It’s not just that the coach seats are smaller and more constraining. It turns out that flying coach is bad for the male sex drive, and the specific problems are ameliorated by premium cabin travel.
That’s because the stress of coach travel, confined spaces and long lines, lead to the release of chemicals in the brain that drive down male testosterone. This retards libido and can harm sexual function.
‘It drives your flight-or-fight mechanism. So hormones that go up in the brain like norepinephrine and epinephrine will lower testosterone and that will immediately have an effect on libido and even sexual function.’
‘When you can travel in a more spacious place, when you can get a drink before the plane takes off, going into business class will totally improve it over coach [or economy].
‘It will relax your mind, you will be more comfortable, therefore you’re not going to take a hard hit to your brain.
‘Testosterone really is the weakest link; once we’re overwhelmed, once we don’t have enough sleep, jet lag, that is all going to affect the way we think. Business class or first class will make it better.’
To be sure traveling coach makes it tougher to join the Mile High Club. It also makes male passengers less likely to want to (or even be able to).
By contrast, more space and less stress, fewer lines and not having as many people crowding into your personal space, avoids this effect.
The next time I have a reader complain that my preference for quality international premium cabin travel is a ‘first world problem’ I now have a fundamental rebuttal that, no, it’s a basic biological need.