Sex & Football: Should Athletes Abstain Before The Game?

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blue soccer balls
Italian soccer club forbids sex or masturbation before the big game.

Many professional fighters (and less testosterone-y athletes) lay off sex while training to stay mean, clean and full of protein. And now, per MSN, the Italian soccer squad Napoli has told players to refrain from orgasming (through Onanism or coitus) within two days of the match. Team doctor Professor Alfonso De Nicola explains, "Avoiding sexual activity for two days before a game is fundamental to prevent muscular strains, contractions or inflammations." Personally, I thought a little inflammation (here and there) was a good thing. But the staff for Napoli mentions that this abstinence (coupled with other training techniques) has helped their players to miss fewer games than rival teams. The doctor didn't say whether or not falling down and writhing in pain when another player's jersey glances off yours has anything to do with the miraculous health record.

You know that the story of Samson wasn't really about his hair, right? It was about essence. Since before time began (some 5,000 years ago, depending on whom you ask), "learned" men have long blamed women for sapping fellas' strength right out of their urethras. The legend of the Succubus and that of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo come (heh) from this highly controvertible wisdom. Several studies have been undertaken to determine, from a physiological standpoint, what really happens to an athlete post-sex. Dr. Neil (da) Baum covers the matter most succinctly.

The psychological effects of a pre-sports bone-fest are less measurable and likely depend on the individual. Carolina Panther's wide receiver Steve Smith, for instance, has been alleged to put Tiger (da) Balm on his genitals to get fired up (no pun) for a big game ... and no doctor on Earth would recommend that. Manny Pacquiao abstains and Andy Murray gets buck wild. They're just two champions with two different ways of parting their hair.

While most of us don't need peak athletic performance in our lives, I'd keep it vanilla in the sack the night before your company softball league championship. It would be mighty embarrassing to be on the disabled list due to a mishap involving a Harlem Globetrotter, a bushel of Rainier Cherries and a set of 30-weight ball bearings.

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