Depressed? Have some unprotected sex!

I’ve been a little depressed lately and Michael had a solution for me. He left me  on the computer three news stories about a study claiming women who had unprotected sex were happier than those who used condoms or who didn’t have sex.

Apparently it’s not the act of sex that makes the women happier, it’s the actual chemicals in the man’s semen. (Oh Lord, every husband will be using this as an excuse to get some now. “It’s all for you baby! It will make you happy.”)

From Psychology Today:

“The finding that women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerful—and potentially addictive—mood-altering chemicals.”

“Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly depressed as more time elapsed since their last sexual encounter. There was no such correlation for women whose partners regularly used condoms.”

“Gallup’s survey of 293 college women also found that those who did not use condoms were most likely to initiate sex and to seek out new partners as soon as a relationship ended. “These women are more vulnerable to the rebound effect, which suggests that there is a chemical dependency,” says Gallup.”

An article in Scientific American helps explain how it works (scientifically):

Why the vagina is a great place to absorb chemicals, such as those in semen:

“Now, medical professionals have known for a very long time that the vagina is an ideal route for drug delivery. The reason for this is that the vagina is surrounded by an impressive vascular network. Arteries, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels abound, and—unlike some other routes of drug administration—chemicals that are absorbed through the vaginal walls have an almost direct line to the body’s peripheral circulation system. So it makes infinite sense, argue Gallup and Burch, that like any artificially-derived chemical substance inserted into the vagina via medical pessary, semen might also have certain chemical properties that tweak female biology.”

What is in semen that can make you happy:

“In fact, semen has a very complicated chemical profile, containing over 50 different compounds (including hormones, neurotransmitters, endorphins and immunosupressants) each with a special function and occurring in different concentrations within the seminal plasma. Perhaps the most striking of these compounds is the bundle of mood-enhancing chemicals in semen. There is good in this goo. Such anxiolytic chemicals include, but are by no means limited to, cortisol (known to increase affection), estrone (which elevates mood), prolactin (a natural antidepressant), oxytocin (also elevates mood), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (another antidepressant), melatonin (a sleep-inducing agent) and even serotonin (perhaps the most well-known antidepressant neurotransmitter).”

“Given these ingredients—and this is just a small sample of the mind-altering “drugs” found in human semen—Gallup and Burch, along with psychologist Steven Platek, now at the University of Liverpool, hypothesized that women having unprotected sex should be less depressed than suitable control participants.”

The scientific study on semen’s affect on depression and what it found:

“The most significant findings from this 2002 study, published with criminally modest fanfare in the Archives of Sexual Behavior , were these: even after adjusting for frequency of sexual intercourse, women who engaged in sex and “never” used condoms showed significantly fewer depressive symptoms than did those who “usually” or “always” used condoms. Importantly, these chronically condomless, sexually active women also evidenced fewer depressive symptoms than did those who abstained from sex altogether. By contrast, sexually active women, even really promiscuous ones, who used condoms were just as depressed as those practicing total abstinence. In other words, it’s not just that women who are having sex are simply happier, but instead happiness appears to be a function of the ambient seminal fluid pulsing through one’s veins.”

I’m not sure if it worked or not because I also made some double chocolate cookies the same night and those are supposed to make women happy too!

So what do you think? Do you believe that semen has chemicals in it that fight depression? Are you willing to have sex to improve your mood and keep your spirits high? Would that be OK with your husband? Can you see spouses using this as a persuasive measure to convince you to jump into the sack more often? Have you ever seen this trend in your own sex life? (Before you focus the comments on my husband, let me just say that he was half kidding for me and thought it would be a great topic for us.)

91 comments Add your comment

Adam Shields

September 27th, 2010
1:12 am

I wonder if the relationship status signaled by the type of contraceptive, has more to do with the depression than the semen?

[...] some-more from the strange source:  Depressed? Have a little defenceless sex! | Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms Categories : sex [...]

shaggy

September 27th, 2010
6:33 am

I am proud to say that I have been working on this “study” since my high school days.

I had a large sample group, from the University of Georgia, although Georgia Southern and Georgia State also provided willing subjects for my clinical studies.

Using my scientific method, I was able to provide much data that reinforces this study’s results: Many smiling faces and phone numbers for further research.

mom of 3

September 27th, 2010
6:59 am

Tongues piercing is suppose to provide more intense response from men when it is used orally on men. Now no condoms for women.
So now unprotected sex is better because it makes you happier. Well, guess more unwanted pregnancies and STD’s are just around the corner.

