14

votes

Does having lots of sex shorten your lifespan?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 19, 2011 at 1:56 AM

  1. Sex is a favored way to make babies.

  2. There is some interplay between reproduction, repair, and longetivity. In fact, worms live much longer when food is scarce and they put a hold on reproducing. And typically, what applies to worms applies equally well to humans. The book "Lights Out: Sleep Sugar and Survival" briefly discusses the hormones involved in some of this.

  3. Arguing against sex is frowned upon. If a teenager Asks Alice about ejaculation frequency, she will always reply "Good for you! No go and masturbate as much as you can!" But really, we have many more stimuli for sex now adays (more people around, the birth of internet porn, etc) and birth control enables us to have sex with our partners all the time, all year round.

  4. So...any insight here? Humans want to procreate, and procreation is intricately tied with hormones that regulate lifespan. I'm not asking Alice, because she'll just want me to ejaculate as much as possible. I'm also not looking for sex advice--no theoretical musings will limit how much sex I want to have. I'm just wondering if anyone has seen evidence on sex and longetivity that doesn't list those foofoo advantages from stress reduction and stuff. Yeah, people who have enough sex live longer, but the confounders are too...confounding. Science please.

Note: I'm also considering the possibility that we don't have ENOUGH sex now adays, on average. Low libidos for varying reasons, inability to find a partner, or whatever.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:51 PM

So, skip the orgasm if it makes you weak and tired. Just don't give up the sex and bonding activities!

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Has anyone read Sharon Moalem's Survival of the Sickest? He goes into detail about STDs and their relationship with human evolution.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:55 AM

Do nuns abstain from masturbation (presumably a source of orgasms and sexual stimulation)? We will never know....but I think we can hazard a few guesses.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:54 AM

I always like the "monogamish" description that Dan Savage uses- my psych profs referenced in often in my Psychology of Sexuality class. We have long been mostly, but not entirely, monogamous throughout our evolution.

B999e22df9b9ec64daea50bedefabfe5

(10)

on February 06, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Try nun studies. They study them quite a lot, and I am pretty sure they are better at keeping those vows than the priests are

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:55 PM

@familygrokumentarian you talk about female orgasm like it exists in real life...

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on January 17, 2012
at 06:41 AM

Is it sex if you touch genitals during the cuddling?

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 17, 2012
at 04:23 AM

In contrast to the Taoists, Zen parables are full of randy old men wandering around the countryside ...

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Woo hoo! Time to get busy!

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on October 03, 2011
at 12:07 AM

i often wonder how much of sexual preference is influenced by health instead of conscious choices.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on September 21, 2011
at 03:44 PM

I cannot disagree enough that simply kissing and cuddling is having sex. It's a form of bonding, sure. Stimulating the happy euphoric hormones, sure. But not it's not sex.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on September 05, 2011
at 11:57 AM

It might not be glorious for -you-, but speaking as someone who's borderline asexual, some of us are doing just fine without sex, thanks. Different strokes for different folks, boys and girls.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:40 AM

On the other hand, those who had a whole gaggle of children tend to expire rather quickly. Part of that has to do with the rigors of giving birth to that many children. But one possibility is just the biological "will to live" just being shut down after that many children. You've done the job as far as passing your genes over to the next generation is concerned.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Actually, this may not be terribly relevant since attaining longevity by delaying mating would really apply to females (biological changes from being pregnant). Males may be sexual or asexual but will not undergo any discernible physical change. So perhaps we should be looking at NUNs, not Monks. Do nuns live longer? I'm almost certain they do. I've met some very old nuns in my life. Is it partly becuz of the biological mechanism which promotes longevity so they get to procreate at least once? Seems possible.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 05, 2011
at 04:17 AM

I think I might live forever.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:09 PM

IIRC being depleted of zinc in general also prevents and slows the growth of prostate cancer.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 26, 2011
at 03:30 PM

I think the only answer to this will be via rigorous testing. I'm volunteering for the non-control, high-frequency-sex group, but I suppose it's better if it's randomized.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:23 AM

a celibate lifespan would not be that glorious... DUH. but some people's idea of promiscuity is warped as well. hooray fundamentalist christians.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:02 PM

not all drugs have convention pharmacokinetics.....neither does sex. Thank goodness.

