14/09/2010 09:22 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Shopping's Feelgood Factor As Good As Sex

You know that thrill you feel when you're indulging in a spot of retail therapy and find a real gem? The intensity of emotion is on the same level as when you have sex, say British researchers.

Stock.xchng, Thoursie

Finding a bargain, it seems, makes us so excited, the level of arousal in our brains is similar to that when we're sexually aroused. So tell us something we don't know.

Researchers from the University of Westminster conducted the experiment to investigate successful selling techniques. Using a high-tech system that monitors eye movements and emotional responses in the body, they asked volunteers to go shopping then watch an erotic film.

When the shoppers found a free gift with a jar of Marmite or a loaf of bread, their emotional responses were just as high as when they watched the sexy movie.

One promotion, the Marmite gift - a coupon for a free Horrid Henry audiobook - registered a score on the researchers' system of up to 5.8 (with anything between five and seven being the same as viewing erotic images or porn, say the scientists).

It just makes you wonder. If finding a free audiobook with a jar of Marmite can make you feel as aroused as when you have sex, imagine how high your emotional response might be if you found a Stella McCartney handbag in a bargain bin?

So does shopping do it for you too? Or would you prefer some good, old-fashioned romance? Tell us what turns you on the most.