A Bad Sex Life Just Might Affect Your Aging Brain’s Health

New research has found a link between declining sexual satisfaction and memory problems in middle-aged to senior men.

By Ed Cara Published June 1, 2023

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Gizmodo

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Key Points

‧ There appears to be a relationship between poor sexual health and cognitive function.

‧ Improvements in sexual satisfaction can improve memory.

‧ Circulatory problems can lead to declined sexual and cognitive function.

A bad sex life might predict memory problems in your later years. A recent study has found that middle-aged men who reported decreasing sexual satisfaction and erectile function as they got older also tended to experience greater cognitive decline at the same time. The findings suggest that our sexual health is closely tied to our brain health, though more research is needed to better understand this link, the study authors say.

Past studies have found a connection between sexual and cognitive function, including in older adults. But much of this research has relied on studying people at singular points in their life. In this new study, led by scientists at Penn State University, the team had access to data that allowed them to follow people over time.

Specifically, they analyzed data from hundreds of older men enrolled in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA), an ongoing study that’s trying to pin down the genetic and environmental factors that affect people’s aging brains. More than 800 men were included in the team’s analysis, with an average age of 56 at the start of the study. These men answered questions about their lives and had their cognition and memory tested across three waves of the study over a 12-year period.

Men’s self-reported sexual satisfaction at the start of the study wasn’t linked to their initial cognitive function, the researchers found. But men whose sex lives began to decline over the years often experienced memory decline as well. Men who reported erectile dysfunction also tended to have worse cognitive function at the beginning and throughout the study.

“When we mapped the relationship over time, we found increases or decreases in erectile function and sexual satisfaction were associated with concurrent increases or decreases in cognitive function,” said co-lead author Riki Slayday, a doctoral candidate at Penn State, in a statement released by the university. “These associations survived adjustment for demographic and health factors, which tells us there is a clear connection between our sex lives and our cognition.”

The team’s results were published in the latest issue of the journal Gerontologist.

Longitudinal studies are better than similar types of research at showing a genuine association between any two factors—in this case, sexual and brain health. This study alone still can’t tell us the direction of this relationship, though, meaning whether one causes the other or if both are influenced by another unaccounted factor. But the authors do have some theories. Men with worsening sex lives can experience greater stress as a result, which could then affect their cognitive health, for instance. Subtle damaging changes in our body’s circulation are also known to raise the risk of erectile dysfunction in men and could plausibly harm our brains as well.

The authors say their findings at the very least indicate that older men’s declining sexual health can be an early warning sign of memory problems. Ideally, this might also mean that people can help keep their brains sharp by proactively addressing issues with their sex life.

“Improvements in sexual satisfaction may actually spark improvement in memory function. We tell people they should get more exercise and eat better foods. We’re showing that sexual satisfaction also has importance for our health and general quality of life,” study author Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, said in a statement.


How Men Can Take Care of Their Sexual Health

What Men Can Do to Ensure Their Sexual Health Is Strong

Mental and physical care are both critical to a man’s libido and reproductive well-being.

Author: Helen Massy
Published: March 06, 2023

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Giddy

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Key Points

‧ Maintaining good sexual health is important for men.

‧ Mental health will have a large impact on sexual well-being.

‧ 20-30% of men in their 20s and 30s experience some form of ED.

Sexual health is an essential part of every man’s life. As well as protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) or preventing unwanted pregnancies, sexual health is about having safer, satisfying sex and a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and relationships.

Understanding how to look after your sexual health benefits both you and your partner.

The best place to start is by getting to know your body and your reproductive system, and what’s normal and what’s not normal. This way, you can quickly identify any problems and seek medical support to address them.

There are multiple aspects to men’s sexual health, including physical health and mental health. Lifestyle factors influence all of these elements, either in a positive or negative way.

Men’s health and sexual health

A few of the essential aspects of a male’s sexual health are desire, erections and endurance, explained James J. Elist, M.D., a urologist in Beverly Hills, California, who specializes in impotence and male sexual dysfunction.

Being sexually healthy enables a man to fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity.

The body can’t just rely on physical health to create desire, erections and endurance, though. Physiology, mental health and emotional health can affect both libido and sexual function.

Male sexual health isn’t just about the ability to enjoy sex. It’s also about preventing STIs/STDs and identifying any problems with fertility. It’s about understanding how to prevent unwanted pregnancies and ensuring sex is consensual, respectful and safe for both partners.

Mental health and men’s sexual health

Mental health can directly impact sexual health and vice versa.

