Netherlands - Results from a study conducted by the Onzin Institute in Amsterdam were published this week, and some say the conclusions may send many out to sea. The findings from the four-year study, published in English with the rather boring title: "Environmental Effects on the Virility Index", astounded even the program's Director, Dr. Hijgen Krachtig, who said during a radio interview with NRR: "As a scientist, one should always be surprised when common knowledge turns out to be true.
In reality, most common preconceptions in this study proved to be of a mythical nature." What turned out to be true is that sailors' scores were far above the the scores of any other group, or as the study said, "produced results significantly outside the standard variants in multiple analyses."
The study is part of a larger project which is attempting to measure human sexual drive, ability and potency on a standardized scale, called the "Virility Index." The project is largely funded by several major drug companies, and that fact has already started a controversy. Opponents have been quick to come out and say that the project is attempting to set a standard for "normalcy" which does not exist, simply in order to sell drugs. However, many major universities have already come to the Onzin Institute's defense, citing the need for more advanced research into human sexuality.
The study itself took a group of 2,000 Dutch couples and measured the subject's reaction to several stimuli using a number of sensors, including heat-sensing video cameras, a blood-enzyme monitor, multiple skin and scalp sensors, and something called a "self-calibrating turgidity anchor" - which sounds rather nautical to begin with. The second part of the study measured the couples during actual lovemaking, and then the results of both experiments were collected and cross-referenced with the subject's personal data to provide the results for both individuals, and couples.
And the results? Too many to list. Some of the key findings, however, were pretty astounding. Those who had a healthier diet had a higher index, as did those who exercised, but neither of these were much of a surprise. What was surprising was that people who took part in outdoor leisure activities had far higher scores on the index than those who did not, and those who listed "boating/sailing" among their top three activities scored, on average, nearly double that of any other group. The same thing with occupation: Those whose job was listed as "maritime" scored much higher than those who worked on land.
"We think that it may have something to do with the inner ear, or it may be due to the strengthening of core muscles as the body compensates for the rocking motion found at sea" said Dr. Krachtig. "Although one of my colleagues has suggested that maybe sailors are just better used to making love in uncomfortable environments." A follow-up questionnaire did not find any significant difference between the displacement or type of craft sailed, and the individual's or couple's virility index score, indicating that it is not the size of the boat which makes the difference, but rather the motion of the ocean.