How Video Games Are Making You Bad in Bed

For men who've been pining for the day when science would find a link between video games and "improved" sexual performance, that day has (sort of) arrived.

Gamers have lower rates of premature ejaculation, but it’s at a cost, says a new study. (Image: gpointstudio/iStock/GettyImages)

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A recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who played video games for an hour a day reported less instances of premature ejaculation.

But before you rev up the console and strap on your headset in the name of your libido, there's — of course — a caveat. (You didn't think it would be that simple, did you?) The study also found that gamers reported lower levels of sexual satisfaction and that one explanation for lower rates of premature ejaculation could be due to gaming's ability to alter the brain's reward system.

In other words, men who play a lot of video games may be lasting longer in bed because they just aren't that into having sex. Yikes!

The effect video games have on relationships has been well documented, with research showing people can become resentful when their partner spends hours on gaming at the expense of time spent as a couple or on other responsibilities. But this new study found a direct link between gaming and actual sexual performance — specifically, that an excessive use of video games might actually have consequences on the most intimate aspects of a man's life, reports PsyPost.

Here's how researchers explain the negative effects of gaming on sexual performance: Playing video games could release high levels of dopamine (the "reward" neurotransmitter), says the Daily Mail, which is released before and during sexual pleasure. This could lead to an increased tolerance to the hormone, which results in decreased interest in being intimate.

Another possibility is that video game-induced stress could lead to hyperprolactinemia — an excess of the hormone prolactin, which can cause loss of sexual desire and impotency.

The researchers also postulate that certain games could negatively affect a man's sex life more than others, though further research needs to be done.

So, gamers, proceed with caution. While your hobby might enhance one "skill," it could be compromising all the others.

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