The More or the Better? How Sex Contributes to Life Satisfaction.
Much cross-sectional research documented associations between sexuality and life satisfaction, but very little longitudinal research on the topic has considered whether changes in sexuality and life satisfaction unfold together over time. Using data from 5582 individuals in partnerships surveyed across 5786 intimate relationships (providing 18,712 observations for analysis) during five waves of the German Family Panel (pairfam), this study examined whether intraindividual changes in sexual frequency and satisfaction were associated with corresponding intraindividual changes in life satisfaction. Fixed effects regression modeling results showed that individuals reported a greater increase (decrease) in life satisfaction when they also experienced a more substantial increase (decrease) in sexual frequency and satisfaction. This finding was consistent for men and women. This study contributes to the literature by documenting that naturally occurring increases in sexual frequency and satisfaction over time predicted corresponding increases in life satisfaction.