Video games are extremely popular, with one report suggesting that as many as 1.2 billion people worldwide play them each year. We know a lot about how playing these games influences your health and even how you view the world, and now we've got some insight into how they affect your sex life. A new study shows men who play video games are less likely to suffer from premature ejaculation, but they also have a lower sex drive. 

Read: Video Games Featuring Action Can Improve Cognitive Functions Like Attention And Brain Processing

For the study, published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the team surveyed 396 men, asking them questions about their erectile function as well as their gaming habits and general lifestyle choices. The men were between the ages of 18 and 50.

While the researchers could not deduce from this study alone the reason for the correlation between men’s gaming habits and their sex lives, the team speculated that decreased sex drive in gamers may be related to overstimulation of dopamine, a pleasure hormone released both when a man plays video games and when he has an orgasm. The research hypothesized that producing large amounts of dopamine while playing video games may cause gamer guys to build a tolerance to the hormone, which may lead to less interest in sex.

"I think that video games might be similar to physical exercise in these regards: occasional use might have beneficial effects, but when some threshold between 'occasional use' and 'chronic abuse' is crossed, ill effects might occur," the study’s lead researcher Dr. Andrea Sansone told Broadly. "We are just scratching the surface of this new field of research: I hope that sooner or later we will be able to produce more solid results. In the meantime, I'll keep playing!"

Playing video games isn’t always bad though, as other research suggested that the habit may help to improve cognitive functions, such as attention and brain processing. One article published in the Sage Journals suggests that playing video games that require players to focus on fast-moving targets require players to make quick decisions, which in turn helps to strengthen their cognitive function. The study authors compared video games to “brain games,” games specially designed to help build and strengthen cognitive function. However, brain games themselves are a controversial topic. Although scientists acknowledge that certain activities, like doing crossword puzzles and Suduko, can help keep players mentally sharp, other games such as those created by the company Lumosity, have less solid scientific evidence to back their validity.

Source: Green CS, Seitz AR. The Impacts of Video Games on Cognition (and How the Government Can Guide the Industry). Sage Journals . 2017

See Also:

Brain Games For Adults Do Not Prevent Memory Loss, Cognitive Decline; 3 Proven Ways To Become Smarter In Old Age

Brain Games: 3 Video Games That Have Been Scientifically Proven To Benefit Your Brain