Well+Good

A good sex life might pay off in the office, according to science

Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

There are tons of ways to reinvigorate your work life: Add some mood-boosting plants to your productivity space, nix using certain words, or just get comfortable and cozy. Something you might not have considered, though, is how your between-the-sheets activity affects your job performance, but a study published in the Journal of Management has found evidence that sex might have a bigger impact on your job than you think.

For two weeks, the study asked 159 married, full-time–employed adults to complete three daily surveys in the morning, afternoon, and night. The survey’s questions asked about their sexual activity the night before and their current mood and productivity at work.

The results showed that the day after participants reported having sex, they were not only in a better mood at work (by 5 percent on average, according to Tonic) but also had a higher sense of satisfaction and job engagement. The study also found a correlation to support an inverse finding: Being stressed or unhappy at work meant participants were less likely to have sex that day.

“Individuals report feeling a greater sense of self-control and focus the next day following sex.” —Keith Leavitt, study co-author and associate professor

The mood boost is “likely a function of both dopamine and oxytocin triggered by sexual activity,” Keith Leavitt, PhD, study co-author and associate professor at Oregon State University, told Tonic. Additionally, “individuals report feeling a greater sense of self-control and focus the next day following sex,” he added.

But that doesn’t mean sex is the magic solution for your career slump. There are plenty of other ways to boost your mood and stay motivated. Furthermore, the study has a number of shortcomings: Self-reporting is not an exact science or the most reliable method of gathering information. Plus, two weeks is a relatively short period of time to gather results, and the study only evaluated married couples—most heterosexual. The findings also only focused on sexual intercourse and did not include sexual activity like masturbation and oral sex, which might, ostensibly, lead to similar results.

Still, it might be worth a little experimenting to see for yourself whether your work game improves following sex. After all, research can’t get much more more enjoyable—and considering that even a raise won’t make you happy on the job, what do you have to lose?

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