Sex or money: What makes you happier?

One study found that money bought more sexual partners, but it didn't necessarily buy more sex.

Story highlights

  • Studies show millionaires may enjoy better and more adventurous sex
  • One study suggests that women enjoy sex more with rich partners
  • Another ties frequency of sex to happiness in both men and women
  • Increasing sex may provide a mood boost similar to a $50,000 income gain
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.
Ian Kerner
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."