Are There Any Benefits to Holding Back an Orgasm?

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on


Thanks for sharing this

Could be worse. Biggrin

I have a pet peeve about the Caerphilly study as "proof that orgasms are healthy." []

This study is often billed as "proof that orgasm leads to longevity," but it confounds the benefits of intimacy with the benefits of orgasm. The men in this study were middle aged (45-59) at the start of a 10-year study, with results published in 1997. Almost all were married. The question about frequency of sex proved so embarrassing that the men in the study asked that it be dropped part way through, so they may also have been unwilling to answer honestly.

Here's a critic's formal comment:

Study did not treat sexual behaviour with the importance it deserves

Agnes Ayton, Specialist registrar in child and adolescent psychiatry

Editor—The article by Davey Smith et al on sexual behaviour and mortality was a disappointment. The topic is important, and the results should at least be correct. I was surprised by the simplistic design, the mechanical interpretation of the results, and the selective use of references—even from the Holy Bible. Although long term follow up studies have to cope with shifts in medical thinking by the time of publication, this should have been addressed in the discussion. Even in the late seventies, during the time of the study’s design, psychological understanding of human sexuality was rather more complex than the authors imply. Firstly, not even minimal information on partners or relationships was included. Indeed, marital status was not mentioned and they gave no reason for this, despite numerous published studies on the relation between mortality and marital status before and since the seventies., It is likely that those men who had regular sexual activity in late middle age were either married or in long term relationships. The greater longevity of married compared with unmarried people has been shown repeatedly and this might be an important confounding factor. Secondly, it was naive to use the term sexual intercourse and orgasm interchangeably. If the authors were mainly interested in the health effect of orgasm, as a purely biological phenomenon, surely masturbation should not have been ignored. Thirdly, it is unlikely that sexual behaviour is static. As Hotopf and Wessely pointed out in their comment, sexual activity is influenced by age, health factors, and psychopathology. To these might be added changes in relationships, loss of spouse etc, which were not addressed, implying that the authors believe one self report measure is adequate to describe a person’s sexual activity during an entire lifetime, or at least from the age of 45 to death. Given these shortcomings, the authors should have been more cautious in their conclusions. The only message from this study is that the topic needs further (and more sophisticated) investigation. Inventing new health promotion slogans with numerical imperatives would be premature and should certainly be withheld. [emphasis supplied]