7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 20, 2011
at 09:51 AM

There are other studies on this subject as well, but I seem to recall that although large numbers of men were involved over several years, the vast majority of them were white and middle-aged. So although encouraging (from several aspects) further work needs to be done.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:37 PM

100? That's easy!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 19, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I am always perplexed by studies that equate sex with longevity - especially in women, because often when these studies are quoted in the mainstream press or summarized in an abstract there is no distinction between women having sex ... and having orgasms, which while potentially related still amounts to quite a distinction to many women, I'd wager.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I don't mind losing a couple of years to some sweet and good love makin'

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:23 PM

This isn't an answer, you should hve put this comment below the original question and for the record I think it's an intelligent, thought provoking question actually.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:21 PM

I actually thought this was a very interesting and thought provoking question, as always, from Kamal.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Kamal - try google scholar when you are looking up info like that - you wont get all the porn crap http://scholar.google.ca/schhp?hl=en&tab=ws

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:54 PM

interesting read on testosterone and behaviour: http://api.ning.com/files/GwMb9JWtK5LLEsVPRR6aOL7rPvfn*4jfzxYWQO68BmUAiYB*FG-p9RoLdl0sfL*HlgyRnp8NJOlmwYBtZwnsq6fzFOxdj7gX/SapolskyTheTroublewithTestosterone.pdf

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:53 PM

interesting and good read on testosterone and agressive behaviour: http://api.ning.com/files/GwMb9JWtK5LLEsVPRR6aOL7rPvfn*4jfzxYWQO68BmUAiYB*FG-p9RoLdl0sfL*HlgyRnp8NJOlmwYBtZwnsq6fzFOxdj7gX/SapolskyTheTroublewithTestosterone.pdf

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I agree and let's not forget that sex was not JUST for reproduction, it was a form of social bonding among the group. Monogamy is a relatively new development.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:35 PM

"Karezza" was the name. They always say that's an Italian name but the Italian is "carezza". Kamal, don't get worried. I was just joking. I already figured out you were a man. I don't even like Audrey Tautou as an actress :)

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Hrm. Traditional taoist recommendations for health include some basic common sense practices (move around a lot, breathe from your belly and you'll feel better) and some... not so much. (Ingesting mercury and salts of arsenic will make you immortal!) Grains of salt (of the non-arsenic variety) should be in abundance here.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 19, 2011
at 01:36 PM

unconcerned, but somehow interested....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 11:48 AM

dont believe we have found one unless you count sensory extinction as a possible mechanism?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:49 AM

is that through celibacy, or promiscuity?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:19 AM

Kamal, how do you make the "not equal to" sign? I tried googling "sex study" to find it but that didn't work.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 04:01 AM

hack ≠ real world implications, necessarily

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 04:00 AM

curiosity --> hack

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:39 AM

TANTRA is not just about sex....

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Dose-response. There's got to be an upper limit...no basic human action is without an upper limit. Sunlight and skin cancer, food and obesity.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:27 AM

they are not exclusive. Sex increases the lifespan of humans.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:27 AM

[continued] differed depending on season, satiety, temperature, etc.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:26 AM

I think it's more about males who have stronger instinct to spread the genes around, but still - women are made with very strong need to have sex not only when they are not fertile, but even during pregnancy or even after menopause. Which means, there must be a useful, positive element in it. I think building relationship is part of it - social aspects are crucial for humans. I think there is a reason why sex often is the only fun available to many... the only sure activity bringing strong satisfaction. Just think of long winters with twelve hours of night! I am quite sure the sexual activity

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:00 AM

Good point-- I didn't consider that the traditional timing of sex differs significantly from our own. Rigid day structures suck. But still...maybe we're meant to have sex all the time and produce lots of babies, but it could shorten our lifespan all the same. Eating a lot of sugary fruit is a metaphor for having lots of sex, but I can't think of a cogent way to put it.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:57 AM

this argument doesn't support longevity, just spread your genes to as many partners as possible before you die... let's say before 35 ;-)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Maybe. But if there is at all a trade-off between repair (via fasting) and procreation (correlated with feasting), mucho sex is not optimal for lifespan.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Lots of things stimulate PPAR gamma, and marriage involves many counfounders. Lonely single folk have more reasons than just less sex to live shorter. The issue at hand is, "Does LOTS of sex reduce lifespan", not "Does sex reduce lifespan".

