Inner Demons: When it’s All in Your Head (from The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement)

The following is a chapter taken from the book: The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement.

The top cause of impotence today is due to performance anxiety or fear. There are many ways in which fears can originate. These include: inexperience, self-loathing, pressure from a partner, or even a partial physical cause which contributes to the equation.

Why does this seem to be such a growing epidemic- especially among younger men?

According to self-reports, most men have experienced some form of performance anxiety in their lives. How you handle incidents of erectile dysfunction can have a very huge impact on whether or not it sticks around.

One huge contributor of ED among younger men comes from unrealistic expectations obtained by watching porn.  Not only will most men be intimidated by the fantastic dimensions observed in many porn films, but the orchestrated reactions that become expected from these films also interferes with normal expectations.

Another aspect of ED caused by porn use involves detraining. This is discussed in much greater details further in this publication under the section titled “The Detraining Effect – Understanding and Reversing Negative Habits To Improve Erection Quality and Sexual Confidence,” but to summarize here, it’s when you become so accustomed to being an inactive participant in masturbating to porn, such that when real emotions and expectations are encountered (as in a real live sexual scenario), anxiety sets in.

The simplest answer to this is, when the sexual response is replaced by anxiety (or something intensely distracting to arousal), the penis isn’t allowed to function in an unencumbered fashion. The use of direct will in attempting to force an erection often has the opposite results. What becomes necessary in scenarios like this is getting to the root cause of the issue. Anxiety itself is merely a symptom of this.

In most cases, psychological ED is very temporary and has an ephemeral quality. In most cases, a man will shake this off- or if he’s generally very secure with himself, he may learn to laugh it off.

It’s usually when one strings together several worsening episodes does the situation become chronic and in need of professional treatment.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Enhancement

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

What you eat or drink may affect levels of the male sex hormone, but whether a diet can increase libido or energy depends on many things.

By Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D.

Published Nov. 2, 2021Updated Nov. 3, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on The New York Times

Edited for content.

Can I increase my testosterone levels through the foods I eat? And if so, which foods or diets work best?

Many men, particularly as they age, are concerned about their levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone touted to build muscle, sex drive and vigor. But individual foods are unlikely to have an impact on testosterone levels — though drinking excessive amounts of alcohol might. If you are overweight, altering your diet to lose weight may help, since carrying excess pounds is a common cause of low testosterone. But in terms of specific foods or diets, any uptick you achieve may not have a noticeable impact on libido, energy or muscle mass.

“If someone was not overweight, I wouldn’t put them on a specific diet to raise testosterone based on the data we have now,” said Alexander Pastuszak, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who co-authored a review on alternatives to testosterone therapy.

In men, normal testosterone levels range from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Ups and downs within that normal range are unlikely to have any impact on sex drive or vitality. Only when levels consistently drop below 300 points — as confirmed in two blood tests by an accredited laboratory — are symptoms like low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, low mood or loss of muscle mass likely to appear, a medical condition known as hypogonadism.

Starting at around age 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by about 1 percent per year. But the drop can vary tremendously, with some older men maintaining levels similar to healthy young men. The trajectory of falling testosterone is steeper among men who gain a lot of weight, said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, professor of medicine at Harvard and the director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Studies on foods or diets and testosterone levels have generally been small and the findings far from conclusive. A recent British review that pooled data from 206 volunteers, for example, found that men on high-fat diets had testosterone levels that were about 60 points higher, on average, than men on low-fat diets. Men who followed a vegetarian diet tended to have the lowest levels of testosterone, about 150 points lower, on average, than those following a high-fat, meat-based diet. Still, Joseph Whittaker, the lead investigator and a nutritionist at the University of Worcester in Britain, said he would not recommend a man increase the fats in his diet unless he had low testosterone levels and symptoms of low T and was already restricting fats.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested two styles of diets in 25 fit men between the ages of 18 and 30. Calories consumed were the same, but one group ate a high-fat, very-low-carb, ketogenic-style diet, consisting of 75 percent of calories from fats, 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. Men in the other group ate a more traditional Western style, low-fat diet, containing 25 percent of calories from fats, 55 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. After 10 weeks of eating the high-fat diet, testosterone increased by 118 points, on average, while after the low-fat diet, levels declined by about 36 points.

Similarly, a study of 3,000 men found that those who reported eating a low-fat diet had slightly lower testosterone levels — about 30 points lower — than men who ate higher-fat diets. But none of the men had low testosterone.

“The moral is that healthy men who are of normal weight with no significant comorbidities are unlikely to benefit from restrictive diets,” said Dr. Richard J. Fantus, one of the study’s authors and a urologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.

Diet studies are complicated, because changing one component of the diet, such as fat intake, alters so many other things, such as the amount of carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients consumed. It’s unclear which component of the diet may have prompted the hormonal changes, Dr. Bhasin said. Furthermore, testosterone levels may also be shaped by how much a person sleeps, or whether they are jet-lagged, or if they are eating most of their calories at night or in small meals throughout the day.

Dr. Faysal Yafi, chief of the division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine, says his patients who opt to follow specific diets tend to start exercising more and drinking less alcohol, all of which can raise testosterone levels. He suspects any links between diet and testosterone may be the result of an overall healthier lifestyle.

Some men worry that eating lots of soy foods may cause their testosterone levels to fall, because soy is rich in isoflavones, which mimic the structure of estrogen. But the evidence doesn’t support their concerns, even if men eat foods like miso, tofu or soy milk at every meal. (Doctors did report one anecdotal case in which a 19-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes who followed a vegan diet containing 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily — nine times higher than a typical Japanese diet, and 100 times higher than the typical American diet — developed low testosterone levels along with low libido and fatigue. His symptoms improved when he stopped eating the soy-heavy, vegan diet.)

Long-term alcohol abuse lowers testosterone by damaging cells in both the testes, which make testosterone, and the liver, which alters testosterone metabolism. But binge drinking every now and then does not appear to have much of an impact — it lowers testosterone for only about 30 minutes, according to one study, after which levels bounce back to baseline.