“Low libido, erectile dysfunction [ED] and premature ejaculation can all be exacerbated by negative mental health experiences, whether that’s traumatic experiences, relationship or professional workplace stress, depression or anxiety,” Elist said.

He explained that those negative mental health experiences can lead to worsened sexual performance, which in turn leads to more strains on mental health, driven by decreased self-confidence and self-worth as a result of poor performance in bed.

This leads to a negative cycle in which one feeds into the other.

“As such, it’s important to seek solutions early on to prevent any issues from worsening. Taking care of one’s mental health through therapy, meditation, etcetera can often improve sexual health issues as well,” Elist said.

If you find your mental health is affecting your sexual health, or problems with sex or sexuality are affecting your mental health, you can explore a number of options with your healthcare provider to address either issue.

Physical health and men’s sexual health

“It all begins with male libido,” Elist said of the connection between physical health and sexual health. “A man must have the desire to engage in sexual activity in the first place.”

Unfortunately, he said, as guys get older, libido tends to decrease as testosterone decreases. Obviously, for a man to be able to perform sexually, he must be able to achieve and maintain an erection. You can take steps to address this issue.

“As with testosterone and libido, erectile function also relies on staying healthy, particularly maintaining cardiovascular health, avoiding cigarettes and exercising frequently to get the blood pumping,” Elist said.

Once a man achieves an erection, he must maintain the erection and be able to last long enough to enjoy a sexually satisfying experience for both himself and his partner.

“Often, premature ejaculation can get in the way, which is why it’s important to limit stress and practice pelvic floor exercises if that’s an issue an individual deals with,” he said.

There is no need to suffer in silence if you have any problems with your libido, erection, ejaculation or performance. Seek help from your healthcare provider if you are experiencing problems, as many treatment options are available to help you feel comfortable and satisfied when having sex.

What’s a ‘normal’ sex drive?

Sex drive varies depending on a man’s age. Elist explained what happens to libido across the stages of life:

‧ In his early 20s, an individual can desire sex almost daily.

‧ Starting in his mid-30s, an individual’s testosterone levels begin to decrease by approximately 1 percent per year.

‧ Upon reaching his 60s, sexual desire may lessen even further for many men.

While there’s no “normal” level of sex drive for men, Elist stressed it is normal for levels to decrease over time.

“However, that trend can be partially mitigated and offset through regular exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule,” he said.

Sexual health and reproductive health

“There are various issues that can impact an individual’s reproductive health and fertility, from stress to smoking to excessive testosterone use,” Elist explained.

To look after reproductive health, men should undertake a testicular self-exam routinely to ensure that there are no signs of lumps or tumors. Cancer is obviously a concern here, but fertility comes into the picture, too.

Testicular self-exams and examinations by a physician can help men identify the presence of a varicocele, a dilated vein inside the scrotum that can increase the temperature of the testicles and negatively affect sperm development, according to Elist.

Sperm counts decrease by an estimated 40 percent for every degree the testicles rise in temperature.

Elist also highlighted that the excessive use of testosterone or androgens could damage the testicles. Tobacco and frequent marijuana use can also decrease sperm count. All of these factors should be considered if a man is experiencing fertility issues.

Your healthcare provider can use various tests to help establish fertility problems, including the following:

‧ STI/STD testing
‧ Semen analysis
‧ Urinalysis
‧ Hormone testing
‧ Ultrasound scans
‧ Testicular biopsies

Complications and related conditions

The most common male sexual dysfunctions men should be aware of, according to Elist, include:

‧ Low testosterone
‧ Low libido
‧ Erectile dysfunction
‧ Premature ejaculation

ED is an issue that impacts more than half of all men at some point in their lives.

“While many think erectile dysfunction is an issue that only affects older men, it can actually impact 20 percent to 30 percent of men in their 20s and 30s,” Elist said.

Premature ejaculation is an issue that impacts nearly 40 percent of all men.

“It is characterized by sexual activity that often lasts one minute or less and sexual experiences which cause stress and frustration,” Elist explained.

You can address premature ejaculation issues with a combination of solutions that could include meditation, pelvic floor exercises, supplements, lidocaine sprays or prescription SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

“Other issues, such as delayed ejaculation, retrograde ejaculation and Peyronie’s disease, are less common, but if an individual is experiencing any of those issues, then it’s important to discuss them with a urologist,” he added.


