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Updated 28 November 2016

Romance blooms at the office

The office is a popular place to meet romantic partners, according to two surveys released this week. However, SA office workers are lagging behind their colleagues in the US.

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The office is a popular place to meet romantic partners, according to two surveys released this week.

However, South African office workers are lagging behind their colleagues in the US when it comes to office nookie. Health24’s Great South African Sex Survey indicates that a mere third of us have ever done the dirty with a colleague, compared to 40% in the US.

The US Harris survey also suggested that, contrary to received wisdom, dating a colleague isn’t necessarily a highway to perdition: nearly a third (31%) of those who had hooked up with colleagues went on to marry them. Only 7% said they’d had to leave a job because of the romance.

The South African statistics are skewed between the sexes: men are significantly more likely to date a colleague than are women (37% of men said they had, compared to just 30% of women). Things are sexier among the bigger earners: nearly half (48%) of those who earn more than R30 000 a month have dated a colleague.

The flag for professional distance is left to Tshwane to fly: top earners there were slightly more inclined to keep things buttoned up, with only 42% of them having had sex with a colleague, compared to just over half in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Health24’s Great South African Sex Survey 2009 polled a total of 11 181 online visitors over the 2008/9 holiday season. The responses were weighted using the latest variables from Statistics SA’s General Household Survey, to represent the habits and attitudes of 2,6 million urban metro adults, aged 20 years and older, who earn at least R2 500 a month.

Top earners more inclined to pay for sex

It’s not only amongst colleagues that more money equals more sex. According to the Health24 survey, some 35% of top-earning men admit to having paid someone for sex (the average likelihood is 24%). Women are flying the flag in a very small way for equality here: only 4% of top-earning women say they’ve paid for sex (the average across all women is 1%).

"The trend of paying for sex among top-earning men may be related to such men being least likely to be happy with how often they have sex," says Jean Redpath of Hlakanaphila Analytics, which weighted and analysed the Health24 survey. "Only 44% are happy with how often they have sex compared to the male average of 57% happy with their sexual frequency.

"Yet this unhappiness may have more to do with unmet expectations rather than deprivation, with 78% of top-earning men having sex once a week or more frequently, compared to the male average of 76% having sex once a week or more frequently."

Top-earning women are also slightly more dissatisfied than the average about the frequency of sex in their lives: 54% say they are happy, compared to 56% on average.

Looks like money can buy you love, but not the kind that makes you happy.

(Heather Parker, Health24, February 2009)

 
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