You may think it’s the potential for brilliant conversation that makes intelligence such an attractive trait in a man but it may be that his intellect is a sign of something else: According to researchers, smart guys have higher sperm counts.

The researchers at King’s College London, the University of Delaware and the University of New Mexico compared results from intelligence tests given to 425 guys aged 31 to 44. The men also provided sperm samples and upon analysis, the researchers found the men who scored higher on the intelligence test not only had more sperm per millilitre, but their sperm were also better swimmers.

Previous theories believed that highly intelligent men might score less stressful jobs and make better lifestyle choices, resulting in better health and healthier sperm. But, according to the researchers in this study, even the smart guys with poor health had higher sperm counts, causing them to speculate that indicators of intelligence and good sperm may ride in on the same gene float.

But before all you less-than-brilliant lads get down on your little swimmers, take heart in the fact that semen has some other neat tricks up its sleeve besides delivering super sperm. For example, there is evidence that semen can make a girl happy, and not in ways you might think.

Researchers have found that women who regularly had unprotected sex with their partner were less depressed than women who regularly used a condom. Having ruled out other explanations, they think this is because mood-altering hormones in semen are absorbed through the vagina.

Of course, before you go having unprotected sex as a mood enhancer, it goes without saying that an unwanted pregnancy or an STD would no doubt put a damper on your natural high.

And while the health and vitality of a man’s sperm may be a going concern (especially if he’s trying to have kids), seminal fluid is much more than a spermatozoa carrier. In fact, sperm makes up only about one per cent of its contents. The rest is a complex mix of over 300 components, among them proteins, enzymes, zinc, and fructose and changes in colour, smell, taste or texture may be indicators of health problems, such as prostate infection or other plumbing problems.

So, even if your little tadpoles aren’t the best swimmers, it’s still important to monitor the quality of the pool water.

– Josey Vogels is a sex and relationship columnist and author of five books on the subjects. For more info, visit

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