I'm starting to think it must be a LOT of fun to be the editor of the Journal of Medical Hypotheses. First there was the one about groaning and hyperventilation decreasing blood to the cortex and enhancing the sexual experience, and now this (hat tip, my friend Scott, and here's very much hoping Ike spared your house):
Zarrintan, S "Ejaculation as a potential treatment of nasal congestion in mature males" The Journal of Medical Hypotheses, 71(2), 2008.
Oh man, this one's so good I almost just want to quote it verbatim. But I won't.
So I'm sure you've all been congested as some point. Usually we reach for the Sudafed (if we can get some, in the States it's like pulling teeth), or the Dayquil, or perhaps just put our heads over a cup of steaming tea. But how many of us think "man, if only I could get off right now..."
Though probably when you are really congested, getting off is not really something that's much on your mind. And if it is, my but you have a very odd fetish. Congestion (inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose) has lots of causes, most of us think of colds or allergies, maybe a sinus infection. The author notes that chronic problems with congestion can lead to low self-esteem and reduced quality of life. I've never personally found my congestion to be THAT bad, but I suppose there could be some cases.
Most over the counter decongestant work by stimulating adrenergic receptors. These would be drugs like Sudafed. Drugs like Claritin are allergy drugs that block histamine, and so work a different way. So anyway, stimulating adrenergic receptors causes vasoconstriction, and constricting the blood vessels of the nose will relieve congestion. But the author notes that this is not necessarily a good thing. Adrenergic stimulation could lead to problems with vasoconstriction in other areas, which could be bad if you have problems like hypertension. Also, using decongestants for a while will make you tolerant, and your congestion will just get more difficult to fight.
So the author proposes a more...natural method of decongestion. "It is known that sexual arousal in men is followed by penile erection and subsequent ejaculation" (unless of course you've taken too much Viagra or something). The emission phase of ejaculation is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system, which of course has lots of adrenergic receptors. The author reasons that ejaculation will stimulation adrenergic receptors in the refractory period immediately afterward, and stimulation of your adrenergic receptors will give you relief from your cold.
The author proposes that, with proper scheduling of masturbation and/or sexual intercourse a guy could keep his nose clear for the rest of his life! I wonder how the partner takes that. "Honey, come here, my nose is stuffed up..." And what if your nose is REALLY messed up? I hope those people work from home.
And if a guy can keep his nose clear for life, what about us ladeez? My allergies bother me, too, you know. I think this needs to be tested, both on men and women. So I want to hear back from all of your whether it worked. Wait 'til the hay fever sets in, go at it like rabbits, and then leave a comment with whether or not it worked. Obviously this is not a well controlled study, but I don't know that I want to ask whether it was masturbation or intercourse, and I wouldn't trust anyone with a timer in the few minutes after sex to measure their refractory period. So this is more of a pilot than a real test. Go to it! This is your homework for the weekend!
S ZARRINTAN (2008). Ejaculation as a potential treatment of nasal congestion in mature males Medical Hypotheses, 71 (2), 308-308 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.03.010