Article

Does sex the night before competition decrease performance?

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.6). 11/2000; 10(4):233-4. DOI: 10.1097/00042752-200010000-00001
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Both resource-holding potential (RHP) and experience in aggressive contests are known to affect future aggressive behaviour. However, few studies have examined the effects of mating experience on agonistic behaviour, despite the fact that dominant males usually acquire more matings. We investigated the effect of mating experience on male aggressive behaviour including the relationship between RHP and fighting success in the fall field cricket, Gryllus pennsylvanicus. We formed pairs of size- and age-matched males that varied in RHP (relative weapon size) and conducted two experiments. In the first, we varied male mating experience by allowing one male in a pair to either be (a) ‘mated’: court, be mounted and copulate with a virgin female or (b) ‘experienced’: court, be mounted, but prevented from copulating. The second experiment varied postcopulatory experience where the male was allowed (‘contact’) or prevented from (‘no-contact’) continued contact with his recent mate. Following treatment, experimental males engaged in an aggressive contest with the naïve size- and age-matched male. In our first experiment, we found that mated and experienced males were equally likely to escalate contests to combat with a naïve opponent, but mated males were less likely than experienced males to win. There was no effect of mating on the relationship between RHP and fighting success. In our second experiment, we found no effect of maintaining contact with the female on the tendency to escalate or the probability of winning. As in the first experiment, males with relatively larger heads again won more fights and this relationship was unaffected by male experience. These results suggest that mating is itself detrimental to male success in aggressive contests, but that this effect is not sufficient to eliminate the effect of RHP on fighting success. KeywordsAggression-Sexual selection-Resource-holding potential-Social experience-Weaponry-Field cricket
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    ABSTRACT: This work clarifies problems of the perception of sexual activity by long-distance athletes before physical loading. The group that answered a questionnaire comprised 62 race-walkers and long-distance runners from 6 European countries age of 32 years ± 8 years. Questionnaire was composed of 8 closed questions with extra questions. More than 90% of addressed athletes suppose that having a sex 12 hours before endurance performance does not influence it. Immediately after sexual intercourse 40% of athletes have worse feelings during intensive loading. At the aerobic loading it does not change subjects’ feelings or heart rate. Unambiguously we cannot say that having sex before physical loading influences performance positively or negatively.
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