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"Take the best orgasm you've ever had, multiply it by a thousand, and you're still nowhere near it."
—Renton (on shooting heroin), Trainspotting
Often, it is used to either describe something pleasing or enjoyable in hyperbole or, more tragically, used to reflect the attitudes of people with immense cravings or addictions for particular things (especially drugs). Though, on occasion, it may also be a sign that the person using the phrase hasn't had a very enjoyable sex life.
Compare: Just Like Making Love.
- A Taco Cabana radio ad claims that "Taco Cabana has the best Tex-Mex. Everybody says it's better than... pizza," explaining that they couldn't mention sex on the radio and, besides, there's too much sex in advertising.
- In Black Blood Brothers, sex apparently pales in comparison to the sensation of getting bit by a vampire.
- Played by the merging in Aquarion, where the pilots trying to describe the feeling of merging the ships as "the best feeling ever", and even seem to act as if the action itself is a form of sex.
- In one of his stand-up routines, Dane Cook insists that having a pet monkey would be better than sex—or, even better, being part of a heist with the monkey driving the van.
- In one Birds of Prey issue, the supervillainess Knockout calls fighting "better than sex and almost as brutal" before a fight with Big Barda.
- In Empire, users of a highly addictive Super Serum called "Eucharist" describe the drug high as better than sex.
- Not sex, but drugs shows up in Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality, when Hermione realizes that she's having too much fun academically crushing Harry, and her parents warned her against drugs, and she suspected that this was better than drugs.
- Several of the heroin junkies in Trainspotting praise their drug of choice as being better than sex. Significantly, such comparisons are what lead Tommy to take up the habit after his girlfriend dumps him, with devastating consequences.
- In Sister Act, after two of the singing nuns refer to singing as being better than more innocent things such as "springtime" and "ice cream," the "heathen" Fish Out of Water Dolores proclaims that singing is "better than sex," adding that it's what she has heard after a comedic Beat.
- In the Wing Commander movie, after Rosie performs a dangerous but impressive maneuver in her starfighter while landing, she claims that pulling it off felt better than sex. When Angel quite literally calls, "bullshit," Rosie amends, "It was better than sex with myself."
- In Wall Street, Gordon Gekko relates that when he made an $800,000 profit on his first business real-estate purchase, he thought making all that money was "better than sex," but years later, he only sees it as a day's pay.
- In Everworld, Senna gets Drunk on the Dark Side at one point, declaring it to be like sex, money, power, revenge, and triumph all at once.
- In The Light Fantastic, Rincewind accidentally casts some real magic and suddenly discovers why wizards don't care that much about being celibate.
- Hunter S. Thompson named one of his books of political essays after this trope.
- In the House of Night series, drinking blood from a human or other vampyre that one is imprinted with is described as being better than sex.
- In the Nightside book Nightingale's Lament, Rossignol says that chocolate is better than sex, then reconsiders and amends this to "some sex".
- In Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut, Colonel Reyes launches a missile from his aircraft and tells his friend that the experience felt better than sexual intercourse.
- In The X-Files episode "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", when a Lt. Jack Schaefer is speaking to Agent Mulder, he says, "Have you ever flown a flying saucer? Afterwards, sex seems trite."
- On Dawson's Creek, Audrey once says that the one thing she misses the most about having a boyfriend is snuggling, which is, in her view, better than sex.
- On True Blood, Amy once described the high on the illicit drug made from vampire blood, V, as being better than sex.
- On Coupling, Jeff once says this about writing the word "naked" hundreds of times on a sheet of paper and rubbing his face in it, something he apparently used to do as a kid.
- In Dean Learner's interview with ex-Formula Five motor racer Steve Pising on Man to Man With Dean Learner, Steve refers to the speed of a Formula Five car as being better than sex... or, at least, better than any sex that he's ever had.
- In the first episode of Sliders, Wade claimed that sliding is better than sex.
Arturo: Well, I wouldn't go that far...
Kat: When you come back after a successful run, let me tell you. It is better than a great meal. Better than hitting a jackpot. It's better than sex.
- On the UK version of The Apprentice, Series 5 contestant Ben considered making money better than sex.
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000's riffing of The Skydivers, Crow uses this phrase to mock the movie's fixation with coffee, as well as the lack of chemistry between the two lead characters.