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:27 AM

i have read that book Melissa......was used as a Freudian sex therapy to keep divorces low in the the 50's. Point was non orgasmic sex if I am not mistaken......Karmezza I think was the name.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:22 AM

DNA has a way of taking us out........apoptosis and smaller telomeres.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:21 AM

its true......humans who are married have longer telomeres than single ones. Sexual activitity stimulates energy production at the PPAR gamma hub. this is where hormones and energy metabolism collide. We also have definitive proof now that men with the hgihest rates of cardiac death also have the lowest levels of testosterone and women with the lowest rate of estrogen and testosterone suffer the same fates. they also suffer from higher rates of replicative senescense too. You can google it to see I am correct. Have sex and prosper with a longer life. When sex steroid hormones drop our

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:21 AM

Yes, very complicated. For example, all the men in my family have extremely high testosterone and are meek and balding (I guess too much DHT). Our overly-aggressive men have a disadvantage though--they wouldn't use that energy to hunt and collect a wealth of food like their forefathers would.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:16 AM

ive never heard, just as a matter of common conversation, that celibate people live markedly longer or healthier lives or anything. in fact i would assume just the opposite, but like you said there are just so many confounding factors that it would be pretty hard to isolate the sexy sex part from the rest of it. seems like an interesting thing to look at though- looking with the brain, not the eyes. *shudder*

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Thomas-- I do look a lot like Audrey Tautou, avatar-wise. In real life, I'm the opposite--a bespectacled Indian man.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Melissa-- awaiting your answer, as it seems you're well read on general sex stuff.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:12 AM

fyi...upvoting to reverse anonymous downvote

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 19, 2011
at 02:10 AM

yes, there is a book on the subject I read called Cupid's Poison Arrow. It's quite interesting.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:09 AM

yeah, i know. but googling anything to do with "sex" and "study" guarantees you maximum porn, possibly involving schoolgirl outfits.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 19, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Actually, AKD, there are some cancers that are higher in nuns and monks. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK12433/ for example.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:07 AM

That can't be the whole story Dr. K. This is one of those areas where you can't exactly do a randomized trial. Thus, the data is heavily confounded in any cohort study. And there's more hormones involved than the three you listed, I suspect. So I remain curious about the issue...do horny animals live longer?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:06 AM

and +1 for the tag.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:05 AM

someone somewhere must have studied this using people who have taken vows of celibacy (for what its worth) against general population, no?

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21 Answers

8
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 19, 2011
at 02:15 AM

I think you are going to find actual sex has less of an effect than the levels of sex hormones because human culture is so weird. There is ample evidence that men with very high testosterone levels die earlier, though there are some confounding factors there since that hormone is linked to aggressiveness and recklessness. However, often high-testosterone men, unlike high-testosterone gorillas, don't have much sex because they are a marginalized population in modern society, since they are not very good at keeping jobs and many are imprisoned. Prison inmates have high testosterone levels. Even women can struggle with high testosterone, but there is evidence that high levels of any sex hormone like estrogen can be bad for you.

Also, the people having the most sex in our society are not often the ones reproducing at the highest rate. I'm quite certain that having babbies can be exhausting to the female body. I'm not sure about semen and men, there is some evidence that masturbation semen prevents prostate cancer. It's true that Taoists say that it exhausts the body and mind, but most religions say that. It DOES supposedly increase testosterone though, which might be good for some men and bad for others.

