Both activities apparently boost your brainpower, according to researchers, especially in the elderly.
Good sex though, has a leg up – it also improves your mood.
A Manchester University study has discovered that people in their 60s and 70s who are more satisfied with their love life have sharper minds and better memory.
Researchers speculate that an active sex life keeps the brain young.
Of the 1700 Dutch participants interviewed, more than half of men and almost a third of women aged 70-plus studied were sexually active.
And one third of them have sex at least twice a month.
The volunteers, who ranged in age from 58 to 98, were also put through a battery of mental tests, designed to assess everything from memory to the ability to think abstractly.
Two-thirds of the men and women had a partner and a similar number said that they still felt the need for intimacy.
Those who were satisfied with their sex life and said that sexuality was important did better on the tests.
The link was particularly strong in women, the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry reports.
Still, researchers can’t be sure if staying sexually active was keeping the brain or if interest in sex dwindles as the mind fails.
Previous research, though, has credited having sex with the growth of new brain cells, in rats at least.
It has also been suggested that doing a crossword is better for the brain than an orgasm – because it gives the whole brain a workout, rather than just one area of it.