Can't get no satisfaction? The situation could be worse than you think. Sure, sexual frustration is ... well, frustrating. But new research suggests it could also be bad for your physical health.
OK, granted the research was done with fruit flies — not exactly our closest animal counterparts. But the intriguing findings may pave the way for human studies on the subject. "It may not be a myth that sexual frustration is a health issue," according to lead researcher and University of Michigan professor Scott D. Pletcher. Expecting sex and then not getting it was harmful to flies' health and cut their lifespans short.
In the study, male flies were repeatedly exposed to female sex pheromones, making them think they were about to tap some sweet female fruit fly tush. But it was merely a tease — the smells actually came from fellow males genetically engineered to produce female pheromones.
These sexually frustrated flies "experienced rapid decreases in fat stores," showed more markers of stress and ultimately lived shorter lives than their fly bros that did get lucky with the ladies. But flies initially denied sex and then allowed to mate saw the negative health consequences partially reversed.
"Sexual rewards specifically promoted healthy aging," said Pletcher. There's gotta be a good pickup line in that somewhere, right?