Explained: Why men must not ignore sexual health problems

While as individuals, we are hardwired to share our issues with our near and dear ones, certain conversations still take place in hushed tones. Sexual wellness is one such topic. Since such issues are not spoken about and people refrain from seeking treatment due to a lack of awareness and right online platforms in the country.

IANS Updated Jul 24, 2022 | 06:43 AM IST

This article is a repost which originally appeared on TIMESNOW

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Our Takeaways:

· Men are usually hesitant to discuss sexual matters with others in a social setting.

· Professional consultations for sexual problems have more than doubled since 2020.

· Discussing sexual concerns can help to relieve stress and to discover potential solutions.

When was the last time you heard a man discussing his sexual wellness in a peer group or a social setting, or even with his loved ones? Chances are, you’ve never heard of such a thing. These conversations, while critical, just do not happen.
While as individuals, we are hardwired to share our issues with our near and dear ones, certain conversations still take place in hushed tones. Sexual wellness is one such topic. Since such issues are not spoken about and people refrain from seeking treatment due to a lack of awareness and right online platforms in the country.

Just like physical and mental well-being, men must take care of sexual wellness to lead a healthy and happy life. Thankfully, we’re on our way to speaking out loud about these issues as a society. Sexual wellness consultations increased by almost 139% in the year 2020 compared with the previous year.

1. Performance Pressure: Sexual health and effectiveness are taboo in society and specifically for men for various reasons. It is often assumed that sexual activity comes more naturally to men than women. While that is untrue, this notion gets even more troublesome when men aren’t able to perform in bed. Men suffer from performance anxiety a lot more than women, which is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction.

2. Erectile Dysfunction: The commonly used term for ED is impotence. The mere association of this word with men arouses discomfort in social circles and, more often than not, leads to a scarred image. But the problem is not as rare, just less talked about. As per the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, nearly half of the men in the age group of 40 to 70 face this issue due to reasons varying from arterial malfunction or other abnormalities that can be checked and treated. ED can be caused by endocrinological diseases such as prostate malfunction, hypogonadism or even diabetes. Trouble maintaining an erection could very well be caused by fibrosis or atrophy, which is a sufficiently organic process but could also be caused due to drugs or smoke. Another myth surrounding men’s sexual health is that ED is a psychological disorder. While the cause could be neurological, the issue definitely needs to be probed for clarity and subsequent treatment.

3. Low Libido: Libido comes naturally to all genders, given they’re in a suitable space in their head. Sexual pleasure is a recreational activity that does not need to be and ideally is not supposed to be imposed upon anyone. So, not being in the right mind space, like experiencing stress or anxiety, could lead to low libido. There could be very many reasons that need to get checked by an expert.

4. Premature Ejaculation: Generally, one out of three men has been known to complain about premature orgasm. This creates a lot of pressure upon men as they feel they’re somehow incapable of pleasing their women. This further causes a loss of self-confidence, adversely impacting their mental health and even leading to severe problems. Those days are gone when there wasn’t any scientific explanation for biological processes. Society has advanced a great deal to know for sure that there are underlying causes for many of the activities affecting sexual health. All the community collectively needs to do now is talk openly about sexual diseases and discomfort like other diseases. The bubble needs to burst now more than ever when we are experiencing a time when multiple genders exist in society.

Sexual pleasure, like any other need in life, is an individual’s responsibility. But acceptance in relationships plays a significant role in bringing that sort of communication out loud. This helps improve relationships and emotional health and leads to enhanced confidence and perspective in all aspects of life. Again, acceptance is the key in the end.

(Nilay Mehrotra, Founder & CEO of Kindly)






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.

How Pornography Use Affects Couples Sexual Health

How Pornography Use Affects Couples Sexual Health

Emerging research provides clues on how, and for whom, pornography affects sex.

Posted Jan 11, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Psychology Today

Edited for content

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, pornography use is seen as morally acceptable among a rising percentage of Americans, moving from 30 percent approval in 2011 to 43 percent by 2018. This trend follows overall movement toward more liberal beliefs across the boards. When it comes to pornography, the biggest changes were seen among unmarried people and adult males under age 49. Factors such as religion and political orientation affect porn acceptance, with a far smaller percentage of conservative and religious people finding porn morally OK.

Despite growing acceptance, there is serious concern that pornography causes real harm: exploitation and risk to performers, damage to the capacity for healthy relationship and interfering with relationship and sexual satisfaction, addictive potential, illegal activity supporting human trafficking and child abuse, and contribution to the general societal trend to objectify and present unrealistic expectations for physical attributes as well as what healthy sexual behavior is. These are public health and human rights concerns, overlapping with moral concerns and calls for ethical porn, just as trauma and moral injury overlap, requiring greater attention and activism.

