Sex can be a crucial component of a relationship. Research shows that the happier married people are with their sex lives, the happier they are with their partnership. But between busy jobs and even busier personal schedules, it’s a wonder anyone has time to get, well, busy.
But people who have a healthy, active sex life aren’t magical wizards. They just have the habit down to a science.
Fortunately, anyone can steal the tricks of people who make sex a priority. The best part? There’s no Kama Sutra or self-help book required. In fact, it all comes down to tapping into your own psychology.
Below are six research-backed secrets of people who regularly have sex:
1. People who have more sex are easy going.
Your personality affects every aspect of your life ― including sex. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality discovered that newlywed couples where the woman ranked high in agreeableness, or the desire to please others, tended to have more sex often than other couples. The research looked at the Big Five personality traits ― conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness, neuroticism and extraversion ― in order to make their conclusion.
The study also found that while men tried to initiate sex more, the women were ultimately the ones who determined whether or not the couple engaged in the activity.
2. They get adequate rest.
Looking for the ultimate performance enhancer? Look no further than between the sheets. A small study found extra hours of sleep corresponded with higher levels of sexual desire in college-aged women.
And the process is also cyclical: Other research shows that the residual effects of sex ― like the release of oxytocin and other stress-relieving chemicals ― can mean better shuteye. (And, bonus, it does some pretty wonderful things for your health, too.)
3. They say “I love you” in the moment.
Emotional intimacy really can spark physical intimacy. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research earlier this year found that 75 percent of sexually satisfied men and 74 percent of sexually satisfied women reported that their partner said “I love you” during their last sexual encounter. Many of the same individuals also said that setting the mood and engaging in sexy talk also helped with satisfaction.
4. They’re experimental.
Okay, here’s where that Kama Sutra may come in handy. In the same Journal of Sex Research study, researchers also found that trying new things in bed made the respondents happier. And who wouldn’t want to engage in an activity that makes them happy more often?
5. They exercise.
Work out to make it work in the bedroom. Research shows that regular physical activity can enhance your sex drive, particularly if you’re a man. Men who exercise more report better erectile function, according to a 2015 study. Regular workouts also may help reverse a low sex drive.
6. They don’t have sex out of obligation.
Sex is supposed to be pleasurable, not an item on a to-do list. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that when couples were tasked to have more sex they viewed it more like a chore and subsequently experienced a drop in mood. So, ideally, the key goal to having better sex may be not making it a goal at all and just letting the desire ― whenever it hits ― steer you in the right direction.