7 Unexpected Ways Money Affects Your Sex Life

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Sex and money are two of the most taboo topics of discussion. Despite the fact that these things affect all of our lives in one way or another, we tend to shy away from talking about them.

Sex and money are inextricably connected. Both within relationships and in our lives as individuals, sex and money are key contributors to our well being and state of mind.

Unless you really think about it, you may not realize just how much your finances are affecting your sex life. If money is causing you stress, controlling your social life, or causing tension in your relationships, it might be time to consider how it can affect your sex life too.

It affects your health

There are plenty of studies on the impacts of money on your mental health (don’t worry, we’ll get there) but what many people don’t realize is the effect money has on your physical health as well. 

Studies show that people with increased stress in regard to their debt reported feeling less healthy and more likely to experience physical pain. 

Sex is a physical activity. And when your physical health is lacking strength, engaging in sex becomes difficult. Sometimes you are too worn down and exhausted to even toy with the idea of having sex.

On the other hand, if you are well-off financially, your physical health is likely in better tact. The richer you are, the more likely you are able to afford things that maintain your physical health like nutritional foods, days off work, equipment and/or gym passes for exercising, and any necessary medications. People with higher socioeconomic standings report having more sex than poorer people.

Malnutrition is a huge issue for poor people

Poor people have more health problems. Poverty and poor health are undeniably linked. The more vulnerable you are, the more susceptible you are to illness and injury.

A big issue that poor people struggle with is malnutrition which lowers your sex drive and limits your stamina. Limited access to food with essential nutrients (and food in general) is the main cause of malnutrition.

The healthier the food, the more expensive it is. Food banks rarely offer food with significant nutrients. Non-perishables like canned soups, cereals, and pasta are great for filling your belly, but not so much for ensuring you’re taking in a sufficient amount of vitamins and protein.

Even if you can afford groceries, when you have limited funds you want to focus on foods that are long-lasting and filling.

When you’re poor you often have to make the choice between a rumbling stomach and balanced meals. Usually this means opting for a few boxes of mac and cheese instead of one package of blueberries.

It restricts your access to healthcare

Lack of health insurance, or limited health insurance, can be a huge problem for people’s sex lives.

In a recent study, 33% of women said they can’t afford to pay more than $10/ month on birth control. And with no health insurance (or health insurance that covers barely anything) access to safer sex becomes difficult. A single pack of birth control pills (lasts one month) can cost up to $50.

In addition to contraceptives, a lack of health insurance also makes it more difficult and costly to have regular testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections, and treatments for them.

It causes stress

I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but managing your money can be stressful.

Okay, so you’ve definitely heard this. But have you considered how money stress is affecting the health of your sex life?

The ways in which finances affect your actual relationship with your partner can largely determine the health of your sex life. If you feel more distant from your partner because of money stress it is likely affecting your sex life.

Mental health issues affect your sex life, the poorer you are, the more likely you are to be mentally ill and/or experience extreme stress. The less stress you have, the better your head space is. Stress leads to lower libido and sometimes even negative body image.

Low self-esteem coupled with the physical symptoms of stress put up tough barriers between you and your ability to have sex. The better your mental health is the more likely you are able to engage in a healthy, sexually active life.

It affects the quality of your social life

Dating and socializing in general can quickly drain your bank account. But oftentimes, going out is necessary for people’s sex lives. 

Here are some of the expenses that come along with dating:

  • Covering the bill for your dates
  • Food and drinks
  • Activities 
  • Dating app memberships
  • Transportation to and from
  • Planning and prep 

According to a recent study, single people who are actively dating spend nearly $2300 on dating every year. If you don’t have enough money to go out and meet people frequently, your sex life will face obvious consequences.

It affects your ability to buy fun sex stuff

There’s really no delicate way to put it.

If you have disposable income you can buy sex toys, lube, whatever it is you want to try in bed! And if you don’t, you can’t.

The use of sex toys is said to increase communication, excitement, and enjoyment in bed. So if you have money to spend on them, this is a direct way to improve your sex life. 

Getting a raise can help

This might seem obvious at this point, but getting a raise is known to improve your sex life. 

We’ve covered that more money=better quality of life and better quality of life=better sex life!

But the specificity of getting a raise is especially positive when it comes to improving your sex-life because it usually comes along with improved self-esteem.

Comparing incomes with your partner can cause tension

Whether you’re in similar career fields or not, sometimes knowing your partner’s income can provoke competitiveness. If you feel a sense of jealousy on top of pre-existing financial stress you’ll become more distant and closed off from you partner.

Can you improve your sex life despite financial stress?

The short answer: yes.

You are not doomed to a sexless life if your money is currently stressing you out and/or negatively impacting your sex life. 

Take care of yourself

Whether you’re with a committed partner or not, the first step in improving your sex life is taking care of yourself. It can be hard to do so on a tight budget, but improving your overall well being will result in positive results.

Try developing a mental health action plan of low cost methods to care for and improve your mental health.

Also, take care of yourself *insert embarrassing wink here*.

Talk openly about money

The more open the communication is between you and your partner, the more trust you build. If you feel that money is impacting your sex life, try talking to your partner about it. This is truly the only first step you can take!

If the person you’re having sex with is someone you’re in a long-term relationship with, you could even discuss tackling your finances together and using a joint account. Ultimately, the goal is to relieve any stress or tension that money is inflicting on your relationship.

Keep the romance alive

It’s not impossible to go on cheap dates! Honestly, I used to think it was, but if you’re hanging out with a great person you can make anything into a date.

Overall, sex and money are a pair of tricky topics!

But they don’t need to be.

Whether the effect money has on your sex life is positive or negative, the connection is undeniable and important to think about.

You might be surprised to discover how your paycheck translates to the bedroom!

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About Author

Professional Writing student at York University, Toronto. Fascinated by the relationship between oppression, mental health, and money. Writer, avid TV watcher, and poetry obsessed. You can support more of her work at patreon.com/emnortonwrites

2 Comments

  1. This article doesn’t even touch on the cost of birth control if you don’t have health insurance (or the health insurance you have is crappy).

    • You’re right, Maggie.

      It totally slipped my mind but this is definitely a major factor for some individuals. Thanks for mentioning! Something I’ll keep in mind going forward as I write more about the personal aspects of finance.

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