Sex Q&A

Sex Question Friday: How Much Sex is Too Much? Is Female Ejaculation Real? And What Are the Health Risks of Viagra?

March 9, 2012 by Justin Lehmiller

Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re going to talk about whether it’s possible to have too much sex (to the point where it damages your body), whether female ejaculation really exists, and why guys taking Viagra should be concerned if they experience an erection lasting more than four hours.

How much sex is too much sex? In other words, how much sex can you have until it starts becoming bad for your body?

You would be surprised if you knew just how often I get asked this question. People are often concerned that a high frequency of sexual activity (including both masturbation and partnered sex) is harmful to their health. However, such concerns are usually not founded. In fact, research suggests that people who orgasm more often actually tend to be in better (not worse) health [1]! Thus, having a lot of sex or masturbation in your life is not necessarily bad. There is one important caveat to this, though: although having sex frequently is not inherently bad for you, having sex with multiple partners and/or failing to use condoms during your sexual encounters is potentially harmful because it increases your risk of contracting infections. Thus, frequent sex can hurt your health to the extent that it is not practiced safely and responsibly.

Is there any truth to female ejaculation?

Yes! Female ejaculation is indeed real and people have known about it for centuries (in fact, written documentation of this subject dates back as far as Aristotle and Galen!) [2]. The emission of fluid during female orgasm (known colloquially as “squirting”) most frequently accompanies stimulation of the G-spot. The source of the fluid is thought to be a series of ducts and glands surrounding the urethra that are akin to the male prostate. While there is still a lot we don’t know about female ejaculation, including why some women experience it and others do not, this phenomenon does not appear to be a myth.

In those E.D. commercials, why do you have to see a doctor if you have an erection lasting longer than 4 hours? What are the health risks?

Any time an advertisement for Viagra or another drug treatment for erectile dysfunction appears on TV, you hear the following warning: “In the rare event of an erection lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury.” The reason drug manufacturers caution you about this is because some men taking these medications have developed a condition known as priapism, where they have an erection that simply will not go away, even in the absence of sexual stimulation. While some of you may think that doesn’t sound so bad, trust me–it is! This condition is often quite painful and, if not treated promptly, can permanently damage the tissues in the penis and lead to future erectile difficulties. Priapism is a legitimate medical emergency and if it happens to you or your partner, please get to a doctor as quickly as possible.

For previous editions of Sex Question Friday, click here. To send in a question for a future edition, click here.

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[1] Giles, G. G., Severi, G., English, D. R., McCredie, M. R. E., Borland, R., Boyle, P., & Hopper, J. L. (2003). Sexual factors and prostate cancer. British Journal of Urology International, 92, 211-216. doi:10.1046/j.1464-410X.2003.04319.x

[2] Korda, J. B., Goldstein, S. W., & Sommer, F. (2010). Sexual medicine history: The history of female ejaculation. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 1965-1975. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01720.x

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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