Sounds like,...

September 27th, 2010
7:00 am

…as T pointed out, a study promulgated by men to cajole women into “giving some” – what a bunch of hooey…

Now THIS...

September 27th, 2010
7:02 am

…should have been written as a Fun Friday topic…

Jeff

September 27th, 2010
7:09 am

LOL. Don’t even know where to start but it’s funny. My initial thoughts aren’t exactly printable. I may have to come up with some alternative descriptions.

Although, it does say something that men feel the need to go to this link to “get some”, as you call it. The traditional methods (cleaning the house, flowers, romance, jewelry) claimed by some on this and other blogs apparently have been tried without the promised reciprocity. So much for promises.

Mary

September 27th, 2010
7:20 am

This “study” was obviously done by men.

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
7:32 am

“…..(Oh Lord, every husband will be using this as an excuse to get some now. “It’s all for you baby! It will make you happy.”)…………….”

You make it sound like you (or any other woman for that matter) wouldn’t want to already have sex with their husband. I guess folks are right, don’t expect sex once you get married :-(

As a single woman, I’ve had a high sex drive ever since I could spell the word so, whomever I marry, we will have no problem in this area nor will an excuse be needed to have sex.

bob

September 27th, 2010
7:53 am

“I am whatever you say I am”, how about I say you are Mrs. Bob !

deidre_NC

September 27th, 2010
7:55 am

well, i would tend to believe this is true simply because i believe that god made everything about us including the enjoyment of sex…and why wouldnt we believe that god made semen with chemical properties that make us feel better. in this day and age tho-i think unprotected sex could make for some high stess worrying about stds and pregnancy..if you are in a committed and monagamous (sp) relationship then id say go for it….if not-then HECK NO….

mom2alex&max

September 27th, 2010
7:56 am

Hmmm….interesting. And I hope this study doesn’t spread too much. I’d hate to give guys yet one more excuse to use. Ladies: unless u are in a committed, safe, and proven relationship, BE SAFE!!!

I’ll say this: I enjoy my “wifely duties” a whole lot more after my dearest husband got the “unkindest cut”. Not having to worry about anything EVER and being spontaneous is awesome!

Photius

September 27th, 2010
8:13 am

Don’f forget there are two other ways to introduce semen into the wife’s body! Explore all options and perform your own study ladies!

Rick

September 27th, 2010
8:17 am

I don’t know what the studdy was done with and who, but as far as being married and sex, I heard it best in a movie. “Married means you sleep with her every night, but you can’t get none.” Fact of the matter is, have all the sex you can stand before you place the ring on her finger. Asking to get married is the same as saying “I’d like to make this a plutonic relationship.” Even now, the above posters are saying “typical men”, “must have been done by men”…..is it any wonder that men treat a wedding the same as they do a funeral? Getting married so you can have sex is like buying Southwest Airlines so you can get the free peanuts…….

deidre_NC

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

that would be platonic…and i dont think all the posters said it quite that way… a lot of women like sex, maybe the men stop ttrying to please their woman once they get them all tied up and married. maybe thats why men think married women dont like sex. hmmm…

James

September 27th, 2010
8:35 am

So nice to read that you and your husband would consider sex as a therapy for depression. You know, most of my married friends seem like they’ve just given up on sex being fun! Can’t wait to show my girlfriend this article, so I will get slapped, first, but then probably laid…

hubby

September 27th, 2010
8:39 am

Dang, Rick…you sure have been nurt by some woman….but your statement rings true to a point. Condoms just dampen the whole experience, for the woman and the man. I know that they are necessary when you are single, with all that is out there. But in my 40’s, my girlfriends absolutely hated using condoms. I got the “inkindest cut of all” and it became a three ring circus very quickly. Why is it that married women love to have sex, just not with their husbands? Men cheat….yes, I know that, and they are pigs just the same. But women also come up with the dangdest excuses after the wedding ceremony. There are some women, both single and marrid, that look at sex just the same as men. It’s fun, feels great, opens communication (if you are secure) and just makes like so much more exciting. I’ve even heard my guy friends say that their wife NOW thinks that sex is only for procreation and they just “endure” it when done otherwise. I know, “Well if he would learn how to concentrate on me more instead of himself, it may happen more.”, bt communication and possible a little ENTHUSIASM may help a little as well. You women complaining about “he wants it all the time” are telling me all I need to know about your supposed “libido”. How do you turn a porno star into a nun? Marry her.