Pornography and long-term relationship

Of particular interest is the impact of pornography on marriage. According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Research (2018), pornography has a negative impact on most committed relationships. There are exceptions, but they are not typical. Looking at over 6000 couples, they found that anxiety about the relationship (anxious attachment) was associated with greater relationship satisfaction with own pornography use by men and lower satisfaction when women used porn.

Men were three times more likely to report porn use, and marginally more accepting of pornography. In general, they found that low pornography acceptance among porn users was associated with lower relationship satisfaction, though for men only higher acceptance was associated with greater relationship satisfaction. Pornography use was generally associated with anxious attachment and lower relationship satisfaction. However, work on how pornography use affects sexual satisfaction requires further study.

To understand the connection between pornography and sexual health, Vaillancort-Morel and colleagues, in their recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (2021) surveyed 217 couples, including 72 same-sex couples, together at least one year, and sexually active, who completed approximately one month of daily reports.

They estimated pornography use, and whether it was solitary, with their partner, or both; sexual satisfaction on days sexually active, using the Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction; sexual distress using the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised (also validated for men) estimating distress about sex life, inferiority feelings because of sexual issues, and sexual worries; sexual function via the Monash Female Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire (with men’s version), asking about sexual desire, receptiveness, ease of arousal, quality of erection or lubrication, orgasm and experience of pleasure; and frequency of masturbation.


In terms of basic statistics, in this convenience sample, over 35 days half of couples reported pornography use on the same day they had sex. By and large, pornography use was not related to sexual health on most study measures. While future research is warranted to look at a more diverse sample, pornography use here was not associated with sexual satisfaction, ease of sexual arousal, orgasm, or pleasure, and did not strongly relate to sexual distress overall. Masturbation was unrelated to one’s own or partner’s sexual satisfaction, distress or function.

However, there were two significant findings. First, solo pornography use on days when couples had sex was related to increased partner sexual distress. The negative impact on partner distress was true for both men and women, suggesting increased feelings of inadequacy and potential lower quality of sexual engagement (e.g. the partner who used porn may have had changes in behavior and emotions during sex) on those days they had sex when their partner used pornography without them.

Study authors note that some people using pornography alone on days they had sex might have had sex with partners before using pornography, in which case partner distress may be related to later pornography use.

Second, women reported better lubrication on the days pornography was used, whereas men did not report better quality erection, the analogous measure. Authors note that prior research points toward an entourage effect, where couples pornography use is associated with greater sexual openness, that it may help couples normalize, talk about and play out sexual fantasies, and general facilitate sex positivity.

This is in line with research showing that women’s sexual satisfaction is directly related to how well women express what works for them (2017), and couples talk about and maintain a positive attitude toward, sex (2017). This can be further facilitated by couples groups in which couples speak together about intimate issues, thereby increasing overall relationship satisfaction (2017).

Further considerations

Sexual and relationship issues are on the rise, driven by COVID-19-related stress, loneliness and depression, with increased conflict and decreased intimacy (2020). For many couples, pornography has a corrosive effect, much like infidelity in some ways. As with infidelity (2019), open marriage, or parenting marriages, sexual activity outside the couple may also be stabilizing, a factor strongly affected by moral and social norms.

For other couples, those more accepting of pornography and generally sex positive, with more secure attachment to one another, pornography may be useful and pleasurable component of their sex life—as long as it does not cause insecurity in partners or negatively impact sexual behavior and attitudes. The research discussed here, while preliminary, serves as a springboard for discussion and may offer insight for some couples.

As pornography acceptance is a crucial factor, finding out how aligned partners are on pornography is a key part of talking about sexual and relationship satisfaction. Given that sexual satisfaction tends to decline in the majority of marriages over time (2019), it’s important to talk about sex openly for couples seeking long-term stability and satisfaction.

Note: An ExperiMentations Blog Post (“Our Blog Post”) is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through Our Blog Post. Please seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding the evaluation of any specific information, opinion, advice, or other content. We are not responsible and will not be held liable for third party comments on Our Blog Post. Any user comment on Our Blog Post that in our sole discretion restricts or inhibits any other user from using or enjoying Our Blog Post is prohibited and may be reported to Sussex Publishers/Psychology Today. Grant H. Brenner. All rights reserved.


