back to article MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

A surefire way of holding off that scourge of male health, prostate cancer, is to sleep with lots of women - according to the latest research. However, perhaps unfortunately for those gentlemen inclined that way, sleeping with a lot of other men has quite the opposite effect. These bombshells originate in a study from Canadian …

  1. Les Matthew

    Does it follow

    That a wank a day keeps the cancer at bay?

    1. DriveBy

      Re: Does it follow

      Yeah... But it makes you blind...

      So it's a bit of a toss up really.

      1. auburnman

        Re: makes you blind...

        Only if your aim is off.

      2. Michael Thibault

        Re: Does it follow

        that it makes you bald, too? There's an apparent correlation there, anyway. More research!

        1. Richard Ball

          Re: Does it follow

          @Michael Thibault

          Yes, and the lack of hairs on your scalp causes the hearing to undergo a a loss of sensitivity to high frequencies. And this brings about a reduction of interest in Radio 1 and thereto death. Early death.

      3. Martin Maloney

        Re: Does it follow

        Do you remember the old Michael Caine thrillers, in which the name of the character that he played was "Harry Palmer?"

        1. Michael Dunn

          Re: Does it follow @Martin Maloney

          I was an avid reader of Len Deighton's works when they first came out, and on later seeing many of them transferred to the screen was surprised to note that the central character had acquired a name. My hazy memory informs me that the only times he was ever addressed by a name in the canon was as "English" by Colonel Stok.; am I wrong?

      4. Cipher

        Re: Does it follow

        " Yeah... But it makes you blind..."

        Just do it 'till you need glasses...

    2. Montreal Sean

      Re: Does it follow

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      One handed browsing is good for my health. I'll tell my wife next time she catches me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it follow

        I hope there's some benefit, other than merely passing the time. I've been wanking from home for a decade now; even managed to knock one out on the occasional boring conference call.

        *double checks anonymous box is ticked*

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does it follow

          Re. Knocking one out: I think I was on the call with you. We were discussing a mistimed transfer of liquid assets and someone on the call gave a little squeak.

        2. Eddy Ito

          Re: Does it follow

          I've been wanking from home for a decade now

          How does that work? I mean, do you switch hands every few hours or are occasional bio-breaks for nourishment and such adequate to, uh, recharge your batteries? Never mind, I think I'd rather not know.

        3. Yugguy

          Re: Does it follow

          There is an article in the Times today quoting a 34 percent reduction in risk for men who masturbate 5 times a week or more.

          Apart from teenage boys who has either the time, inclination or opportunity for such frantic thwapping?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does it follow

          <quote> I've been wanking from home for a decade now </quote>

          damn... it must be red raw by now.

      2. Sirius Lee

        Re: Does it follow

        What's your problem? My wife often sees me browsing while drinking a cup of coffee.

    3. Richard Wharram

      Re: Does it follow

      They need to put more questions in around propensity for a 'menage a une'. Is three a day enough?

      1. dan1980

        Re: Does it follow

        Having never heard 'menage a une' before, have a point for making me laugh.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it follow

        Nice one, not heard that one before. But....

        "Menage a une" if you're a lady, "menage a un" for a bloke, I presume? :)

      3. adam 40
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Does it follow

        Paris - becase _she_ prefers a "menage a une"...

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. dogged

      Re: Does it follow

      Not necessarily. It may simply be that women are able to subconsciously select males who are less susceptible to prostate cancer and therefore, those males get more.

      Oh William of Occam, you old spoilsport, you.

    6. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Does it follow

      Older research suggests that, yes, having a regular wank does reduce your chances of getting prostate cancer. Hooray!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it follow @phuzz

        Sorry to disillusion all you ****ers, but bitter experience tells me it doesn't work!

      2. Mark 65

        Re: Does it follow

        @phuzz: Older research suggests that, yes, having a regular wank does reduce your chances of getting prostate cancer. Hooray!

        There you go, proof positive that wankers live longer.

    7. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: Does it follow

      Good morning:

      > Does it follow that a wank a day keeps the cancer at bay?

      I'd say that (at least) potentially, it would.

      At least according to what the article implies:

      "The prostate is heavily involved in sex, producing some of the stuff that makes up the seminal fluid. It would seem that putting it to frequent use can have beneficial consequences."

      So ...

      The question at hand would be if "putting it to frequent use" necessarily mean that it must be through sexual intercourse, be it with a woman, a man, an anthropomorphic latex substitute or whatever else you may fancy?

      Or would a vivid imagination be enough?

