When The Big Bang Theory was first launched four years ago, it proved to be something of a surprise hit. Because although its creators came with a track record of successful comedies, there were doubts about whether or not science could actually be funny. After all, Stephen Hawking might win plaudits for his theories on quantum gravity, but no-one's ever asked him for his take on The Aristocrats.
The scientific community is more likely to study the effects of light particles travelling from A to B, rather than a nun and a rabbi entering a bar. Like those two old joke staples, I guess comedy and science aren't supposed to mix. So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Lazar Greenfield, M.D. president-elect of the American College of Surgeons and inventor of the Greenfield Filter, has been pilloried for attempting to make light of a serious scientific subject.
Writing in Surgery News about the physiological symptoms of love, he began by discussing the mating habits of fruit flies, before moving onto the 'therapeutic effects of semen'. Citing research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, he asserted that studies had found a link between unprotected sex and lower incidences of depression. Basically, he was arguing that "human semen has the potential to produce profound effects on women", beyond just fucking up their hair.
Unfortunately, it seems that the therapeutic qualities of nut butter can only be enjoyed by other people. So if you’re thinking you’ve got an endless source of uppers at your disposal, I have some bad news.
Although no-one seemed to be in disagreement with his theories about the mood-altering potential of spaff, they took exception to his romantic conclusion that "there's a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there's a better gift for that day than chocolates." After the article was published, a number of women's groups threatened to protest. But it's not clear whether that's because they found his assertion to be sexist, or were simply suffering from a mass case of pink-eye.
Following the outcry, Dr Greenfield stood down from his role as the editor of the offending publication, and gave up his stewardship of the ACS. I just hope he's taking the opportunity to pitch his ideas to Nestle, just in case they ever want to shake-up their Quality Street line-up with a new soft centre.
But the fact remains that the study Greenfield was referring to, confirms that many women have indeed attested to "the anti-depressant effects of semen exposure". As Jennifer Aniston used to say, pay attention, here comes the science bit: "Only 5 percent of the ejaculate is sperm. What's left is seminal plasma, which is a rich concoction of chemicals, including many that have the potential to produce mood-altering effects derived from hormones, neurotransmitters, and endorphins. Within a hour or two after insemination, you can detect heightened levels of many of these seminal chemicals in a woman's bloodstream." By all means, try making this case next time you feel like being Banksy in the bedroom. Just remember that, although your baby gravy might momentarily elevate her mood, leaving her with the wet patch will get you dumped quicker than a Scottish fiver.
Unfortunately, it seems that the therapeutic qualities of nut butter can only be enjoyed by other people. So if you’re thinking you’ve got an endless source of uppers at your disposal, I have some bad news. In the same way that it’s physically impossible to tickle yourself, your unique love linctus is unlikely to put you in a better mood. Which is a shame, because the moment a man finds himself with time on his hands, it's not too long before he's got something else all over them. And then, a few moments after that, a sense of shame and disappointment often sets in.
Some men have developed a "mysterious flu-like illness after they have an ejaculation". And before you scoff, we're talking genuine symptoms, not just a clump of sticky tissues
Apparently it's not just a knee-jerk reaction to jerking that leaves us feeling a little down. Next time you find yourself working from home, before you draw the curtains for a few minutes of contemplation, be aware that you may be suffering from POIS (Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome). Seriously, it's a real thing. And it can leave men feeling deflated and sickly after the event.
Dutch researchers have conducted an in-depth study (in a darkened room with a big pile of DVDs, presumably) into the phenomenon, in an attempt to understand why some men have developed a "mysterious flu-like illness after they have an ejaculation". And before you scoff, we're talking genuine symptoms, not just a clump of sticky tissues. Feverishness, runny nose, extreme fatigue and burning eyes have all been noted.
Apparently, POIS has been well documented, and reports date back to 2002. Initially, physicians suggested that it was all psychosomatic, but the Dutch study has come to a more troubling conclusion. Many men are allergic to their own non-dairy creamer. Marcel Waldinger, sexual psychopharmacology professor at Utrecht University, led a study of 45 men who'd been diagnosed with POIS. 33 of them were subjected to a skin-prick test (settle down) using a diluted form of their own semen, and 29 of them showed a positive allergic reaction.
This all sounds extremely worrying for any man who occasionally enjoys quality time with himself. But there's a glimmer of hope. Waldinger has also developed a hypo-sensitization therapy on two of the subjects, finding that gradually increased exposure to their own man-fat significantly reduced their POIS symptoms. Scientific post-rationalisation aside, only a male doctor could determine that the cure for a masturbation-related illness would be more wanking. But if nothing else, at least you've got a great excuse next time your other half catches you knocking one out. Just tell them "A grapple a day keeps the doctor away".
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