Beth: I made some coffee.
- In Alien Nation Sikes describes his car as better than sex, then sees the look on his alien neighbor's face and hurriedly explains the existence of this stock phrase as a metaphor and not to be taken literally. Parodied moments later as the car breaks down.
- In Red Dwarf, when Rimmer copies himself and moves in with his new double, he describes his new life of discipline as "better than sex". Of course, he's soon proven wrong when it turns out even his double doesn't like him.
- M*A*S*H, in the episode "Adam's Ribs", Hawkeye tries to get a case of barbecued pork ribs from a Chicago restaurant shipped to Korea. When Radar asks if these ribs are as good as Hawkeye says they are, Hawkeye answers, "Better than sex." Radar then grouses, "I wouldn't know how good that is, sir."
- In a Season One episode of Gilmore Girls, Miss Patty tells Rory that the plums in Doose's Market are "better than sex."
- On Gossip Girl, Blair describes a take-down as better than sex. And then immediately has sex with Chuck for comparison purposes...
- From the first episode of season seven of Canada's Worst Driver:
Jon: This is better than sex.
- Estonian rock band Smilers wrote and recorded a song with the title translated as "Football [Soccer] Is Better Than Sex", released on an album with the same name.
- Lou Reed's "Kicks" uses this trope to extol the virtues of cutting people up with a switchblade.
- The Better Than Sex Cake (There is apparently more than one recipe, too).
- The Ice Cream Store, located in Rehoboth, Delaware, has a flavor called "Better Than Sex."
- According to legend Bobby Fischer visited a prostitute once and then claimed that chess was more fun.
- One American fighter pilot claimed that combat was almost as much fun.
- According to this guy, basketball.
- The parodic RPG kill puppies for satan describes the feeling a ghoul has after feeding on a corpse as "about as good as pretty good sex, which is way better than your average ghoul has ever had".
- Vampire: The Masquerade. A vampire explains what it's like drinking blood:
"Imagine drinking the finest champagne and the sensation of the most sensual lovemaking you've ever experienced. Overlay that with the rush the opium fiend feels as he takes that first breath on the pipe, and you begin to have some sense, some tiny, infinitesimal sense of what it feels like to drink the blood of...a living human being."
- In Legally Blonde: The Musical, Elle sings a musical number titled "So Much Better". In one verse, she tells Warner that getting the coveted legal internship feels better than the best sex they ever had.
- Jack from Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines describes drinking blood as better than having sex and taking drugs, although in that world vampires can't do the first (unless they are really weak vampires) and require roundabout methods for the second (they have to drink the blood of someone on the drug, which requires feeding).
- In Sengoku Rance, Rance gets more satisfaction from finding rare shells than normal sex. This is an extremely unusual example since Rance is a Lovable Sex Maniac and a Harem Seeker.
- Kingdom of Loathing parodies the above-mentioned Better than Sex cake with the "Better than Cuddling Cake".
- According to Jodie from Loserz, Spider-Man 2 is even better than the best sex she had.
- Cyndi from Penny and Aggie says this phrase in reference to hurting other people.
- In Zodiac, Hell Hound finds burning someone to death "better than any drug or sexual act."
- Homestar Runner brings us This Book is Better Than 1st, 2nd, and Quite Possibly Even 3rd Base from the Strong Bad Email "studying."
- In YouTuber Jacksfilms's ShamWow infomercial parody, a lady in a testimonial says this.
- The Spill.com team, who post animated movie reviews, has movie ratings system that ranges from "Some Ole Bulls**t!" (the lowest) right up to "Better Than Sex" (the best).
- On Family Guy, when Stewie grows a strong fondness for Flappy Jack's pancakes in the episode "Love Thy Trophy", he at one point insists that the pancakes are better than sex, insinuating a growing addiction to the pancakes that ends with him going through withdrawal by the end of the episode in a send-up of a scene from Trainspotting.
Stewie: It's too bad you can't have any. It's practically orgasmic. [takes a bite] OH YES! YES! OH! OH! YES! YES!
- On American Dad, a magazine for nerds titled "Wizards and Shut-Ins" is shown running the story "500 Reasons Why Krull is Better Than Sex."