Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yes, sex can kill you, study shows

"Yes, sex can kill you." This downer news comes from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

I learned about the study from my daily paper. Essentially the paper reported:

When people with heart problems are having sex, they are 2.7 times more likely to have a heart attack. Sudden bursts of moderate to intense physical activity — such as sex — pose a significant risk of heart attack.

Having recently undergone a heart related operation, I can say something is missing from the newspaper report. Sex, per se, is not dangerous; It's sex with a twist, and I don't mean lime! Don't pass on the sex, just hold the spice.

When it comes to sexual activity for heart patients, the following are some of the warnings I've come across on the Internet since my operation:

  • Only have sex with your usual partner to minimize heart-racing tension. Paid partners add even more stress. (Just think: Charlie Sheen. Need I say more?)
  • Keep to the tried and true. The usual oh-so-comfortable positions are the least stressful. In fact, they can be downright relaxing.
  • It is safest to have sex in your usual setting. For instance, refrain from having sex in hot showers. Steamy sex is stressful sex. ;-)
  • Don't downplay foreplay; Think of it as the proper warm-up for the big game. We don't speak of sexual athletes for nothing. And just like other athletes, sexual ones often perform better on drugs. But unlike other athletes some of these drugs are recommended. For instance, if one takes nitroglycerin to prevent chest pain, take it before sexual activity. And if you are competing with someone who is not your usual partner, you may have to stop and take more while competing.
  • Get some rest before hand. Morning is an ideal time for sexual activity. Remember the old line from Playboy: "Shall I call you in the morning, or just nudge you?" Nudging is safer, at least, if it is your usual nudge.
  • Speaking of your usual nudge, masturbation requires less energy than intercourse.
  • And whatever you do, choose a position that does not put stress on your breastbone (sternum) if you have just had open heart surgery. Those patients should stay clear of the partner-sternum-superior position.

Jessica Paulus, a Tufts Medical Center in Boston researcher who worked on the study, said the risk found is fairly high but the period of increased risk is brief.

"The period of increased risk is brief"? Damn! The bad news just keeps on coming.


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