Obese men who have low levels of testosterone can increase levels by cutting calories and losing weight — the type of diet does not matter, studies suggest. On the opposite extreme, Dr. Bhasin said he is seeing an increasing number of men at his clinic who have body dysmorphic issues and are suffering from low libido and fatigue. Strict calorie restriction, exercising intensely and being chronically stressed can all cause testosterone levels to plummet and are likely to blame, he said.

The bottom line is that for otherwise healthy men who are following a reasonably healthy lifestyle, fiddling with specific foods or the composition of the diet is not likely to make much of a difference on the testosterone score card. As Dr. Fantus of NorthShore University put it: “I don’t think there is a way to game the system to get really large increases by changing the diet.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that men who ate low-fat diets tended to have higher testosterone levels. Men who ate high-fat diets tended to have the higher T levels.

The article also referred to a 19-year-old man with low testosterone levels who was eating a diet containing 360 milligrams of soy daily; his diet actually contained 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones.

 

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

By Katie Wilkinson, MPH, MCHES

Published on September 28, 2021
Medically reviewed by Matthew Wosnitzer, MD

This article is a repost which originally appeared on verywell health

Edited for content.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual activity. While the occasional failure to get an erection is not uncommon, if it happens consistently, or more than 50% of the time, it may be ED. It can be a temporary experience, or develop into a long-term condition that requires treatment.

Prevalence

On a global scale, ED affects 3% to 76.5% of all men. The wide range is due to the different measures used in studies to evaluate ED.

In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 million men experience ED.2 Worldwide, there are about 150 million men living with ED, and by the year 2025, it’s predicted that over 300 million men will have ED.

Common Causes

ED can be caused by a number of factors relating to physical and mental health, including:

  • Physical and health conditions that involve different systems in the body, such as the vascular, neurological, or endocrine systems; can include issues with nerve signals or blood flow to the penis
  • Side effects from medication, which can include antidepressants, medication to manage blood pressure, tranquilizers, sedatives, ulcer medication, and prostate cancer therapy
  • Psychological or emotional causes such as depression, anxiety, fear associated with sexual performance, general stress, or low self-esteem
  • Lifestyle behaviors and health-related factors that are associated with ED include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, and substance (alcohol or drug) use

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors have been found to increase the likelihood of experiencing ED. They can include:

    • Age: The chances of developing ED increases with age, particularly in men over 60 years old.
    • Tobacco use: Research has found that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to experience ED than nonsmokers.
    • High blood pressure (hypertension): About 30% to 50% of people living with hypertension also experience ED.
    • Type 2 diabetes: Between 35% and 90% of diabetic men will develop ED.
    • High cholesterol: Statins used to treat high cholesterol showed improved erectile function.
    • Hypogonadism: This is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough sex hormones, including testosterone. Since testosterone is necessary for the ability to maintain an erection, people with hypogonadism who are treated with testosterone replacement therapy can see improved erectile function.
    • Obesity: Several studies have indicated that men with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 begin to experience a 1.5 to three times greater risk of ED than those with lower BMIs.
    • Depression: Men living with depression are two times more likely to experience ED. Treating depression with selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also increase risk of ED.

Stress and anxiety, particularly performance-related anxiety, can also cause issues with sexual activity and erectile function.

Associated Conditions

In addition to diabetes, hypertension, and hypogonadism, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also lists the following conditions and diseases as associated with ED:

  • Heart and blood vessel conditions, including atherosclerosis
  • Injuries of the spinal cord, penis, prostate gland, bladder, or pelvic area
  • Prostate or bladder surgery
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peyronie’s disease, a condition where scar tissue develops and creates a bend in the penis

Treatment

Treatment for ED can take many forms and depends on the root cause of the individual’s ED. Because of ED’s impact on sexual relationships, it’s worth discussing treatment options with your sexual partner.

Lifestyle

Avoiding or stopping the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs may help with ED.

Increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can also be a way to improve erectile function.

Mental Health Counseling

Because emotional and psychological concerns can play a role in ED, speaking with a mental health professional can be beneficial. They can help identify ways to manage anxiety and work through stress that may be impacting sexual performance.

Medication

Oral (PDE5 inhibitors), injectable, or suppository medications can be prescribed to help achieve and maintain an erection. For those with low testosterone (hypogonadism), testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed.

Treatment may also involve adjusting or changing current medications that hinder the ability to get an erection.

Devices and Procedures

The following devices and procedures can be used to treat ED:

  • Penis pump: This device uses vacuum action to pull blood into the penis to create an erection. It has a tube where the penis is placed and a pump that draws air out of the tube and creates suction. Once the blood is pulled into the penis, an elastic band is placed at the base of the penis to prevent the blood from going back into the body and to keep the erection for about 30 minutes.
  • Arterial repair surgery: Procedures to repair clogged blood vessels in the penis may increase blood flow to allow for erections. This treatment is usually reserved for patients under the age of 30.
  • Implantable devices: These include surgically placed devices that either inflate or include semi-rigid rods to help a person achieve an erection.

