Bad news, folks. Like, news so bad that when I read it I had to go for a lie-down and a short weep into my pillow. It turns out that UK couples are having less sex in 2014 than we did last year, partly because so many of us have financial worries.
Ouch. It’s bad enough having to stare at a massive credit card bill without worrying that my vagina will dry up along with my bank account. I personally hate the fact that these kind of worries impact on our sex lives, but the fact is that they really bloody do. Not just money worries, either. I’m far less likely to don my strapon, pick up a crop, and prepare for a night where I get to be The Boss if I know I have a meeting with my actual boss the next morning and I’m freaking out about why she’s called me for an urgent catch-up.
My top reasons for sexual stagnation include:
– worries about work
– worries about the money I’m supposed to be getting from work
– my partner’s worries about work, money, or a combination of the two.
I’m not going to tell you that you should shag constantly, even while you’re weeping over the gas bill: sometimes you’re just not in the mood. But what I am going to do is explain why – in my opinion – sex and masturbation should be one of the things money bloggers mention in almost every post. For some reason, while Money Saving Experts tout the joy of ‘going for a nice walk’ or ‘having a bath’ as great ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank, hardly ANY of them recommend a hand shandy, despite the fact that a hand shandy is basically the most pleasure for the lowest investment in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF HUMANITY. Think about it.
Sex as a cure for money worries
So, because Robert Peston isn’t tackling this, and I’ve never seen Anne Robinson recommend it on Watchdog, I’ll have to take up the mantle:
Sex is a pretty fantastic way of saving money. Firstly, most sex costs you absolutely nothing. Whether you’re having a nice wank in bed or shagging your partner on the sofa while Doctor Who is on in the background, at most you’re paying your electricity bill and perhaps the cost of dry-cleaning the sofa cushions. Compared to a romantic evening out, a trip to the cinema, or even a couple of pints in Wetherspoons, that’s one hell of a cheap date.
Have awesome sex on a low budget
In fact, I’ll go further and say that even if you do have a ‘budget’ set aside for romance – taking your partner out, maybe treating them to a weekend away once a year, something like that – you can save even more money by adjusting what your romance budget goes on. Brace yourselves, because I’m going to try and write the ‘sex budget’ post that Martin Lewis should have written years ago.
Let’s say you want to take your partner on a romantic weekend break. If you keep costs fairly low, and do it all in the UK you can get two nights in a decent-ish hotel for about £200. Factor in food, travel to and from the hotel, and a bottle of champagne to set the mood and you’re looking at around £350. I’d guess that on a weekend away, if you’re particularly frisky you might get in three shags per day. That’s nine shags: around £38.80 per shag.
If you have a weekly ‘date night’, even if that night includes something fairly cheap like a half-price meal at Pizza Express (£30 or so if you don’t drink too much wine), that can add up to a staggering £1,560 per year. Monthly night at the cinema: £15 or so, or £180 per year. See? Love costs money. Obviously romance is about more than just how many times you rub groins, but as a frugal (read: tight-arsed) person myself, I’d be starting to wonder if there weren’t a more financially efficient way to give my partner a good time. It’s not that I don’t want to spend money on him, it’s that I want both of us to have as much awesome sex as possible, while spending as little money as possible on things we’re told we’re supposed to do because society has a weird way of dictating what romance is.
You can write each other filthy poetry, or send homemade romantic cards, but if you’ve got a budget for a date night or an annual dirty weekend, here are a few suggestions on how that cash could be spent more efficiently:
1. Spread the money out over the year. Dividing that £350 into 12 gives you around £29 per month as your ‘sex budget.’ Instead of blowing it all on one weekend, how about using it to buy a treat for you or your partner each month? You can get some amazing sex toys for under £30 and by spreading out the purchases you can try so many more new things. A budget masturbator one month, a bit of bondage the next, some hot underwear – you name it. The good news is that, assuming your gifts are all well received by your partner, that’s at least 12 shags you get to have together, bringing your cost per shag down to £29.
2. Buy something permanent and reusable. Holidays are fleeting and expensive, but that’s probably part of their charm. As a relentlessly practical person, I’m far more likely to spend money on something I can use again and again than on something that’ll end within the space of a weekend. With £350 you could buy something that you and your partner can use forever. As an added bonus, you get to do the fun thing where you spend a horny afternoon narrowing down your wish list and choosing something you’ve always really wanted. A sex swing, perhaps, or an ElectraStim kit. You’ll notice that neither of those costs £350, so you’ll have plenty of cash leftover should romantic or hot inspiration strike later on in the year.
You might think that, if you’re stuck for cash and having sleepless nights about your finances, then splurging money on sexy things should be the last thing on your mind. And you’re right to an extent. Sex toys are, technically, luxury items. If you’re paying off credit card debt and the bailiffs are at the door, then for the love of God don’t spent your last penny on cock rings. Your hands and your imagination are often all you need. But if you’re not in dire straits, you just need to tighten your belt, then something sexy can be a great investment: it may well persuade you to cancel that meal out or forego a trip to the pub because… well, when you’ve got a new toy to play with a night in always sounds more tempting.