Study: People who have sex four or more times a week make more money

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Having an active sex life may make you happier, healthier and wealthier.

A new study reveals that people who had sex four or more times a week earned more money than their counterparts who weren't as lucky.

"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 could affect their working life," study author Nick Drydakis, an economics lecturer at Angila Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, said to CBSNews.com by email.

The discussion paper was published in July by the Institute for the Study of Labor, an economic research institution, in Germany.

Drydakis said he was interested in the topic because of previous studies linking sexual activity with extroversion traits (including being sociable, outgoing and energetic) and good health. In addition, good health has been linked to higher wages. A 2009 Brazilian study also showed a connection between higher wages and a more active sex life.

Drydakis said according to a famous psychological theory called Maslow's Need Hierarchy, humans have to meet their basic needs like food, water, and sexual activity before they can attempt to succeed in other aspects of their life. He argued that this meant that if people weren't having their basic needs met, they wouldn't be able to function.

"In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and depression that could affect their working life," he explained.

Drydakis took a closer look at data collected on 7,500 people aged 26 to 50 who lived in Greece. In 2008, the subjects were asked about demographic information, their health status and their sexual activity levels. People were also asked about their employment status and how much money they made.

Both straight and gay couples were included in the study, but only 5.5 percent of the subjects identified as LGBT.

Subjects who had sex four or more times a week made 5 percent more money in their employment wages than those who didn't. Those who said they weren't having sex at all made 3.2 percent less than their counterparts who were having sex.

Drydakis said the more important thing to note is that those who had more sex were also more likely to be outgoing and had lower rates of diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

"It seems that we have to consider jointly the relations between happiness, sexual activity, productivity and wages," he said.

Even in people with health issues, those who were having sex more frequently were more likely to make more money than those who weren't having sex as often. The trend didn't seem to change even when other factors like higher education, sexual orientation or what kind of job the person held were taken into account.

Why sex and money are connected isn't exactly known, but the author postulated it may have to do with the fact that people who are employed have more money to date more often. It's also possible that making more money makes a person seem more attractive to others. Another hypothesis could be that people with more money are more likely to buy gifts for their significant other.

"Higher wages may increase purchase of gifts that are thanked for via sex," wrote Drydakis.

Drydakis pointed out that his study only found an association between sex and wages, but having more sex didn't necessarily mean you would get a pay raise. Still, that didn't mean that sex wasn't an important factor for a successful career.

"Sexual activity is a key aspect of personal health and social welfare that influences individuals across their life span," Drydakis said. "In terms of policy implications, access to effective, broadly-based sexual health education could be an important contributing factor to the health and well-being of people."

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