Sex and Sports Betting Don’t Play Well Together

You may think that today’s “sex and sports betting” topic is about the gender differences in betting behavior. While there are differences, this is not the issue we want to undress with this article. Instead, we’re issuing a call-to-action for those who have been lured into the relentless gauntlet of sportsbook advertising. A number of ads are targeting males and pitching a lifestyle of fast-times along with success in gambling and inferring the same in the bedroom. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for a particularly vulnerable audience. That’s right, compulsive sports betting may actually destroy your sex life. If physical intimacy with your partner/s is important to you, read ahead before placing another wager.

How Compulsive Sports Betting Can Actually Ruin Your Sex Life

Sports Betting + Erectile Dysfunction Connection?

It’s the dreaded two word expression that weighs heavy on the minds of men of all ages across America – erectile dysfunction (ED). Even the thought of it can cause it through performance anxiety. But what does it have to do with compulsive sports betting?

There’s a chemical reaction that occurs when you gamble (sports betting included) which persists even when losing. Your body produces adrenaline which is followed by the release of the stress-hormone cortisol. For most of the population this is a normal process with no real consequence. However, for compulsive sports bettors a viscous cycle may be created that leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels which can lead to adrenal fatigue. This is where ED may come into play:

“Blood cortisol levels are known to increase in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical system at the same time as that in which blood norepinephrine levels increase in the sympathetic nervous–adrenal medullary system when sympathetic nervous activity is dominant. Thus, ED may occur when cortisol levels are high

National Library of Medicine

Moreover, if compulsive sports bettors exhibit co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and stress (also directly associated with ED) the potential for ED may even be greater.

“ED is thought to occur in patients with high levels of cortisol because of the relations between cortisol and stress. Cortisol may thus become a useful index for the evaluation of sexual function.”


It’s important to expand upon the concept of mental and behavioral health disorders and conditions that tend to co-occur with sports betting “addiction”. The reason being, is that these other disorders are also linked to ED. For instance, medications that raise serotonin levels are effective treatments for depression (comorbid with compulsive betting) and are sometimes employed to also help sports betting addicts exercise more self-control. However, research shows that increased serotonin can also prevent normal communication between the brain and sex organs, making it difficult for a man to get an erection.

Collectively, the bodies of research around problematic betting habits, co-occurring conditions, and ED show a connection. It may be a complicated one that calls for more focused research, but do you really want to take a chance when it comes to erectile dysfunction?

Drives a Wedge Between Bettors and Sexual Partners

Sex and Sports Betting Problems

Removing libido from the equation (as if that weren’t enough) a problematic sports betting habit can also ruin your sex life because of the wedge it drives between you and the companion/s you’re intimate with.

Sports betting addicts are known to lie to and spend less time with their romantic partners. In some cases they will even steal from them to recoup losses and fund the next “sure thing”. Problem sports bettors may also get verbally and physically abusive. Recent research shows that 25-50% of spouses of compulsive gamblers have been abused.

There’s no grey area when it comes to this assertion – compulsive sports betting can harm your romantic relationships which will consequently harm your sex life. To reiterate what we stated in the introduction of this article; if physical intimacy with your partner/s is important to you, it’s time to reassess your relationship with sports betting.

Another article you may be interested in: Gambling and Sex Drive Problems

Stop Letting Sports Betting Ruin Your Sex Life

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