      I think (I'm no MD) that "some of the stuff" refers to something (I think) is called "Prostate-Specific Antigen" which apparently is part of the seminal fluid that allows sperm cells to live in a foreign environment and if present in the male organism in excess of a certain level, can cause prostate cancer. (corrections invited)

      There are blood tests for this which your MD will have you take when over 40.

      I have them twice a year.

      The tests, of course.

      So, it would seem that as long as you ejaculate, you'll get rid of some of the antigen.

      Makes sense that the more you ejaculate, the more you get rid of it and the chances of prostate cancer probably will diminish.

      But this is not new, I've read about this quite a few years ago.

      The survey I recall reading about was done in the US among a large population of men, save the question referred to 'if and from what age' they indulged in the eons old practise of self-gratification.

      The conclusion was that the more the better for your prostate.


    8. Mussie (Ed)

      Re: Does it follow

      ya BEAT me to it LOL

    9. anoco

      Re: Does it follow

      I knew it!! I knew it!!

      But... is once a day enough or do I have to step it up?

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    It would seem that putting it to frequent use can have beneficial consequences.

    I have heard that is because you are getting rid of all the shitty nasty fat-seeking molecules that we now have everywhere in our tuna. We need the converse examination for women. Also include male and female lactation, please.

    Oh, I can I have a larger version of the "hook-me" picture for this story?

    1. Spasticus Autisticus

      tineye is your friend, here you go -

      1. Benjol

  3. Lusty

    a study from Canadian health researchers

    Why are they calling themselves researchers? It would appear on the surface that they asked a statistically quite small group of people some questions and then inferred some "results". They then made up some gibberish to justify a potential cause/effect. This is not science. They could just as easily have been asking who liked chips and come up with a similar bias for cancer (yes, this happens a lot too). Until every single person on the planet has everything they do recorded and every health issue recorded this kind of statistical "study" is just a waste of money. It will take the IBMs, Googles or Apples of the world to use big data techniques on all available data to come up with anything even remotely useful out of statistics.

    Until that day, your best bet to avoid cancer is to eat healthily and do plenty of exercise while being vigilant about your own health. If you can, then sure have as much sex as you like but can we stop paying these "researchers" to tell us sex is a good thing?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "a statistically quite small group of people"

      A few thousand folk is not, in my humble opinion, statistically small. That is the whole point of sampling a population, you can't practically evaluate all so you get "enough" to have some specified confidence interval.

      Do you have enough knowledge of statistical method to comment in any more detail?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "a statistically quite small group of people"

        "A few thousand folk is not, in my humble opinion, statistically small."

        That's true. The real problem is that they asked men to be honest about how much sex they get.

        1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

          Re: "a statistically quite small group of people"

          Bodyless John Brown» The real problem is that they asked men to be honest about how much sex they get.

          The Onion, my news source of choice, covered this recently:

          Teen Boys Losing Virginity Earlier And Earlier, Report Teen Boys


      2. gardener21

        Re: "a statistically quite small group of people"

        It might well be a statistically small sample for the conclusions drawn. Of the 3,208 studied, those who'd had sex with more than 20 women had a lower risk of prostate cancer, while those who'd had sex with more than 20 men had a higher risk. But what isn't clear from this article, or the abstract of the paper in Cancer Epidemiology, is how many of the 3,208 fell into those groups.

        If it turns out, for example, that only 20 men fell into the group of having sex with >20 men then that would be a very small sample upon which to draw any conclusions.

      3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: "a statistically quite small group of people"

        In addition; this IS Canada we're talking about. There are only so many test subjects available.

        OK, I'll get my coat.

    2. Chemist

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      Re :a study from Canadian health researchers

      AFAIK the correlation between frequency of ejaculation and prostate cancer is already well-known.

    3. albaleo

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      "a statistically quite small group of people"

      It looks quite large to me. An increased sample, using the same sampling methodology, would probably just continue to show any built-in biases that might exist. Unfortunately, the study isn't free to access, so we can't say much about the methodology. I'll assume it was done sensibly. (But I smiled when imagining that the group with diagnosed cancer had an average age of 70 while the control group had an average age of 25 and were to be asked about their sex lives. I'm reminded of Kevin Bridges, "Who me? Put me down for 30.")

      For speculation on the difference between straight and gay results, could it be that the vision of a face faking orgasm has previously unknown effects. That would kill the wanking theory. Darn!

      1. Red Eyes

        Strange correlations

        Reminds me of this website for spurious correlations

        I particularly like:

        Per capita consumption of cheese (US)

        correlates with

        Number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets

        1. tony2heads

          Re: Strange correlations

          easy: cheese gives you nightmares - nightmares get you tangled in bedsheets!

          Its easy to dream up reasons for correlations if you try hard. The trouble is that it doesn't make them correct.

