Sex and productivity: not something most people think about correlating.
Though our personal lives and business lives may overlap, most of us are diligent about keeping them separate.
If we’re constantly inundated by sex in the media, why is it taboo to talk about it? Especially if learning more about sex could make you better in business.
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Sex, Happiness, and Wealth
In 2004, a British study showed sex makes people happier than money. Engaging in activities with a partner once a week created a happiness equivalent to an additional $50,000 in annual income. Being in a stable marriage with regular sexual activity boosted happiness even more—an equivalent of an additional $100,000 in annual income. On the other hand, divorce created the emotional equivalent to losing $66,000 in annual income.
In 2013, research from the Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany showed a correlation between sex, happiness, and wealth. Participants who reported engaging in sexual activities four or more times per week reported earnings of 5 percent more than those who engaged less often. Those who reported no sexual activity earned 3.2 percent less than their active counterparts.
Results also indicated activity increased the likelihood the participant was outgoing while also decreasing the likelihood of arthritis, diabetes, and even heart disease.
The Benefits of Sex
The act of sex releases hormones that reduce stress to create mental and emotional stability. Researchers examined rats and found that having intercourse every day for two weeks increased cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that helps keep stress levels under control. While we still need a human study to confirm this is also the case for us, it’s still a potential explanation for why sex makes us feel so great.
Another study showed people who engaged in daily intercourse for two weeks experienced lower stress-related blood pressure compared to those who participated in other sexual activities, including solo sessions. Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for what we know as love, not only helps bond you with your partner, but acts as a natural sedative to promote better sleep.
A 2012 study showed sleep deprivation makes you work slower, though it doesn’t necessarily affect accuracy. Study participants were placed on a 28-hour schedule with six hours of sleep every night to simulate jetlag and induce sleep deprivation. Regular sleep deprivation progressively declined performance over time. During the first week, participants were only slowed by about a second, but by week three, slowness doubled.
Better sleep isn’t just good for you because you’ll be more productive at work. Studies also show getting more sleep strengthens the immune system and helps you live longer—two additional benefits of sex.
Expert Lynn Brown Rosenberg, author of “My Sexual Awakening at 70” and sexual health advisor to the Sinclair Institute says, “If you’ve had great sex the night before, the next day you’re going to feel more powerful. Energized. Balanced. Wanted in a deeply personal way. Engaging in sexual intimacy can make us feel right with the world. We are less stressed and more able to be productive.”
How Sex Influences Productivity
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The Asian Efficiency Sex and Motivation Chart makes this easier for us to understand. When it comes to sex, both biology and society are at play. Biological forces drive us to make all efforts to survive and to pass our genes to offspring.
These biological forces create “pursuit motivation” or the behaviors we take to ensure survival and reproduction. After we engage in sexual activity, we get “post-sex benefits,” which are the biological and social benefits we get from the activity—whether or not reproduction occurs.
The motivation and benefits correlate to either an increase or a decrease in productivity, based on what the interaction with society says. We get both good and bad messages because of the combination of what we have to do biologically, and how society says we have to do it.
So, taboo aside, plenty of data is out there to show that sex is not only good for us, it’s good for business, too. When we’re regularly active, we’re less stressed, we get better sleep, and we’re in a better mood. When we go to work feeling more rested and less stressed, we’re able to better face the day, regardless of the tasks it brings us.