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April 23, 2006

Powerful Aphrodisiac -- That Works! -- May Be On Market In Three Years

I can't imagine any problems whatsoever flowing from this:

So colourful and exotic is the list of substances that have been claimed to heighten sexual appetite that it is hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment on first beholding the latest entry - a small, white plastic nasal inhaler containing an odourless, colourless synthetic chemical called PT-141. Plain as it is, however, there is one thing that distinguishes PT-141 from the 4,000 years' worth of recorded medicinal aphrodisiacs that precede it: this one actually works. And it could reach the market in as little as three years. The full range of possible risks and side effects has yet to be determined, but already this much is known: a dose of PT-141 results, in most cases, in a stirring in the loins in as little as 15 minutes. Women, according to one set of results, feel 'genital warmth, tingling and throbbing', not to mention 'a strong desire to have sex'.

Among men who have been tested with the drug more extensively, the data set is richer: 'With PT-141, you feel good,' reported anonymous patient 007: 'not only sexually aroused, you feel younger and more energetic.' According to another patient, 'It helped the libido. So you have the urge and the desire...' Tales of pharmaceutically induced sexual prowess among 58-year-olds are common enough in the age of the Little Blue Pill, but they don't typically involve quite so urgent a repertoire. Or, as patient 128 put it: 'My wife knows. She can tell the difference between Viagra and PT-141.'

The precise mechanisms by which PT-141 does its job remain unclear, but the rough idea is this: where Viagra acts on the circulatory system, helping blood flow into the penis, PT-141 goes to the brain itself. 'It's not merely allowing a sexual response to take place more easily,' explains Michael A Perelman, co-director of the Human Sexuality Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a sexual-medicine adviser on the PT-141 trials. 'It may be having an effect, literally, on we think and feel.'

The article warns we may be on the verge of a new age of emotionally-empty and debased sexual behaviors, where sex becomes quick and cheap like fast food, era of loveless, debasing pleasure-seeking similar to the anonymous, dehumanized trysts depicted in Logan's Run.

But, as with any new and untested drug, there could be negative side effects as well.

Thanks to Craig.

Bonus Filth: Sex is good for you. No, seriously. Like eat-your-vegetables good:

[S]cientists are now beginning to understand that the perceived feel-good effects of sexual intercourse are merely the tip of the iceberg. Sex, they are discovering, can offer protection from depression, colds, heart disease and even cancer.

The latest addition to the body of evidence came last month when Professor Stuart Brody of the University of Paisley published a study showing sex can lower blood pressure.

"We're not just talking about the immediate effects of having had nice sex. The beneficial effects could last at least a week," says Professor Brody.

One theory is that intercourse stimulates a variety of nerves, most notably the "vagas" nerve, which is directly involved in soothing and calming. But you have to go the whole heterosexual hog. According to Professor Brody, studies show "penile-vaginal intercourse is the only sexual behaviour consistently associated with better psychological and physiological health".

Such sex has been linked, in women, to a heightened emotional awareness, possibly because the "love hormone" oxytocin is released. One study even found that semen is a mood-enhancing ingredient.

Ummm... isn't that kind of obvious? Has semen ever not been associated with a mood, whether bliss, shame, or (in my case) disgust?

Doctors speculate that this is because semen contains several other mood-altering hormones β€” including testosterone, oestrogen, prolactin and several different prostaglandins β€” which can pass into the woman's bloodstream.

You know there have been jokes along these lines forever. Now it's actually proven to be true.

I love science.

This explanation, says Dr David Hicks, sexology specialist and consultant in GU medicine at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, "is certainly feasible".

Of course it's a guy coming to these findings.

Condom-free sex has its drawbacks, of course: contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant unintentionally.

If you are dogged by the sniffles at this time of year, regular love-ins could work wonders for your immunity β€” condoms and all. Psychologists have found that people who have sex once or twice a week have levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) that are up to a third higher than their more restrained peers. IgA is an antibody that boosts the immune system and is the first line of defence against colds and flu.

In related news, I've had a mild case of the sniffles for -- what is it now, the end of April? -- the past thirty-three years.

Thanks to Allah.


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posted by Ace at 03:56 PM

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