        2. Elmer Phud

          Re: Strange correlations

          There was one published in the Sun (must be the truth) many years back that proved that the more phones you had in a house (said it was old) the more you are likley to die of a heart attack.

          The graphs fitted together so beautifully, it had to be true, didn't it.

          (this was used as part of an Open University course to show that you really need to prove your data rather than just spunk it out )

        3. Nigel 11

          Re: Strange correlations

          Per capita consumption of cheese (US) correlates with Number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets

          A causal connection is not impossible. It's fairly well-known that eating cheese in the evening can result in disturbed sleep or nightmares.

          Some further study with respect to types of cheese and time of ingestion thereof is called for. (Also plenty of wine to wash the cheese down with).

        4. mikie

          Re: Strange correlations

          My favourite one was:

          too high cholesterol - more likely to have heart attack

          too low cholesterol - more likely to suffer death through violence

          that one stayed about in the literature for quite a while

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

        Given that the largest risk factor for prostate cancer is age, and high testosterone levels increase that risk.

        But since sex with another person, and masturbation (wanking for those illiterates reading (sic)), do not seem to affect hormone levels much, maybe they should go back to the drawing board?

        At least there has been no attempt to link prostate cancer to climate change in the research: Yet.

        But the ¨having loads of sex with a member/s of the opposite sex¨ thing seems to indictate a long-term grant application....

      3. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

        Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

        "a statistically quite small group of people"

        "It looks quite large to me." Not for this sort of research UNLESS they set up the project with a specific null-hypothesis relating numbers of sexual partners and prostate cancer. If they just looked for something associated with prostate cancer, it means nothing (and the fact that opposite results were found in heterosexual & homosexual men supports this). I did a study once trying to see if particular immunohistochemical patterns were associated with good or poor prognosis in leukaemia and lymphoma. I was too lazy to retype the list of parameters I wanted analysed and just put in "*" so the software analysed everything it had.

        There was an amazingly strong correlation between being called "John" or "Mary" and early death.

    4. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      "Until every single person on the planet has everything they do recorded and every health issue recorded this kind of statistical "study" is just a waste of money" --- Lusty

      If that were true, and every datum needed to be collected, opinion polling, a significant amount of quality control and a huge amount of science would be invalid --- we'd still be unsure as to whether or not cigarettes were harmful.

      IS2R that a randomly chosen sample of 1000 from a population of millions would give you a worst case 95% confidence interval of about 3 percentage points on an either/or survey question. This is obviously a more complex case, but if sampling is good enough, it is certainly possible to draw conclusions about the population with a high degree of confidence.

    5. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      It would appear on the surface that they asked a statistically quite small group of people some questions and then inferred some "results".

      It could indeed appear so to someone with little knowledge of statistics or of the concept of prior plausibility.

      1. Lusty

        Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

        "It could indeed appear so to someone with little knowledge of statistics or of the concept of prior plausibility."

        That's kind of my point though, I do know enough about statistics to know that this is no more meaningful than saying that male drivers "statistically" have more accidents. There are so many variables being completely ignored that the results are meaningless and potentially misleading until they actually demonstrate cause and effect. In the case of the male drivers, they also happen to statistically drive far more miles, statistically when they are more tired such as a long commute than women who are statistically less likely to be working, and if they are then statistically less likely to be dragging their ass all over the country.

        Possibly the best example is drink driving - this study is akin to saying that 30% of accidents involved drunk drivers therefore driving sober is more risky. You can't just use statistics in isolation, and if you knew as much as you imply that you do then you wouldn't have responded to my comment the way you did.

    6. DocJames

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      It is a robust case-control study, as outlined in the abstract. They took cases (histologically proven), and matched them to controls from the electoral list. AFAIK they were only matched on age. Obviously the electoral list biases results but I'm unsure how accurate the list is in Montreal.

      They then interviewed all their cases and controls for their habits - difficult to do well. From this information, they calculated an odds ratio between sexual factors (number of partners by sex, previous STIs) adjusted for age, "ancestry, family history of PCa" (I don't understand how these are defined differently - requires reading the whole paper) and PCa screening history.

      Their results supported (some) previous studies. My understanding (not my area) is that prostate cancer risk is inversely related to total lifetime ejaculations, with the potential for STIs (associated with more partners) to increase prostate ca risk.

      So, a study that adds weight to previous hypotheses without being conclusive (case control studies can only ever demonstrate correlation). It does not appear perfect from the abstract (see various issues above) but it is useful information. To achieve certainty, you would probably have to conduct a longterm intervention study, in which you randomised men to 1) no sexual partner, 2) 1 sexual partner (female or male), 3) multiple sexual partners, then you would follow them for a few decades to see if the rates differed in the different groups. This would seem unlikely to manage ethical acceptance... let alone recruit sufficient subjects, given the potential of being randomised to the control arm (group 1 above).

