Pre-Performance Penetration; The Myth of Athlete Abstention

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When the first half starts but you forgot to tell him you love him 


If I’m not in the pub on a Friday night, you can almost bet that I’m at home, sauntering around in whatever ‘sexy’ attire I can get my hands on (often this means ancient pyjama shorts and a sports bra), trying in vain to seduce my Rugby player boyfriend. Normally, this works, but this is a FRIDAY. And, haven’t you heard? Athletes don’t do sex the day before a game or performance.


 Trying on my new pyjama set for my unwilling partner


Often, it highly amuses me to try and arouse him on a Friday night or Saturday morning. Whilst most of the time he bats me away without any consideration, sometimes, if I’m really lucky and he’s feeling rebellious, he slips it in. *But please be assured, I mean probing for a maximum of 17 seconds. And then it’s whipped out and back into the safety of his under shorts, and I’m left bemused.* If I’m being totally honest – he abstains from first thing on a Friday, but I’m starting to think that might be a useful excuse he’s coined so I hesitate before waking up and straddling him.


So where has this notion come from? And please tell me that I’m not the first other half whinging about why her boyfriend won’t sleep with her (before a match that is, his excuses of tiredness, being too full after the delicious meal I cooked and because he is in the middle of a Game of Thrones episode fly fine normally…). I just can’t help but think that it’s all in their heads. This too is all too often backed up by their trouser snake telling me otherwise. 


All I’m looking for here is someone to tell these athletes that, contrary to popular belief, pre-performance penetration is not the Devil’s work.


 Yeah, I really wish you wouldn’t, Tom.


Reportedly, this idea dates back to ancient Greece and traditional Chinese medicine, who both proposed that abstaining from sex could increase aggression and boost energy, according to David Bishop, research leader at Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active in Melbourne, Australia.


And lest we forget the 1976 film “Rocky”. In said movie, Rocky Balboa’s boxing trainer suggests that the athlete should put romance on hold while training and competing. Real life legend Muhammad Ali was even said to have abstained for weeks before a fight.


Similarly, in 2014, Mexico announced that its international footballers were to avoid intercourse during the World Cup, in attempt to maximize their athletic performance. They lost in the round of 16, as they had in every World Cup since 1994. 


 Waking my boyfriend up by addressing his penis first…


David Bishop’s research includes a small study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in 2000, which involved 15 high-level athletes between the ages of 20 and 40 who participated in a two-day experiment. It was concluded that “the recovery capacity of an athlete could be affected if he had sexual intercourse approximately 2 hours before a competition event.”


So, essentially, get the romping of the way the night before and stick to your regular routines of cuddling, hydrating and chanting at yourselves in the mirror on the morning of. 


A separate paper, published in Frontiers in Physiology, found that sex had no significant effect on athletic performance. The paper involved a systematic review of nine studies on the topic of sexual activity and athleticism.


Similar studies claim that sex before a marathon can even make you faster.


A little love making shouldn’t get in the way of playing up to par. Shagging can even be a big help for athletes who have trouble sleeping the night before a competition because of their nerves. During sex, your body releases endorphins, which help you to relax and sleep better. Especially my partner, who favours the position ‘you clean up whilst I drift into the abyss’. 


 Resting easy after eight minutes of intense passion















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