fitness · sex · weight loss

Orgasms are not a weight loss tool!

I saw the following make its way through my social media newsfeed–To stay healthy, masturbate as much as possible!

See also the 30 Day Masturbation Challenge.

Happy January! (There’s a challenge for everything it seems. I saw the Lentil Challenge today.)

We’re a health and fitness blog so I clicked. I was also curious. The health benefits of orgasm have been in a the news a lot lately but they are almost all talking about the health of men. It’s usually reduced prostate cancer risk they’re on about. And in general I’ve got a beef with health news headlined as universal that’s really only about men.

But no. This story didn’t make that mistake. It’s actually about the health benefits of masturbation for women. Nice! But but but…It does tout weight loss as one of the advantages of regular masturbation.

Really? Honestly? Truly? Yes.

Okay, less stress, better sleep, but weight loss? I guess because it’s about women and orgasm there needs to be a weight loss tie-in. Geesh.

“According to the 2009 University of Michigan study, orgasm helps the body release oxytocin, the “love and bonding” hormone. Oxytocin release lowers cortisol, the main stress hormone chronically elevated in many women that can lead to stress eating and weight loss resistance. In other words, higher levels of oxytocin make us happy and keep those emotionally-triggered food cravings for sugars, cheese and other “happy foods” at bay.”

There’s lots to hate about that but one of things that bugs me the most is the idea you can tell something about someone’s sex life from some totally unrelated fact about them, like their weight. Hey, fatty bet you don’t get much self love!

I’m not sure if there’s a name for this particular fallacy, drawing a connection between two unrelated things about a person. You know one thing about a person and so you think you also know another.

Here’s two more examples.

Some years ago a new age-y male friend, sex positive but with a serious woo streak, told me that he thought my fear of death meant that I wasn’t having good enough sex. Why do men feel qualified to make judgments about this? Was he going to be offering up his own skills to fix things? Sigh. It also might be just a little mansplain-y given that I teach and write a bit about death. But whatever. What’s the idea behind his claim? Good sex equals feeling transcendent, connected with the universe, less individual, more a part of something larger. I agree about all that. But frankly it doesn’t make me feel better about death. I want to survive as me, not as part of the ether. See Shelly Kagan on death and survival if you want to hear more about what philosophers tend to think matters when it comes to survival.

The other concerns a topic that I get so angry about that I can barely even write a paragraph even though I’ve had a blog post sitting in the drafts folder for months. It’s emotional eating. Understanding and ending emotional eating is supposed to end your weight woes as well. What’s the idea? When you’re stressed, angry, or sad, instead of dealing directly with your emotions you eat instead. Maybe. But I’m not so sure that emotional eating is always a bad thing. Food is one of the ways we make ourselves feel better, celebrate with friends, drown our sorrows, etc. You can’t deny the emotional significance of food for human beings.

Worse though is the idea that you can tell something about someone’s emotional health from their size. Oh us chubby emotional eaters! Fat people aren’t really happy. They’re just covering up. Inside they’re crying and eating cupcakes to feel better. No no no. Me, I eat cupcakes because they taste great.

Back to orgasms, have lots if that’s your thing.

But for God’s sake please don’t masturbate for the sake of weight loss. Just don’t.


6 thoughts on “Orgasms are not a weight loss tool!

  1. Ah, would that they were… All kidding aside, the fallacy you allude to is really a form of false analogy (an intrapersonal form– I just made that up). Also cool that the emotional eating topic (and convention-wisdom judgment about its pathology) is a subject of interest. For me, too.

  2. If this were true, I’d be skinny. Not even kidding. I have a very high sex drive and a very active sex life with my husband on top of the need to masturbate pretty regularly…..LMAO

  3. Thinking maybe I chose the wrong summer challenge…
    I’m with Catherine – the subject of emotional eating is of great interest to me also.

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