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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Does Sex Inhibit Your Game? - Jul 10, 2008

Does Sex Inhibit Your Game?

July 10, 2008

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo made headlines earlier this year by raising the age-old question about mixing sex and sports. Can sex really inhibit athletic performance or can it help? Here to shed some light on this issue is TXA 21 Contributing Psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Gearing

Q: When Tony Romo was dating Jessica Simpson and his game fell apart, many Americans concluded he was distracted by the relationship. Can being physically intimate the night before the game actually inhibit athletic performance?

Dr. Sylvia: Physical intimacy enhances athletic performance since such activities increase testosterone in men following intimacy. Such activity stimulates the production of testosterone and boosts aggression, risk-taking, psychomotor functioning and coordination, which can all come in handy in competition. The bottom line is that anything an athlete can do to increase this hormone will only improve his or her game.

Q: So would such pre-game physical intimacy actually improve the game on the field?

Dr. Sylvia: It depends on the individual, and there are basically two types of outcomes based on personality.

Undesirable Distractions: Some athletes simply need extra rest before they perform, and being intimate can actually hurt their game. If they lose sleep, they compromise their focus and being in the "zone." If they have a certain partner on their mind, it is an unneeded distraction at the time of play. Also, if they are fatigued, their testosterone will plummet, rendering them less aggressive when it counts. Such approaches can be devastating on the field when a poor play can cost them the game.

Relaxing and Restoring: For some athletes, such activities are renewing and soothing. If they feel supported by their partner and soothed by the activity, sex can be performance-enhancing. For centuries, soldiers carried pictures of their beloved into battle to inspire and reassure them. Such athletes actually benefit from contact and will enter competition rested, enthusiastic and ready to "rock and roll."

Q: Do male and female athletes react differently to pre-game intimacy?

Dr. Sylvia: There are several factors to keep in mind:

Competition Improved: Testosterone is a central player in both attraction and in winning on the field for both genders. If physical intimacy enhances this valuable hormone, competition will be enhanced.

Testosterone Sensitive: Women are much more sensitive to testosterone than most people know. In female athletes, testosterone rises more sharply before the game. When gearing up for athletic "battle," male testosterone rises only 9% while female testosterone increases by 24%. However, during competition, female testosterone increases by a whopping 49%, and males increase only 15%. Keep in mind, though, that daily testosterone levels are four times higher in men than in women.

Testosterone Improves Female Desire: Following a hysterectomy, women who are treated with testosterone experience a noticeable increase in their sexual responsiveness. Their arousal is better and their desire is enhanced. Women who are naturally high in testosterone have more interest in physical intimacy than women with lower levels.

Q: Many other careers demand the same skills of professional athletes such as sustained focus, clarity and incredible concentration. Do these principles apply to other types of performances?

Dr. Sylvia: If you are in a career that emphasizes sustainable concentration and a notable amount of assertiveness, physical intimacy might be a good idea. For example, the more testosterone coursing through a trial attorney's body, the better her competitive edge. She will fight harder and longer to win and will basically communicate, "bring it on!"

Q: Any tips for our summer athletes heading out to their own athletic performances?

Dr. Sylvia: Remember that physical fitness is one of the greatest aphrodisiacs in the world. Working out keeps us feeling good physically and psychologically and increases desire. The bottom line is that exercise, competition and sex all work together synergistically. Start looking at that treadmill in a different light!