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
8:43 am

TechMom

September 27th, 2010
8:43 am

“There is good in this goo.” Seriously? Ewe!

I don’t buy into this being some chemical reaction. I think it’s another waste-of-money study.

Look, ladies and gentlement...

September 27th, 2010
8:45 am

…but “the unkindest cut of all” is a joke when compared to having your tubes tied. So, quit with the mamby-pamby talk and buck up and take it like a man and quitcherbeotching – it was no big deal when I did it 20 years ago, and it ain’t no big deal now…

V for Vendetta

September 27th, 2010
8:59 am

This is the greatest blog topic in the history of blog topics. I, too, have received “the cut,” and it is certainly liberating.

Although I Am Whatever You Say I Am sounds even MORE liberating.

And TechMom sounds like someone who’s going to get cheated on. :-)

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:05 am

I agree communication is key.
For all the women out there that feel they husbands don’t tune into their needs, have you tried communicating? Wow, what a concept!
And no, I don’t mean nagging.
Men love sex, but they love it more when their wives or girlfriends apprecate them and know that they are pleasing them.
Sex is not rocket science. If the women or men were selfish lovers before you got married, what makes you think they will be different after the wedding?
Learn early how to pick a mate, communicate, and be unselfish and you just might have a happy married life and someone that won’t cheat. Oh, lots of sex is key too!

TechMom

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

@V I’m just saying this study sounds like a joke and a waste of money. Couldn’t we have made the assessment that 1) people who have sex are generally happier than those who don’t have it as frequently and 2) people who don’t have to worry about the consequences of not using condoms are having sex more frequently and enjoy it more? Sounds a little like stating the obvious and I could have done without the colored commentary about ‘the good in the goo’ – doesn’t sound real scientific when you state it that way.

Bigdrew4u

September 27th, 2010
9:09 am

WOW. Next research..The food that causes women to lose their sex drive…Wedding Cake. Can’t wait for that one.

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:12 am

I think the only thing that could cause me to lose my sex drive would be
a) a man who doesn’t want sex as much as me
b) a man who is cheating on me

In these scenarios, I most likely would up and leave and find someone that meets my needs.
It’s just that simple

single woman, but committed

September 27th, 2010
9:14 am

hubby… I don’t necessarily agree with everything. Not all women are like that. I am in a committed relationship of 3 years, but am unmarried. We will one day be married- at least we both think so now. Our relationship is totally different- I’m the one who always wants sex. He doesn’t. I definitely don’t think I’m the problem, as I’ve never had this issue with previous partners… he’s just not a very sexual person at all. He tends to have a little issue with stamina, so I wonder if that’s a part of the issue. We are very open in our communication about sex- he knows I am upset and that I want to have sex more. Each time we have this conversation, it happens more frequently, but then it goes back on the decline. Since we rarely have sex now, I wonder what it will be like when we’re married. I’m interested what people have to say about my situation.

JATL

September 27th, 2010
9:15 am

Hmmm -wonder if vasectomies factor into this at all? Sex is FAR more frequent and much better now that there are no worries attached to it, so I guess it doesn’t really matter…

Bunch of Yentas

September 27th, 2010
9:16 am

Why would married people have sex with a condom?

Once you have a child, get yourself snipped. Done and done. Then never worry about condoms again.

cougar

September 27th, 2010
9:17 am

I have many married girlfriends that talk about this topic. They say that their husband either wants to have sex too much (is that a problem?)or they are just not giving them the satisfaction. I even have one that said she put on an “act” most every night just to get him to marry her. Now, they are heading for a divorce, because she decided to “stop acting like that” afterwards. Some of my closest friends told me that others think I’m “oversexed” or “slutty” because I’ve always enjoyed it and my husband tells me that I think about sex like a man. Those types of women are few and far between, it seems. Ladies, relax about it. Communicate with your husbands about what you like and ask what he likes. Sometimes he doesn’t want yo to “make love” to him. Sometimes he wants the other way. To be honest, I kind of like it that way, too, more times than not. You really can be married, be spontaneous and get both your and his world rocked.

i've always told my wife

September 27th, 2010
9:18 am

that peniscillin is a great drug. I guess I’ve been right all along

kayaker 71

September 27th, 2010
9:20 am

single woman but committed,

You are doomed from the start.