      In conclusion: monogamy and wanking are good to lower your prostate ca risk. But being honest, if you're worrying about prostate ca enough to put you off sex with a prospective new partner, you have more problems than prostate ca. Icon to help relieve those worries.

    7. alwarming

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      Your comment is mostly fine except the "statistically quite small group" bit. A 1000 is a pretty decent sample, as long as its representative of a larger population (eg: no "internet surveys"). The (arguable) problems with this study are:

      - Self reported unverifiable data.

      - Causation/co-relation yada yada. Maybe people who are "about to get" cancer don't feel like sleeping around.

      - Jumping to a populist conclusion they wanted to arrive at.

      One could easily conclude that people who boast about their conquests have a lesser likelihood of cancer. Or, male researchers likely to find reasons that justify their fantasies. Or, prostrate cancer makes you too tired to go out at night. Or, people living in cities less likely to get prostrate cancer. Or, people who have prostrate cancer think less about sex. Add your own conclusion here.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

      with so many governments around the world collecting so much information on each and every one of us, surly is a simple command line quivery to get these questions answered,

      hang on governments doing something to benefit people Sorry?

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    Straight vs Gay

    I think if you are gay, the prostate takes a bit of a pounding, where as straight would have much less.

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: Straight vs Gay

      "I think if you are gay, the prostate takes a bit of a pounding, where as straight would have much less."

      I don't know about that, I'm straight and it feels like my prostate gets a thorough pounding from senior management every time the annual pay & performance reviews come around, and I don't even get the option of using lube...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        And always the risk that the wife / girlfriend is into pegging.

      2. xDR1TeK

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        Annual Pay and Performance => Anal ambush and Cavity search

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Straight vs Gay

      No idea. However, last year hitting the magic 40 (age, not bedpost notches) I had a works medical, and the experience that is my first prostate exam. Oh. My. God. It was quite the surprise, and I'll not be having them for leisure purposes, I can tell you. Young people : be afraid.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        "...the experience that is my first prostate exam"

        In an amazing coincidence I had one this year on the same day that the vet had to rectally insert a digit into our dog.

        Judging by the look on the dog's face, we both felt the same way about it.

        On the plus side I feel our shared trauma has bonded us in a way that outsiders wouldn't understand.

      2. sisk

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        No idea. However, last year hitting the magic 40 (age, not bedpost notches) I had a works medical, and the experience that is my first prostate exam. Oh. My. God. It was quite the surprise, and I'll not be having them for leisure purposes, I can tell you. Young people : be afraid.....

        There is research that regular prostate exams may actually increase the likelihood of prostate cancer far more than they prevent it by finding precancerous polyps.

      3. Tim Brummer

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        You were lucky, I had them starting at age 25 for work reasons, rocket fuel handler physical.

    3. Elmer Phud

      Re: Straight vs Gay

      "I think if you are gay, the prostate takes a bit of a pounding, where as straight would have much less."

      So, tell us the numbers - gay/straight + prostate.

      How many?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Straight vs Gay

        Sorry, not understanding your question.

        1. alwarming

          Sorry, not understanding your question.

          Same here, plus literally LOLed. It's funnier for those who tend to read / as "by" rather than "or".

          Ref: "gay/straight + prostate. How many?"

  5. Stuart Moore

    I can't helped wondering if those who have slept with many women are in general fitter and more healthy, so more attractive, hence sleeping with more women. So the result could just be a side effect of being healthy

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      I also wondered about that, after all correlation (which we have) is not causation. But that is science really: Find some unexplained connections, postulate a theory, and then try to perform experiments to disprove said theory. If it holds up, then it is true enough to be usable.

      Until someone else comes along with something better that can be tested...

      1. Ralph B

        @Paul re: Stuart

        > try to perform experiments to disprove said theory

        So, Paul, am I to understand it that you are an ugly bloke willing to sleep with lots of women to test Stuart's theory, in the pursuit of Science?

        I think you'll have to join a queue. In order to get a statistically significant sample, I mean.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: @Ralph

          So, Paul, am I to understand it that you are an ugly bloke willing to sleep with lots of women to test Stuart's theory, in the pursuit of Science?

          The problem, surely, is what to use as the placebo group? Lab rats & rabiits, be afraid!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Having slept with significantly more than the magic number mentioned here during my year of travel in 2000 I thought my cancer risk was reduced, great. However, there seems to be absolutely no basis on which to assume that the effect is due to the number itself, or the frequency with which one is having emissions on a regular basis.

