Now, new research suggests that closeness can last long after you've done the deed..
Now, new research suggests that closeness can last long after you've done the deed.
A data analysis of more than 200 newlywed couples published in the journal Psychological Science found that sex "afterglow" can last up to two days after you've hooked up.
For the study, researchers analyzed data in which spouses reported their daily sexual activity and sexual satisfaction for 14 days. They also reported on their satisfaction with their marriage at the start of the study and four to six months after it started.
Researchers came up with several complicated-looking math equations using this data and found that people feel sexually fulfilled after getting it on (especially on the same day that they had sex—no shocker there). But they also reported feelling more sexually satisfied in the 48 hours post-sex sesh, too.
And it's not just a sex thing: Couples who reported sexual satisfaction also said they had higher levels of relationship satisfaction—both at the start of the study and over time.
The association was the same for men and women of all ages, and stood up even after researchers took into account how often couples had sex, their personality traits, and how long they'd been together.
"We interpret these findings as evidence that sexual afterglow is a proximal cognitive mechanism through which sex promotes pair bonding," the study authors wrote.
The researchers point out that there are obvious limitations to the study, like the fact that people are more likely to want to report their sexual and marital satisfaction in a positive way. They also noted that some people may have had sex when they weren't really in the mood to please their partner, which may not cause the same afterglow effect.
So if you're trying to get a sense of how often you should boink to keep the warm-fuzzies going in your relationship, it looks like every two days is the magic number.