Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pity the Poor Flaccid Mice

Ladies, does your man snore? If so, snoring could be the sign of more serious condition. As such, we need to discuss mouse boners.

Or more specifically, the lack thereof.

In my non-blogging, non-parenting life, I -- among other things -- re-write medical news releases for a consumer health care organization. It's never going to win me a Pulitzer, but it fulfills many of my prerequisites for a job: flexible hours, no dress code and the authority to delete superfluous commas at will.

Some of the news releases are about serious studies on promising new cancer treatments or insights into the cause and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Then, there's a regular helping of "people get money to study this?!" stories. Air pollution is bad for your lungs. Living next to an industrial solvent plant built on a Superfund site can cause extra limbs to spout from your navel.

And, of course, rodent erectile dysfunction.

Seems a team of University of Louisville researchers wanted to study some of the consequences of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a disorder in which you literally and repeatedly stop breathing at night for several seconds. This deprives your brain of oxygen, your body of rest and apparently, as this was the hypothesis of the experiment, it deprives your willy of woo-hoo.

The researchers tested their theory out on mice, though I don't think they would have had a tough time locating some male sleep-apnea sufferers interested in knowing whether they needed to start doing price comparisons on a "Mighty Man Trigger Pump."

According to the university's news release, after one week under sleep-apnea-like conditions, the mice "showed a 55 percent decline in their daily spontaneous erections." After five weeks, "the 'latency to mount' period— the average interval between mounting a mate — increased 60-fold."

This raises many questions. Like, who counted the erections and how was this person chosen? Seniority? Keenest eyesight? Least likely to giggle?

How did said researcher describe this work to a spouse or friend? "Honey, phew, what a day! I've been counting mice chubbies since the crack of dawn! You gonna eat all them fries?"

Next, how do we really know they were "spontaneous"? Isn't it possible a few pre-mediated woodies snuck in there? Did they bring in a parade of female mice in little bustiers and garter belts? Let them watch late-night Cinemax?

Finally, that latency-to-mount period -- like the males had a choice in the matter? I will say, this has given me a new approach to hitting up My Love: "Honey, my L2M is getting up there. I mean, WAY up there. C'mon -- for science, baby, for science. Think of the poor flaccid mice."

Unfortunately, even the sleep-deprived mice that managed to pitch their tents didn't have much luck making the s'mores. According to the news release, "In five out of seven mice tested, ejaculation did not occur at all, but in one mouse, latency to ejaculation was 660 minutes — eleven hours — whereas in control mice the median time to ejaculation was only a few minutes."

Eleven hours! I'm not sure who I feel worse for -- the mounter or his mountee. Either way, I'm reaching for a sympathy ice pack right now.

The good news: This condition is nearly completely reversible with treatment for the sleep apnea and some of those wondrous drugs you see advertised on TV. I can hear the squeaks of ecstasy now.

Feel enlightened? Then go to, register and give me a Mr. Happy. C'mon -- for science, baby, for science.


  1. Man oh man. Between CynicalDad's Twitter sexy songs show last night, BHJ's book review and the mouse porn this morning, my head is a bit to foogy to process rodent erections and the haps. Now must go listen to Walk Like A Camel to start the day off right.

  2. Actually, for sleep apnea you need a machine. And sleeping with a mask over one's face doesn't really make for better sexual function for either non-vermin partner.

    Don't ask me how I know.

  3. I love that. The poor, poor flaccid mice.

  4. "sleeping with a mask over one's face doesn't really make for better sexual function"

    Worked for Dennis Hopper in 'Blue Velvet'.

    Sometimes my wife makes me wear a picture of Tom Brady over my face - is that weird?

  5. How to put this delicately. My husband has sleep apnea...and there was not 'lack of' before or after treatment. Of course there were no 11 hour mounting sessions either. THANK GOD

  6. Fortunately, the mice's health insurance should cover Viagra prescriptions ...

  7. seriously - Can I have that quarter from underneath your pointy boot?

    Meg - See StationStops comments.

    MamaD - Sadder words have never been squeaked.

    SStops - Not weird, but quite understandable.

    GlamLife - Ride 'em, cowboy.

    Dennis - Actually, the study found the generic version of Cialis worked best. So tell the doc it's for your pet rodent. He'll understand.