      So who's up for a controlled study of sleeping with lots of different women: 1. over the space of one year, 2. over one's lifetime?

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        "Hi, I'm taking part in a scientific study, and I wonder if you could help me?"

      2. alwarming
        Paris Hilton

        my year of travel in 2000

        Where did you travel to, pal ? Where ? Inquiring minds want to know!

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      I can't helped wondering if those who have slept with many women are in general fitter and more healthy, so more attractive, hence sleeping with more women.

      Sorry, but that can't possibly be true. My mate Johnny likes pies. I mean he really likes pies. Before getting hitched he worked his way through several magntitudes more women than most of the guys. Or one of my other buddies who despite having a face like the back end of a donkey, and as it happens, genitalia that'd shame the donkey, managed not to spend many Friday nights home alone.

      I've been in shape and I've had years when that shape would best be described as round. Neither had significant effect on the number of women I was able to coax into the sack. Marriage, on the other hand, killed it dead!

      The roid boys and gym bunnies love to pretend it gets you more women, because they have to justify all that time spent in the company of sweaty men somehow, but the truth is that if you were hopeless at snaring the fillies before you hit the gym, you'll be hopeless when you finish too. Whereas if you were the living embodiment of the horse whisperer (to continue the analogy), a few extra pounds won't slow down your body count.

    4. sisk

      In my (admittedly anecdotal and unscientific) observation women seem to respond more to traits not connected to appearance or physical fitness. In short, women respond far less overall to physical appearance than men do. Confidence, money, or the word of another woman that he's dynamite in bed all seem to be just as good or better for impressing them than looks.

      In case you're wondering, no, it's not personal experience. My number is less than the fingers on one hand and unlikely to ever rise again. If it does my wife will no doubt ensure that it only does so once.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    60% but falling

    I was quite active in my youth and judging by the stats I should have eliminated around 60% of the change of getting prostate cancer.

    Now I can't be bothered, ( too much of a good thing), and I would rather go for a walk with the dogs, so are my odds reducing.....

  7. Vociferous

    Almost certainly junk science.

    I'll happily bet that these results will not survive with a bigger sample, or a different sample, or being analyzed by other researchers.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: Almost certainly junk science.

      Sounds like a lot of men won't survive being ana... y'know what, never mind.

  8. Mage Silver badge

    Many women?

    Or one woman many times?

    In the many woman scenario there is much higher likelihood of catching and spreading something nasty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Many women?

      Catching (or suspecting) something nasty might induce you to visit the quack. Which might in turn lead to the quack pre-empting something nasty, like latent prostate cancer.

      We can of course only speculate. Any explanation suggested in this forum is, at best, a hypothesis that could be tested by another experiment.

      [fx: experiments with other hand]

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rubbish science

    No clear objectives at the outset. They looked at a whole much of stuff, then looked for any that correlated to prostate cancer.

    that's bad science pure and simple - read Bad Pharma for a good explanation why.

    If on the other hand a link to ejaculation had already been found, then again it is even worse science, because instead of organizing a study to determine factors associated with ejaculation which might pin it down, they only looked at number of partners and sex preference.

    I will however 'cum clean' and also give you some personal 'bad science'. - in the case the 'you can't prove the general from the particular' - but it can still be an indicative example which may be worth a proper study:

    - I am 43. I've never bothered with sexual relationships - men or women... I am, the '43 year old virgin' if you like.

    - I do however daily masturbate.

    I have noticed that the comedic effects of age that are supposed to happen to me at this age are not.

    - I still wake up with morning glory, and have erections for prob 50% of night sleep

    - I still have the same masturbation regularity as I had at 15

    - I can still top 10 a day when I feel particularly randy

    - my erection is still straight up at vertical when standing up just like when I was 15.

    Going by the jabberings of such luminaries as Richard Herring... this appears to be atypical for a man in his mid 40s....but maybe not for one that's just been choking his chicken ?

    1. dogged

      Re: Rubbish science

      argh, TMI.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Rubbish science

      At 15, I'd never have managed a post that long... unless I had developed a method of typing one handed, of course.

      1. Havin_it

        @TRT Re: Rubbish science

        FFS, don't get him started on the length of his post!

    3. Mayor Boris

      Re: Rubbish science

      10 times a day? You need to get laid.

    4. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Rubbish science

      Why would you post this?

    5. zen1

      Re: Rubbish science

      While I'm sure you're quite proud of your singular abilities, I for one, would like to thank you for requiring me to piss away at least 5K for therapy, because this 'excessive information' will surely wake me up screaming (not in the fun way, I might add) for several months to come.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rubbish science


    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rubbish science

      Can we be sure that you're NOT Richard Herring?

