I wonder if they also cause brain damage as well?
Waterbeds can put the dampeners on powers of a playboy
Mark Henderson in Philadelphia
Some like it hot, but scientists say that the Seventies icon can damage sperm
IT WAS an icon of the sexual revolution, without which no self-respecting 1970s playboy could furnish his bachelor pad. The water bed, however, did its owner’s virility no good at all: scientists have discovered that sleeping in one can make a man infertile.
Research in the United States has shown that men who sleep in a water bed are up to four times more likely to suffer fertility problems than those who prefer a traditional mattress.
The study did not investigate whether a predilection for black satin sheets had a similar effect.
The water bed has numbered among its adherents the soul singers Barry White and Marvin Gaye and the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner.
The findings are the latest to show that the “Austin Powers lifestyle” — a liking for alcohol, cigarettes, soft drugs and sexual licence — is bad for a man’s reproductive health.
All have been shown to reduce the number and quality of a man’s sperm — although this might not matter much to a lothario more interested in his next conquest than its reproductive consequences.
Risks to a man’s fertility, however, are not confined to the trappings of decadence and fast living. They might also be posed by homely bedding: the humble electric blanket can have a negative effect. “Alcohol consumption, electric-blanket use and water bed use were associated with a greater likelihood of infertility,” the study found.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the University of Rochester in New York State believe that increased heat on the male reproductive system is probably responsible for the infertility that they found.
The testicles are known to work most effectively at a slightly lower temperature to the rest of the body. Sperm production might be impaired by sleeping on a heated water bed or a standard mattress warmed by an electric blanket.
The study, which was presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Philadelphia yesterday, investigated environmental factors that might affect sperm production and male infertility.
It cleared spa baths, exercise, coffee and tea of significantly damaging sperm production.
“Except for heat exposures consisting of water bed and electric-blanket use, environmental factors in men are weakly associated, if at all, with infertility in men,” it concluded.
The water bed was patented in 1883 by William Hooper, a doctor from Portsmouth, who designed one to ease bedsores in his patients.
It was not a popular success: it leaked and, as it was unheated, was too cold for sleeping. The idea took off in the late 1960s, after a modern version was developed by Charles Prior Hall, a design student at San Francisco State University in California. He used vinyl to enclose the water, and added a heating system to make it more comfortable.
Mr Hall failed to win a patent, however, as the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein had written about the idea at length in several of his novels.The water bed became popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
It has now fallen from fashion, although apparently it remains popular with footballers such as Dwight Yorke, the Birmingham City striker.
I slept and "played" in one once.
WAY, WAY, WAY overrated....
I had a Soma waterbed for a few years. Water was in separate tubes and the tubes fit between a foam basin on the bottom and a foam slip over matress on top. Looked like a conventional bed and any leaks went into the lower basin (never had any). Much lighter than a conventional waterbed and good support without the wave action. I liked it.
I also fathered 2 kids after using it as well.
This is a big lie. My first wife got pregnant 5 times on a water bed and that was just by me. At least I think it was.
Anyway, they do not prevent pregnancy or curb sexual activity.