A new study attempts to figure out what reasons for having sex lead to the most satisfying sex. For example: Sex for "love and commitment" is more satisfying than sex "to get material goods." Who would've thought?

After surveying 544 college-aged men and women (most of them straight), University of Texas at Austin researchers have released a study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior that tries to explore sexual satisfaction in terms of reasons for having sex—rather than by pure physical response, as such research is typically directed. They found—maybe obviously—that some reasons for having sex led to much more satisfying sex.

So: Here's how you have the most satisfying sex:

  • Do: Have sex for love and commitment. Sex for love and commitment was satisfying to both men and women. If you don't have a committed partner, try having sex with something else you love, like Mad Men, or the New York Giants. (Interestingly, satisfying sex correlated more strongly to love and commitment in men than in women, a fact you should feel free to smugly point out whenever watching stand-up comedy about the differences between men and women.)
  • Don't: Have sex to raise your self-esteem. This tended to make men less satisfied. Look, guys, if you need a self-esteeem boost, just call your mom! Don't have sex with her, though. Unless it's for love and commitment.
  • Do: Have sex to "express something to [your] partner, like gratitude or apology." Women were more satisfied when they had sex as a means of expression. So, if you are thankful to someone, just go right ahead! Who needs thank-you notes, right?
  • Don't: Have sex "to get goods, favors or other resources." I mean, that being said, the sex might not be satisfying, but whatever it is you're getting in exchange probably will be.
  • Don't: Have sex "to have a new and exciting experience." Take some shrooms for that.