A Word From Verywell

While many men might feel embarrassed by their erectile dysfunction, it should be a comfort to know that it is a very common condition, affecting at least 150 million men worldwide. It is also a very treatable condition.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience issues achieving and maintaining an erection. Even though it may be uncomfortable to talk about, proper sexual functioning is a key part of your overall health and well-being.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Erectile dysfunction. Updated October 14, 2019.
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  3. Kessler A, Sollie S, Challacombe B, Briggs K, Van Hemelrijck M. The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction: a review. BJU International. 2019;124(4):587-599. doi:10.1111/bju.14813
  4. Kalsi J, Muneer A. Erectile dysfunction – an update of current practice and future strategies. J Clinic Urol. 2013;6(4):210-219. doi:10.1177/2051415813491862
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  6. DeLay KJ, Haney N, Hellstrom WJ. Modifying risk factors in the management of erectile dysfunction: a review. World J Mens Health. 2016;34(2):89-100. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2016.34.2.89
  7. Mourikis I, Antoniou M, Matsouka E, et al. Anxiety and depression among Greek men with primary erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2015;14(1):34. doi:10.1186/s12991-015-0074-y
  8. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  9. Urology Care Foundation. What is erectile dysfunction? Updated June 2018.
  10. Nguyen HM, Gabrielson AT, Hellstrom WJG. Erectile dysfunction in young men—a review of the prevalence and risk factors. Sexual Medicine Reviews. 2017;5(4):508-520. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.05.004
  11. International Society for Sexual Medicine. Can a vasectomy cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?
  12. Ssentongo AE, Kwon EG, Zhou S, Ssentongo P, Soybel DI. Pain and dysfunction with sexual activity after inguinal hernia repair: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Coll Surg. 2020;230(2). doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.10.010

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Joseph Brito III, MD — Written by Rachael Zimlich on June 7, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

Aloe vera can be found in many products. It can help boost the moisture content of your skin and even help heal burns and other wounds.

While it may seem like something of a miracle product, it can’t help with everything. In fact, you may want to be cautious before applying it everywhere — including your genitalia.

Keep reading to find out how aloe vera can be used for sexual health and when to avoid it.

What is male enhancement?

Male enhancement is a general phrase used to describe any efforts to improve the appearance, size, or function of genitalia — specifically the penis.

Some common enhancement strategies include:

  • stretches and exercises
  • topical or oral medications and herbal remedies
  • pumps
  • clamps and rings
  • surgery
  • grooming techniques

The goal of these strategies is to increase the size or appearance of the penis, improve erection strength and duration, or resolve ejaculation issues.

In some cases, male enhancement aims to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). This term typically refers to the inability to have or maintain an erection, but there can be varying levels of ED. In many cases, there’s another root issue, like cardiovascular disease or a medication side effect.

Improvement of ED is commonly pursued either for sexual pleasure or fertility purposes. Treatments should be designed based on the goal in mind.

Talk with a doctor about your specific symptoms and goals before beginning any new therapies or medications.

Does research support the use of topical aloe vera for male enhancement?

The use of aloe vera for general health and skin care is fairly common. However, you may be wondering if it could be used for male enhancement.

Most herbal or plant remedies are based in cultural practices, but there’s not a lot of clinical research on some claims of aloe vera benefits, like male enhancement.

Some studies have been done with animals, but the results were generally inconclusive. If anything, some of these studies raised concern about the use of aloe vera for sexual health benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of some relevant research in this area:

  • In a 2011 animal study, topical aloe vera reduced sperm concentration and quality.
  • A 2014 study showed possible benefits to sperm health and hormone levels in mice that received injections of an aloe vera compound.
  • A 2015 study showed that that aloe vera may potentially harm fertility in male rats.
  • There have been reports of libido enhancement with aloe use, but results may vary based on the specific form of aloe.

If you’re concerned about ED or another sexual health issue, talk with a healthcare professional. They can help guide you toward the right treatment for your situation.

Other natural treatments for male enhancement

There are many natural remedies you can try if you’re interested in male enhancement. However, you should always discuss any supplements you’re considering with a doctor first.

Several herbal remedies that have shown promising effects on male sexual health and performance include:

  • L-arginine
  • panax ginseng
  • L-citrulline
  • L-carnitine
  • gingko biloba

Other ways to improve your sexual health and performance include focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle, including:

  • staying active and exercising
  • eating a healthy diet
  • reducing stress
  • avoiding alcohol and other drugs
  • spending time outdoors

While regular exercise and a healthy diet are always good choices, talk with your doctor before starting any new therapies or supplements for male enhancement.

How is aloe vera used?

Aloe vera has been used on the skin and in the body for thousands of years. It can be found in all kinds of products — from juices to lotions.

Oral use of aloe vera usually comes in a pill form or as liquid extract or juice that you can drink. It’s thought to help with the following conditions:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • hepatitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease

However, there isn’t enough data to determine if oral aloe is effective for improving these conditions.

Evidence on the benefits of topical use — such as a gel, ointment, or lotion — is clearer, demonstrating that aloe can be helpful in treating:

  • acne
  • lichen planus
  • oral submucous fibrosis
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • burns
  • scabies
  • skin toxicity due to radiation

While aloe vera is generally considered safe, be sure to check the ingredients of the specific product you’re using.

Some oral aloe products may contain additional compounds that could result in side effects or interact with other medications. Even topical products may be mixed with alcohol compounds or other ingredients that can cause irritation.

Are there any possible side effects?

Aloe vera is widely used as both a topical and oral supplement. However, there have been some side effects linked to aloe vera use — either orally or topically — including:

  • liver problems
  • skin irritation
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • diarrhea
  • electrolyte imbalances

To avoid side effects, read the label of the product you’re using to understand all the ingredients it contains. You should also check for safety statements on the label.

For topical uses, it’s also a good idea to do a patch test by applying a small amount of product to an area of skin to test for sensitivity or irritation before applying liberally. This is particularly important when it comes to applying topicals, like aloe vera, to sensitive skin areas, like your genitalia.

The bottom line

There isn’t much evidence showing that aloe vera helps improve the size of your penis or your sexual performance.

However, if you decide to try it as a topical or oral supplement for enhancement, be sure to check the product’s safety, like performing a skin patch test before widespread application.

Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional about any supplements you plan on taking and your reason for taking them. They may be able to help treat the source of any sexual health problems you’re facing.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

This article is a repost which originally appeared on U HEALTH

Edited for content.

Jun 07, 2021 8:30 AM

Author: Men’s Health Services

Schedule Preventive Health Care

June is Men’s Health Month, making it a great time for men to get schedule preventive health checkups. Only three out of five men get an annual physical and more than 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they have a serious medical condition.

