Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Studies Show: Shopping Triggers Same Emotional Arousal as Sex

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

They don't call it retail therapy for nothing—a new study out of the University of Westminster has found that shopping, using a gift certificate, or getting a discount triggers the same type of emotional arousal as sex.

Emotional arousal was monitored in 50 volunteers with special equipment iMotion, analyzing eye movement and emotional response in the body. The analysis was done on a 10-point scale. Rates between 5 and 7 correspond to the state of sexual stimulation. This type of excitation was also observed when people were given a gift, gift coupon, discount coupon, or when they were offered to take part in some favorite promotional event happening in the shop.
· Shopping therapy and discount coupons give the same high as sex [Seer Press]