Get back in sexual sync

Get back in sexual sync

Here’s how to regain romantic rhythm with your partner when sexual drive and interest get out of whack.

Published: November, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Harvard Health

Edited for content

It’s common for longtime partners to fall into romantic ruts. “You don’t stay newlyweds for life, and there are times when romance and sex get routine and less exciting,” says Dr. Sharon Bober, director of the Sexual Health Program at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

What can you do when you and your partner are sexually out of sync? As with most things in life, if you want change, then you must be willing to change.

“This means giving your relationship the attention it needs,” says Dr. Bober. “You can’t leave everything on autopilot and wait for your relationship to eventually return to normal.”

Ups and downs

As couples age, they also face other challenges to intimacy. For instance, sexual drive varies between the sexes and can be more unpredictable.

Women go through menopause, which affects desire and can make sex uncomfortable. Men often deal with erectile dysfunction, which leads to worry about sexual performance and dampens libido.

But there are upsides to this period of life, too. The kids are out of the house, many couples are more financially secure, and they have more time to relax and enjoy each other.

The rules of attraction

Couples can get out of sexual sync when one or both partners feel that they are no longer attractive or sexually appealing, even though this is often not the case. “They may falsely believe they are not desirable and that in turn lowers their own feelings of sexuality,” says Dr. Sharon Bober, director of the Sexual Health Program at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Make a regular effort to compliment your partner both physically and emotionally, and show that you still want a connection.

Making a new recipe

While erectile dysfunction medication and lubricants can help overcome some of the physical barriers to sex, older couples need to work together to correct an out-of-sync love life.

“There are many strategies that can help get intimacy back in rhythm,” says Dr. Bober. “But it’s like a recipe with multiple ingredients. They work best together.”

Here are some of her suggestions:

Restart the romance spark. A satisfying sex life begins outside the bedroom. “Don’t think of your partner as a roommate, but someone you want to bond with,” says Dr. Bober. Try something new together like a hobby or take a class or overnight trip. “Think about how you would woo your partner if you were dating for the first time,” says Dr. Bober.

Plan for intimacy. If motivation is a barrier, set up a sex date. Sometimes you need to make sex happen to get back in the rhythm, similar to scheduling workouts with a trainer. “This way neither partner needs to feel pressured to initiate, but rather together you can plan for and anticipate some romance with each other,” says Dr. Bober.

Find the best time. Energy levels vary throughout the day and night and per person. “Some people like morning romance, and others enjoy it in the evening,” says Dr. Bober. “Couples need to communicate with each other about what time of day is best and try to find a compromise.”

Don’t rush it. Arousal is not as spontaneous as you age. “Put more effort into anticipation and the overall experience of giving and receiving pleasure, which gives both people time for proper arousal and avoids the stress of having to get in the mood quickly,” says Dr. Bober.

Also, make foreplay central to sex. Spend more time hugging, kissing, and exploring each other’s bodies. “Bring back the actions that you found exciting when dating,” says Dr. Bober.

Build from desires. Before and during sex, ask your partner what feels good and what sparks interest. And then share what you like.

“This is a way to build mutual trust,” says Dr. Bober. Besides the physical aspect, desires also could include actions like reading something erotic to each other or watching a sexy movie.

Dr. Bober adds that what really counts is for couples to come together and focus on mutual pleasure.

“For any couple, the key to enhancing desire is communication and connection,” she says. “A little more of both is often great for boosting your sex life.”

#SexColumn: Men can lose their sex drive too

#SexColumn: Men can lose their sex drive too

Sep 25, 2020

By Sharon Gordon

This article is a repost which originally appeared on IOL

Edited for content

Every joke I’ve ever heard about lack of libido or not wanting to have sex has had a woman as the brunt. In reality many women report that their partners are more often than not the cause for a drop in sexual activity.

Men can also feel asexual, not enjoy sex and find themselves in a slump. The difference is nobody will admit to it or discuss it.

So let’s talk about the top 10 things that can kill your sex drive and your penis. Doctors often refer to ED (erectile dysfunction) as the first signs of early death. I don’t want to be alarmist but the penis and its ability to be erect is a fantastic gauge for health.

ED is the first sign that you may have one of the big three chronic conditions; hypertension, cardiac problems or diabetes. They are easy to diagnose and treatable and yet many men ignore the signs because they are reluctant to admit that their erections are not what they used to be.

One of the big drug companies talk about the 5 finger erection. Hold your hand out in front of you, fingers outstretched, thumb facing up and pinkie finger to the floor. It is the perfect explanation of erections through the ages. The thumb indicates the strength and height of a young adolescent male and the pinkie that of an older male. No cause for concern, as long as the penis is still hard.

