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Dread public speaking? Have a shag first

Sex calms nerves, psychologist shows

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Well, here's a bit of agreeable news for those readers who dread getting up in front of the board to deliver that mission-critical Powerpoint presentation: indulging in full-on rumpy-pumpy beforehand will help you face the ordeal in a state of hormone-induced calmness.

That's according to Stuart Brody, a psychologist at Scotland's University of Paisley, who "studied nearly 50 men and women who recorded their sexual activities for two weeks and analysed its impact on their blood pressure levels when under acute stress, such as when giving a speech", as Reuters explains.

Brody found that volunteers who had sexual intercourse (a dirty job, but someone's got to do it) were the "least stressed and had blood pressure levels that returned to normal more quickly than people who engaged in other types of sex".

That's right - it has to be the Full Monty, so it's no use relying on a Lewinsky or executive relief before hitting the podium. Why? Well, Brody believes release of the "pair bonding" hormone oxytocin might have something to do with it, provoking as it does a sense of calm wellbeing.

Those who did not indulge in sex at all "the highest blood pressure response to stress", the research also found. The moral? For payrise-provoking, flipchart-assisted oratory, engage in 100 per cent beast with two backs action as close as possible to the main event. Just make sure to lock the stationery cupboard door first. ®

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