Q: I read how having sex before a big game can help athletic performance. Can something similar be true for doing well on exams. Would having sex before my finals increase my test score? I wouldn’t mind preparing for tests if that’s true.
A: There are a lot of myths surrounding the use of sex to "enhance" other abilities. When it comes to sports, I've heard it both ways. Some encourage players to have sex before a big game as a way to reduce stress and stay focused, while others encourage players to abstain from sex before a game, so that they can be extra "amped up." In fact, the Mexican football league ordered their players to abstain from sex for at least 40 days before a World Cup game! However, all of this is based on hearsay and speculation. There is actually no scientific evidence that having sex either helps or hurts an athlete's performance.
The same is true for the impact of sex on test performance: there doesn't seem to be any discernable effect from either having sex or abstaining from it. There is some evidence that regularly orgasming can help with the production of new neurons (neurogenesis), but this is when comparing people who have sex regularly vs. those who don't over the course of years. So, there's no reason to think that either having sex (or not) the night before exams will have any impact on your test scores. Although, it probably wouldn't hurt to test this out for yourself. :-)
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.