Interestingly, though we associate cavemen with masculinity, hunter-gatherer men generally have lower levels of testosterone than American men.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:21 AM

Yes, very complicated. For example, all the men in my family have extremely high testosterone and are meek and balding (I guess too much DHT). Our overly-aggressive men have a disadvantage though--they wouldn't use that energy to hunt and collect a wealth of food like their forefathers would.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:54 PM

interesting read on testosterone and behaviour: http://api.ning.com/files/GwMb9JWtK5LLEsVPRR6aOL7rPvfn*4jfzxYWQO68BmUAiYB*FG-p9RoLdl0sfL*HlgyRnp8NJOlmwYBtZwnsq6fzFOxdj7gX/SapolskyTheTroublewithTestosterone.pdf

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:53 PM

interesting and good read on testosterone and agressive behaviour: http://api.ning.com/files/GwMb9JWtK5LLEsVPRR6aOL7rPvfn*4jfzxYWQO68BmUAiYB*FG-p9RoLdl0sfL*HlgyRnp8NJOlmwYBtZwnsq6fzFOxdj7gX/SapolskyTheTroublewithTestosterone.pdf

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:09 PM

IIRC being depleted of zinc in general also prevents and slows the growth of prostate cancer.

8
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

It actually lengthens it......if a man has 100 orgasms a year he can add ten yrs to his life. If a women has 50 I beleive she adds 7 years to hers. I believe this is was published in one of Dr Roizen's books out of the Cleveland Clinic (Real Age Makeover I think) and it is based upon the release of oxytocin and its effect on melatonin/prolactin and its effects on PPAR gamma and energy metabolism. So I think having sex makes you live longer not shorter.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:12 AM

fyi...upvoting to reverse anonymous downvote

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Lots of things stimulate PPAR gamma, and marriage involves many counfounders. Lonely single folk have more reasons than just less sex to live shorter. The issue at hand is, "Does LOTS of sex reduce lifespan", not "Does sex reduce lifespan".

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:27 AM

they are not exclusive. Sex increases the lifespan of humans.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:22 AM

DNA has a way of taking us out........apoptosis and smaller telomeres.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Dose-response. There's got to be an upper limit...no basic human action is without an upper limit. Sunlight and skin cancer, food and obesity.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:21 AM

its true......humans who are married have longer telomeres than single ones. Sexual activitity stimulates energy production at the PPAR gamma hub. this is where hormones and energy metabolism collide. We also have definitive proof now that men with the hgihest rates of cardiac death also have the lowest levels of testosterone and women with the lowest rate of estrogen and testosterone suffer the same fates. they also suffer from higher rates of replicative senescense too. You can google it to see I am correct. Have sex and prosper with a longer life. When sex steroid hormones drop our

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 11:48 AM

dont believe we have found one unless you count sensory extinction as a possible mechanism?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:37 PM

100? That's easy!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:02 PM

not all drugs have convention pharmacokinetics.....neither does sex. Thank goodness.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:07 AM

That can't be the whole story Dr. K. This is one of those areas where you can't exactly do a randomized trial. Thus, the data is heavily confounded in any cohort study. And there's more hormones involved than the three you listed, I suspect. So I remain curious about the issue...do horny animals live longer?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Woo hoo! Time to get busy!

5
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 05, 2011
at 02:57 AM

I don't know about frequency of sex as it relates to lifespan, but evolutionary biologist Michael Rose found that he could extend the lifespan of fruit flies by postponing the age at which they reproduce.

When I first read about this, I instantly thought of the strange (strange to me, someone who matured quite early) Western push to extend childhood well into late adolescence, especially prohibitions on sexual behavior/marriage. At sixteen, both I and my girlfriends were quite biologically ready for sex, and I'm certain that almost any earlier or non-Western culture would have considered us perfectly marriageable, just based on physical maturity; perhaps even a little past the prime age.

It's a stretch, but I wonder if somehow we've instinctively grasped that postponing reproduction is better for longevity. I have no idea at all how we would intuitively grasp that, but, well...it's a thought, anyway. ;/

5
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:43 AM

what a glorious shortened lifespan...!

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:49 AM

is that through celibacy, or promiscuity?

