Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males: New study finds that compared with non-gamers, men playing...

Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males: New study finds that compared with non-gamers, men playing videogames for more than 1 hour/day were less likely to have premature ejaculation but more likely to have decreased sexual desire.

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  • Turns out they recruited some of their participants on reddit:

    > The questionnaire was indirectly administered: a link to the actual web address was published on our Facebook pages and Twitter streams and on Reddit, “an entertainment, social networking, and news website” in the /r/Italy subreddit. Some people asked permission to share the link to the page, thus publicizing the questionnaire.

    Their findings are interesting but they point out they really cannot explain them yet. It is very preliminary and future research will have to figure out what the relationship actually is and what is causal. Here is what they speculate though:

    > Videogame use has been associated with improvements in cognitive functions,19 with improvements in specific intellectual fields according to different game types, such as working memory,20 processing speed, and executive functions.21 This “brain training” seems to have positive influences on and, in some cases, preventing obesity and ensuring a correct lifestyle.22 ; 23 Similarly, motion control in games has been used in rehabilitation24; 25 ; 26; in Parkinson27 and Huntington28 diseases, cognitive functions and motor symptoms seem to improve with the use of videogames. EE provides a fun, cheap, domestic adjunct to the complex rehabilitation protocols required in the follow-up of debilitating, chronic diseases,29 improves convalescence for hospitalized people,25 and is useful as a teaching tool for laparoscopic techniques.30

    > Conversely, epilepsy could represent a significant negative effect related to the use of videogames and EE.31 Increasing the distance from the screen and using different frequencies32 might help in preventing visually evoked seizures. Sleep disorders also are common among videogame players.33 Addiction is another recurring issue in the world of videogames, with possible neurobiological involvements such as increased dopamine production.34 Furthermore, receptor desensitization to dopamine has been postulated,35 because after a session of video gaming receptors appear to be less activated notwithstanding an increased amount of dopamine.

    > The results from our study show that gamers are less prone to PE and have decreased sexual desire compared with non-gamers. In this regard, the “reward system” of videogames might affect the dopaminergic system; as previously described, dopamine levels increase while gaming.34 The dopaminergic system also is involved in facilitating orgasm and ejaculation, and dopamine acts as the most important “pleasure hormone,” with an excitatory role in intercourse.36 D1 receptors, because of their decreased affinity, are activated only during dopamine peaks,37 in contrast to D2 receptors, which are activated by a slow, progressive release of dopamine.38 Gaming, as a source of repeated dopamine peaks, might lead to an enhanced steady-state homeostasis and to decreased activation of receptors given the same levels of dopamine; this might cause tolerance in the ejaculatory reflex and a decreased interest in intercourse, providing an explanation to our results.

    > In some games, competition supposedly has the greatest influence on the development of aggressive behavior39; it can be assumed that “videogame stress” might lead to hyperprolactinemia, possibly resulting in loss of sex drive40 and ejaculatory dysfunction.41 Last but not least, “game training” might influence copulatory behavior, resulting from the constant state of alertness required during some games.

    > Data from our research are similar to what has been described for alcohol or other drug addictions42 using different questionnaires and study designs. In these studies, 2 weeks of abstinence did not improve alterations in sexual function; whether discontinuation of videogames is associated with improvements in sexual function remains a matter open to debate.

    > In contrast, we could suppose a relation between less interest toward to sexual activities in men who mostly use videogames and positive psychological effects on ejaculatory control. If PE is associated with less sexual pleasure during orgasm,43 our data suggest that in a specific male population (ie, the gamers) decreased sexual desire corresponds to major ejaculatory control resulting from hormonal patterns and psychological characteristics. A recent investigation reported significant improvement in emotional regulation and other psychological aspects in people with bulimia nervosa treated with a combination of serious videogame and cognitive behavioral therapy.44 Therefore, we could suppose a similar regulatory effect on phases of the sexual response. Another interesting review article described the use of videogames with other therapeutic techniques as a valid support for many clinical conditions,45 and this encourages us to better investigate the role of videogames in sexological treatments.

    > Surprisingly, we observed a significant difference in the prevalence of homosexuality between the two groups. This finding is unexpected and possibly worth investigating in future research; however, currently, there is sparse evidence suggesting a possible correlation between videogame use and sexual orientation.

  • As a hardcore gamer, I have a problem with hypersexuality.

    An overractive dopamine system fuels both addictions, I can’t see how they are negatively correlated.

  • Wow.. I can’t imagine what my sexual desire would be like if I wasn’t a gamer.

    I would probably be attending meetings right now where I introduce myself and my problems, followed by a group of people saying “Hi TheThirdStrike! We’ve all been there, and we need to be strong together.”

  • Hey ladies gamer here with high sex drive 😉

  • causation or correlation?

  • Probably due to all that sweating and clenching in Trials of Osiris and CS: GO

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