TODAY   |  February 08, 2013

Survey: Happy couples sleep in the nude

Authors Chrisanna Northrup and Pepper Schwartz surveyed close to 100,000 people to see what makes couples happy, and found out the happiest couples sleep in the nude, trust each other, and have sex three to four times a week.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now with much more on what makes couples happy. the results of a couple of surveys, these ladies' survey and our online survey about some rather intimate subjects. we're joined now by chrisanna northrup and pepper schwartz , authors of "the normal bar." some people might be watching and saying who are these two to tell me what's normal? how do you find normal?

>> not 98.6. it's your normal. if my normal is brushing my teeth once a day and yours is twice a day, maybe we just want to take a look at which normal is good for teeth.

>> but this is the normal for people who tend to show that they can stay happy over a long period of time?

>> we look at the whole continuum, but we're especially interested in those people who are extremely happy. what's their normal and how should we emulate it?

>> let's dive right into it. the first question is a doozy. how often do you have sex? your survey, 7.5% said daily. we want to know where they live. 40% said three to four times a week. 27% said a handful of times a month and you see the rest of the results there. what did you find was the optimum time? what is the normal for a happy couple?

>> three to four times a week. what we also looked at is not just going through the actions, but the quality of that. there's a big difference being in a relationship where you're happy, okay, and you're having sex and it's all good than when you're extremely happy having sex that many times, which is a totally different ballpark. that's what we really liked.

>> we look at affectionate behaviors and how those correlated to sexual satisfaction frequently. these people call each other pet names, they cuddle. they hold hands.

>> if you're sitting at home right now and couples are watching this saying we do not have sex three to four times a week, one of the suggestions you have for people to try to increase the frequency of sex is sleep in the nude more often. what did your survey tell you about that?

>> not enough people were doing it.

>> no.

>> we had 28%, 30% of the people sleeping in the nude. when you look at the happiest couples , they were really sleeping in the nude. they knew what they were doing.

>> women say yes, can we put that graphic back up? we had a fwrask up that said women say they sleep in the nude 34% of the time, men say yes 38% of the time.

>> we asked our viewers this morning, 76% of our views do sleep in the nude.

>> happier couples are.

>> 75% of the happy couples sleep in the nude.

>> i don't want to spend a lot of time on this. it's a morning show . you ask people, by the way, about the use of pornography in their relationship. why did you decide to go there?

>> we think it's been sort ofville of vil villainized. it doesn't have a negative affect on the relationship. we're not talking about addicted to it. we're talking about joint use or individual use.

>> this is key, you asked do you trust your partner? 39% of women said they did, compared with 53% of men. that's an interesting difference. 75% of men and 71% of women acknowledge they have lied at some point to their partner.

>> we looked more into white lies, big lies. we really wanted to dive into that question a little bit more. 50% of the men said they lie about where they go sometimes. and women do it, too.

>> what do you make about that gender difference , pepper, men more trusting of their wives than vice versa .

>> we have a lot of data to show that maybe women should be a little less trusting. we don't have enough time to go into it, but, in fact, there are things that are going on in people's minds. for example, i was very surprised at how many people, happy people thought of breaking up. i think there's a lot going on sometimes, that people are sensing and feeling.

>> is that about fantasy or is that just about not being happy with your lot in life?

>> i think you're evaluate re-evaluating all the time. even happy couples think about it. there are things i think people haven't gotten out in the open and that changes the trust issue. i think men are more trusting than women .

>> let's get to the inner section of trust and the digital age. have you read your partner's e-mail without your partner knowing it, obviously? 54% of women said yes, they have. 49% of men said yes. any surprise in those nuchl numbers to you?

>> there was a big surprise. we had an open-ended question with that. what was interesting about that is that men were saying -- and women , that if they found their partner reading their e-mail, they would break up with them. there's definitely -- if you don't feel trustworthy and you catch your partner reading, you're in big trouble .

>> you look at our survey here. today.com survey, 51% of people who responded said yes, they had read their partner's e-mail, 49% said no. split pretty much right down the middle.

>> we're hitting all kinds of -- quarter of the people said they don't discuss earnings with their spouse, 60% of childless partners have separate bank accounts , 33% of long-term couples have separate accounts and 62% of couples said they have equal access to accounts. how important is it to be open about your finances?

>> extremely important. there's social change going on, though. used to be everybody put their money together. now we're seeing it's one of those things that's voluntary. you may or may not. if you don't put it together, you actually have fewer arguments.

>> this is going to spark a conversation at dinner tables and breakfast tables all around the country. thanks so much.

>> thank you.