It’s when the penis can no longer obtain an erection that you should see your doctor. A real doctor, not some quack that is going to just prescribe ways to achieve and erection. You should be treating the cause and not just the symptom.

There are other reasons why your erection isn’t what it should be. I’ve already alluded to diabetes. Sugar affects testosterone production, making it harder to get an erection. So slow down on eating all those sweets and chocolates.

Inadequate sleep also affects testosterone levels and in turn your erection. I know that this year has shot stress levels through the roof, affecting everything from sleep to nutrition. Be aware of it and if necessary get help. Exercise and mediation can help but drugs may be necessary in acute cases.

Which brings me to exercise. Too much exercise, especially running and cycling could be doing more harm than good. British Columbia University did a study that alleges that more than 64km per week can drop testosterone levels by 17%.

I wonder if erections were stronger during the lockdown when alcohol was not available for sale. Alcohol consumption has a major impact on erections and inability to orgasm. Alcohol also affects testosterone levels.

I keep going on about the hormone testosterone. This is the libido driving hormone and without it your sex drive will tank. Men often lack enough testosterone. It is a simple blood test and is very easily treated. So if you feel something is off, get it tested. I know so many men who would rather bite the bullet than spend an hour at the doctor and get it sorted.

If you are spending too much time indoors you ay also be lowering testosterone production. You do need Vitamin D for production to happen. So why not take yourself out for a day in the outdoors. I have recently discovered that in and around Johannesburg there is plenty to do.

I have some bad news for the lactose intolerant and vegans. Harvard Medical School alleges a direct connection between Soy intake and erectile dysfunction. So if you have recently changed your diet to soy based foods and have been experiencing erectile issues, try cutting out the soy.

Every one of these causes can be addressed and I am by no means suggesting that these are the only causes for your penis not working as well as it should. My absolute opinion is that if it’s not working as well as it should seek medical assistance. There is no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Most women have their breasts and vaginas examined annually to ensure continued sexual health and men should get into the habit of doing the same.

In the interim, while you are sorting out the causes there are some adult toys that can help out in the play department. Penis pumps can help draw blood into the penis and thus help with a better erection. Once blood is in the penis use a simple cock ring to keep the blood there for the duration of play. Remove it before it becomes uncomfortable and no longer than 20 minutes.

For a little extra vooma, use a vibrating cock ring. You will maintain your erection and become a vibrator in one go. If your erection doesn’t work at all anymore, you can use a hollow strap on. The penis is placed inside the strap on and is then used to pleasure your partner the same way an erection would. Also remember that your mouth and hands can offer just as much pleasure when used correctly.

Male Sexual Worries: Trends in the Post-Viagra Age

Male Sexual Worries: Trends in the Post-Viagra Age

This article is a repost which originally appeared on SciTechDaily

Edited for content

Trends in reasons for visiting a the San Raffaele sexual health clinic. Credit: This diagram appears with the permission of the authors and the International Journal of Impotence Research. The EAU thanks the authors, and the journal for their cooperation.

Scientists report a change in why men seek help for sexual problems, with fewer men complaining about impotence (erectile dysfunction) and premature ejaculation, and more men, especially younger men, complaining about low sexual desire and curvature of the penis (Peyronie’s disease).

Presenting the work at the European Association of Urology (virtual) Congress, after recent acceptance for publication, research leader Dr. Paolo Capogrosso (San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy) said:

“Over a 10 year period we have seen a real change in what concerns men when they attend sexual health clinics. This is probably driven by greater openness, and men now accepting that many sexual problems can be treated, rather than being something they don’t want to talk about.”

The success of erectile dysfunction treatments such as Viagra and Cialis, and the availability of new treatments, means that men facing sexual problems have now have treatments for sexual problems which weren’t available a generation ago. Now researchers at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan have studied why men come to sexual health clinics, and how this has changed over a 10-year period.

In what is believed to be the first research of its kind, the scientists questioned 3244 male visitors to the San Raffaele Hospital Sexual Health Clinic in Milan over a 10 year period (2009 to 2019), and classified the main reason for the visit. They found that the number of patients visiting with erectile dysfunction problems increased from 2009 to 2013, then started to decrease.

There were comparatively few patients complaining of low sex drive or Peyronie’s disease in 2009, but complaints about both of these conditions grow from 2009 to the end of the study. In 2019 men were around 30% more likely to report Peyronie’s disease than in 2009, and around 32% more likely to report low sexual desire.