We’d like to see a change in those statistics. The majority of health issues men face are more treatable and more manageable in the early stages. Preventive care and checkups are important. I encourage men to take control of their overall health, including their sexual health, which is frequently linked to other, sometimes serious, health issues.

Checking every box on your health care list can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re entering the stage of life in which you need to start screening for different possible health issues.

Where to Start

Start with a couple of easy steps.

1. Find a primary health care provider if you don’t already have one. If you do, schedule an appointment.

2. Make small lifestyle changes.

A. Start exercising regularly, if you don’t already. Even a short walk once a day is a great start.

B. Eat a healthy diet. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can help you set realistic goals.

Do You Need a Men’s Health Provider?

If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions, schedule an appointment with one of our men’s health providers, while you’re at it.

  • Erectile Dysfunction. ED is a common condition that can affect quality of life. It’s common in men after prostate cancer treatment and those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. ED is treatable with medication and with surgery.
  • Peyronie’s Disease. This condition usually happens to older men. If you’ve got a bent penis, and it is affecting your ability to have an erection or to have sex, you shouldn’t live with it. Several treatment options are available to straighten the penis.
  • Infertility. Men are the cause of infertility in a couple about 50 percent of the time.
  • Low Testosterone. Testosterone can decrease as men age, starting at age 30. If you’re feeling tired or like you’ve lost your edge, low T treatment could help you feel better.
  • Testicular Pain. Many men have testicular pain at some point in their lives, but it’s treatable. If you have aching or pain in your testicles, contact one of our men’s health providers.

Men’s health month is a great reason to think about what’s important to you. Taking care of health issues may seem inconvenient, but it’s more convenient now than it will be if you let them continue for longer! Don’t be afraid to talk to a men’s health provider.

We are here for you.

Erectile Dysfunction: Signs & Ways To Eliminate Its Risk

How To Detect The Early Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction & Eliminate The Risk Once And For All

Updated on May 04, 2021, 18:00 IST · 4 min read

By Snehal Sharma

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MENSXP

Edited for content.

It’s not easy to talk about sex, especially if you’re grappling with insecurities.

For the longest time, erectile dysfunction was ascribed to psychological origins. Most ancient cultures, including Ayurveda, believed that ED can be treated with the help of natural herbs such as Indian ginseng, sesame powder, Safed Musli and more.

Today, we know more about its causes and have treatments to address the issue. But before we talk about eliminating the condition, we need to dispel the stigma associated with ED.

Studies have clarified that ED is not just “in your head”. According to a 2017 study by the Department of Urology Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, 20% of men across all age groups battle ED in India and 30% of them are younger than 40.

Most of the times, it is experienced due to an underlying cause that can be treated.

But no cure is possible until men accept the problem and stop shying away from asking for help.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man experiences difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection during sexual performance.

The symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido. If the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months, your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED.

Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction

Every piece of the body—including your emotions, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles and blood vessels—plays an intricate role in male arousal. When any of these isn’t aligned, it results in some kind of dysfunction.

Your mental health impacts your sexual ability equally. Stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns can worsen erectile dysfunction.

Experiencing minor or occasional sexual problems don’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. But lookout for the consistency of these symptoms.

● Reduced or no desire for sex.

● Inability to get an erection.

● Inability to maintain an erection.

Who Is At The Risk?

The risk of ED increases as you age, especially if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle. It can worsen if you:

● Have a psychological condition like anxiety, depression or stress.

● Have an injury that might damage the nerves and arteries that contribute to erections.

● Use tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

● Are overweight.

● Are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.

● Are taking antidepressants or high blood pressure medications.

● Have heart disease or diabetes.

How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

The healthier you are, the easier it’ll be to fight erectile dysfunction. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to prevent ED but you can avoid persistent problems by taking care of its causes and yourself. The following measures may help:

● Reduce stress.

● Take care of your mental health.

● Exercise daily.

● Limit alcohol consumption.

● Quit smoking and stop using recreational drugs.

● Manage diabetes and heart disease.

How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction

The causes of ED vary and so does the treatment. Work with your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you.

1. Counselling

If you feel anxious, depressed or have any other mental health concern, seek therapy. Along with consulting a professional, indulge in relaxing activities such as music, painting, poetry or aromatherapy. Geranium oil helps those with low libido.

2. Ayurveda to the rescue

It’s not feasible for everyone to collect and consume the recommended herbs for sexual wellness. But you can always rely on natural supplements that provide men with the right nutrients optimised for better and stronger erections.

3. Lifestyle changes

Manage weight, exercise or do yoga consistently, stop smoking, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs and manage your health with the help of a doctor.

4. Prescribed medication

If the above treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications—like Viagra, Levitra, Aronix, Tadalafil, Stendra and Cialis, self-injection such as an Alprostadil or testosterone replacement.

5. Physical treatments

Penis pump or penile implants. However, these aren’t generally considered until every other treatment has failed.

Final Thoughts

Recognise the symptoms and consult a professional. If you’re diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, your doctor will help you figure out the cause of ED.

Work on the treatment options and before you know it, you’ll start seeing the results.

Living With ED: How To Take Back Your Life

Living With ED: How To Take Back Your Life

Dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) can be incredibly difficult for men at any age. Men often feel ashamed of their condition and convince themselves that they’re “less of a man” because of it. When left untreated, the effects can spiral into other areas of their life. Self confidence, intimate relationships, and overall health can decline quickly. If you are struggling with ED, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t have to control your life. With these few tips you can get back to being your best self!

Talk To A Doctor

The first step to taking back control of your life is to talk to a doctor. With the shame or embarrassment that a lot of men feel about ED, it’s normal to even be embarrassed to tell your doctor. Remember that your physician will simply want to help you. Don’t let a mental block stop you from reaching out for help. They might help you explore options for ED medications to give you some short term relief or suggest other lifestyle changes. They also might want to make sure you don’t have any other undiagnosed illnesses. ED can be a symptom of another illness like heart disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome to name a few.

