A leading blog on the science of sex, love, and relationships, written by social psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller. Many athletes abstain from sex before major sporting competitions because they and sometimes their coaches are worried that getting it on might have a negative impact on their performance.
In my own personal experience when it came to sex before a boxing match, I abstained from it. I would usually stop about four weeks out from a fight, and three months out from boxing tournaments. A good rule of thumb is that the moment you are in training mode, the moment you tell yourself that you are about to get ready, then stop sex altogether.
Since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans, it's been a widely held belief—particularly among men—that they should avoid sex before any type of sporting competition. The no-sex-before-sports rule is rooted in a fear that sex will sap men of their testosterone and energy, thereby harming their athletic performance. Will a pre-competition roll in the hay necessarily drain your strength?
Being an MMA fighter leads to having a lot of interesting conversations. I remember clearly sitting my wife down this was when we were still dating and having a talk with her about what would transpire in the weeks leading to an upcoming fight. We covered the facts that I would be more stressed out than usual, would be coming home with lots of bumps and bruises, and would be losing a lot of weight.
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The belief that sex before competition can have a negative impact on performance has, rightly or wrongly, been held for decades. Even the boxing legend Muhammad Ali was said to have abstained from sex for weeks before a fight. Among coaches of team sports, it is often an unwritten rule that their players should refrain from sexual intercourse before big competitions. There are other athletes, however, who swear by sexual activity before athletic events.
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