Reading this story, it occurred to me that 'scientists' need to get out more.
This story began with the orgasm, moved quickly to the orgasms chemical joy factor, prolactin, then headed steadily down Duh Street.
Prolactin, for those of you who do not analyze to the smallest minutiae of everything that happens with your body, is a chemical hormone produced by a satiated brain after orgasm. Men and women are gifted with it as a means of balancing the lovely dopamine gift that arousal gives to pre-coitus couples. It is responsible for the grin and the "let's never leave the bed, just order in pizza, sleep occasionally and continue having more sex" feeling.
Stuart Brody of the University of Paisley, UK, and Tillmann Kruger of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich teamed up to find out what the feeling is all about, Alfie. Boldly, and with beakers extended in supplication, they measured blood prolactin levels in male and female volunteers who watched erotic films before engaging in masturbation or sexual intercourse to orgasm in the laboratory.
One would hope for the sake of the test subjects that the laboratory had some kind of soft throws, a few pillows and candle or two lit for the occasion.
Brody and Kruger were surprised to discover that after orgasm from sexual intercourse, the increase in blood prolactin levels is 400 per cent higher in both sexes compared with after orgasm from masturbation.
So, they concluded, sex with a partner is better sex.
"This explains why orgasm from intercourse is more satisfying than masturbation," says Brody. Since elevated levels of prolactin have been linked to erectile dysfunction, this may also explain why most men need a "recovery period" after sex.
Someone could explain to Brody that there are other reasons why sex with a partner is better but that would most likely lead to another grand experiment that filled the lab with copulating couples.