Exercise

Being proactive about your overall health will help you feel more in control of your ED symptoms. Working out can help tackle ED symptoms from many angles as your overall health generally improves. Since obesity increases the risk of ED, working out can get you on track to being a healthier weight and potentially reducing your symptoms. Another way that exercise can impact ED is through body positivity. Perhaps you’re not confident in your body and it’s causing some performance anxiety. If that’s the case, working out can improve your self esteem over time and potentially relieve your ED symptoms.

Diet

Incorporating a healthy diet into your routine is another great way to help alleviate ED symptoms. Being selective about what you eat and noticing the effects on your mood and mental state and your body will help you feel in control of your body. Aside from your basic “healthy balanced diet” there are some specific nutrients to help fight ED that you’ll want to be sure to incorporate. Many of these nutrients are linked to improving circulation, which is necessary for improving ED symptoms.

Remember, having erectile dysfunction does NOT diminish you as a man, or as a person. You may feel alone, defeated, betrayed by your body and unable to do the things you want when you want to. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react. Find solace in controlling other aspects of your life that you are able to control. Your mental and physical health will improve and you’ll be well on your way to getting your confidence back.

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Vaseline in Place of Viagra: Is It Safe and Effective?

Can You Use Vaseline in Place of Viagra?

Medically reviewed by Matt Coward, MD, FACS — Written by James Roland on March 17, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

If you experience erectile dysfunction (ED), you may be willing to try just about anything to restore healthy sexual function.

However, there are plenty of potentially dangerous options that people have tried, including the injection of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly products into the penis.

For many years and in many cultures, the practice of injecting or inserting something into the penis to make it larger or to improve sexual stamina has been done, often without the guidance of medical experts.

If you’re tempted to use Vaseline in place of Viagra or any other approved treatment for ED, don’t waste your time or take the risk. There are plenty of safer and more effective options available.

You may also have heard of topical gels or essential oils for ED, but there has yet to be any evidence to suggest that applying Vaseline as a topical treatment to your penis will have any effect on sexual function.

The science

Numerous studies have shown that injecting Vaseline into your penis is a danger, rather than a cure. The practice can lead to:

  • infections
  • serious skin and tissue injury
  • other medical complications

In a small 2008 study of 16 people who were treated for Vaseline injections, researchers found that “urgent surgery” was necessary to prevent further injury.

A 2012 case report concluded that Vaseline injections are usually done without medical supervision and can lead to severe complications if the petroleum jelly or other foreign objects aren’t removed promptly.

Clinical treatments

Instead of trying risky self-help solutions for ED, consider proven medications and other treatments that have a track record of success.

Oral medications

While Viagra, known clinically as sildenafil, may be the best known ED pills, there are other FDA-approved medications. They all vary somewhat in their:

  • potency
  • how quickly they take effect
  • duration of effectiveness
  • side effects

Other ED medications on the market include:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis). It’s available in a generic form and can be taken daily at low doses or as needed in higher doses.
  • Vardenafil (Levitra). It’s available in brand-name and generic versions. it tends to remain effective a little longer than sildenafil.
  • Avanafil (Stendra). It’s not yet available in generic form, Stendra is unique among ED medications in that it can become effective in about 15 minutes, while others take between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect.

Your lifestyle may help determine the best ED medication for you.

Vacuum pumps

This treatment involves the use of a tube that fits over your penis and attaches to a pump that withdraws air from the tube to create a vacuum.

The vacuum created around your penis helps draw blood to fill the blood vessels within and produce an erection. An elastic ring is also placed around the base of your penis to help maintain the erection.

A 2013 research review noted that the use of vacuum devices to treat ED is usually safe and effective, particularly when combined with ED drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors, which include:

  • tadalafil
  • sildenafil
  • other standard medications

Penile injections

Certain medications can be injected into your penis to increase blood flow and create a firmer erection for intercourse. Those include:

  • papaverine
  • phentolamine
  • prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) or alprostadil (Caverject, Edex)

There are also combinations of the above medications available.

Penile implants

Some people choose to treat ED with surgically-implanted, flexible, or inflatable rods that you can activate on demand.

Penile implants are generally reserved for individuals who have not had success with other traditional ED treatments.

Alternative treatments

Many safer and more effective alternatives to Viagra are available, including several prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) supplements, as well as complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, according to a 2016 research review.

Some people have had success using herbal supplements to treat ED. Some OTC products that have been supported by research include:

  • Korean red ginseng. It’s a plant that grows in Asia and may help both ED and alertness with relatively few side effects.
  • L-arginine. It’s an amino acid that serves as a building block for certain proteins. A small 2019 research review of 10 studies found that L-arginine used in doses of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams significantly improved ED symptoms compared with placebo.
  • Yohimbe. It’s an herbal supplement commonly used in West African cultures, proved to be at least partially effective in treating ED in about one-third of people who participated in an old 1989 study.

Lifestyle changes

In addition, improving your health may improve ED symptoms and provide other benefits, including:

  • more energy
  • better sleep
  • greater cardiovascular fitness

The following lifestyle changes may pay dividends in terms of sexual health:

  • regular aerobic exercise, at least 150 minutes per week
  • maintaining a manageable weight
  • no smoking
  • consuming little or no alcohol
  • maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
  • managing stress through meditation, yoga, or other strategies

When to talk with a doctor

The first step in finding the solution that’s right for you is to talk with your primary care physician or a urologist.

And while ED can be an embarrassing and frustrating topic to discuss with anyone, understand that ED is a common condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 adults with penises.

In other words, you won’t be the first person to ask your doctor for advice or treatment in this department.

Occasional concern

If ED occurs occasionally, then you may not need any treatment at all. In this case, it may usually be chalked up to:

  • stress
  • fatigue
  • relationship concerns
  • a side effect of misusing alcohol

Keep in mind that ED can be a symptom of many physical and emotional health conditions, including:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • anxiety

Sometimes treating an underlying condition can lead to improved sexual function.

