Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just for Valentine's day...

Can't allow this to pass without mention.

Penetrative sex the answer to speaking nerves

Stuart Brody, a psychologist at Britain's University of Paisley, compared the impact of different sexual activities on blood pressure when a person later undergoes a stressful experience.

Brody asked 24 women and 22 men to keep a diary of their sexual activities for two weeks.

The volunteers then underwent a stressful ordeal that involved making a speech in public and doing mental arithmetic out loud.

Volunteers who had had penetrative sex during the previous week or so had the least stress, and their blood pressure returned to normal fastest after their test.

Penetrative sex was far more effective in this regard than masturbation or oral sex. But those who had abstained completely from any sexual activity had the highest stress levels and blood pressure of all.

Something to keep in mind for the next time your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse complains that you're seeming cranky or irritable.

And there may be some serious science behind this finding. Brody speculates that the hormone oxytocin may account for this calming effect of sex. The Wikipedia article suggests that (among other things) oxytocin is
Thought to induce pair bonding in people. Plasma concentrations of oxytocin have been reported to be higher amongst people who claim to be falling in love. It is also thought that oxytocin might mediate other forms of pair bonding such as friendship and family relationships as given above. Reduction of sociophobic behavior was shown after treatment with oxytocin.

Perhaps oxytocin tablets might be a more appropriate gift for Valentine's day than chocolate...


See also: Sex before stressful events keeps you calm

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