates have worse sex

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People who believe in soulmates have worse sex

It’s all in your head folks!

A recent study examined the difference in sexual satisfaction between people who think that good sex comes from communication and growth, and those who think it depends on destiny.

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests sexual satisfaction is all in a person's head game—as in, their beliefs about how they can maintain a fulfilling sex life.

When it comes to implicit beliefs about sexual satisfaction, researchers at two Canadian universities focused on two views: the belief that good sex comes from working at it with their partner (sexual growth) or that it's the result of natural compatibility (sexual destiny). In order to decide which perspective actually has bearing on satisfaction in the bedroom, the authors conducted a series of six studies.

First, researchers had to create a measure to assess where a person falls on the spectrum of sexual beliefs. Participants were asked in a survey to rate how much they agreed with such statements as, "Sexual relationships often fail because people do not try hard enough" and "If a relationship is meant to be, sex is easy and wonderful."

Next, the study's authors tested their theory that sexual growth beliefs are associated with higher relationship and sexual satisfaction across a variety of methods and samples. For example, researchers tasked 52 participants who were co-habiting with their partners to fill out a survey that measured their sexual beliefs, whether or not they had sex and if they did, how positive or negative the experience was each day for three weeks. Ultimately, researchers found that "individuals reported more positive sexual experiences and higher relationship quality on days when they more strongly endorsed the notion that sexual satisfaction requires work." Conversely, when participants "endorsed sexual destiny beliefs more than they typically did, sexual disagreements were associated with more frustrating, disappointing sex," the study states.

"It is important to remember that if your sex life isn't always perfect that's completely normal, and does not mean your relationship is in trouble."

In another experiment, researchers focused on couples that recently had a baby, as maintaining a regular sex life during that time period often proves to be difficult. While the results echoed the findings of the other studies—that people who believe it takes work to maintain sexual and relationship satisfaction are happier with their sex lives than those who believe in sexual soulmates—researchers also discovered the benefit of a person with strong sexual growth beliefs having a partner with similar beliefs. During a time where sex may not be top priority, they're both willing to work at their sexual relationship.

One interesting discovery across the board was that men tended to endorse sexual destiny while women tended to endorse sexual growth. "This finding surprises a lot of people who think women are more into romantic ideas of soulmates," says Jessica Maxwell, a social psychology PhD candidate at the University of Toronto and lead author on the study. "We think this is because sexual satisfaction may take more 'work' for women, and hence they may be more likely to endorse sexual growth beliefs." (By more "work," she explains, she means that it's not typically as easy for women to achieve sexual satisfaction as men.)

More importantly, the research calls into question the idea perpetuated by the media that a person can be fulfilled sexually if they've found "the one." People who rate high in sex destiny beliefs are "probably passionate," Maxwell says, but she stresses that "it is important to realize the dangers of these beliefs: You are likely over-emphasizing the role of sexual compatibility. It is important to remember that if your sex life isn't always perfect, that's completely normal and does not mean your relationship is in trouble."

 

"To put it bluntly," she says, "if you want to believe in the idea of sexual soulmates, you should also be open to believing that even with a soulmate, sex can take work (i.e., at least believe in both sexual destiny and sexual growth). If not, we know that most couples face sexual disagreements/conflicts over time, so believing these problems are signs that your relationship wasn't meant to be, is going to make it hard to stay satisfied in most long-term sexual relationships."

 

 

 

Source: Vice
Photo: Chris Schmidt/E+/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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