If you want to be happier and more productive at work, the secret is to be more reproductive at home. At least, that’s what a new study out of Oregon State University concluded. Couples who have active sex lives do better in the office. It sounds great, but the study is arousing … some skepticism.
Keith Leavitt, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Business, looked at 159 married employees for two weeks and had them complete brief surveys every day. The people who engaged in a lil coitus reported feeling better the next morning, and those good vibes carried over through the workday, lasting up to 24 hours. Both male and female sex-havers reported feeling more engaged and satisfied with their work at equal rates, and this feeling was consistent even when factoring in marital satisfaction and sleep quality.
Leavitt attribute much of the good mood to the dopamine that’s released during intercourse.
“We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” Leavitt said in a release. “Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for.”
Here’s probably where we should point out that two weeks isn’t a very long time for a study like this, and 159 people isn’t exactly a sweeping sample size. The study also suggests that sex and job satisfaction are a two-way street, making the conclusions a little more gray — and not in the 50 Shades way. The research found that people who brought their work home with them and were stressed at their job were less likely to have sex. In this reading, having sex is a symptom of a good job, not the cause of it.
There’s probably at least a kernel of truth to the idea that a good 69 leads to a better 9 to 5, so to speak. It’s just much more complicated than the study’s main takeaway makes it seem.
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority. Just make time for it,” Leavitt said. He’s not wrong, but the study seems like it should be just that, a reminder, rather than final proof that nightly hookups will magically cure all your work woes.