Experts in different areas have never been at a loss for words when they needed to discuss video games and the effects they have on people. Whether it was about how violent they are, how suitable they are for children or the ways in which they impact our social lives – we’ve heard it all. But none of the experts have ever attempted to establish a relationship between video games and sexual life. Until now, that is.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine has recently published the results of the first research of male sexual health in gamers. It was conducted by a team of Italian scientists between June 18 and July 31, 2014 and included participation from 600 men aged between 18 and 50. Not only have they been able to connect playing video games to various aspects of our reproductive health, but they’ve also been able to link it to premature ejaculation, one of the sexual dysfunctions most men around the world are struggling with.
Gamers and Their Sex Lives
For the purposes of this research, scientists have recruited men online through social networks and gaming websites. They’ve administered two different questionnaires that men were asked to fill out. One was the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (known as PEDT for short) and the other one was the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15). In addition to filling out these forms, men were also asked to provide additional information about their gaming habits, as well as their general lifestyle.
Here’s how the process was carried out. Men first had to answer whether they’ve had any sexual intercourse over the period of four weeks before taking the questionnaire. Out of 600 men, 200 responded negatively, which meant that only the remaining 400 would qualify to proceed with participating in the study. Because every research needs a control group, this one involved both gamers and non-gamers. A total of 109 gamers and about 290 non-gamers were part of this study.
Analyzing their answers, the scientists noticed no differences in terms of erectile function, overall pleasure levels, and the orgasmic functions between the two groups. However, two aspects of male sexual behavior proved to be vastly different in gamers and in non-gamers. First of all, non-gamers reportedly have stronger sexual desires than gamers. Secondly, the results showed a significantly lower probability for the occurrence of premature ejaculation in gamers than in non-gamers.
Why Do Gamers Last Longer?
Members of the team behind this study admit that, to the best of their knowledge, this is the first study to ever try to establish a correlation between electronic entertainment on the one hand and male sex health on the other. As such, it still needs to be validated by a series of interventional studies. These studies should be able to tell us the exact psychological and health-related reasons for which men that play video games on a regular basis are less likely to deal with premature ejaculation.
But until then, scientists had to assume what the underlying reasons might be. Explaining the results of their study, they explain that the loss of sexual desire in gamers may be attributed to the stress of playing video games. The stress of, for instance, failing to reach the next level in the game or accomplish a certain mission leads to what is medically known as hyperprolactinemia. This means that the levels of amino acid protein prolactin are elevated, thus reducing sexual appetite in men.
There’s another hormone at play here – dopamine. Men who indulge in video games for hours on end find it relaxing and fun, which effectively increases their dopamine levels. This hormone is essential to resolving the issue of premature ejaculation, as it helps stimulate orgasm and therefore last longer.
Andrea Sansone, one of the researchers, says that there are similarities between playing video games and engaging in physical exercise. When we approach both moderately, they can be very beneficial to our health. However, if we start abusing them, it may result in a number of unwanted effects. So, if you want to take up gaming as a hobby, make sure to do it in moderation. You want your problems with premature ejaculation to be a thing of the past and not to develop new ones in the process.