Opinions Fri, 29 Dec 2017

Economics of relationships: The negatively sloping love and sex (lust) curve

To be able to develop a theory, economists use assumptions. An assumption enables the economist to break down a complex process into a very simple and an understandable theory.

The theories in effect help in establishing a model for easy digestion of the economic assumption and process.

A lot of theories developed by the classical economists have been objected and criticized by various schools of taught and would be glad to attract the same reaction for this theory/article.

I wish my learned readers pay attention to the connection and path of this article and relate to real-world events especially in terms of Love and sex (lust) in relationships.

The main motive behind this write up is to draw my readers’ attention to certain elements that are capable of ruining young relationships between a boy and a girl using economic knowledge. To facilitate easy understanding of my article, I will introduce theories, equations and models for easy absorption.

Before a relationship starts, basically in the African perspective, the guy makes the initial move and if the lady is interested, she gives in the green light and they take it from there. In most instances, it takes the guy a great deal of effort to get a lady to accept his proposal.

In other instances too, it takes the least effort. In either case, the end result is what matters. The purpose and reason for entering into a relationship or developing a relationship with a lady are not the same with every guy. Most relationships are built on lust, others for the purpose of marriage and most interestingly, others do not have a purpose at all.

With the latter, I think it is built out of frustration, desperation or peer influence. Let me expatiate on it. An individual who got heartbroken from a relationship he/she very much cherished may be moved to quickly go into another relationship in order to forget about his past relationship and the pain.

Such victim of broken heart who finds it sickening seeing all her friends with boyfriends may be forced to build a relationship for herself without reason.

Also, out of the desire for personal gains, a lady may find it wise to develop relationships with different guys at the same time without reason related to love or longevity. This sort of relationship does not last in the same manner as relationships built on lust, when the purpose to which it was established is served, the relationship faces desolation.

Now the purpose of this article is to look at the relationship built for the purpose of longevity and marriage and what is liable for causing its detriment if allowed to creep in.

For easy understanding and absorption, I adopted the demand model and its equation. The demand equation is the simplest equation which establishes the relationship between demand and price.

The equation, however, has a simple law which states that “The higher the price of a good, the lower the quantity demanded and vice versa” this helps the equation to draw a negative relationship between price and demand for goods.

Intuitively, as a rational buyer of a product, you will buy less of a product you used to buy more when its price should increase today. The inverse applies to when its price should reduce drastically today.

The relationship between demand and price is mathematically represented as Qd=a-bP where “P” representing price is an endogenous variable and determines the level of demand, “a” represents all other factors that influence demand for goods except price. I will use this same intuition to explain my love and sex model.

Love and sex mathematical equation

The Love equation is however given as: L=a-b(S)

Where L=Love, a=all factors that influence/affect love (including pressure from substitute guys, being caring, being fashionable, smart, level of intelligence, being ambitious and visionary) except lust.

What this formula means is that, Love in the relationship may be influenced greatly by the amount of sex. For the purpose of this model, I will hold all other factors determining love as a constant variable such that the only factor influencing love is sex (lust).

From this formula (L=f(s)), we can easily establish a link between love and sex and go further to develop a graphical relationship between the two variables. Though “a”, the autonomous variable is not our focus in this article, I would like to seize the opportunity to highlight on it.

From the equation above, L=a-b(S), gives a direct connection between “L” and “S”, however, intuitively, there are other factors that may affect a person’s relationship aside the love that exist between the two partners.

The guy or the lady in love may be pressured or influenced to fall in love with someone else. Since this side tries to explain or influence a model, let me represent the intruder with the letter “I” (so intruder=I), where intruder is the person who is trying his/her best to win the love of any of the lovebirds.

To effect this, “I” may try to appear acceptable by being very caring, fashionable either using flashy cars, designer wears etc. Most at times, the “I” may prove himself worthy with smartness and his intelligence.

If the lovebirds are in school, then the intruder being academically good and smart may use such endowment to draw closer by helping with assignments etc and this goes to affect the equation above. Also, other factors held constant include the smartness, caring nature, intelligence and how fashionable the lovebird may seem to appear. Most ladies are fascinated by the looks of a guy or his intelligence.

These factors above can also affect Love positively or negatively holding Sex (lust) constant. But our focus here is to understand the link between Love and Sex by holding all other variables constant.

Tabular representation

For easy understanding of my economic theory, I will introduce the equation here again, introduce figures to support and add up to the understanding you’ve gained previously and create a table to explain the relationship. Then lastly, the relationship between love and sex will be represented/established graphically and explained.

The equation: L=a-b(S), assuming, a=30, b=2 and S=(0,2,4,8,10,15), then mathematically, by putting the figures for “a” “b” and “S” individually together, we get:

When S=0, L=30-2(0)=30

When S=2, L=30-2(2)=26

When S=4, L=30-2(4)=22

When S=8, L=30-2(8)=14

When S=10, L=30-2(10)=10

When S=15, L=30-2(15)=0

So in a table form, we can represent the relationship that exist between Love and Sex (L=a-bS) as below:


30 0

26 2

22 4

14 8

10 10

0 15

Graphical representation

The equation above gives a negative relation between Love and Sex, hence a downward sloping curve to represent this inverse relationship. Using the figures from the above table, we can have a graph as below:

Analysis of graph and interpretation

From the graph above, it is clearly established that love and lust(sex) are negatively related. Let’s borrow some figures from the table to help in our analysis. From the table above, it indicates that, as sex increases in a relationship, love in the relationship diminishes.

The rate of reduction in love doesn’t occur instantly but takes a gradual slow pace. From the table, it can be seen that when sex was 0, the love in the relationship was at its peak at 30, when the lovebirds started engaging in sexual activities at sex=2, love reduced to 26, and when sex increased to 8, love reduced heavily from 22 to 14.

The table also establishes that, when sex was at its peak at sex=15, the love in the relationship was 0. This (love=0,sex=15) is a clear indication that, either the lady is a side chick or the guy recognizes the lady as a sex material.

The main intuition is to establish what happens in a relationship when sex becomes the major source of entertainment between the lovebirds.

In as much as they are not married, such sexual activity is capable of ruining the relationship when love reaches zero.

By holding sex at zero, all the other factors that influences love can be applied to get the relationship growing including, caring for each other in terms of financial needs, clothing, helping each other in terms of social crisis, academic assistance, being fashionable and many other factors embedded in the “a” in the equation L=a-bS.

The graph also throws further light on the explanation given in the table above. From the graph, we see a negative slope line indicating the inverse relationship between love and sex, it can also be seen that there are markers on the line which indicates figures of sex and love on each point on the curve. The first marker from the top of the curve indicates (love=30,sex=0) an increase in love when sex is 0.

Also the last marker on the curve indicates (Love=0, sex=15) a reduction in love when sex is at its peak at sex=30. So briefly, what this theory teaches us is that, in a relationship, sex and love are negatively related, all other things being equal, the higher the sex, the lower the love that exists in the relationship and vice versa.

So young relationships can be perfected by taking sex from the equation and with L=a, the relationship can still experience growth.

Columnist: Emmanuel De-Graft Quarshie