  10. Purple-Stater

    Seems a bit rubbish...

    The news that rates of prostate cancer go down in correlation to the rate of sexual activity, specifically when starting such activity at a younger age (basically, immediately post-adolescence) is at least a couple decades old. This article's postulation that more female partners must mean more frequent ejaculations is just simply bonkers. There's nothing overly "active" about a 40-yr old man who's only managed to have sex twice a year since he was twenty, and never with the same person twice. Conversely, the statements of a reversal, and doubling(!), of cancer rates when the partners are also male, vividly clashes with evidence that has otherwise been frequency-based. Also, mentioned in the study but not this article, is that the decrease in cancer risk holds true with >20 sexual partners, both male & female, and only gets bad when sexuality is strictly homosexual. The abstract mentions nothing about having only a single male partner.

    Without purchasing the full report it's impossible to know, but would be quite nice to know, how do their prostate cancer rates compart between males with many different sexual partners throughout their life, to those who married young and had very few, or even just the one?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems a bit rubbish...

      "This article's postulation that more female partners must mean more frequent ejaculations is just simply homophobic."

      There, fixed that for you

  11. Elmer Phud


    Is it safer, though, to be entertained by Mrs Palm and her five daughters than loads of different women?

    Is it more dodgy to play away from home?

    1. zen1

      Re: Safer?

      That caused me to ponder the simple question: If using both hands, does that classify as a threesome?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Safer?

      In answer to the second question.

      Usually safer. Except if the husband is insufficiently distracted by commenting on internet forums so catches you both in the act!

  12. David Roberts

    Reverse logic?

    Several have already commented that it is already known that frequency of ejaculation correlates with prostate cancer incidence.

    The article suggests that if you shag more women (and/or they shag you) your prostate health is better.

    Alternative theory: men who are really, really horny all the time, so much so that will shag anything that moves and most staionary (and in extreme cases stationery) objects will over the course of an eventful lifetime as a side effect shag more women than the less driven. I note also that it didn't say attractive women.

    So perhaps it is the constant horniness which is the main feature. How many times a day do/did you have an ejaculation (any cause) might have been a better measure.

    Still, I look forward to the NICE guidelines on mens health being updated.

  13. Simple Si

    Good Genes?

    Did the researchers also consider the theory that women are attracted to men that have good genes (less prone to cancer)? Therefore, perhaps those with good genes are likely to sleep with more women?

    Interestingly, there is some conflicting research below in addition saying that masturbation increases risk of prostate cancer (in younger males), but the reverse for older gents.

    (I'll get my coat because I'm off to to buy some fancy jeans)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One rule for one...

    Just to throw a spanner in the works:

    a) I was told a long time ago that eating broccoli was good for you, in terms of keeping the Big C away - it was (and is) a fave of mine and I eat it reguarly :)

    b) My sex life has always been "good", shall we say....since age 18 until now, sex has been a regular event in my life (and with my female long-term partners too).

    At age 50, on a trip to the GP for a minor unrelated issue, it was suggested I have a routine blood test to check for various things: diabetes, chlolesterol and a PSA test too.

    Until then, I hadn't shown any of the "normal" signs of Prostate Cancer (getting up in the night, issues with passing urine, even how good my "stream" was).

    I had a DRE and that didn't pick up any signs.

    But, after an MRI scan, 2 trips to the clinic for biopsy samples to be taken, it was confirmed I had Prostate Cancer, T2, with a Gleason score of 4/3.

    Seems the fact that my father had prostate cancer over-rides anything I was trying to do to maintain my health.

    So, if you have any family history of this disease, (and it's believed it could be the Brca2 gene that also affects women, that makes men more susceptible) then wise up and get checked out, before it's too late....

    From what I gather, Alvin Stardust recently succumbed to metastatic PCa (after it spread without him knowing. Or if he did know, he did nothing about it).

    And even if you have no family history, get a check up around age 50 - it's free and it can make a difference. In my case, I had image guided radiotherapy and 5 years on, my PSA is very low, and I have my life back :)

    1. Irony Deficient

      Re: One rule for one…

      Anonymous Coward, congratulations on your successful recovery! Did your family history of prostate cancer influence your GP to schedule a MRI for you, despite the results of the PSA blood test and the DRE?

      My physician included a sheet in his last annual letter to me about prostate cancer; in discussing the benefits of a PSA, it noted that

      Out of 1000 low risk men over 50 years old, 26 men would eventually die of prostate cancer without screening. If all the men get a PSA annually, 21 will eventually die from prostate cancer. Five [low risk] men out of 1000 will benefit from early detection and treatment.
      In its risks section, it stated that
      Treatment involves either removing the prostate surgically or using radiation therapy. Both treatments have a high rate of complications such as inability to control urine and/or have an erection. […] Out of 1000 men who are screened, 100 will be overdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily. PSA screening has a high false positive rate, estimated at 75%. […] Out of 1000 low risk men, 121 men will have a false positive PSA and undergo an unnecessary biopsy. Of these 121 men, four will develop fever and one will have to be hospitalized because of infection.
      It also noted that the false positive rate for DREs is about the same as for PSAs.

