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By Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times

Money worries are killing romance right when we need it, on Valentine’s Day.

The holiday means pricey dinners and sparkly gifts, an outlay of cash — and added financial stress — for many Americans. For those wanting to add some romantic sizzle, money worries are a cold shower.

A recent survey shows money-related stress may be snuffing out sexual desire. A majority of Americans surveyed in the Harris poll, conducted for financial data company Yodlee, thought about money more often than sex — 62 percent of those 18 and older. And 27 percent of those in a relationship said financial worries were negatively affecting their libidos.

“Discussing finances is often stigmatized in American culture,” said Caroline McNally, vice president of marketing for Yodlee, in a news release. “This survey shows just how severely financial stress is affecting Americans’ relationships.”

Comparative wealth doesn’t seem to help. Of those making $100,000 or more, 26 percent said money worries were affecting how often they were intimate with a partner. That’s the same percentage as among households earning $50,000 to $74,900 annually.

Of those obsessing over money, women are in the majority — with 77 percent thinking of money or the lack of it more often than sex. Men are more successful at keeping sex foremost in their thoughts — a little less than half, 46 percent, say money worries trump sex.

But when it comes to men in relationships, just as many men as women find their sexual desire affected by finances: 28 percent of women, 27 percent of men.

When viewed through the lens of geography, the West is the sexiest place to be.

In the South, 66 percent of people thought more about money than sex, more than any other region in the United States. In the West it was 57 percent. The West also had the lowest percentage of people in relationships who said their sex drives were affected by money worries: 24 percent.

The survey was conducted online in the United States from December 6 to 10 among 2,039 adults 18 and older. Some figures were weighted to reflect actual proportions in the population. The online survey was not based on a probability sample so no estimate of theoretical sampling error was calculated.

Photo: StacyA via Flickr

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