Sex, Health, and Wallet Pop

It’s the end of another month here at Bad Money Advice World HQ. Time to empty out the queue of items that almost, but not quite, merit posts of their own.TV Crop Aaron Escobar

I will start with a correction of sorts. A few weeks ago I wrote a post in which I  mocked the semi-scientific conclusion that watching TV makes you poor. I still stand by my mockery, but in the meantime Wallet Pop has discovered further scientific evidence that Mom was right: Too much TV CAN kill you. (PDF of actual scientific paper written by actual scientists here.)

Come to think of it, my mom never said that TV would make me poor or kill me. She tended towards blind and stupid. Just another way my upbringing was atypical.

And the scientists do not exactly say that TV will kill you, only that watching a lot of it is correlated with keeling over. Specifically, someone who watches 4 or more hours per day is about 50% more likely to shuffle off his mortal coil than somebody who watches less than 2 hours. My theory is that prolonged exposure to reality TV causes a subconscious desire to end it all.

The scientists, however, have another hypothesis. They speculate that, and I am paraphrasing a bit, people who watch 4+ hours of TV a day are fat lazy slobs who need to get off the sofa once in a while and exercise.

But it’s January. Up here in the Northern Bits it’s too cold to go outside and run around. What to do? Not to worry, another bunch of scientists right here in chilly and newly red Massachusetts have the answer, again via Wallet Pop. Apparently, for men between 40 and 70, having sex at least twice a week reduces the risk of heart disease. They are a little short on explanatory theories as to why this might be so, but then again, who cares?

If nothing else, this should greatly increase the number of things you can use your medical FSA money on. And if we can legalize marijuana for "medical" reasons, why not certain currently illegal services? I’m envisioning a nationwide chain of "clinics."

Alas, every ointment has its fly. According to yet another guy in a white lab coat, this time from the UK, when men take their twice weekly medicine, they need to be sure and wear protection. On their wrists. It seems that carpal tunnel syndrome is not just for secretaries who spend too much time at the keyboard. It’s been striking older British gents who have been using Viagra to combat heart disease.

Sexual intercourse can explain the increase in the overall incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome seen in recent years, since it is the most widely practised activity that uses both hands at the same time.

In the UK sex is the most widely practiced (sorry, I meant practised) activity using both hands? I’m moving to England. Here in the States we spend more time texting while driving. Then again, I’m pretty sure that if you get CPS from sex you are not doing it right. Another article on the study ominously noted that CPS is often "caused by the use of heavy vibrating machinery." Come to think of it, I’m happy not to be British.

Of course, it needs to be pointed out that both the heart disease and CPS studies involved only middle aged men. So getting busy twice a week may be more of a challenge for those whose life partners are not also middle aged men and therefore lack incentive.

Apparently, lots of guys have been working around this problem lately. Again according to the ever informative Wallet Pop, men are cheating more during the recession.

Needless to say, this is a topic I know very little about, as I am married to a wonderful and sexy woman who reads my blog every day.

But according to Wallet Pop and another blog that it cites, LimeLife, unemployed men tend to cheat more because of low self-esteem. Sure they do. If your wife catches you, and she’s not buying the heart disease angle, try telling her it’s low self-esteem. Worth a shot, anyway.

Again, I know nothing about this myself. The source for LimeLife’s thesis that cheating and recession go hand in hand is the increased popularity of web sites that facilitate cheating. I had no idea! Apparently, there are several such places.

For example, cited in both blogs was AshleyMadison.com, whose motto is "Life is short, have an affair(TM)." A full membership on the site, which comes with an "affair guarantee" costs $249. They have 5.2 million members. Just thinking about that gets me excited. Not the sex part. I’m talking about the money. 5.2 million at $249 per is $1.295 Billion. Who knew fighting heart disease could be so rewarding?

[Photo: Aaron Escobar]

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