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:23 AM

a celibate lifespan would not be that glorious... DUH. but some people's idea of promiscuity is warped as well. hooray fundamentalist christians.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on September 05, 2011
at 11:57 AM

It might not be glorious for -you-, but speaking as someone who's borderline asexual, some of us are doing just fine without sex, thanks. Different strokes for different folks, boys and girls.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on October 03, 2011
at 12:07 AM

i often wonder how much of sexual preference is influenced by health instead of conscious choices.

5
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on April 19, 2011
at 02:56 AM

Humans are made to have sex all the time, no matter season or partner's ovulation. It's a pretty good exercise, HIIT in a way ;-). All the hormones that are released are beneficial to our health, looks and satisfaction. It helps in relaxation, creates intimacy (and we know that social relations are crucial for human survival),

I think for us today sex is a source of stress more than all the positive things. We have to fit it into schedule, we are stressed that we wouldn't get enough sleep, we have too much worries on our mind, too much self-esteem issues and ridiculous expectations. Cortisol should have no room in intimate relations, but modern life is cruel.

I remember reading about more traditional sleep styles, where people were sleeping often in 4-5h blocks with 1-2h break, when people either just lied in semi-sleepy, drifty, relaxing stage, or often engaged in sex, with no pressure, no stress.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:27 AM

[continued] differed depending on season, satiety, temperature, etc.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:00 AM

Good point-- I didn't consider that the traditional timing of sex differs significantly from our own. Rigid day structures suck. But still...maybe we're meant to have sex all the time and produce lots of babies, but it could shorten our lifespan all the same. Eating a lot of sugary fruit is a metaphor for having lots of sex, but I can't think of a cogent way to put it.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:26 AM

I think it's more about males who have stronger instinct to spread the genes around, but still - women are made with very strong need to have sex not only when they are not fertile, but even during pregnancy or even after menopause. Which means, there must be a useful, positive element in it. I think building relationship is part of it - social aspects are crucial for humans. I think there is a reason why sex often is the only fun available to many... the only sure activity bringing strong satisfaction. Just think of long winters with twelve hours of night! I am quite sure the sexual activity

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:04 AM

You probably know that certain schools of Taoist sexuality hold that retention of semen is important to male longevity and health. Now some of these schools opt for celibacy and other for practicing a form of coitus reservatus. Of course, as far as I know, we have no scientific findings to support such a notion.

[TMI WARNING]

I practice coitus reservatus just to prolong sexual, however, I also notice that at my age when I do ejaculate, it sort of depletes me of energy.

By the way Kamal, you look a lot like Audrey Tautou!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Melissa-- awaiting your answer, as it seems you're well read on general sex stuff.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:27 AM

i have read that book Melissa......was used as a Freudian sex therapy to keep divorces low in the the 50's. Point was non orgasmic sex if I am not mistaken......Karmezza I think was the name.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 19, 2011
at 02:10 AM

yes, there is a book on the subject I read called Cupid's Poison Arrow. It's quite interesting.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Thomas-- I do look a lot like Audrey Tautou, avatar-wise. In real life, I'm the opposite--a bespectacled Indian man.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Hrm. Traditional taoist recommendations for health include some basic common sense practices (move around a lot, breathe from your belly and you'll feel better) and some... not so much. (Ingesting mercury and salts of arsenic will make you immortal!) Grains of salt (of the non-arsenic variety) should be in abundance here.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:35 PM

"Karezza" was the name. They always say that's an Italian name but the Italian is "carezza". Kamal, don't get worried. I was just joking. I already figured out you were a man. I don't even like Audrey Tautou as an actress :)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 17, 2012
at 04:23 AM

In contrast to the Taoists, Zen parables are full of randy old men wandering around the countryside ...

4
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:13 AM

Maybe another factor to be considered is how you define 'sex'. Is this being purely limited to the act of intercourse itself or the wider definition?

Having sex can be as wide-ranging as simply kissing, cuddling, or massaging your partner, a candle-lit room, pleasant scents, or performing other intimate acts. Those acts all have a positive influence on the body by de-stressing, reducing tension, relaxing muscles and so on. Those factors are often likely to be as beneficial in the long term.

