Why Coach Travel Is Bad For Sex (And You Should Splurge On Business Class Instead)

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Pilots have known this for a long time and now you know the real reason they want to deadhead in first/business class.

  2. I’d argue that there’s far more to it than sitting in coach
    if you exercise and eat right problem likely solved if you don’t have any other pre existing health conditions.Youth helps too
    Heart disease however is the biggest killer in America and with a large part
    of the population obese or morbidly obese
    We are not only killing our sex drive but digging our own graves with saturated fat sugar salt etc.I thought I knew what a healthy diet was and I was wrong and unfortunately ate for pleasure
    I would urge all those 50 to 60 to get a cat scan of their arteries and get on a healthy diet
    It may save you from a heart attack stroke or death to know if your arteries may be clogged
    Your sex drive and performance are less important than living.
    But it effects your sex drive for sure
    My chart listed me as obese this past April and I was in denial till my health was severely impacted
    I’ve dropped 34 pounds with diet and exercise since May (drug free)shed all my pandemic weight and finally doing what I should have done 15 years ago.10 pounds from goal weight
    Dining in fancy luxury restaurants for decades likely shaved years off my life
    I’m one of the fortunate ones as I have a friend that had a stroke @ 50 and never spoke or walked without a cane again.
    My previous Dr nearly killed me by not offering me proper advice and my new Dr is on point with nutrition advice.
    With more education on diet and exercise we could save lives and cut health care costs dramatically in this country but unfortunately we wait to treat folks after disease sets in and that’s if it isn’t to late to save them from death or the need for assisted living

  3. Perfect, since we’re flying extra long haul J during January, MIA-LAX-SDY, AKL-DFW-MIA. I will make sure to forward this to Ms Ziggy.

  4. I saw this linked on Facebook without the blog name or author and immediately I went “It MUST be Gary Leff!”

  5. And here I thought the reason business class suffered from libido issues was because they were middle-aged men that lacked the testosterone of young men flying economy.

  6. Not sure about this. Whenever I practice restraint and save a couple thousand flying coach, I feel quite proud and perky lol.

  7. You dudes especially should have started much earlier with realizing exercise and diet matter more than whether you’re stuck in economy class or not — if you wanted to keep your potential breeder equipment in good order longer. And airline food tends to not be all that healthy.

    Instead of worrying about which cabin you fly in, exercise and eat like a rabbit. Then maybe you can operate like a rabbit.

    Eat small portions evenly distributed throughout the day. Avoid processed foods and minimize those so-called white poisons of added salts, sugars and starchy foods. Eat lots of green veggies and fruits, and minimize animal-based protein. And start and keep the good habits from childhood, as damage done from bad habits starts early and is often a lifetime of damage that can’t necessarily be undone easily/ever and may even adversely affect your next generation even if you can still be a potential breeder or at least not a dud behind closed curtains/doors.

  8. I will forward this scientific study to my Corporate HR in order to get them to change their international travel policy. Wish me Luck!

  9. Surely it depends on the “Business” class and what’s delivered…
    BA failed to deliver the advertised predeparture drinks on my last 3 longhauls with them and personally I find the Yng yang seating in much of the fleet as uncomfortable as other airlines coach…

  10. Fail. If any female says she’s ready, the guy could have been assigned a seat in the lavatory, he’d be good to go.

  11. Drive down male testosterone ha ha, Just going to the airport drives down my testostrone. Flying in the last 22 years is an absolute pain in the testicles. Everything from parking to processing through the ticketing all accompanied by unhappy harried airline staff, then TSA oh JOY! then the corridors filled with other passengers trying to do what you’re doing and then getting on the plane and even in first class you buck the pre-boarding passengers. Next you’re on the plane sitting for 45 minutes while the economy pax cattle into to their miniscule seats, then if you’re lucky the plane leaves without an eviction of a pax who just goes off the edge then maybe you get to your destination and yes I left out the baggage drill it is too ugly to write about. I only fly if necessary. Airlines suck the only reason we have them is the time it takes to get around country.

    Sounds like an excuse for IT not working. So you tell the wife this is the reason. If you lift weights, do aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week and not eat processed food high in salt and sugar. IT will work just fine

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