That’s the title of an article at The Science of Relationships.
The article itself covers a few different topics related to this theme, but the thing that struck me was a recognition by secular professionals that a lack of chastity (not the way they put it, of course, but still) is bad for relationships. To put it in their language, the longer a couple delays the onset of sexual activity, the more likely the relationship will be long lasting and exclusive.
Delaying the onset of sexual activity is one way to increase the odds that a couple will stay together. For example, I spoke with Anthony Paik, professor of Gender and Women’s Sexuality at the University of Iowa. He suggests that the onset of sex after the first month of dating can lead to commitment. “In one of my studies, it turned out that the longer couples delayed sex, the more exclusive the relationship. And if men engage in sex within the first month of dating, they are 4.5 times more likely to be nonexclusive later.”
Yet many people hold the modern belief that in order to have a long-term bond, they must audition their mate sexually, as if hooking-up is a way to win the marriage lottery. Sexual chemistry, they say, is necessary for long-term happiness. If this theory were true, people who do not test their sexual chemistry before commitment should have shorter, less happy relationships. But psychology professor Dean Busby and his colleagues at Brigham Young University were unable to make this connection in a study of more than 2,000 couples. People with good sexual chemistry early on did not stay together longer.8 He explained his results to me this way: “The mechanics of good sex are not particularly difficult or beyond the reach of most couples, but the emotions, the vulnerability, the meaning of sex and whether it brings couples closer together are much more complicated to figure out.”
Perhaps those seeking platonic love online understand more than anyone the nutritional benefits of companionship, trust, and non-sexual touch. Maybe no sex is the new sex.
It’s a good piece. Go take a look at the whole thing.