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Scientists: masturbation not as good as sex

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A swift one off the wrist - easy, convenient, refreshing - but just not the same as the real thing, perhaps.

Reporting in the journal Biological Psychology, researchers have now found a basis in physiology for the niggling dissatisfaction.

Levels of the hormone prolactin are lower after masturbation than intercourse. Prolactin makes us feel satisfied by counteracting the arousal messenger dopamine.

The levels of prolactin in the blood of subjects who committed an act of self-pollution after watching grumble flicks were just one fifth of those who had had actual sex in the lab. Still, either way, nice work if you can get it.

The scientists say the difference also explains why men may need a "recovery period" after forming The Beast with Two Backs, but can happily nip to the loo for five minutes, make the bald man cry, then get straight back to work.®

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