The amount of men complaining of premature ejaculation dropped by around 6% over the 10-year period. The average age of first attendance at the clinical also dropped, from a mean of 61 to 53 years.

“Erectile dysfunction is still the main reason for attending the clinic, but this number is dropping, whereas around 35% of men attending the clinic now complain of Peyronie’s disease, and that number has shown steady growth,” said Paolo Capogrosso. “Our patients are also getting younger, which may reflect a generational change in attitude to sexual problems.”

Dr. Capogrosso continued “We need to be clear about what these figures mean. They do not indicate any change in the prevalence of these conditions, what they show is why men came to the clinic. In other words, it shows what they are concerned about. The changes probably also reflect the availability of treatments; as treatments for sexual conditions have become available over the last few years, men are less likely to suffer in silence.”

These are results from a single centre, so they need to be confirmed by more inclusive studies. “Nevertheless there seems to be a growing awareness of conditions such as Peyronie’s disease, with articles appearing in the popular press*. In addition, we know that the awareness of this condition is increasing in the USA and elsewhere, so this may be a general trend,**” said Dr. Capogrosso.

Commenting, Dr Mikkel Fode (Associate Professor of Urology at University of Copenhagen), said:

“Although these data are somewhat preliminary as they stem from single institution they are interesting because they allow us to formulate several hypotheses. For example the drop in men presenting with erectile dysfunction may mean that family physicians are becoming more comfortable addressing this issue and that the patients are never referred to specialized centers. Likewise, the simultaneous drop in age at presentation and increase in Peyronie’s disease and low sex drive could indicate that both men and their partners are becoming more mindful to optimizing their sex lives. I will be very interesting to see if these trends are also present in other centers around the world.”

Dr. Fode was not involved in this work, this is an independent comment.


* “Trends in reported male sexual dysfunction over the past decade: an evolving landscape” by Edoardo Pozzi, Paolo Capogrosso, Luca Boeri, Walter Cazzaniga, Rayan Matloob, Eugenio Ventimiglia, Davide Oreggia, Nicolò Schifano, Luigi Candela, Costantino Abbate, Francesco Montorsi and Andrea Salonia, 1 July 2020, International Journal of Impotence Research.

** “The Prevalence of Peyronie’s Disease in the United States: A Population-Based Study” by Mark Stuntz, Anna Perlaky, Franka des Vignes, Tassos Kyriakides and Dan Glass, 23 February 2016, PLOS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150157
PMCID: PMC4764365

5 major health benefits of sex — and how much sex is healthy

5 major health benefits of sex — and how much sex is healthy

Mary Sauer

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Insider

Edited for content

Sex has many benefits for mental and physical health.

  • The benefits of sex include reduced stress and anxiety, increased libido, better quality sleep, improved immune system, and a lower risk of heart disease.
  • A healthy sex life can have many short-term and long-term benefits, whether you have sex with a partner or masturbate.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.

A positive sex life can do wonders for your health. And finding what a healthy sex life looks like for you is about understanding what brings you satisfaction.

“Most of what we focus on is that sexual health and intimacy is based on consent, honesty, and mutual pleasure,” says Barb Depree, MD and founder of MiddlesexMD. “If they’re feeling respected and fulfilled it’s going to be healthy for them.”

Moreover, you don’t need to have sex with a partner to find these benefits — solo sex, or masturbation, can also reduce stress and improve overall health.

So whether by yourself or with a partner, here are five of the main health benefits of sex:

Sex can reduce stress and anxiety

Cortisol levels decrease after sex, according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine. This is the hormone that is responsible for the body’s stress response, and with less of it present, you’ll feel more relaxed.

Endorphins are another hormone released during sex. These are associated with increased feelings of pleasure, motivation, and energy. This means sex, like exercise, may be able to boost your mood if you’re feeling down.

“We know that people who engage in sex generally have less anxiety and stress,” Depree says.

Sex increases intimacy and libido

Oxytocin, known as the love hormone, is released during sex. It’s associated with increased feelings of trust and empathy — which is a key part of maintaining intimate relationships.

If you feel more connected to your partner, your desire to have sex — known as libido — may increase.

Stronger libido and intimacy with another person can provide the necessary support to keep yourself mentally and physically well.

Sex can help you get better sleep

The release of oxytocin will also help you fall asleep more quickly after sex.

