An unusual policy proposal in Sweden has been getting some buzz: the 4,550 residents in Övertorneå may get an hour off each week to have sex with their partner — paid. Readers may remember Sweden as that magical progressive country that made headlines in 2016 when several companies adopted the 6-hour workday.
“There are studies that show sex is healthy,” explained Per-Erik Muskos, the councillor behind the envelope-pushing proposal. “It’s about having better relationships,” he continued. “[Sex] has documented positive effects on well-being.”
Christopher Barnes, a researcher at the University of Washington, can vouch for the science behind Muskos’ admittedly ballsy idea. Barnes specializes in sleep research and a burgeoning field called human sustainability, but his most recent research conducted in concert with his American colleagues, highlights the unspoken role that sex plays in our work lives. I spoke with Barnes to learn more about his research. Spoiler alert: getting busy with your spouse positively affects job satisfaction, mood and work engagement.