V for Vendetta

September 27th, 2010
9:23 am

TechMom,

True. But I think the biological information makes sense. From an evolutionary perspective, it would seem logical that sex would have positive physical benefits for females. I think it’s totally plausible.

DB

September 27th, 2010
9:27 am

@”I am whatever…” Do you have kids? I find it interesting that you blithely declare that if you’re not happy with your sex life, you’d just up and leave. Never mind the kids, never mind the family, never mind vows — if you aren’t gettin’ enough, it’s out the door! I want to be a fly on the wall when you explain to your 7 year old that you don’t want to be married to Daddy anymore because you aren’t getting laid every night and twice on Sundays.

@Rick — who pulled your wanker, buddy? So many of your posts have a bitter undertone on the perfidy of women.

My husband said it best: “Men are pretty simple. Screw us and feed us, and we’re pretty happy.” It’s not rocket science. :-)

kayaker 71

September 27th, 2010
9:35 am

DB,

It doesn’t have to be every night but once a month would be nice. On my third marriage and still haven’t found a good sex partner. For those of us with an intense sex drive, even at 73 yrs of age, there seems to be nothing left for us but biting the bullet. Your husband is right…. wish more would be understanding as you are.

Jeff

September 27th, 2010
9:39 am

DB, you are exactly right. Our list of what makes us happy is short and rarely changes. Yet, many women fail miserably at such a simple list. Many women’s list, on the other hand, seem to change with every episode of Oprah. If women can’t decide what makes themselves happy, why do they expect us to be able to figure it out.

Hey, DB - I am whatever...

September 27th, 2010
9:40 am

…already said she has never been married…

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:40 am

DB : I have son.
Um yes, if I wasn’t getting any in marriage, then yes I would leave. It’s either that or commit adultery .But I would leave before I would cheat on a spouse.

DB: If you’re husband wasn’t getting enough from you (maybe you are content with once a week whereas he feels differently) which would you rather have, him divorce and be happy or for him to put up a front and cheat on you (which would likely happen) and put you at risk for some sort of STD

DB to children: Mommy stayed with Daddy for your sake so that you would be happy but I’m going to die in a few years because Daddy gave mommy HIV but we are still together!

So, DB...

September 27th, 2010
9:42 am

…do you listen to your husband on all points?

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:52 am

Disclaimer: if there were any problems in marriage (if marriage is in my cards) I would try to work them out first. If they were not able to be worked out, then I would divorce.
Children are happier with happy parents and not parents that pretend to be happily married for their sake.
They can see right thru that.

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:54 am

Jeff: you forgot to that men also like variety
:-)

So ladies, it’s okay to wear costumes, wigs, and install a stripper pole in your house.
Do what both of you like . just make sure it’s fun and it doesn’t get old!

I am whatever you say I am

September 27th, 2010
9:55 am

<—–can't wait for marriage- My future hubby(whomever that will be) will be a happy hubby!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 27th, 2010
10:00 am

A couple of answers to the questions above ….

on the Fun Friday topic — I didn’t have it on Friday so I couldn’t use it then but I agree a fun friday topic (just on Monday — what a treat!)

JATL — It is not the sperm but the semen — One of the articles and I think it was the Scientific American one said it wasn’t the sperm in the semen but the semen itself — so I believe based on that that men with the big V would still be spreading happiness to their ladies!!

Multiple commenters — I think it goes without saying this is only for committed couples otherwise you are going to see a huge increase in STDs and possibly AIDS — so let’s not try this folks unless you are the one and only!!!!!!!

As far as me and Michael — we’ve actually been doing pretty good in the frequency department but this was coming right after a week long period so my hubby was definitely missing it. (was that too much info??)

Young@heart

September 27th, 2010
10:05 am

Well I guess even though they are starving in Pakistan, they are happy.

CDD

September 27th, 2010
10:14 am

I wonder if the study took into account about how women feel about the condoms and that playing a part into how much more they enjoy sex without them. I know some women don’t mind condoms, but I hate them, always have. But since birth control is now permanent (the plus side of hysterectomy) we don’t have to fool with all the hassle of condoms. And I don’t know if it’s the chemicals or whatever in semen but I certainly feel muuuuuch better after the hubby & I get some adults-only time together. Doesn’t get to happen often but it’s great when it does. :)

JATL

September 27th, 2010
10:20 am

@Young@heart -LOL -you gave me a chuckle.

