Portugal are through to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and have been on fire lately. Portugal demolished Switzerland 6-1 in the round of 16 despite the benching of Cristiano Ronaldo and will now face Morocco for a chance to advance to the semi-finals for only the third time in the nation’s history. The team’s explosive performances could be the result of some fairly unorthodox advice from a player’s wife.
It’s fair to say that Portugal are on a hot streak and have become serious contenders to win the World Cup. Could masturbation be behind their recent run of good form? Vera Ribeiro, the wife of goalkeeper Rui Patricio, previously encouraged players to rub one out before matches prior to the 2018 World Cup. While Patricio hasn’t managed to get any game time in Qatar yet, his wife’s influence could be being felt amongst the squad.
Players would do whatever it takes to win the World Cup. Winning the tournament is the most prestigious honour in football and to be the best, sometimes you have to be willing to go to extreme lengths. Ribeiro’s suggestions might not be the most difficult of pre-match preparations, but it’s certainly not the most common advice that athletes hear.
Ribeiro has a degree in psychology and a masters in sexology, which is the scientific study of human sexuality. So she definitely knows her stuff. Back in 2018, she was adamant when expressing her beliefs on Portuguese TV, “Football players should not abstain from having sex before games, but we also know that in terms of routine they are not in contact with families either. We cannot associate sports performance with the occurrence of sex.”
The effectiveness of celibacy before sport has long been debated. Many athletes practice abstinence from sexual activities in the lead up to a big event. Muhammad Ali even claimed he would abstain for six weeks before a fight. But studies have shown that there’s little evidence to prove that this is actually effective. The only clear benefit from celibacy is an increase in concentration.
Ribeiro for one is clearly not in favour of celibacy. In her 2018 book ‘Manual of Seduction’ she claimed that “Nothing positive can come from abstinence.” So does she have a point?
Can Masturbation Be Beneficial?
Masturbation causes a complex range of chemical reactions in the brain which can have a dramatic impact on your mental and physical performance. In the realm of sports, masturbation has a number of side effects that can improve performance. Masturbation causes increased production of the happy chemical: dopamine. Simply put, it can make you feel good, not just physically, because it’ll put you in a good mood.
Masturbation also releases oxytocin during orgasm which decreases the stress hormone cortisol. There aren’t many situations that are more stressful than playing at the World Cup, masturbation might be the answer to calming nerves and alleviating big-game pressure.
Outside of sports, masturbation has various other benefits that can help the rest of us that aren’t pro athletes. An Australian study found that men who masturbated more than five times a week are less likely to develop prostate cancer. This is because the process of ejaculation flushes out disease causing toxins. Pleasuring yourself can also improve your performance when you’re with a partner by helping you last longer and preventing erectile dysfunction.
There’s no word on whether or not the Portuguese team have heeded Ribeiro’s advice, but if they continue their extraordinary World Cup run, maybe we should all start considering the benefits of knocking one out.