  8. I once had a reporter with sleep apnea working for me. He'd fall asleep routinely at his computer while we were on deadline. He was sort of troll-like and very much not sexy. As a result of this blog post and my former reporter's condition, I can now only think of him and his lack of erections while sitting there, drooling over copy about that week's City Council meeting.

    Thank you. Thank you very much. YOU OWE ME!

  9. My dad has had sleep apnea for a long time. My mom has always felt it is appropriate to complain TO ME about the lack of sex in their marriage. At least now I have something to say to her after I tear my eyeballs out of my head.

  10. Damn. 11 hours. That's like doin' it Sting style. Tantra Mouse.

  11. I'll never look at s'mores the same way!

  12. In this economy - researchers are always looking for ways to offer jobs to those maybe not so qualified to do the science part of the research - - you don't need a degree to count mouse chubbies, do you?

    ps- and sleep apnea is serious. I echo with Meg and other's whose Hubbies had a tough time getting chubbies. Now- the chubbie issue is not a problem, but the friggin' mask and hose device is a real turn off.

  13. FADKOG - Sorry. As my new personal assistant, you can have Wednesdays off.

    Wendy - Eeeew. Sorry.

    CIII - So, maybe Sting has sleep apnea. Poor Trudy.

    Andrea - That was my favorite line in the whole post.

    Swirl - Sleep apnea is a serious disorder. If you suspect someone has it, they should get it checked out ASAP. But can anyone be serious about stimulated mice?

    Atomic - I, meanwhile, am notorious for excessive compound-hyphenation.

  14. Dude, rhetorical or not, the answer to your question is simple-- this is what God invented interns for.

    Not counting mice erections specifically, as far as I know, but it definitely made the top ten list of functions for this particular creature.

    How many of you out there had entry level jobs or internships that were the equivalent of Rodent Boner Tallying in that field? Be honest.

  15. Finally! An Excuse....

  16. it's sexy when you get all medically.

  17. Not making light of Hubby's got it. The CPap saved his life and gave us two children.

    I was just trying to make a joke that's all.

    silly me...

  18. Mouse chubbies! Brilliant! 11 hour mounting sessions! Holy boner batman. Love it! You just inspired my blog post for the day. Thanks!

  19. First of all, I'm getting a PhD so I can do something similar to what you do for a living (minus the part about having sex with your wife).

    Second, this is EXACTLY why I'm not doing anything involving neuroscience research, because they're the ones that play mind (and evidently penis) games with small mammals.

  20. Hmmm Mice have erectile dysfunction? Do you know ANYTHING about Guinea Pigs? I think mine has a constant boner.

  21. Too funny. One question - does mouse porn have staples in the centerfolds? Or it's all digital these days.

  22. I'm afraid now. Truly afraid.

  23. Ok, SHUT UP! I'm still trying to figure out this is some total gag post, which deep inside I'm hoping it is. Because THAT is just wrong wrong wrong!

  24. So how many years until we routinely hear of girls named Levitra or Cialis?

  25. For what's it's worth, I had sleep apnea that disappeared after I lost a little weight. OK, 120 pounds. But still. I don't think my chubby chub was affected.

    Please feel free to edit my comment and delete, these, superfluous, comments, :D.

  26. I'm so glad this important research was done!

  27. Flaccid mice, huh? Hubby has severe sleep apnea.. I wonder if I should forward this along? LoL. Meg is right - the machine? Not sexy. At all.

    P.S. I've got a meme for you at my blog! (It's short, and potentially funny, I promise!)

  28. oh my. mouse erections. 11 hours? good lord that makes me tired just thinking about it. time for a nap now.

  29. Wendy: That's like a public-service announcement for why parents shouldn't be "friends" with their kids-- it's for your own good, kids. It may be cool as a teen, because you can take advantage of them, but you'll get paid back as an adult, in spades.

    And Kevin, there's no such thing as excessive compound hyphenation, as long as each usage is valid. Stay strong!

    Fellow Hyphen-Warrior

  30. Eleven hours. I can't wait to see the Disney version.

  31. Oh lordy this has got to be one of the funniest things you've written.

    And the apnea thing? Big Daddy has it and it took ME talking to his doc before he was ever diagnosed. It's a scary thing to watch night after night. As long as he has his mask, he's good to go. It's like night and day.


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