A study has looked into the links between personality traits, sexual satisfaction and frequency of intimacy in a relationship.
They survey respondents were monitored for their strength in the following traits:
- Openness to experience
The 556 participants then documented their sex lives in personal diaries. At the end of the two weeks they disclosed their results to researchers.
The researchers found that in heterosexual couples, wives who scored higher in "agreeableness" have more frequent sex.
Interestingly, the husband's personality traits were not related to the probability that couples engaged in sex.
Meanwhile, both husbands and wives who rank low in "neuroticism" have more satisfying sex when it did occur, while husbands low in openness also experience this.
Couples reported having sex on 23 per cent of the diary reports completed (3 or 4 days of the 14).
The researchers wrote:
It suggests that it is women’s, rather than men’s, personality that predicts the probability of sex in relationships.
Given that men desire sex more frequently than women, women have been labelled the 'gatekeepers' of sex within relationships. Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that couples in which the wife is high in agreeableness, and thus places higher emphasis on interpersonal relationships, or openness, and thus is more receptive to novelty, reported having more sex, though the effect involving wives’ openness was only marginally significant.
This research indicates that the negative associations between neuroticism and global sexual satisfaction that have emerged in past research extend to daily evaluations of specific acts of sex.