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London - Husbands who earn less than their wives are more likely to have good sex lives and happier marriages.

Researchers have discovered that men cannot perform in both the boardroom and the bedroom at the same time - so are better off earning less.

A poll showed that 56 percent of men whose wages are lower than their spouses said they had “hot” or “very good” sex.

This compared to 44 percent of husbands who out-earn their wives.

Experts said that the findings should spur men to join the campaign for equal pay between the two sexes - because their sex lives could benefit as a result.

Relationships author Jean Hannah Edelstein said: “Everyone knows that stress is bad for your sex life.

“If both partners in a relationship are earning about the same amount of money, then it's a logical conclusion that stress will be reduced. It makes sense that better sex would follow.

“Equal earning power may also indicate that a relationship feels like a more equal partnership, in which each member of a couple feels like they are contributing and gaining.

“I wouldn't advocate that men rush out and quit their jobs to improve their sex lives but it’s another reason for them to join women in the campaign for gender pay equity.”

The researchers asked 1 010 married adults aged 25 and over about various aspects of their married lives.

They found that 90 percent of men whose wives earned more said their marriages were “happy” compared to 75 percent of men whose wives earned less.

If women earn more at work they look after the finances at home too, the poll found.

Some 76 percent of women who outearn their husbands pay the bills, compared to 49 percent who earn less or nothing.

The study was carried out by Time Money magazine and executive editor Diane Harris said that men and women should feel like they are “true partners” in bed and in their bank balances.

She said: “When you feel less pressure about money, you feel closer”.

Britain still has some way to go when it comes to equality in earnings between the sexes.

Women earn on average 15 percent less than men, or £5 000 per year, according to the TUC trade union.

Another study by the OECD found that income inequality has risen faster in the UK than any other major country and today women earn on average £140 000 less than men over their working careers. - Daily Mail