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Our Sex Lives Affect Our Work: Part 1

Updated: Jan 11

"The impact of sexual function and sexual satisfaction on the work environment and work productivity"


In 2022 I dove deeper into Men's Sexuality and furthered my knowledge and training as a Sex Coach. I chose the title above for an essay I wrote for my certification.


I wanted to further explore this topic as I have noticed that healing my own relationship to my own sexuality has rippled out in other areas from my life including but not limited to: my confidence in my body; confidence in who I am and how I show up in the world; connecting to my authentic expression; exploring and healing my shadow parts; my relationships with friends and family; stepping out and starting a business; staying true to my sense of purpose when others feel challenged by my path; building safer and more loving friendships and romantic relationships; and much more.


I have broken the essay into four parts. In the first part, which is this one, I investigate first the meaning of' ‘sexual satisfaction’ and how it is determined. I simply define the term ‘sexual dysfunction’. I examine the link between sexual satisfaction and sexual function, focusing on how one might adversely affect the other.


I look at the direct link between sex and work productivity, work wellbeing, and a positive work environment. Within this context, I investigate the hormonal and physical spillover effects of sex into the following working day.


The hyperlinks take you to studies, research and evidence to support the discussion. I would love to hear your feedback! Enjoy!


To investigate the impact that sexual satisfaction has on the workplace, we must first clarify the meaning of the phrase ‘sexual satisfaction’. Sexual satisfaction can be categorised in a two-dimensional construct, first as an individual's personal sexual well-being, which includes positive feelings, pleasure, orgasm, sexual openness, arousal, and desire, and secondly as a dyadic process with elements such as creativity, acting out desires, frequency, mutuality, expression of feelings, and romance. Under the category of personal sexual well-being, a 2013 research discovered that pleasure was the primary sub-theme and that it was connected to the dyadic process of ‘mutuality’, in which satisfaction results from mutual pleasure. What was intriguing about this study was that the commonly used sexual response model (desire, arousal, and orgasm) was not utilised by the subjects. A balance between a couple's preferred sexual frequency was also discovered to be required for sexual fulfilment. Sexual satisfaction is primarily determined by the presence of happy sexual encounters, as opposed to the lack of bad ones. This essay will examine the link between sexual satisfaction and sexual function and the work environment in the context of persons in mainly heterosexual, monogamous, committed, and long-term cohabiting relationships, since the majority of the research I have uncovered examines this dynamic.


Sexual dysfunction may impact the lack of sexual satisfaction, often known as sexual dissatisfaction. Sexual desire/interest problems, arousal, orgasm, and sexual pain are the four primary categories of sexual dysfunction.


In investigating the link between function and satisfaction, a high association between the frequency of sexual disorders and the discontent they might cause has been discovered. A 2004 research indicated that a person's subjective feelings about a sexual issue might determine whether or not it is labelled a dysfunction. The research concluded that sexual activity is a crucial indicator of a person's self-esteem, its significance in sustaining a relationship, and the significance of being sexually active.


Studies on sexual function and its connection to sexual satisfaction have been conducted. Couples' perceptions of their partner's sexual function and level of satisfaction have been linked to their own. It is crucial to understand that a sexual function can actually impact how satisfied a partner is during a sexual encounter. According to studies, a partner's sexual dysfunction can negatively impact not only the sexual satisfaction of the individual experiencing the issue, but also that of their partner. Sexual function and satisfaction appear to have a reciprocal relationship that we will investigate further.


One of the relationships between sexual function and sexual satisfaction is widely recognised as the "orgasm gap." The orgasm gap is the difference between the frequency of orgasms experienced during sex by men and women. The ‘gap’ is that women experience orgasm less frequently than men. This disparity's magnitude is the subject of extensive debate, with varying estimates depending on the study. In March of this year, 2022, an examination of the orgasm gap revealed a correlation between orgasm frequency and expectation. This resulted in women who experienced less frequent orgasms having a diminished desire and even anticipation for orgasm.


There have been studies examining the direct relationship between sexual dysfunction and how it affects people in the workplace, as well as how the hormones from sex can positively influence people's behaviour with coworkers the day after sexual intimacy.


A small number of studies have examined the relationship between erectile dysfunction and work productivity and health-related quality of life. Often, these studies demonstrate that the severity of erectile dysfunction correlates with a decline in work productivity and health-related quality of life. Men with erectile dysfunction had higher absenteeism, presenteeism, work productivity impairment, and lower Mental Component Summary scores than men without erectile dysfunction, according to a 2019 observational study involving participants from eight countries. I would like to bring attention to the fact that the studies I have found linking erectile dysfunction to the workplace were conducted by Pfizer, the manufacturer of the well-known erectile dysfunction medication Sildenafil, also known as Viagra.

There is evidence that sexual behaviour can have a positive effect on job satisfaction and engagement the day after. Engaging in sex with a partner produces positive mood-driven outcomes the next day. It was also discovered that work to family conflict can inhibit sexual behaviour after work hours. Workplace stresses can actually inhibit sex and its subsequent positive effects.


The importance of work-based strains negatively impacting the sex lives of employees has been documented as the boundary between work and home life continues to erode with the rise of working from home and expectations of availability, which can prevent employees from engaging in physical intimacy the following day. In 2017, Leavitt, Barnes, et al. stated that those who are seeking advancement in their organisations, those who are self-employed, and those who rely on engagement at work to generate income should be ‘mindful of tending to their sex lives’.


If there is a correlation between physical intimacy and the success of an organisation the following day, it would be important to comprehend the underlying mechanism. Sex is commonly viewed as a mood enhancer and even a source of support for depressed individuals. During sex, dopamine is released, which helps to focus attention and generally increases motivation; endorphins reduce the stresses of daily life and can give a person a temporary ‘high'; blood pressure is generally lower in those who engage in sex, allowing them to adapt better to more stressful situations; and oxytocin increases the feelings of compassion and affection.


Oxytocin is a neuropeptide released during sex. The effects of oxytocin have been shown to affect people's ability to ‘mind-read', which involves using external cues such as facial expression to interpret or predict the behaviour of another person. It has been demonstrated that intranasal administration of oxytocin significantly enhances the capacity for affective mind-reading and the interpretation of subtle social cues from the eye region of other individuals. Mind-reading is crucial in all types of human social interactions, including the workplace. It's believed that oxytocin promotes social approach, affiliation, and trusting behaviour.


Oxytocin, its connection to trusting behaviour, and its potential influence on workplace relationships have been studied. Oxytocin has been demonstrated to influence a person's trustworthiness and facilitate cooperative interactions. Many companies invest money in team-building exercises and already recognise the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace, so trust and the ability to work well with others are essential foundations for workplace situations.


Sexual activity has been found to cause the release of oxytocin and vasopressin, which leads to more civil and engaging interactions with coworkers and customers. As a result of this finding, it has been suggested that additional research be conducted in this area to determine the impact that sex can have the following day on interpersonal workplace behaviours.


Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at hello@carlacrivaro.com.


Read Part 2 here:

Our Sex Lives Affect Our Work: Part 2


More around the importance of healing sexuality:

Why Sexuality & Relationships Matter

Sex, Love & Relationships In The Office

Why We Need To Be Listening To Men

Women - Your Sexuality, Your Power

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