Even solo sex can kill you, medics warn

Shukan Asahi Geino Sep. 25
Shukan Asahi Geino Sep. 25

Last June, Shukan Asahi Geino (June 19) reported from the 7th Masturbate-A-Thon in San Francisco, where Japan’s Masanobu Sato, armed with a synthetic vagina from his employer, Tenga Co., emerged as the hands-down winner. Sato was accorded top honors after stroking his member for a record-breaking 9 hours, 33 minutes.

But in its issue of September 25, the magazine seems to be having second thoughts about masturbation, competitive or otherwise. Now it seems to be saying wanking won’t just make you go blind; it can even kill you outright.

Masahiko Ueno, former chief medical examiner for the Tokyo metropolitan government and author of “Shitai ga Kataru” (The Corpse Speaks) and other books, tells Asagei that in the course of his career he encountered numerous cases of males who expired during the act of masturbation.

“Homes weren’t as well built as they are now, and it was easy to hear through the thin walls, so neighbors often sensed something was amiss. We would find them within two or three days after death. Their lower body was exposed, and in many cases there would be nude photos or magazines nearby and tissues scattered about,” Ueno says.

The victims ranged from men in their 20s to those in their 70s.

Based on a frequency of about 30 cases per year in Tokyo’s 23 wards, the number of annual incidents of masturbation mortality three decades ago probably came to 300 nationwide. But while statistics are lacking, Ueno suspects the present figure has probably soared by as much as threefold to as many as 1,000 a year. This is due to two main factors: Japanese have been emulating the western diet and lifestyle, resulting in more people developing cardiovascular diseases from a younger age. And, thanks to the Internet, hard-core pornography, including videos, has proliferated as never before.

“Sudden death during coitus or masturbation is more common among males, but it can’t be ruled out for women entirely,” Ueno says. “For men, the cause of death is usually a coronary seizure; among women, subarachnoid hemorrhages are more common.”

Dr. Mitsugu Shiga, director of the Yuai Clinic in Yokohama and a prolific author, points out that studies by Masters and Johnson at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, noted that at the moment of ejaculation during masturbation, blood pressure may spike by as much as 80 points, putting a considerable burden on the heart and brain.

Strenuous sexercise, whether solo or with a partner, definitely has its risks. Ayumi Sakai, a former soapland masseuse turned writer, relates an occasion when a customer of around age 60 was enjoying a vigorous ride atop her in the missionary position.

“He suddenly lost consciousness and just flopped on me,” says Sakai. “I got one of the staff to summon an ambulance. Before it arrived, we used the shower to wash off the massage lotion and then wrap him up in a towel. He survived, but things were touch and go for a while.”

Dr. Shiga advises men over 30 to restrict wanking sessions to once a day, adding that temperature differentials may also affect blood pressure. He also warns that adult sex aids may produce excessive excitement.

“The biggest pitfall is taking one’s health for granted,” Shiga tells Shukan Asahi Geino. “Many people who suffered sudden death probably thought they were all right health-wise. People need to pay greater attention to their physical condition, particularly blood pressure and cholesterol levels.” (K.S.)

Source: “Aa, higeki no ‘onani totsuzen shi,'” Asahi Geino (Sep. 25, pages 178-180)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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