More Women Having Sex Out Of Obligation

A long-term study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland found tha women who had sex four or more times a week were rated as looking 10 years younger than their actual age. (More sex leads to a youthful glow? I can dig that!) But the research, cited in a new study by WomenTALK, also found distressing news: of the 1,031 surveyed, many are increasingly having sex out of obligation to their partner — not their own pleasure.

Research showed that claimed they make sexual health a priority in their overall health. However, only half — 51 percent — said they believed having sex a few times a week was sexually healthy, but only 30 percent engaged in sexual activity at that level of frequency. More distressingly, 66 percent said they have sex one or less (i.e. zero) times a week. (I feel ya 66 percent, it happens to the best of us!)

Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, executive director at HealthyWomen, the organization that commissioned the annual survey, had this to say about the study:

“The new research shows that women really don’t understand the physical benefits of an active sex life. Beyond the benefit of forming a closer bond with her partner, an active sex life can decrease stress, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, increase immune system function and burn calories.”

Naomi Greenblat, a psychiatrist, added:

“There seems to a growing trend in women having sex for obligation, not enjoyment purposes. Women say there are 24 hours in a day and they are simply not prioritizing sex.”

Could it be true that women are not prioritizing sex to the detriment of our own health? I don’t know how I feel about this study. It certainly sounds enticing: have more pleasurable sex for the good of your body and soul. That’s an important message that women should hear.

Yet I hear a patronizing tone in the article when discussing gals who don’t get it on as often. Ideally we’d have high-quality sex, not high-quantity sex. Life gets in the way sometimes: kids, exhaustion from work, “Project Runway” marathons. I think future studies would benefit from a more thorough look at all forms of sexual intimacy and their benefits to a woman’s health and well-being, not the just the act itself.


Contact the author of this post at [email protected]