Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

You Don’t Want to Peak Too Soon: Sex & Running

I spend a lot of time thinking about and talking about sex. My friends joke about how easily I engage in sex-related conversation topics and they may be just a little bit jealous. Now, before you starting jumping to conclusions or closing your web browser before your significant other, your roommate, or your children walk into the room, I should tell you that sex and sexuality are my areas of academic study. Through my research in education and Women’s Studies, I examine the role of sexuality education in schools, as well as the social construction of sexuality in general. Thus, it was rather inevitable that I spend a bit of time thinking about the intersection of sex and running, right? Heck, even if it wasn’t a part of my job, I spend quite a bit of time running, and we’ve all had interesting conversations with ourselves or with friends while out on a run!

Not surprisingly, there is a fair amount of information out there talking about sex and running in the same sentence…I know you’re shocked that “sex” is a significant topic on the internet, right? Interestingly, the same debate I spend a great deal of time deconstructing professionally, that of abstinence-only sexuality education vs. comprehensive sexuality education, seems to play itself out in the running world as well.

There are studies that talk about abstaining from sex before a race (or other form of significant physical exertion), both as a ritual and as an act of preserving energy. There are also studies that talk about the benefits of sex for running and the benefits of running for sex. I was especially taken by the article entitled “Running Can Make You A Sex God” 🙂  I could go on about how the comfortableness around sex implied in a title like that is a direct result of socialized medicine and an educational system with a much more comprehensive approach to sexuality education, but I’ll save that argument for another time.

Photo Credit: Running Times

The various competing rumors about how many calories sex (and related activities) burns should also be mentioned. As a general rule, runners are more physically fit and care more about their health and diet. Thus, the combination of pleasure and calorie-burning happens during running and sex!

In addition, running (and exercise in general) tends to help prevent impotence in men, and runners tend to be more fit and have a better self image and are thus more eager to have sex. Regardless of the science, the overall psychological effects also seem to indicate that a healthy sex life and a healthy running program can go hand-in-hand quite nicely (forgive the pun!).

So, if you are apprehensive about a healthy orgasm before you toe the line, just remember how much you care about your health- it really is for the best!

Photo Credit: Running Times

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