Friday, January 27, 2006

Science you can use for scoring in bars

Listen, I have a speech to give and I’m really nervous. Would you go to bed with me?--Social science has finally come up with the ultimate pickup line. There are even data to support it. Sex before giving a speech has a calming effect. And getting laid beats masturbation. I hope they got a government grant for this.

Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley in Scotland, reported that having sex lowered blood pressure for people who were about to undergo a stressful experience. It had to be good-old-fashioned vagina-penile intercourse, and just making out didn’t cut it. He tested 24 women and 22 men and they kept diaries. He noted how often they had sex and then put the volunteers in stressful situations, usually involving public speaking. (Getting laid, putting it in your dairy and having some psychologist read it apparently wasn’t stressful enough for Brody.) The ones who did it the old-fashioned way had lower blood pressure faster than those who did it by hand, and those who didn’t score at all had the most stressful experience. I should think so!

The report is to be published in Biological Psychology. [Subscription only]

Brody says he took into account the notion that people who volunteer for tests like these are different than people who do not. He does not think it is just the orgasm that produces the effect. "The effects are not attributable simply to the short-term relief afforded by orgasm, but rather, endure for at least a week," says Brody. He speculates that release of the "pair-bonding" hormone oxytocin between partners might account for the calming effect.

"A growing body of research shows that it is specifically intercourse, and not other sexual behaviors, whether alone or with a partner, that is associated with a broad range of psychological and physiological benefits.

"And greater frequency of intercourse is associated with greater benefits."

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