Heart Attacks During Sex

Can Masturbation Help Prevent Heart Attacks in Men Over 45?

A recent study that is considered one of the first large scale investigations into the affects of an active sex life in men and women over 45 does not bode well for those with the Y chromosome.  The data showed that men aged 50-80 who had sex once or more per week were TWICE as likely to suffer a heart attack than their sexless counterparts.  Although I was initially shocked and saddened to read this, the following comments are central to understanding what might lie behind the statistics:

“Hui Liu, a sociologist who led the study, said that older men may come off badly because they exhaust themselves more than younger men in an effort to reach an orgasm. She said that would “create more stress on their cardiovascular system in order to achieve climax”.

Additionally, “Medicines designed to boost sexual function might contribute to the damaging effects on men’s hearts.”  More importantly, however, this study did not control for the most common cause of cardiac arrest for men during sex: 75% of attacks occur while cheating on their wives

Those issues aside, let’s swap activities for a moment and insert running for sex.  If we were to tell the general populace of older men, which is generally very out of shape, to go out and do a 100 yard dash as hard as they could once a week, we would consider that a high risk activity.  It would make sense that those who ran the 100 yard dash would be twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who didn’t, as such a dramatic increase in heart rate caused by an intense anaerobic performance for someone who is not ‘fit’ is potentially life threatening.  But we don’t tell people not to exercise because of such results.  And that’s why cardiologists perform stress tests very carefully: they have you walk on a treadmill and slowly increase your cadence as they monitor readings.  But if a runner shows up to the office, it’s a different story.  A good runner essentially performs a stress test every day when they go out for a jog, so their system is acclimated to manage the stress of exercise.  So while it would dangerous for the weekend warrior to stress his body severely, it would be an anomaly for a fit older athlete to keel over during a 100 yard dash.  Why?  Because they train every day.  They’re physically fit!


What this terrifying study is lacking is a sample group that represents avid masturbators who don’t have to work hard to achieve orgasm and who, due to daily exercise, are acclimated to the physical stress of sex.  My hypothesis is that men who have daily orgasms would show that sexual activity is central to their overall mental and physical fitness and that their bodies are well prepared to handle the stress without concern.  If it’s true that much of the cause of heart attacks in men is tied to the increased effort it takes older men to orgasm, men who masturbate daily not only have cardio vascular systems trained to manage the event, they are also able to get hard and orgasm with less effort.  Just as our 75 year old sprinters are physically fit, the avid masturbator is sexually fit

Rather than warn of the dangers of sex for men over 50, this study may point to the increased importance of daily masturbation coupled with regular intercourse in order to reduce the risk of heart attack as we age. 


Magnus Sullivan

Magnus Sullivan has been at the forefront of technological and cultural shifts for more than 20 years. In 1993 Magnus founded eLine, one of the first system integration firms in San Francisco, bringing some of the biggest brands in the world online. One of his first clients was the storied progressive adult toy reseller, Good Vibrations. This was his first foray into the world of adult and he never looked back, partnering with the powerhouse, Game Link, to help create one of the most formidable companies in the online adult market. He has created two of the most awarded and recognized movies in the adult industry (‘An Open Invitation’ and ‘Marriage 2.0', which won The Feminist Porn Awards coveted ‘Movie of the Year’ award in 2016) and recently launched www.manshop.com, a reseller of sex toys for men, and www.betterthanthehand.com, a sex positive blog that promotes male masturbation and discusses the various social issues associated with it. Sullivan has written extensively about the need to expand and enhance content production in the adult industry and is also the author of ‘Better Than The Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex and Healthier Living’. He is a fourth-generation SF-native, lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys kite boarding, skiing, triathlon, cooking, reading, writing and just about everything else that engages his mind and his body.

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