More Sex, More Money?

News Flash! Having more sex is good for you.

Actually, this is old news. People have been boasting the beni’s of healthy relationships and good sex for centuries. But a new study set out to discover whether an active sex life might have financial benefits.

The study, “The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages,” was conducted by Nick Drydakis, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Lord Ashcroft International Business School and Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor, Germany. Drydakis conducted a telephone-survey to approximately 7,500 Greek households for one year. Respondents identified themselves as having-

  • no sex (score 0)
  • 1-2/year (score 1)
  • 1/month (score 2)
  • 2-3/month (score 3)
  • Weekly  (score 4)
  • 2-3/week (score 5)
  • 4+/week (score 6)

They were then questioned as to employment, income and hours worked; as well as marriage status, sexual orientation and even disabilities. From his analysis, Drydakis did find that the group with the highest yields also had the highest score, pun intended. The 4+ group made more money.

But he doesn’t assume that more sex equals higher income. Rather, he notes that the only thing this study demonstrates is that the two are correlated. Quote,

“…the reported results are simply an indication of the relationship between sexual activity and wages but are by no means the final word.”

One might also consider that the results are an indication of said relationship in…Greece.

Drydakis does consider the reverse; namely, that more money could be a precursor to more sex. Showing up in a Benz with a fat cash roll may have persuasive powers; however, he cites a study by “Blanchflower and Oswald (2004), who suggest that increased income does not translate into additional sex.[1] So the author of this study is unable to assert which comes first, the booty or the Benz.

He instead acknowledges that other factors are at play. Take, for instance, “Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory.” According to this theory, human beings can’t access their higher functions unless basic needs are met. Expounding the theory Drydakis writes:

There are five needs: physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualization. Maslow (1954) theorised that basic needs such as food, water, and sexual activity must be met before any other motivations occur…

Should we expect to see the same results from buying sex or having multiple partners without emotional commitment? Nick suggests there are deeper longings at root:

The theory concludes that people need to love and be loved (sexually and  non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and depression that affect their working life.”

Although some recent news reports seem to suggest that Drydakis is promoting sex like a get-rich-quick scheme, he further reduces the sex variable by clarifying that, while it does appear to have a positive impact, “Sexual activity has the lowest positive impact on wage.” Being male, married and extraverted are more significant variables, with between-the-sheets-action factoring later in the equation.

Ultimately, the results of this study support long held views about sexual fulfillment, success and well-being. Nick admits that cash doesn’t just fall into people’s laps because of their sex life. More likely, there are personality traits and strengths that lead to success in both spheres of life. But as compared to the sexually frustrated, the fulfilled and satisfied appear more likely to achieve their financial dreams.

Ironically, just beneath a report in the Huffington Post on this study was a photo-feature entitled, “The CEO Sex-Scandal Hall of Fame.” These guys either resigned or were outright fired for inappropriate sexual fulfillment such as that with another’s wife, an extramarital affair, or sleeping with an employee. These are high profile examples, but surely this is occurring at all levels from the President to the popcorn girl. Losing one’s job probably throws a wrench in the “more sex-more money” theory. Perhaps not all sex is created equal?



July 2013 Nick Drydakis. “The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages.” IZA DP No. 7529

Huffington Post “People Who Have Sex At Least 4 Times A Week Make More Money: Study”

[1] Blanchflower, D. G. and Oswald, A. J. (2004). Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 106(3): 393-414

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