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Sex or money: What makes you happier?

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Question: So - which makes you happier?




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Total Votes: 42

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Sex or money: What makes you happier?

By Ian Kerner, Special to CNN

updated 7:20 AM EDT, Thu October 4, 2012

Editor's note: Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex for CNN Health. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed. 

(CNN) -- If you're thinking that the benefits of a hefty bank account could help turn up the heat in the bedroom, you're at least partly right.

Money might not buy love, but it can allow for a sizzling sex life.

About 70% of multimillionaires -- with a mean net worth of a whopping $90 million -- say they enjoy better and more adventurous sex, according to a 2007 survey by Prince & Associates Inc., a marketing research firm specializing in global private wealth.

"Fully 63% of rich men said wealth gave them 'better sex,' which they defined as having more-frequent sex with more partners. That compares to 88% of women who said more money gave them better sex, which they defined as 'higher quality' sex," writes Robert Frank in an article for the Wealth Report entitled "The Rich Libido."

It makes sense when you think about it: Money relieves much of the life stresses that most of us have to deal with, helping those 1%ers relax and let go.

The security of extreme wealth can provide a sense of stability that many people, particularly female millionaires, find empowering. And expensive toys like private jets and trips to exotic locales certainly don't hurt, either.

Hooking up with the rich may even improve the quality of sex, at least for women. In a 2009 study (PDF), researchers at Newcastle University found that as male partners' income increased, so did the frequency of women's orgasms.

Could money act as an aphrodisiac? Maybe. Or, as the study's authors suggest, perhaps wealth-inspired orgasms are the result of evolution, helping women discriminate between men to find those that have the best provider potential.

However, a partner who can provide more resources and more orgasms may not necessarily be the best long-term bet, because wealth changes people, and not always for the better.

According to social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, "Wealthier people engage in more dishonest and unethical behavior, and these traits may follow them into the bedroom. In fact, research has found that power and wealth are linked to a higher likelihood of infidelity."

But luckily for all of 99%ers, sex itself may confer more happiness than money ever could.

In one study, researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Warwick, England, measured levels of happiness in 16,000 men and women. They found that the more sex people had, the happier they were, regardless of their age or whether they were male or female.

And while money was found to buy more sexual partners, it didn't necessarily buy more sex. In fact, men who paid for sex were considerably less happy than those who didn't, which makes sense.

According to Lehmiller, "You can buy all of the sex you want, but at the end of the day, most of us want and need more than a few moments of physical contact. Purchasing sex does not meet our psychological needs for intimacy and emotional connection."

The researchers even found that sex is so closely tied to happiness that they estimated increasing sexual intercourse from once a month to once a week would have the same mood-boosting effects as adding $50,000 a year in income.

Sex may contribute to your happiness -- and your actual bank account -- in other ways, too. According to research by biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, people who have more sex might do better at work.

Sex triggers the release of various brain chemicals, such as dopamine, vasopressin and oxytocin, which are associated with creativity, problem-solving, cooperation and confidence. It stands to reason, says Fisher, that regular sex might improve performance in the boardroom as well as the bedroom.

So how can you reap these rewards? Invest in your relationship by giving it the same time and attention that you would your retirement portfolio. Make time for date nights. Make sure that the number of positive interactions with your partner outnumbers the negatives.

Practice 30-second hugs to get those feel-good chemicals flowing. Share a cuddle -- and maybe a fantasy or two. Remember, you may not own six homes and a private jet, but when you bank on your relationship, you can feel just as rich.

So what makes you happier: sex or money?

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 2:32 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I'm not a sex person at all.
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by Ruby Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM
1 mom liked this

 Just one or the other?

I like sex with my money-making husband.  :)

by Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:57 PM
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by Ruby Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM
1 mom liked this
Right now i am gonna say sex
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by Platinum Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:03 PM
1 mom liked this
Sex! I'm much happier in my relationship having great sex than I was when I was in a relationship with more money.

Of course, ideally, we'd have both great sex and lots of money :)
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by Boudica on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:26 AM

Presently, it's money.  Sex hurts too much.  Hopefully this will change.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:36 AM
1 mom liked this
Money is easy. Good sex is always elusive!
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by Kellie on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM
Sex makes me happier than money.

Asked my husband, he said the same. Lol
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by Libertarian on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:58 AM
1 mom liked this
I've never been rich, but I've had some pretty bang-out sex (no pun intended) with guys who wore blue collars. Rich guys are lame in the sack. Never had one worth 90 mil, but I've slept with 3 or 4 "1%"ers, and I'd rather walk the long road and duck into shacks and ditches with a poor dude than spend the rest of my life having to roll over for one of the rich. Money changes people. Apparently it also changes their satisfaction with mundane sex. Lol
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by Libertarian on Oct. 5, 2012 at 4:08 AM
1 mom liked this
As for which makes me happier---I'm gonna have to say sex. If the world economy collapsed and we were all forced to be people again, I think we'd all realize that sex makes us happier than money. Well...most of us, anyway. Something tells me there would be a lot of snobs eating a lot of pistols...
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