I'm not suggesting that you need to be in a long-term, monogamous relationship for this but a bit of tenderness goes a long way sometimes rather than just focussing on the reproductive act.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on September 21, 2011
at 03:44 PM

I cannot disagree enough that simply kissing and cuddling is having sex. It's a form of bonding, sure. Stimulating the happy euphoric hormones, sure. But not it's not sex.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on January 17, 2012
at 06:41 AM

Is it sex if you touch genitals during the cuddling?

4
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:42 AM

My answer is "WHO CARES!? YOU ARE HAVING SEX!" I mean, really. I'm not a Grok re-enactor or anything, but frequency of copulation, along with frequency of quality feed, resulting in increased number of offspring - would have been a very Paleo "sign of success".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 04:00 AM

curiosity --> hack

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I agree and let's not forget that sex was not JUST for reproduction, it was a form of social bonding among the group. Monogamy is a relatively new development.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 04:01 AM

hack ≠ real world implications, necessarily

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:21 PM

I actually thought this was a very interesting and thought provoking question, as always, from Kamal.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:54 AM

I always like the "monogamish" description that Dan Savage uses- my psych profs referenced in often in my Psychology of Sexuality class. We have long been mostly, but not entirely, monogamous throughout our evolution.

3
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 05, 2011
at 02:36 AM

You mentioned worms living longer when they ate less and did not reproduce as much. I would say the extended lifespan was not due to decreased reproduction but the decreased caloric intake. Decreased sex seems like an effect - if calorically restricted worms and humans would default to repair mode and quit wasting energy on gametes.

I'm open to a looking over a study done specifically on limiting reproduction in humans and its effects, but from a simple biological point of view, reining onesself in doesn't make much sense.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Even if too much sex/orgasms can be proven to shorten life I'm not gonna stress over that and stop having lots of em. As far as life goes I think quality is more important than quantity!

"No sorry honey, I am trying to live longer... 1 round of sex/orgasm is enough for me tonight."

Not gonna happen, lol.

1
3d1ebfa2c38ddb3dee14c52e1f4ca8c2

on January 16, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Yes. I guess so.

I think the primary reason why having sex shortens lifespan is because sex is strenuous. As a man, I feel very, very tired after having an orgasm. I also become irritable and less stable after.

There is also this flood of 'hormones' that we get when we seek new partners. They also add more stress to our body. Also leaving our sex partner creates another stress point.

I believe that the best factor for longevity is homeostasis (balance). All this hormones creates imbalance that affect our health.

Someone said something about (happily) married couples living longer. I have research that too and its found that these kind of couples actually engage sex in lesser frequency than promiscuous people. Instead they engage more in bonding behaviors (cuddling, touching, kissing, etc.). While sex give us the high and intense pleasure, bonding behaviors are relaxing and gives us sense of safety and satisfaction. Bonding behaviors (from our loved ones) is also related to many health benefits like faster healing, stronger immunity to disease, resistance to stress, and others.

But then it is found that separated/divorced/unhappy couples are 3x likely to die.

Maybe a means to live longer is to have a loving partner and engage with lots of bonding behavior with him/her and avoid disharmony.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:51 PM

So, skip the orgasm if it makes you weak and tired. Just don't give up the sex and bonding activities!

1
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on September 05, 2011
at 05:01 AM

We have examples in monks. Did Catholic monks who practiced celibacy live longer? How about Buddhist monks?

There has to be some study on the longevity of those who practiced celibacy. In Buddhist monks, we would have both celibate and vegetarian lifestyles.

Unfortunately, such people also lived "clean" and they probably lived longer than their non-celibate counterparts.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:40 AM

On the other hand, those who had a whole gaggle of children tend to expire rather quickly. Part of that has to do with the rigors of giving birth to that many children. But one possibility is just the biological "will to live" just being shut down after that many children. You've done the job as far as passing your genes over to the next generation is concerned.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on September 05, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Actually, this may not be terribly relevant since attaining longevity by delaying mating would really apply to females (biological changes from being pregnant). Males may be sexual or asexual but will not undergo any discernible physical change. So perhaps we should be looking at NUNs, not Monks. Do nuns live longer? I'm almost certain they do. I've met some very old nuns in my life. Is it partly becuz of the biological mechanism which promotes longevity so they get to procreate at least once? Seems possible.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:55 AM

Do nuns abstain from masturbation (presumably a source of orgasms and sexual stimulation)? We will never know....but I think we can hazard a few guesses.