@DB -right on! I don’t care how liberated we all get, and I’ll say that I feel I have a pretty liberated marriage -50/50 on housework, jobs, etc. -I learned a long time ago that some good meals and frequent sex (and it’s not like I don’t enjoy these things as well) really keep my husband happy and appreciative. It doesn’t have to be EVERY night for either one -but something yummy in the crock pot or simmering on the stove several nights a week and a couple of weekly romps in the hay put a sunnier outlook on everyone’s day.

Hey, JATL...

September 27th, 2010
10:24 am

…you’re a poet and don’t know it…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 27th, 2010
10:26 am

CDD– I think the control on that was women who aren’t having sex at all — although that could put you in a bad mood too.

JATL — love the description of a couple of weekly romps! romp is a fun word!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

September 27th, 2010
10:46 am

My god…this room is cold….I mean really chilly….even those words don’t seem to quite capture what this room is….hmmmmm…whatever synonym could I be looking for….just can’t put my finger on it…..OH…..here we go…this room is FRIGID!!!!

“this is just a study by men to get more”..those bastards…wanting to have more sex with us…don’t they know how awful it makes us feel to be desired by them?!? What a sham ploy this is!

“Are you willing to have sex to improve your mood and keep your spirits high?”…..really, will you actually scrape the bottom of that barrel? I mean, really, aren’t chocolate chip cookies a better way to boost your spirits….you know..eat a couple dozen and then watch it coagulate around the backs of your thighs??

If it takes a study like this to convince women that having sex can make them feel better about themselves, they should just make the chocolate chip cookies and have an erotic time with the cookies while watching the Oxygen channel of Lifetime Movie Channel because no one is going to want to have sex with them anyway. Maybe you can find a guy who can donate some semen into the cookie batter itself….he’d probably have more fun with the batter anyhow.

DB

September 27th, 2010
11:06 am

@”I am whoever…” Dare I say this?

Marriage is about more than sex.

If my husband had a problem with the amount of sex he was getting (and yes, it has happened, when the kids were small and I was on meds for post-partum depression — talk about killing sex drive . . . but I digress . . .), then I would expect him, as a loving, caring and mature MAN of honor and integrity, to come to ME and discuss it and work out the problem, and not go trolling to find some woman to masturbate in.

People think that love and sex should be a constant continuum. After almost 30 years of marriage, and 36 years with the same incredible man – and not a breath or flicker of infidelity – I will tell you this: It isn’t. Marriages have their own “biorhythms”, if you will. Small kids can suck the energy right out of you. Work stress, economic stresses, family stresses, etc., can take a toll. The problem is that so many people getting married these days think that the romantic, adrenaline-laced love that carries them through a courtship and wedding is real love. It’s a start, but a real marriage is a work of art — and you have to work on creating it EVERY DAY. Some days you do better than others — just like at work, some days you’re more productive than others. But people aren’t very forgiving of “down” cycles in love, these days. They want the constant adrenaline rush they got in the first flush of sexual romantic love — some people have become, through numerous sex partners, adrenaline rush junkies. As soon as the rush is gone, they are on to their next fix. Did I mention the divorce rate and infidelity rate?

Marriage is supposed to give you a safe place to have those ups and downs, without fear of your partner wandering away during an adrenaline “down”. Talk about performance anxiety! However, as loving, caring partners, I’d think you’d both want to naturally please your spouse, as a matter of course. Now that the kids are mostly out the door, I will observe that the frequency, which wasn’t bad anyway, has seen a big upturn in terms of spontaneity. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. :-)

@Hey, DB: Yes, I know she wasn’t married. What I asked is if she had kids. My question was a rhetorical one, because she had mentioned that she wasn’t married, but what she would do IF she was married. My point being that it is much easier to extricate yourself from a situation when you don’t have to consider the well-being of the kids. @”I am whatever…”. Sorry, I don’t buy that crap that the kids will be happier if Mommy and Daddy are happier apart. Almost every kid I ever knew that was the child of divorced parents wanted their parents back together, unless there was serious violence and abuse involved.

@Hey, DB: Do I listen to my husband on all points? Well, he’s a pretty happy camper and usually goes to sleep with a smile on his face . . . and I’m a very good listener. You’d have to ask him. :-)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 27th, 2010
11:31 am

DB – nicely written!