A study recently published in Science has found that high levels of female pheromones in male fruit flies – the effects of which would normally be curbed by sexual activity – can drastically shorten their lives. In fact, male flies who expect sex but can’t get any die 40 percent younger than their more satisfied peers. Your high school boyfriend was right: blue balls is an actual, biological disease.
With an average lifespan of only 60 days, the fruit fly needs all the help it can get. But this represents a sexual catch-22. The act of copulating can shorten a fruit fly’s life by up to 15%. Would you really want to sacrifice that sizable a chunk of your time on earth to get freaky, just once, with a bug?
Nor is sexual frustration the exclusive province of the males of the species. Research published in Science last year suggests that females deprived of sex exhibit increased alcohol consumption. Total barflies, am I right? (I’ll see myself out.)
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