Pilot study finds gamers have lower levels of premature ejaculation

Italian scientists have found a link between gaming and lower levels of premature ejaculation.

The preliminary study, published online June 1 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, examined the relationship between playing video games and sexual health in adult men.

“I am interested in this topic as I’ve always been a gamer,” explained the study’s corresponding author, Andrea Sansone of Sapienza University of Rome. “Since I graduated from medical school and during my residency I’ve tried to merge my passion for video games and my interest in male sexual health – so when I figured out a pilot study on the effects of gaming on premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction I was the happiest man on Earth!”

Sansone and his colleagues found that gamers were less likely to report premature ejaculation compared to non-gamers. But gamers also reported lower levels of sexual desire on average.

There was no difference between gamers and non-gamers when it came to erectile function and orgasmic function in general.

Playing videos games could reduce premature ejaculation by altering the brain’s reward system, the researchers explained in their study. Or the reduced sex drive could make premature ejaculation less likely. “We could suppose a relation between less interest toward sexual activities in men who mostly use videogames and positive psychological effects on ejaculatory control,” they wrote. But the researchers were not able to directly examine this.

“I’d like my colleagues to consider assessing video game use (and abuse) during evaluations of male sexual dysfunctions,” Sansone told PsyPost. “For the general population, I’d like everybody to understand that while video games are fun, an excessive use of them might actually have consequences on the most intimate aspects of their life.”

The findings are based on 396 Italian men between the ages of 18 and 50 who completed a survey that assessed their sexual functioning and other factors. Most of the men, 287 of them, reported playing video games while the remaining 109 did not.

Sansone said his study had some limitations, particularly the lack of medical history of the participants and the use of anonymous self-reported questionnaires to collect data. “However, there is also another aspect to be carefully considered: Are all games equal? Is an hour of MiniMetro as stressful as a 60-minutes match of League of Legends? And is that going to cause any difference?”

The study also used a cross-sectional design, preventing the researchers from making any inferences about cause and effect.

“I think this is an exciting new field of research, and besides being proud for the academic result I’m also very happy as a nerd!” Sansone said. “I’d also like to thank my professors and colleagues, especially Professor Romanelli and Professor Jannini for their invaluable help in the last few years and Professor Lenzi for being the awesome boss that he is.”

The study, “Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males“, was also co-authored by Massimiliano Sansone, Marco Proietti, Giacomo Ciocca, Andrea Lenzi, Emmanuele A. Jannini, and Francesco Romanelli.