Depending on who you’re talking to a low number of sex partners can be a good or bad thing.
Some would argue having too many sex partners would lead you to be more promiscuous in a relationship. Others would argue that having too few partners leaves you inexperienced, or even way too curious after commitment.
But according to a new study, people who’ve had less sex tend to report happier marriages.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, when it comes to sex, less experience is better, at least for the marriage,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the Institute for Family Studies, told The Atlantic.
“Having more partners prior to marriage makes you critically evaluate your spouse in light of previous partners, both sexually and otherwise,” Wilcox said.
Another researcher makes the case that being committed to less sex before marriage, lends itself to commitment within the relationship.
“They have never been interested in sex without commitment, and once married, they may be more committed to their spouses, and therefore happier,” Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, told The Atlantic.
There also appeared to be some gender differences between men and women whose relationships are affected by their body count. Men saw slightly more happy benefits from having one partner than women did. 71% of men with one partner reported they were “very happy” in their current relationship. This only dropped to 65% for men with two or more sex partners in their lifetime.
But before people start feeling doomed for having more than one partner, it’s important to know that scientists have also shown people have a genetic propensity towards promiscuity, infidelity, and divorce.
So even when it comes to predictive behavior, human’s still have the privilege of free will. With so many factors, there isn’t a “proven formula” to guarantee a good life, so following what you’re comfortable with is probably the best bet.