A few days ago, a study was published in the obscure Journal of Sexual Medicine. It surveyed the sex lives and gaming habits of 599 men between the ages of 18 and 50. And it found an interesting, buzzy result: Dudes who play a lot of video games seem to not struggle as much with their penises during sex.

The researchers point to other work to support this surprising result, suggesting video game playing might train the brain in certain useful ways, training gamer guys to not to have as many awkward accidents mid-shabang.

To a gullible mind, it might seem like the ultimate scientific achievement for nerdy gamers everywhere: They might be stereotypically ungainly and awkward, but hey, they were fantastic at sex.

And some media absolutely loved it. Here’s a headline, from an article published in The Daily Star Tuesday:

daily star sex gamers penis premature ejaculation
"Men with THIS hobby last longer in bed," The Daily Star said, and a thousand pinewood derby enthusiasts perked up eagerly.

Not quite, Daily Star. Here’s another way to frame this paper’s result:

Scientists met a few hundred gamers on the internet who claimed to have super good penises.

That’s actually what happened here. The researchers went online and looked for men willing to answer questions about their penises for free. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found hundreds of such men on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

The questions came from a survey called the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool. PEDT is a pretty straightforward, standardized list of questions designed to help doctors identify patients in need of treatment for premature ejaculation. Research shows it works pretty well — but it’s not exactly subtle.

There are only five questions, as shown below.

How difficult is it for you to delay ejaculation?

ejaculation

Do you ejaculate before you want to?

ejaculation

Do you ejaculate with very little stimulation?

Do you feel frustrated because of ejaculating before you want to?

How concerned are you that your time to ejaculation leaves your partner sexually unfulfilled?

Ask these questions men who’ve shown up in a doctor’s office — men whose treatment might depend on the answers they give — and research shows it turns up pretty good results.

Now consider that 599 men, self-selected from Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit for their willingness to answer questions about their penises for no reason (the paper specifically notes that the gentlemen of r/Italy were interested in taking a swing) might not have quite the same incentives as patients in a doctor’s office.

This is an extremely relevant fact to report in any article about this paper. The Daily Star skips it, also failing to mention anything not mentioned in the free online summary, as opposed to the full paper.

Again, the paper’s narrow conclusion is perfectly interesting: Of those 599 men, the ones who also spent more than an hour a day gaming also reported, on average, that their penises were especially good penises. It also notes that those same men reported slightly lower levels of desire than their non-gaming comrades. As the authors note, that’s a new result that’s at least worth investigating further. And isn’t that interesting enough?

Photos via Melbourne Bladder Clinic, Taylor McBride/Flickr, CC BY 2.0