Persistent concern

If ED is a persistent concern, then a conversation with your doctor is recommended. Your concerns may be an inability to:

  • achieve an erection at all
  • achieve an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory intercourse for you and your partner
  • maintain an erection for the duration necessary for satisfactory intercourse
  • become erect at certain times or with certain partners

Regardless of the nature of your ED, there is a range of treatments that may be helpful. Psychotherapy and relationship counseling may be very helpful too, so you may want to talk with your doctor about referrals for therapy.

But because medications are generally tolerated, the first approach may be a prescription for Viagra or any of the other approved ED medications.

The bottom line

ED can affect several aspects of your life, including self-esteem and relationships, so it’s not something to ignore — especially when viable treatments are available.

And rather than rely on unproven and potentially very harmful treatments on your own — such as injecting Vaseline or any foreign substance into your penis — address this common medical condition with your healthcare professional.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

When Is Middle Age For Men?

The New Middle Age Is 37. Here’s How to Make It Awesome.

Thirty-seven is the actual middle age of men in America today. We surveyed hundreds of 37-year-olds about what defines this moment—and help prepare them for the next.

By Max Berlinger and Ben Paynter
Apr 13, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEN’s HEALTH

Edited for content

A WHILE BACK, over lunch with a friend—me, salad; he, cheeseburger— I yammered on about my fitness kick. Peloton and 10,000 steps a day. Intermittent fasting and meditating ten minutes every morning. Cold showers and breathing exercises. The works.

He put his hand on mine and said, “Max. You know that, even if you do all this, you’re still going to die, right?” Those words landed like a punch to the gut. What the hell is he talking about death for? I thought. I’m still a kid.

Spoiler alert . . . I’m not. I was 37, which certainly isn’t one foot in the grave. But I made an unnerving discovery: Statistically speaking, 37 is the median age of men in America right now, and also almost halfway to the end of the average man’s life expectancy, which is 76. Meaning a whole lot of guys happen to be in the same boat as I am: midway between cradle and grave. If we’re lucky.

Middle age is a nebulous term—the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “the period of your life, usually considered to be from about 45 to 60, when you are no longer young, but are not yet old.”

But do the math and your life’s mid-point hits way sooner than you probably think. As a guy with some things to make up for over the past couple decades, I feel a little behind. (As it happened, I spent most of that mathematically significant 37th year at home, staring at the walls, as a pandemic upended every norm of everyday life.) Turns out, plenty of truly middle-aged men are at crossroads of their own. For this issue, Men’s Health surveyed a nationally representative sample of guys my exact age to learn about their fears and anxieties.

As a whole, it’s a portrait of men who are conflicted, and I recognize myself in many of the responses. Men who feel, on average, good but have a sense that there’s more to life, if only they could figure out how to access it. That, just maybe, they’re in the prime of their life but they don’t know how to take advantage of it— or, more crucially, appreciate it as it’s happening—or how to extend it.

The survey shows that men value time over money, but it wasn’t a landslide. Which is strange, because if our days are getting scarcer, you would think that each should hold more value. I’ve learned that the hard way over the past few years. My 20s were wonderful, but some nights were a boozy blur. Then some nights turned into most nights and my 20s turned into my 30s.

At a certain point I got tired of waking up feeling like shit, with a phone full of missed calls and pissed-off texts and only a hazy half-memory of what I did to deserve them. So at age 33, I took the painful, scary step of getting sober.

Many people get a little karmic kickback of dropping some weight when they stop drinking, but sadly, not me. I learned that losing weight requires a million small daily choices that add up slowly (so, so slowly) over time. It’s taken several years, but I’ve lost 30 pounds, give or take.

The point is, you can change—and learn more about yourself in the process. In the following pages, we’ll share where middle-aged men feel they’re coming up short and how to make the most of each moment. How to set yourself up to be in great shape—not just physically but mentally and emotionally, too—for what’s to come. How to, well, take control. Or, in some cases, realize that you never had it and press forward anyway.

My partner of eight years and I recently bought a house and, even better, a terrier mutt named Edie. There’s a lot that’s still uncertain in our lives, but maybe that’s okay. I’m learning there are benefits to staying flexible, to celebrating a little when the moment calls for it. So next time, when you’re out to lunch with a pal, just order the goddamn cheeseburger. –Max Berlinger

The Great Middle Age Survey

Here’s how “middle-aged” men really feel about their health and fitness, careers and relationships; what’s still keeping them up at night; and how to make the most of any moment, at any age.

► HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING “MIDDLE-AGED?”

56 percent felt pretty good

Most guys felt “pretty good” about being 37, but “great” was more elusive. And one in four men leaned toward midlife crisis. In terms of race and income, white men and guys making less than $35,000 were more likely to feel “not great” than “great,” and overall, white men rated themselves worse than Black, Asian, and Hispanic men did.

Your Opportunity: Instead of worrying about whether you’ve lost a step, try re-focusing on grown-up gains, like deeper relationships, professional success, or being a dad, says psychiatrist and MH advisor Drew Ramsey, M.D. Reframe “midlife crisis” as “transformational opportunities” to keep your momentum up and your attitude set on growth.

► ARE YOU AS FIT AS YOU’D HOPED RIGHT NOW?

are you as fit as youd hoped right now

When asked how they felt physically, three out of four 37-year-olds felt generally healthy or better, but the majority still fell short of their fitness goals. This was more true in the South and Midwest, with the West and Northeast doing marginally better. Either way, men making $100,000 or more skewed toward being happily fit.

Your Opportunity: “Start with your why,” says David Freeman, NASM, a featured trainer on the MH-affiliated All Out Studio app. “Why am I working out and what is the purpose behind it?” For Freeman, exercise encourages a healthy mindset. He’ll also repeat mantras like “Mind right, body right”to build even more motivation.

► Do You Believe Your Best Days Are Ahead of You, Behind You, or Right Now?

43 amount of men did not see brighter days ahead

While more than half of the men surveyed were optimistic about what tomorrow may bring, nearly one in four felt as if they’d already peaked. Fitness may play a part in this (when asked separately about how they physically feel right now, 45 percent of the men who said they were “out of shape” or “a wreck” also thought their best days were behind them), but it’s hardly the only answer.

