Did I Give Up Sex for This? (Part One)

Studies show that sex improves bladder control, reduces the risk of arthritis and makes the prostate “happier”. So am I just digging myself an early grave here?

Just when I think I’m onto something with my “Down with Sex!” manifesto, along comes a violent mob of scientific and medical researchers ready to burn me at the stake of sexual heresy. Clearly Google is in bed with the conspirators against my crusade – a search of “benefits of sex” yielded 1.75 million web pages. I did find an entry that was potentially sympathetic to my plight but, alas, “Benefits of 80 Million Years of Sex” turned out to be about asexual microscopic organisms called bdelloid rotifers whose continued existence for millions of years have boggled scientists who believe that asexual life forms should become extinct after a short period of time.  The prejudice against the no-sex crowd runs deep, preying on everything from prehistoric amoeba to readers of Cosmopolitan magazine (admittedly not a considerable stretch).

What exactly am I missing out on by taking a vacation from sex? I imagine medical researchers pointing maliciously at me, some of them laughing uncontrollably, as the judges did at Joan of Arc, as they go about tooting the horns of sex, as follows: 

Improved sense of smell: After sex, production of the hormone prolactin surges. This in turn causes stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the brain’s olfactory bulb, its smell center. (I suppose this comes in really handy when trying to probe into, post-coitus, your sexual partner’s personal hygiene habits.)

Pain-relief: Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin surge to five times their normal level. This in turn releases endorphins, which alleviate the pain of everything from headache to arthritis to even migraine. (I guess it also diminishes the possibility of hacking off one’s playmate as sex gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t just kill their husbands.)

Better bladder control: Heard of Kegel exercises? You do them, whether you know it or not, every time you stem your flow of urine. The same set of muscles is worked during sex. (Bondage and discipline sessions are recommended for advanced practitioners.)

Reduced risk of heart disease: By having sex three or more times a week, men reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half. In reporting these results, the co-author of the study, Shah Ebrahim, Ph.D., displayed the well-loved British gift for understatement: “The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest.” (Fine.)

Weight loss, overall fitness: Sex, if nothing else, is exercise. A vigorous bout burns some 200 calories–about the same as running 15 minutes on a treadmill or playing a spirited game of squash. The pulse rate, in a person aroused, rises from about 70 beats per minute to 150, the same as that of an athlete putting forth maximum effort. British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year.  (As God is my witness, I will never be caught dead devouring a Big Mac – and three of them in the same week, at that!)

Better teeth: Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to retard tooth decay. Since this is a family Web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system. Suffice it to say that it could be a far richer, more complex and more satisfying experience than squeezing a tube of Crest–even Tartar Control Crest. (Is it just me or was the writer actually comparing the penis to a tube of Tartar Control Crest?)

A happier prostate? Some urologists believe they see a relationship between infrequency of ejaculation and cancer of the prostate. A study recently published by the British Journal of Urology International asserts that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week. (Duly noted.)

Going on and on about the benefits of sex will only expose my masochistic streak so I’ll end here. But while my naysayers have a straight flush, they don’t exactly know the hand I have. “All warfare is based on deception,” Sun Tzu said. “Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive.” The debate is far from over, and you’ll know what I have up my sleeve in the second part of this entry. 



2 Responses to “Did I Give Up Sex for This? (Part One)”

  1. Congrats on the HuffPo link!

  2. […] out, I’m more likely to develop a speech impediment after 100 days without sex, not to mention arthritis. And then an epiphany came over me, as I figured out the only possible person who could be the role […]

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