The secret to a longer life: more orgasms
Most things that are good for you tend to be unpleasant. I’m thinking broccoli, exercise, less booze. But there’s good news at last. The key to a longer life is more orgasms.
No, we’re not necessarily talking about more intercourse, although there’s nothing wrong with that. This isn’t about the perfect partner who boosts obscure chemicals in your brain, cuts stress, and keeps you going well into the next century.
For men, at least, it seems the fountain of youth is close to hand.
The idea hasn’t always been popular. Some have argued males need to hoard their sperm, that there are only so many shots in the pistol. Ernest Hemingway, who gave us the description of the ideal orgasm (“the earth moves”, from For Whom the Bell Tolls) was reputedly one of this school. Big mistake, apparently.
Michael Roizen, a 62-year-old doctor from the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in the US is a strong backer of the Big O. “For men, the more the better,” he told Men’s Journal magazine last month. “The typical man who has 350 orgasms a year, versus the [US] national average of around a quarter of that, lives about four years longer.”
Four more years!
It gets better.
Roizen, who wrote Real Age—Are You as Young as You Can Be? reckons that not only do you get to live longer, you actually feel eight years younger. And it is possible that you can do better than that. The optimal number of orgasms each year is, he says, 700. That is close to two a day, which admittedly does seem a little on the extreme side. But even just three times a week, which in Roizen’s view would be hardly trying, means blokes can decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50 percent.
There were similar views reported from David Weeks, a few years ago. Then at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, Weeks reported in his book Secrets of the Superyoung, that “the key ingredients for looking younger are staying active ... and maintaining a good sex life.” The study of 3500 people between 30 and 101 found that “sex helps you look between four and seven years younger,” according to the subjects’ photos.
There’s more. According Roizen’s colleague Mehmet Oz, great sex not just helps you live longer and feel younger, it’s like money in the bank. Increasing sex from once a month to once a week is the happiness equivalent of an additional $50,000 in income for the typical American, Oz told US television.
And you don’t necessarily need to work overtime for your money. A recent study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the ideal duration of sexual intercourse was between seven and 13 minutes and that even three minutes was acceptable. And, as already noted, intercourse isn’t mandatory.
So is there anything to this? Maybe it’s not as fanciful as it sounds. Professor Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne reported in 2003 that the more ejaculations a man had between 20 and 50, the less chance he had of developing prostate cancer, a big killer of men.
But Giles wasn’t necessarily talking about intercourse. Masturbation had the additional benefit of ensuring the risk of infection – which theorists suggested could increase the risk of prostate cancer - was nil.
More evidence for the Big O theory of long life comes from a statistical study of Welsh villagers reported in the British Medical Journal in the late 1990s.
Regular sex, it claimed, cut the risk of death by half. The study looked at the death rates of around 1000 men 45-59. Those who said they had sex twice a week had half the chance of dying than those who had it once a month.
There was, of course, some carping from critics who noted healthy people might actually be better able to have more sex, and that ill people who could well be heading for an early grave might naturally have less, which could skew the findings.
That seems to be a fair point, since some doctors argue that the best barometer of male health is actually a decent erection. High blood pressure, obesity, stress, can all take away the urge and ability.
Still, for all those men who want to live as long as possible, the question becomes: How can you do better and reach Roizen’s goal of 700 a year?
First tip: don’t mention this to your wife, or girlfriend, who may not share your enthusiasm. Second, as you would for any marathon, get fit.
That’s where another study comes in handy. “Men who spend even more time in the vegetable patch can more than halve their risk of impotence,” researchers at the Medical University of Vienna reported earlier this year, according to London’s Telegraph newspaper. “Erectile function can be maintained even by low, regular physical activity.”
So there it is - broccoli may be unpleasant, but just growing it will help you have more sex, and live longer.
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