How much sex is normal?


  • Ask Dr G
  • Sunday, 14 Aug 2016

A condom dispenser is seen during a guided tour for journalists to the 2016 Rio Olympics Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2016. - REUTERS

Dara Torres, the Olympic swimmer who won 12 Olympic medals while representing the United States in five different Olympic games from 1984 to 2008, once said: “What happens in the Olympic Village stays in the village!”  

Judging from the number of condoms, nearly half a million of them have been allocated to the athletes in the Rio Olympic this year. Surely it brings a completely new meaning to the phrase: “On top of your game!”  

The tales of athletes engaging in sexual escapade have been well documented since the ancient Olympic games commenced about 776 B.C.  

In recent years, the allocation of condoms was publicised in the 1988 Seoul summer games, in the interest of safe sex during the height of the HIV epidemic.  

Since then, the number of condoms distributed had increased exponentially from 90,000 in the 2000 Sydney Olympic, 150,000 during the London Games in 2012, and now an eye popping 450,000 rubber allocation arranged for the Rio de Janeiro Games. This is equivalent to 42 condoms per Olympian.  

The traditional Chinese is well known for discouraging the “wastages” of a man’s essence, especially prior to an important event.  

The idea is that abstaining from sex will build up frustration and aggression, which can be harnessed for boosting energy and increase concentration.  

For those of us who were brought up in the 70s may remember watching the film Rocky where Rocky Balboa’s trainer gave the fatherly advice that “women weaken legs”.  

In the spirit of the Olympic games this week, we deal with the very important question of how much sex is normal for couples. And can too much sex be harmful? 

Most importantly, can having sex or abstaining from sex be the ultimate “game changer” prior to that important event, perhaps like the night before the Olympic games?  

Dear Dr G,

I am 26 years old, and I think I am addicted to sex!  

I have a steady relationship with my girlfriend who thinks I have excessive appetite for sex, which she reckons is pathological!  

We have intimacy almost every other day and over the weekend, perhaps twice a day. I must say, I enjoy it and it helps me to stay relax.  

When I go outstation, I sometimes notice I am rather frustrated and moody. I also found myself having difficulties sleeping when I abstain from sex.  

I recently started a new job and my girlfriend thinks I need to slow down a bit on sexual activities because she believes that can distract me and make me too tired for my job.  

I am not happy. I would like to know how much sex is too much sex? Can sex hinder concentration?  

Can having sex the night before an important day really causes problems?  

I really hope you can enlighten me with the answers.  

KH  

In the 50s and 60s, many trainers in various fields of athletics believed sex diminished the players’ concentration and performance.  

Coaches resorted to distributing libido-dampening agents. In the 21st century, many trainers still believe in such a notion. For example, the Mexico soccer team in 2014 was instructed to abstain from sex during the World Cup. 

Maybe this is why the team crashed out early in the tournament.  

Can the sexual act consume all that energy and drained the competitors the very much needed stamina? The reality is, the oxygen and energy consumption during a typical sexual encounter is minimal.  

Although some may argue their sexual escapades may be more strenuous than others, sex only burns between 200-300 kilocalories, which is hardly detrimental compared to a marathon or swimming contest endured by the Olympians.  

In recent years, the notion about sex before sports has changed. 

In fact, the strategy is to use sex as the “game changer”, helping athletes to stay relax before the competition, as they are sexually, mentally and physically satisfied. 

That may explain the three-fold jump in the condom distribution since the last game.  

Even the famous footballer Pele confessed that he never suspended sexual encounters before a match, as sex helped him to stay relax and sweep away the mental fatigue. 

In fact, the Chilean soccer team was told to have sex the afternoon before an important game, and was even told to repeat the encounter after the match as a reward.  

The research that specifically examines how sex can improve or impair sporting performance is lacking.

In the year 2000, a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness attempted to address the relationship between sex and sports.  

Fifteen high-level athletes between the ages of 20 and 40 were recruited to have sexual activity 24 hours prior to the stress and mental tests designed to measure concentration. 

The tests were also repeated in the afternoon to outline the impact of sex on physical and mental ability.  

Although the study has a small subject sample, the result demonstrated no influence of physical and mental concentration of the athletes after intercourse the night before.  

One of the all time greatest Olympians, Michael Phelp once said: “You cannot put a limit on anything!” I guess that is also Dr G’s views about frequency of sex.  

There is really no such thing as “normal” frequency of sex and there is also no evidence that sex can hinder or help with physical or mental performance. 

The only barrier that may hinder the performance is the guilty pleasure of over-indulgence. I guess, enjoy it while you can!

The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

 

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