According to a new study by researchers at the Sapienza University of Rome, your ability to slay virtual dragons and save the world from the robot apocalypse may also make you last longer in bed.
The study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine was a cross-sectional survey sent to 396 men. Of those 396, 287 reported playing video games for an hour or more each day. The survey then quizzed everyone on their sexual health and performance.
After analyzing the responses, researchers found a relationship between gaming and sexual stamina. Gamers were less likely to suffer from premature ejaculation than non-gamers.
But don’t go running off to buy an Xbox just yet – the study also found that gamers had less sexual desire in general than non-gamers.
There were no reported differences between those who game and those that don’t when it came to erectile dysfunction or orgasm quality.
As a preliminary study, the exact nature of cause and effect when it comes to sex and gaming isn’t quite understood. Researchers posit that excessive gaming may alter the brain’s chemistry with regards to the reward system. Hyperprolactinemia, or elevated levels of serum prolactin, is one possible explanation for the lack of sex drive. Another theory is that gamers exhibit a generally higher level of dopamine than non-gamers, allowing them greater control of the ejaculatory reflex but lower libido.
It’s also unknown as to whether gaming causes these medical conditions or if gamers just naturally tend to have them already.
Researchers also don’t know if certain games are worse than others. Does a Skyrim player outperform an indie gamer in the sack? Do Overwatch teams beat out League of Legends in bed? These are serious questions that are grounds for much further study.
Whatever the relationship between gaming and sex, lead author Andrea Sansone has some words of warning for gamers. Speaking to PsyPost, “While video games are fun, an excessive use of them might actually have consequences on the most intimate aspects of their life,” he said.