  15. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    Many a man might honestly confess that it was mostly for pity's sake that women slept with him.

  16. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Self-selecting, er, sample...

    I imagine that men with a lot of sexual partners are actually having sex on a regular basis, whereas men with a single partner probably spend their evenings sorting the recycling and shouting at the children.

    1. dogged

      Re: Self-selecting, er, sample...

      Thanks for that. Cue the music.

  17. Al_21
    Paris Hilton

    Sounds like a sexed up headlines and inference on the research

    Can the same research be read as:

    1. Sexy headline: men who sleep with lots of women have reduced chance of prostate cancer

    2. Mediocre headline: men who sleep lots with women (or woman) have reduced chance of prostate cancer

    3. Dirty headline: men who bash out often have reduced chance of prostate cancer

    Sleeping with lots of women doesn't mean you finish off more than if you sleep with one woman lots or bash loads out often.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possible explanation

    HPV is known to cause a variety of cancers in body parts involved in sexual activity. Unprotected anal sex could introduce the virus very close to the prostate, which could explain the higher risk for men with many male partners.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if the NHS will offer a "wank for health" prescription as a sort of 'get out of jail free' card if you're caught cracking one off at an awkward moment.

  20. Owen

    FAO Lewis Page

    Hello Sailor.

  21. SolidSquid

    Given the sample size and assuming standard population numbers, it seems like the number of gay participants they had would be too small for this to really mean much for them

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jackson Brown had it right!

    Ever hear the lyrics to Rosie by Jackson Brown? I hear her last name was Palmer, Rosie Palmer.....

    But Rosie you're all right - you wear my ring

    When you hold me tight - Rosie that's my thing

    When you turn out the light - I've got to hand it to me

    Looks like it's me and you again tonight Rosie

  23. Dan Paul

    Papilloma Virus

    As mentioned before HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a common STD that few men get tested for but it tends to concentrate in the prostate gland. It is common in women as well.

    In either case it is considered by some to be the primary cause of prostate cancer. Multiple ejaculations (or frequent ones) could have the beneficial effect of reducing the amount of virus present in the prostate.

    I find the idea of having multiple partners reducing prostate cancer an issue as having sex these days would only increase the chance of getting HPV dramatically especially unprotected.

    Any study about prostate health should have an HPV free control group for both sexual inclinations.

  24. razorfishsl Silver badge

    "it could be that anal intercourse produces physical trauma to the prostate," speculates the prof."

    Thank god women don't have prostate glands then…..

  25. Tikimon

    Possible viral connection?

    Let's assume that the conclusion is valid, the difference exists, and that the gender-ratios hold up to scrutiny. The prostate has no idea who or what you're shagging, or if you're alone. If we ignore possible signaling hormones (possible, but no evidence), what could be causing this effect? Extra pounding has been proposed already. If that's the case, a correlation with pegging should be noted (when someone finally asks).

    But what about a viral transfer of some kind? Viral activity has been implicated in many cancers. It's not beyond reason that men who tend to play around with men might be more exposed to a certain virus than those only chasing women. I'm NOT implying any connection to HIV! However, the chosen sexual behavior does tend to separate these loose populations of people.

    Juts a thought to explore. Gosh, I hope "menage a une" is preventative!

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Possible viral connection?

      "The prostate has no idea who or what you're shagging, or if you're alone. If we ignore possible signaling hormones (possible, but no evidence), what could be causing this effect?"

      It could be The Coolidge Effect at work and its effect on dopamine levels. So it is in fact beneficial to have a variety of partners as opposed to just one. Or the right hand.

      At least this is what I'm going to explain to the wife.

  26. zen1


    So, instead of my wife telling me how inadequate I am or that I need to paint the ceiling, I could possibly have 19 or 20 more women doing the same thing? I don't know which one I'm more willing to sacrifice. prostrate or my ego...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This story is about sleeping, why all the talk about sex?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off to the doctor then

    Well, I am going to see about getting a prescription for another 20 women from my esteemed medical practitioner. If you haven't got your health..............

  29. Frank N. Stein

    Isn't this a technology news site? Exactly what technologies does this article have to do with? Not that re-productive health isn't an important issue, but who's idea was it to post a non-technical news article on a technical news site? Just saying...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      isnt it obvious?

