Your Sex Life Could Be Worth $50,000

Chocolate is an essential substance for women's mental and sexual health because it contains phenylethylamine, the pleasure enzyme released in the bloodstream when we fall in love. Consider: 90 percent of women in America eat some form of chocolate every day. Approximately 10 percent of women in America have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. Coincidence? I think not.Kim, Jen and I meet over a hot fudge sundae "lunch" because A) we want hot fudge sundaes, and B) we deserve hot fudge sundaes. At lunch, Jen, a recently engaged perpetual graduate student in her twenties, applauds the survey. "I mean, do the math," she says, licking her spoon to capture every last molecule of the fudge sauce. "On a bad week, Richie and I have sex once, so that's like getting $50,000 a year each in tax-free money!" I think of my own sweet boyfriend. "Hey, this means William and I are in the six-figure happiness bracket too!"

"But if you have to deduct $66,000 each for both of your divorces, doesn't that put you in happiness debt?" asks my relentlessly negative friend Kim, who's a high-powered executive (but you wouldn't know it from the giant glob of caramel sauce on her chin, which I now decide not to tell her about). "No, that's a one-time deduction," I correct defensively. Kim scowls. "Supposedly I'm $100,000 richer just because I'm married? Hey, I've had a $100K bonus before and, believe me, it feels a lot better."

I eye Kim cautiously. "But didn't you tell me you guys only have sex once a month? That cuts $50K each from the marriage bonus, which puts you flat broke, happiness-wise." Kim snorts, "Please! If you saw my Visa bills you'd know I'd actually kill to be flat broke '- broke would be like an upgrade." Jen stares at Kim, incredulous, "You only have sex once a month?" Kim's eyes narrow dangerously. "With three kids and 10-hour workdays, we're lucky to get that. After the honeymoon is over, you'll see." Jen looks panicked. I hand her the hot fudge. "Ignore her. She and Barnaby are actually very happy."

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