Sex Drive & Racing
Hot & Bothered
22“You don’t bring your wife to work at a factory or office, no girls at races.” Pro-Team Policy
In this month, the weather can be extreme and it has an effect on behavior. Mortality rates and city crime waves rise with temperature. Really hot humid conditions stimulate sleeplessness, irritability, and poorer reaction time. Conditions like SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder that depresses and slows some down in the winter heats up hypomania, including greater involvement in pleasurable activities with 23high potential for painful consequences, such as unrestrained buying sprees, foolish business investments and sexual indiscretions.
Even in healthy individuals, 24moods and energy levels are connected with the seasons. Birds fly higher and animals are more active. Reproductive 25proteins connected to environmental change bring on breeding season. Bright days with full sun are stimulating and affect physical functions, such as activity, mood, and sex drive. Add testosterone production from hard training and racing, and summer cycling can grow a family.
During heightened stimulation, studies show no 26negative physiological effects of sex prior to performance, but eyes wide open -there may be social, psychological and emotional consequences. A policy of abstinence prior to important competitions is practiced in most sports, and some scientists suggest this improves concentration. The physical act of sex may in fact relax an anxious athlete; other implications may distract and distress. Team dynamics can be affected by the presence of spouses or other outsiders.
Emotional complications arise from noncommittal sexual activity. Biblical suggestions are to keep sex sacred as it is a spiritual act meant in the committed context of marital fidelity. Not just a physical unity, sex is quite complicated and encompasses body, mind, and soul. You wouldn’t give away portions of your mitochondria or blood plasma before a race, why give away portions of the deep stuff of your soul that also has an impact upon athletic drive? Remember, when there’s fire down below, smoke gets in your eyes.
Prayer re: Sex Drive & Racing
“None of us has touched a woman. I always do it this way when I’m on a mission: My men abstain from sex. Even when it is an ordinary mission we do that—how much more on this holy mission.”27 1 Samuel 21:5
We ask for discretion and for the peloton to consider sexual morality.
Ponder Are my sexual practices helping my spouse or creating problems? Affirm I control my sex drive. Be careful what you Watch!
22This was the policy of a major pro tour team that was very successful; source quote is confidential. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to allow married athletes to couple with spouses – during extended tours for example. The no girls at races policy depends on the consistent behavior of the athlete and spouse and their awareness of how sex could affect performance. For example, the comfort of it may decrease anxiety but it may also cause it depending on the relationship. It may also decrease marital conflict by allowing contact during frequent travel, and I know of one team whose spouses accompanied during long periods of travel and racing. It may also be distracting to have a spouse around when trying to focus on racing. Do what strengthens both the marriage and race performance.
Biblical policies for marital abstinence suggest only for a time, then come back together. Biblical sex is defined as a sacred activity and not merely a physical act. Sex drives are treated the same way as any form of control, such as controlling anger or what one says. However, single athletes may consider abstinence as a policy in general. Not participating in sex is a willpower that can be built over time. These energies can be mounted for other testosterone-stimulating activities, such as hard training and racing. The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, with athletics a form of worship released to the God who created you, the athlete; and as such, should be kept with great care.
23“Hypomanic Episode,” posted on BehaveNet® Clinical Capsule™ on http://www.behavenet.com
24“Weather and Behavior,” posted on http://www.bbc.co.uk
25″Environmental Control of Kisspeptin: Implications for Seasonal Reproduction,” Endocrinology, v. 148, iss. 3 David Bricker. IUB biologist Ellen Ketterson and graduate student Melissa-Ann Scotti, and UC Berkeley graduate student Alex Mason and undergraduate student Jacob Levine also contributed to the research. It was funded by grants from Indiana University and UC Berkeley. http://www.eurekalert.org
26“Sex and Sports: Should Athletes Abstain Before Big Events?” by Stefan Lovgren posted February 22, 2006 on http://www.news.nationalgeographic.com
27The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson