Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males

J Sex Med. 2017 Jul;14(7):898-903. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.05.001. Epub 2017 Jun 1.


Background: Videogame use is increasingly prevalent in people of all ages, and despite the wide amount of scientific evidence proving a role for electronic entertainment in human health, there is no evidence about the relation between use of videogames and sexual health.

Aim: To investigate the association between use of videogames and male sexual health.

Methods: We administered the two validated questionnaires, the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT) and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15), to men 18 to 50 years old recruited through social networks and specific websites. In addition to the questionnaires, volunteers were asked to provide information on their gaming habit and lifestyle.

Outcomes: An extended version of the IIEF-15 and PEDT, including data about gaming habits and relevant lifestyles.

Results: From June 18, 2014 through July 31, 2014, 599 men 18 to 50 years old completed the questionnaires. One hundred ninety-nine men reported no sexual activity during the previous 4 weeks; four records were rejected because of inherent errors. The remaining 396 questionnaires were analyzed, with 287 "gamers" (playing >1 hour/day on average) and 109 "non-gamers" providing all the required information. We found a lower prevalence of premature ejaculation in gamers compared with non-gamers (mean PEDT score = 3.57 ± 3.38 vs 4.52 ± 3.7, P < .05, respectively). Analysis of the IIEF-15 showed no significant differences between gamers and non-gamers in the domains of erectile function, orgasmic function, and overall satisfaction. Median scores for the sexual desire domain were higher for non-gamers (median score [interquartile range] 9 [8-9] vs 9 [8-10], respectively; P = .0227).

Clinical implications: These results support the correlation between videogame use and male sexual health. Compared with non-gamers, men playing videogames for more than 1 hour/day were less likely to have premature ejaculation but more likely to have decreased sexual desire.

Strengths and limitations: This is the first study aimed to assess male sexual health in gamers. We identified an association between PEDT and IIEF scores and videogame use; however, these findings require validation through interventional studies. Furthermore, volunteers were recruited through social networks, thus increasing the risk of recruitment bias.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first observational study investigating the link between electronic entertainment and male sexuality, specifically for ejaculatory response and sexual desire. Sansone A, Sansone M, Proietti M, et al. Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males. J Sex Med 2017;14:898-903.

Keywords: Erectile Dysfunction; Male Sexuality; Premature Ejaculation; Sexual Desire; Videogames.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ejaculation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health
  • Orgasm
  • Premature Ejaculation / etiology
  • Premature Ejaculation / physiopathology*
  • Premature Ejaculation / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Games / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult