Athletes have long debated the effect of sex before the big game. Some think it's a stress release that can improve one's performance on the playing field or the boxing ring. Others think it's better to abstain in the hope that all that pent up excitement will lead to a more fierce performance. Once again, scientists have come forward to take the fun out of the age old guessing game. A new study concludes that sex does indeed cut stress, but make sure it's penetrative sex - the magic vanishes if you pursue other forms of sexual gratification. "The effects are not attributable simply to the short-term relief afforded by orgasm, but rather, endure for at least a week," says the study's director who speculates that release of the "pair-bonding" hormone oxytocin between partners might account for the calming effect.
via New Scientist