Our Sex Lives Affect Our Work: Part 2
"The impact of sexual function and sexual satisfaction on the work environment and work productivity"
An essay I wrote for a recent certification had the above title. The essay has been split into four parts. If you have not read the first part, I invite you to do so here.
In the second part, which is this one, I examine the relationship between sexual activity and mental health, as well as the impact mental health can have on work productivity and workplace wellness.
The hyperlinks take you to studies, research and evidence to support the discussion. I would love to hear your feedback! Enjoy!
During the 2020 Corona virus pandemic lockdowns, researchers examined the relationship between sexual activity and mental health and discovered that those who were able to maintain sexual activity had less psychological distress than those who had to give it up due to lockdown policies, such as couples being separated. On a relational level, those who continued to engage in sexual activity had higher scores on ‘dyadic cohesion and satisfaction’, indicating that sexual activity improves relational health. Sexual activity was found to have protective effects on anxiety and depression, with moderate to high sexual activity decreasing the negative effects of anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Both men and women have been found to have a relationship between sexual activity and lower depression rates, but the evidence for the specifics of this relationship varies between the sexes. One study discovered that the association between sexual activity and integrating it with other forms of touch was stronger for men, suggesting that men are more likely than women to rely solely on partners for intimacy.
In a study examining the relationship between sexual function and mental health, premature ejaculation was found to cause psychological distress and negative outcomes for both men who sought treatment and those who did not. This sexual dysfunction negatively impacted the participants' quality of life and self-esteem, caused anxiety, depression, and a lack of sexual confidence.
Sexual satisfaction has been shown to affect the health of a relationship, as well as being a strong predictor of mental health and a moderate to weak predictor of physical health. The correlation between sexual satisfaction and relational, mental, and physical health is likely due to each factor feeding back into the others, thereby creating a self-sustaining loop. ‘Loving, satisfied, trusting relationships tend to make for good sexual relations, and vice versa.’
Sexual dysfunction can affect an individual's physical and mental health. As we are already aware of the relationship between sexual function and sexual satisfaction, we can conclude that sexual dissatisfaction resulting from sexual dysfunction can have an effect on mental health. A Taiwanese study revealed that newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction can increase the likelihood of depression, particularly within the first year of diagnosis.
Now that it has been demonstrated that sexual function and satisfaction can affect a person's mental health, it is important to examine the relationship between mental health and its impact on the workplace. Depression is the most commonly studied mental health issue, followed by anxiety and depression. In terms of workplace outcomes, absenteeism (work absence) and presenteeism have been the subject of the most research.
Dr. Gary Cooper coined the term ‘presenteeism’ to describe individuals who report to work despite being sick. Mental health-related absenteeism and presenteeism have not been the subject of a large number of studies.
It has been demonstrated that mental disorders are associated with absenteeism and presenteeism. In 2019, there was research investigating this connection. According to the research, the correlation between depression and absenteeism is that as symptoms and severity of depression increased, so did absenteeism. The correlation between depression and work productivity demonstrates that performance declines steadily as symptoms intensify.
In addition to the loss of productivity caused by absenteeism and presenteeism, mental health can also impact labour force participation, wages/earnings, and part-time versus full-time employment.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the first part:
Our Sex Lives Affect Our Work: Part 1
A video around the importance of healing sexuality:
Why Sexuality & Relationships Matter
Further articles and podcasts around the topic of this article: