That ‘afterglow’ you experience after sex—you know, the fuzzy, blissful feeling coursing through your orgasm-inflected body—isn’t just a nice side effect of a solid romp. It can indicate the quality of your relationship, according to a study from the Association for Psychological Science. 

In fact, if you bask in the post-sex ambiance for up to 48 hours after, that can bond you closer with your partner, the study says.

In this new body of research, scientists pooled together data from two separate studies of newlyweds (214 couples total). Every night for two weeks, men and women journaled about whether they had sex, and ranked their marital and sexual satisfaction (using a 7-point scale). Researchers also noted the couples’ “marital bliss” and “marital quality” at the onset of the study and again 4-6 months later.

Couple in love sitting on sofa holding cups looking at each other and smiling. Romantic couple enjoys morning together at home.

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Their findings: The couples who reported higher sexual satisfaction two days after sex—or those who experienced a stronger, more intense afterglow—were happier in their relationships over time.

This doesn’t mean they were boinking like bunnies, though—on average, couples had sex only four times over the 14-day study. But sex was linked with higher relationship quality over time, thanks to the lingering happiness and pleasure of sexual satisfaction. Of note: It doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you’ve been together, or your personality.

The takeaway of this research is simple: Have more sex. Or at least don’t go weeks (or months) without banging your headboard. Sex is absolutely essential for bonding with your partner. It can keep your relationship tighter, more solid, and untroubled.

Keep riding that feel-good, endorphin-filled wave, gentlemen. Because those who do go a lot longer, and a lot more happily.

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