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on April 19, 2011
at 12:51 PM

I don't see how frequency of sex could possibly make any different to a woman. We're only fertile for 24 hours per month, and the changes our bodies go through before and after ovulation happens regardless of whether we're having sex at all.

Men, on the other hand... if ejaculation and sperm production is a strain on the body, they are in trouble. Maybe that's why they live 5 years less than women on average. ;)

1
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on April 19, 2011
at 02:25 AM

I would think that if there was a natural meaning to life; it would be to pass on your most desirable traits to the next generation. So wouldn't that mean your body would be geared to procreate as much as possible for as long as possible to ensure that your best traits are paired with the best traits of a multitude of partners.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:57 AM

this argument doesn't support longevity, just spread your genes to as many partners as possible before you die... let's say before 35 ;-)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 19, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Maybe. But if there is at all a trade-off between repair (via fasting) and procreation (correlated with feasting), mucho sex is not optimal for lifespan.

0
D69beac9f787c390963240457c668fad

on April 13, 2013
at 02:57 PM

I do believe that having lot of sex do shorten once lifespan since the level of energy lost is to high compared to energy gain. The body needs energy to produce now red blood cells(Average lifespan of 120 days ) to replace worn-out red blood cells ,so with this energy used on sex practiced the level of red blood cells will reduced and hence shortage in blood leading to quick dead.

0
3e71e6dc044bb6a5832cbc8f5fd86616

(405)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:17 PM

If having lots of sex shortens lifespan.....may I die young and with a smile on my face!

0
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:28 PM

STDs? or is it STIs now...?

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Has anyone read Sharon Moalem's Survival of the Sickest? He goes into detail about STDs and their relationship with human evolution.

0
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on April 19, 2011
at 01:30 PM

Frequent ejaculation offers some protection against prostate cancer:

Leitzmann MF, Platz EA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Giovannucci E (April 2004). "Ejaculation frequency and subsequent risk of prostate cancer". JAMA 291 (13): 1578–86.

Giles GG, Severi G, English DR, McCredie MR, Borland R, Boyle P, Hopper JL (August 2003). "Sexual factors and prostate cancer". BJU Int. 92 (3): 211–6.

7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 20, 2011
at 09:51 AM

There are other studies on this subject as well, but I seem to recall that although large numbers of men were involved over several years, the vast majority of them were white and middle-aged. So although encouraging (from several aspects) further work needs to be done.

0
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 19, 2011
at 01:18 PM

Is anyone else unconcerned about this?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 19, 2011
at 01:36 PM

unconcerned, but somehow interested....

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 19, 2011
at 03:23 PM

This isn't an answer, you should hve put this comment below the original question and for the record I think it's an intelligent, thought provoking question actually.

-1
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Pretty sure you're doing it wrong if it shortens your lifespan :)

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:49 AM

Those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ, the son of the Almighty GOD [The GOD of Love], will gain more energy to higher forms, thus contributes to greater longevity or ETERNAL LIFE. The following is the biblical lifespan and age of paternity: ADAM [930*130] Adam lived 930 years. He was 130 when Seth was born; SETH [912*105]; ENOS [905*90]; CAINAN [915*70]; MAHALALEL [895*65]; JARED [962*162]; ENOCH [365*65]; METHUSELAH [969*187]; LAMECH [777*182]; NOAH [950*502]; SHEM [600*100]; ARPACHSHAD [438*35]; SALAH [433*30]; EBER [464*34]; PELEG [239*30]; REU [239*32]; SERUG [230*30]; NAHOR [148*29]; TERAH [205*70]; ABRAM [175*76]; ISHMAEL [137]

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