Your Opportunity: Rewire your bonds digitally. Men tend to lose touch with their friends as they age, Dr. Ramsey says. And what’s worse, the pandemic has limited your bar meetups, pickup games, and guy trips. But you can still connect through VR headsets, multi-player games, or fantasy football, he says.

Is Your Family Life as Happy As You’d Like?

57 percent yes 43 percent no

More than 40 percent of men weren’t happy with their family life, and, when asked about job fulfillment, more than 50 percent weren’t satisfied at work. Men who were in a relationship or had kids were more likely to feel content. But not by much.

Your Opportunity: Plan your vacation days for the year right now. Commit to whatever it is you’ve always wanted to actually do on your weekends. “Most of us only follow a plan and structure for work,” says psychotherapist Tenniel Brown, M.S.W. “What does that tell you about our priorities?” Switch up yours.

Are you as Financially Stable As You’d Hoped?

39 percent yes 61 percent no

The “make more, stress less” threshold was $75,000 a year—the point at which the number of men who felt anxious about money dropped by about a third.

Your Opportunity: Actually get a raise. Brown suggests developing a list of specific suggestions around what you can do to help the company do better, too. Share it along with your request for more money to emphasize the benefits for your employer. Side hustles you love? Also encouraged.

What Feeling Best Describes Your Day-To-Day Mood?

40 percent upbeat 28 percent stressed 22 percent indifferent 10 percent lonesome

On the whole, middle-aged men are more stressed, indifferent, or lonely than upbeat. Those who reported being super fit or generally healthy were more likely to feel upbeat (57 percent), but even endorphins have a limit.

Your Opportunity: It might be time to seek out new friends who also prioritize positivity, Dr. Ramsey says. And Brown suggests keeping a gratitude journal. To learn more self-care tactics, check out MH’s “Friday Sessions” at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Instagram.

What’s Your Most Important Goal With Exercise?

feeling stronger 24 percent feeling more energetic 34 percent looking better 29 percent managing stress 13 percent

The majority of men are more interested how working out makes them feel, as opposed to how they’ll look. Pandemic aside, many also said that they prefer lifting alone, while as many as one in four may have lost their spotter to social distancing. Either way, 37-year-old men often lack gym buddies, who can help keep you accountable.

Your Opportunity: Sharing progress with family or friends can boost your energy, Freeman says. To stay charged, try controlled breathing. Close your eyes and listen to your breath for 60 seconds. ”It will be a game changer.“

In General, How Do you Feel About The Food You Eat?

its fun you eat for joy taste experience 57 percent its fuel you get to gain fuel get protein ect 43 percent

Finding a smart way to just eat what you want, when you want it can be tough.

Your Opportunity: Dezi Abeyta, R.D.N., an MH advisor, snacks on cottage cheese with pumpkin seeds and blueberries—to crush cravings, yes, but also because he loves the way the combo tastes.

What’s Your Greatest Health Fear?

cancer 28 percent ed 10 percent diabetes 14 percent heart attack 31 percent dementia 17 percent

Men worry most about heart attacks, and with good reason: Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States. It contributes to about one in every four deaths.

Your Opportunity: For heart disease, the Mediterranean diet is a good way to control weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, says cardiovascular specialist and MH advisor Foluso Fakorede, M.D. Shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to reap the heart-health benefits of exercise. And know your personal risks. Many conditions—including heart issues, cancer, and diabetes—affect Black men at higher rates than white men.

Which of These Things Are You Most Afraid Of?

failing at work 11 percent ruining a relationship 30 percent some unforeseen tragedy or disaster 36 percent getting old and slowing down 23 percent

Men feared being blindsided by catastrophe the most, but torpedoing a relationship and aging poorly were big, too.

Your Opportunity: “Often for men, the fear of the unknown is actually not having spent time thinking about their mortality fears,” Dr. Ramsey says. Those can range from the next pandemic to the eventual death of your parents. His go-to is journaling, or “puking onto a page” any thoughts, goals, or challenges you have. Long runs, bike rides, and walks in nature can offer a fresh perspective.

What Is Your Preferred Way To Care For Your Mental Health?

exercise 33 percent sex 23 percent alcohol 7 percent therapy 6 percent medication 11 percent i do not have one 20 percent

Therapy ranked lowest for everyone, and Black men were least likely to have any kind of plan, at 24 percent.

Your Opportunity: Remember, therapy is a reliable judgment-free zone, says Dr. Ramsey. For Black men seeking Black therapists, try TherapyForBlackMen.org.

► What Do You Want More Of In Life: Time or Money?

time 57 percent money 43 percent

Men value time more than money, but we all have to work. (In fact, half of those surveyed think they’ll retire late—or not at all.)

Your Opportunity: “Free time” and “quality time” are different, Dr. Ramsey says. Make the latter count by prioritizing your pickup game, yoga class, or book club.

How Often Do You Have Sex?

at least daily 20 percent weekly 38 percent monthly or even less 42 percent

Overall, more than 40 percent of men said the one thing that would most improve their sex life is: more of it. Try this three-step action plan.

Focus on quality, not quantity: “Research shows that more isn’t always better when it comes to sex,” says psychologist and MH advisor Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. “Try and ensure that the sex you’re having is the best it can be, which may involve trying some new things, sharing or acting on sexual fantasies, and telling each other what it is that you really want.”

Watch your screen time: “We know that people feel more in the mood and more satisfied with their sex lives when they feel an intimate connection,” says sex researcher and MH advisor Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. Put the phones away after work and spend time together taking walks, playing with a pet, or cooking healthy meals, as opposed to binge-watching Netflix.

Get educated on ED: Among the men surveyed, 15 percent wanted better erections and 72 percent had at least some concern that they may develop ED. “Sexuality-related anxiety is often referred to as performance anxiety, which contributes to the idea that sex needs to be a production,” says Shamyra Howard, L.C.S.W., an MH advisor.