      .. wanking nowadays largely involves a tablet and internet connection.

  30. BongoJoe

    Even though it would give one a lower chance of prostate cancer but in a small community like ours it would also vastly increase the chances of mortality by shotgun wounds...

  31. Daz555

    I think this belongs in the Hardware section.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My boss is a tremendously massive wanker

    I guess that means all my nights I've spent praying for him to die of cancer are going to be of no benefit...

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    those who have slept with more than 20 men are twice as likely to be diagnosed

    That's me buggered then...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Jeff Lewis

    This has to be the worst science I've ever seen reported. This is barely one step separated from magic.

    "If you have lots of partners and you're straight, you're less likely to have prostate cancer."

    Okay.. so what's the mechanism? Is it simply frequency of ejaculation? If so then a regular wanking regimen should be just as effective. Or having the same frequency of sex with one woman over a long time. Both conjectures would be easy to test with the data they have.

    Is it something in the vagina that counters prostate cancer? Then again, any single partner would do it. There shouldn't be a need for 20+ partners. Or - and this is a particular disturbing pair of possibilities: either it's something that only becomes effective when the man is exposed to many variants of the same thing across many women.. which would suggest evolution punishes monogamy.

    And when we get to homosexual sex, it gets even less rational. Ok, let's assume that anal sex for the 'receiver' causes prostate injury - seems reasonable - but that would imply that if the partners maintain the same roles, the top should have all the benefits of having sex with a woman, while the bottom will be the one with all the prostate damage.. which again, should be EASY to determine.

    Sorry - this all reads like a frosh weekend prank by the first year medical students...

  36. Zog The Undeniable

    Statistically, back door love is far more common among hetero couples (which makes a mockery of all those homophobes who are horrified that those on the other bus might be doing it up the bonus tunnel). I suppose women can't get prostate cancer, though.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The underlying story

    It's about science funding.

    If you want to do a piece of proper research, you have to get it funded, and the best way to influence the funding committees is to have a few headlines. So the scientists create a kiddy kit survey, based around the piece of research they want to do, with the aim of getting a statistical result to support the premise they want to research, and grabbing a couple of headlines along the way.

    It's what happens when science students take a basic marketing course as part of their degree :)

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional article title: WINNING!

    >When a man has slept with more than 20 women during his lifetime there is a 28 per cent reduction in the risk of having prostate cancer (all types), and a 19 per cent reduction for aggressive types of cancer.

  39. Ken Mitchell

    Sperm Is A Mutagen

    It's quite simple; sperm is a mutagen. It can cause mutations in the cells it comes in contact with. Certainly, it's VERY effective in causing DNA changes in a woman's ovum.

    If you don't have sex very often, then your own sperm can cause prostate cancer, because your own sperm accumulates in the prostate. If you're a woman, you can get uterine and cervical cancers that are related to your exposure to a man's sperm after intercourse. If you're a woman who has many sex partners, your risk of cancers is greater than if you have only one partner, because you're exposed to many different types of sperm.

    If you are a man who has had a vasectomy, your risk of testicular cancer is increased, because the sperm is blocked in the testes and doesn't make it to the prostate.

    If you're a gay man and are on the receiving end of anal sex, you're getting your OWN sperm, AND from your partner; hence the increased risk.

    1. Timbo

      Re: Sperm Is A Mutagen

      One other factor is that Testosterone, "feeds" the prostate cancer tumour, which is why before radiotherapy, one can be prescribed Casodex, which reduces the level of testosterone in the body and this then helps to shrink the tumour, so it is easier to "attack" with the radiotherapy.

      (Casodex has a side-issue in that, in the male, the oestrogen hormone can then become more "dominant" and you can grow larger "man boobs", so you are then given Tamoxifen, which reduces the risk of men getting breast cancer).

      A very simple method of reducing prostate cancer is physical castration, as without testes, there's no testosterone for the tumour, so it shrinks. Chemical castration can be helpful, if the idea of surgery puts you off.

      Ultimately, after prostate cancer diagnosis, one has to accept compromises in one's lifestyle, if one wants to live to a ripe old age and collect a pension...

      And if you are 50 or thereabouts, go see a GP and ask for a PSA test. Too many men don't and by the time some other health issue makes you see a GP, a tumour could have spread and that makes it a lot harder to get rid of. If any of your recent male ancestors or siblings have had a positive diagnosis, then get yourself checked, irrespective of age.

  40. rav

    sleeping around, STD's, CANCER....etc.....

    Has any of these studies including WANKING?

    Would a better Wanking Engine lower prostate cancer rates?

    Hmmm... a better Wanking Engine and world comes to your door?

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