Death can occur during consensual sex for a number of reasons, generally because of the physical strain of the activity, or because of unusual extenuating circumstances. There are various euphemisms for death during sex, including "dying in the saddle" or the French "la mort d'amour". Sex is associated with a variety of benefits and also risks. Deaths during consensual sex only account for approximately 0.6% of all sudden deaths. Numerous notable cases of individuals dying during or from sex have been recorded and reported including a President, a Prime Minister, and a Pope.
Sexual intimacy, as well as orgasms, increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, also known as "the love hormone", which helps people bond and build trust. Sexual activity is also known as one of many mood repair strategies, which means it can be used to help dissipate feelings of sadness or depression. A study of 3,500 people found that "sex helps you look between four and seven years younger".
Deaths during consensual sex only account for approximately 0.6% of all sudden deaths.Viagra, although generally considered to be a safe drug, has been linked to sudden cardiovascular death during sexual activity among elderly or otherwise infirm men. The majority of deaths due to cardiovascular causes during sex do occur in males. A number of deaths during consensual sex have been linked to the use of other prescription or recreational drugs, such as cocaine.
Pope John XII (d.964), who may have died during consensual sex with a mistress
Mario Bugeanu, a Romanian soccer player, and Mirela Iancu both died of carbon monoxide poisoning while having sex in a car which they had parked in Bugeanu's garage with the engine still running.
Cardinal Jean Daniélou, who wrote extensively on sexual ethics, died in 1974 inside a Paris brothel at seventy years of age. Although official accounts have him delivering charity to a prostitute, this account was not believed by the public.
In 2013, a woman named Sharai Mawera was mauled and killed by a lion in Zimbabwe during intercourse. Her male companion fled and survived.
Félix Faure, president of France from 1895 to 1899, died while receiving fellatio from his mistress, Marguerite Steinheil. The cause of death was listed as a cerebral hemorrhage. Eyewitnesses stated he was in a state of partial undress when he died and Steinheil had lockjaw, necessitating the surgical removal of Faure's penis from her mouth. This version is disputed by some historians.
Pope John XII died on 14 May 964; one story relates that he died of a paralytic stroke suffered while having sex with a woman named Stefanetta. He may have died instead when the woman's husband defenestrated John or beat him to death with a hammer during the act.
A Houston woman died in 1997 after she fell from a balcony in Los Angeles during sex with her boss. It was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner's office after they investigated and concluded that he likely pushed her over the balcony railing during their encounter.
Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, died in 1865 following a brief illness; sources disagree about the immediate circumstances of his death. It is rumored that sex on a billiard table with a maid precipitated his demise, but this account is disputed, with other sources stating that he died of pneumonia.
Nelson Rockefeller, former Vice President of the United States and heir to the Rockefeller family fortune, died at 70 of a heart attack, rumored to be caused by an orgasm during intercourse with his assistant, Megan Marshack. The unusual circumstances surrounding his death caused New York Magazine to quip, "Nelson thought he was coming, but he was going". Contemporaneous accounts of his death differed greatly and his hasty cremation left the exact cause of death uncertain.
An unnamed thrall-girl was sacrificially murdered while having sex during the burial ceremony of a Scandinavian chieftain, according to the 10th-century account of Ahmad ibn Fadlan. Fadlan's account of a Norse chieftain's burial is unique, so it is not clear if the practices he described were common.
An Atlanta police officer died in 2009 from atheroschlerotic coronary artery disease while engaged in a threesome. His widow sued his doctor and was awarded a $3 million settlement, with the jury finding that the doctor did not properly diagnose and treat the police officer's pre-existing health issues.
Japanese writer Isamu Togawa suffered heart failure due to his chronic arrhythmia; according to Taro Maki, Togawa died during sexual intercourse at his hotel room. Togawa's younger brother Itaru Kikumura also acknowledged that Togawa died during sex, though this theory was denied by Tsuneo Watanabe.
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^Dahabreh, Issa J. (23 March 2011). "Association of Episodic Physical and Sexual Activity With Triggering of Acute Cardiac Events. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association305 (12): 1225. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.336. "Acute cardiac events were significantly associated with episodic physical and sexual activity; this association was attenuated among persons with high levels of habitual physical activity."
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^Fisher, Alessandra D.; Bandini, Elisa; Rastrelli, Giulia; Corona, Giovanni; Monami, Matteo; Mannucci, Edoardo; Maggi, Mario (1 June 2012). "Sexual and Cardiovascular Correlates of Male Unfaithfulness". The Journal of Sexual Medicine9 (6): 1508–1518. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02722.x.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)