Methodology: MH surveyed 530 37-year-old men in the U. S. from December 21, 2020, toJanuary 25, 2021, using SurveyMonkey. Data is nationally representative in terms of race and region.

This story appears in the April 2021 issue of Men’s Health.

 

Sexercise: What is it? Benefits, exercises to try, and more

The benefits of sexercise and how to practice it

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST — Written by Zawn Villines on December 13, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICALNEWSTODAY

Edited for content

Sexercise is exercise to improve sexual performance and function, which may make sex more satisfying for a person and their partner or partners.

Celebrity trainer Jason Rosell coined the term sexercise, using it for a specific set of practices to improve a person’s sexual experience.

Physical fitness can affect sexuality by making sex easier and more comfortable, reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and arousal issues, and helping people feel more confident in their bodies.

Exercise may also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, that can cause sexual issues.

A person may use the term sexercise to refer to a wide range of activities, while any exercise specifically to improve sex counts as sexercise.

Benefits of sexual activity for health

Healthful, consensual sexual activity of all varieties can improve health.

Some benefits of sex include:

  • Better heart health: Sex involves exercise, which can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease. A 2020 study found that, following a heart attack, people who had sex more than once per week had a 27% reduction in their risk of dying.
  • A healthier immune system: Regular sex may boost immunity, reducing a person’s risk of acquiring infections and certain illnesses.
  • Better emotional health: Sex – and the exercise that sex involves – may reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Better self-esteem: People who have satisfying sex may feel good about themselves.
  • Healthy relationships: A strong, healthy sexual connection with a partner may improve the relationship.
  • Better sleep: Sex may help some people fall asleep faster.
  • Stress management: Sex can be a suitable self-care tool that helps relieve stress.

It is important to note that sex in itself does not necessarily improve health.

Non-consensual, painful, or unpleasant sex may cause severe emotional distress, physical injuries, and other health issues.

Benefits of fitness for sexual performance

Exercise can improve sexual performance in many ways:

  • Reducing ED: In people with penises, regular exercise – especially aerobic exercise such as running or walking – may reduce ED. A 2017 meta-analysis found moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise provided optimal benefits.
  • Counteracting side effects of certain antidepressants on the libido: A 2013 study of females taking antidepressants found that exercising right before sex improved both arousal and global sexual function.
  • Exercise may reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions: These conditions can interfere with sexual performance. For example, diabetes has links with ED, arousal disorders, and some other sexual issues.
  • Improving sexual function: Certain exercises may strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which a person uses during sex. Kegel exercises can help a person orgasm more easily and help with urine leakage and incontinence.
  • Increasing endurance and strength: This may make certain positions and types of sex easier. More endurance may help a person be less tired during prolonged sex sessions.

Exercises to improve sexual performance

Three categories of exercise can help improve sexual performance:

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise increases the heart rate. It can help a person maintain a moderate weight, improve blood pressure, boost overall physical fitness, and may help with ED and general sexual performance. Some exercises to try include:

  • Swimming: Offers an intense but low-impact workout for people with joint or muscle pain.
  • Walking: An ideal starting exercise for people who struggle with more intense workouts.
  • Intense aerobic exercise: Includes running or jogging, jumping rope, skiing, and using a stair-climber machine.

Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor – a group of muscles that support the bladder. These muscles also contract during an orgasm. Try the following to work them:

  • Performing Kegels:
    • Locate the right muscles when urinating.
    • Stop passing urine mid-flow for a few seconds, then start again.
    • Repeat a few times daily.
    • Next, try tensing and releasing the same muscles used to stop urinating several times per day.
    • Work up to tensing the muscles for longer: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or longer.
  • Exercising the multifidus of the pelvic floor:
    • Lie on the stomach, face down, with the forehead in the hands.
    • Lift the pelvis slightly back to point the tailbone toward the ceiling.
    • Hold for 5–10 seconds, working up to three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Performing squats: Squats help strengthen the body, and in high repetitions, they can provide an intense cardio workout. They also help strengthen the abs and pelvic floor. Not everyone can do a squat at first. Try squatting down as much as possible without bending the back or taking the heels off the floor, then build up to deeper squats.

Strength and flexibility training

Improving general strength and flexibility may make certain sexual positions easier and more comfortable. Some options include:

  • Yoga and pilates: Both focus activities on improving flexibility and functional movement. People can even adapt some yoga positions into sex positions.
  • Lifting weights: Try lifting weights to improve the strength of various muscles and muscle groups. For example, a person who wants to lift their partner might try bench presses and other exercises that strengthen the upper body.
  • Bodyweight exercises: A person does not need weights to strengthen their muscles. Bodyweight exercises, such as leg raises, knee tucks, and squats strengthen the core, lower body, and pelvic floor. Pushups, pullups, and dips target the upper body, potentially making certain positions easier.

Sex positions that couples can use as exercise

Every sex position may present an opportunity for exercise if it meets one of two conditions:

  • The speed and intensity of the sexual activity are intense enough to elevate the heart rate.
  • The activity is physically challenging. For example, it requires stretching or involves a person lifting additional weight.

Some examples of specific positions that might help sexual partners get a workout include:

  • Positions that require a partner to fully or partially lift another: For example, a person who wraps their legs around a partner while the partner holds them in a standing position requires both partners to bear extra weight.
  • Positions that increase physical intensity and encourage partners to move more: For example, if a person is up against the wall with their legs wrapped around their partner, and the other partner is holding them, the couple is both supporting weights. They may also have to move more to increase stimulation and adjust the position.
  • Positions that encourage gentle stretching: It is important not to force the body into an uncomfortable position. However, extending the legs over a partner’s shoulders or getting into yoga-like positions may increase the challenge of sexual activity.

Summary

Exercise is great for overall health, including sexual health.

For most people, exercise is a safe way to improve well-being and sexual performance.

However, those who do not exercise should talk with a doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.