These findings are a bit surprising.
According to a study published on the Institute for Family Studies blog, women with two premarital sex partners have a much higher chance of getting divorced down the line than women who have three to nine sex partners before marriage do.
University of Utah's Professor Nicholas H. Wolfinger suggests these numbers are what they are because sex before marriage is much more accepted now than ever before in American history. He says, “In short, if you're going to have comparisons to your [future] husband, it's best to have more than one.”
Women are having way more sex these days. Wolfinger found that in the 1970s, women were four times more likely to marry as virgins. The amount of women marrying with just one sex partner under their belt has declined a great deal.
Let's do the math. The average American woman gets married at 27, while the average American man ties the knot at 29. But by age 21, 85 percent of men have had sex and 81 percent of women have had sex, according to The Kinsey Institute. That gives the average person six to eight years to have as much sex as he or she wants, with as many partners he or she wants to have sex with. They can have their fun before deciding to settle down, which gives them a better chance of feeling fulfilled when settling down.
When you think about it, it makes sense. The more sexual experiences you have, the more you feel you've lived and the less you feel the desire to stray from your spouse. If I, for instance, decided to get married to the second guy I've ever had sex with, I'd probably live a very, uh, unfulfilling life. No, really. This guy did not know how to satisfy me sexually because at 19, I hardly knew what worked for me in the bedroom, so how could he know?
Still, it's important to note that these studies did not take into account the sexual behavior of men in marriages. It only took into account women's premarital sexual behavior, and their effects on the rate of divorce.
What's interesting, though, is while having an extremely small number of premarital sex partners can increase your chances of divorce, so can having a large number of premarital sex partners. The article published this morning in Medical Daily references a 2014 study in which researchers hypothesized the following:
The researchers hypothesized having more experience can increase our awareness of alternative partners. In other words, people who've had a significant number of prior relationships may become satisfied more easily when not in committed relationships and less so within one." It goes on to note that it isn't the multiple sex partners that keeps that kind of person from staying in a marriage, but rather, that person's unwillingness or 'inability to commit.'
These findings resonate with me all too well. I feel like I've gotten so used to the lightheartedness and impermanence of one-night stands and hookup buddy situations that I fear I'd lose interest very quickly if and when I decide to commit to a relationship. AKA I'm probably not the best candidate for marriage. Well, for now, anyway.
So, what does this all mean? Have as much (or as little) sex as your heart desires because it's all a crapshoot.