“More specifically with orgasm for women, sex, in general, helps release oxytocin, which directly impacts the brain to encourage relaxation — and it’s actually a little sedating,” says Depree.

In fact, both men and women self-report better sleep after an orgasm, whether they achieve that with a partner or through masturbation.

In addition to oxytocin, prolactin levels increase after intercourse and orgasm, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. This hormone increases your feelings of sleepiness and relaxation, which can also make it easier for you to settle in for the night.

Sex may boost your immune system

In 2018, the Journal of Sex Research found a connection between sex with a partner and improved immune function.

Researchers compared sexually abstinent women with those who engaged in sex at least once a week and found that sexually active women had increased levels of immunoglobin A in their saliva. This antibody plays an important role in fighting off common types of sickness such as respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Additionally, some research has found that masturbation can boost immunity and improve overall health.

Sex can improve heart health

The act of sex is exercise. In fact, research has found that people burn an average of 85 calories during sex lasting roughly 30 minutes.

Exercise is healthy for many reasons, but it’s also one of the best ways to lower blood pressure and prevent your risk of heart disease.

According to Depree, sex has a direct impact on lower blood pressure, both because of the physical and mental health benefits of sex. Lower levels of stress and anxiety are also associated with lower blood pressure, and thus, a reduced risk of heart disease.

The bottom line

Overall, sex can have a wide range of benefits for your mental and physical health.

Sex reduces stress and anxiety, and can boost intimacy and feelings of connection with your partner. It allows you to get better sleep, burns calories, and may also help you fight off infection more effectively.

Over time, a healthy sex life may even reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease.




The Health Benefits of Sex

The Health Benefits of Sex

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT on July 29, 2016 — Written by Pamela Rogers, MS, PhD and Ana Gotter

This article is a repost which originally appeared on HealthLine

Sex is an important factor in your life

Sex and sexuality are a part of life. Aside from reproduction, sex can be about intimacy and pleasure. Sexual activity, penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), or masturbation, can offer many surprising benefits to all facets of your life:

  • physical
  • intellectual
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • social

Sexual health is more than avoiding diseases and unplanned pregnancies. It’s also about recognizing that sex can be an important part of your life, according to the American Sexual Health Association.

How can sex benefit your body?

This study suggests that sex can be good cardiovascular exerciseTrusted Source in younger men and women. Though sex isn’t enough exercise on its own, it can be considered light exercise.

Some of the benefits you can get from sex include:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • burning calories
  • increasing heart health
  • strengthening muscles
  • reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension
  • increasing libido

People with active sex lives tend to exercise more frequently and have better dietary habits than those who are less sexually active. Physical fitness may also improve sexual performance overall.

Stronger immune system

In a study of immunity in people in romantic relationships, people who had frequent sex (one to two times a week) had more immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva. People who had infrequent sex (less than once a week) had significantly less IgA.

IgA is the antibody that plays a role in preventing illnesses and is the first line of defense against human papillomavirus, or HPV.

But those who had sex more than three times a week had the same amount of IgA as those who had infrequent sex. The study suggests that anxiety and stress can possibly cancel out the positive effects of sex.

Better sleep

Your body releases oxytocin, also called the “love” or “intimacy” hormone, and endorphins during an orgasm. The combination of these hormones can act as sedation.

Better sleep can contribute to:

  • a stronger immune system
  • a longer lifespan
  • feeling more well-rested
  • having more energy during the day

Headache relief

Another study shows that sexual activity can provide full or partial relief from migraines and cluster headaches.

Of people who were sexually active during their attacks:

  • 60 percent reported an improvement during a migraine
  • 70 percent reported moderate to complete relief during a migraine
  • 37 percent reported improvement of symptoms in cluster headaches
  • 91 percent reported moderate to complete relief in cluster headaches
How sex benefits all genders

In men

A recent review found that men who had more frequent penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) had less risk of developing prostate cancer.

One study found that men who averaged having 4.6 to 7 ejaculations a week were 36 percent less likely to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis before the age of 70. This is in comparison to men who reported ejaculating 2.3 or fewer times a week on average.

For men, sex may even affect your mortality. One study that had a 10 year follow-up reported that men who had frequent orgasms (defined as two or more a week) had a 50 percent lower mortality risk than those who had sex less often.

Although results are conflicting, the quality and health of your sperm may increase with increased sexual activity, as some research suggests.

In women

Having an orgasm increases blood flow and releases natural pain-relieving chemicals.

Sexual activity in women can:

  • improve bladder control
  • reduce incontinence
  • relieve menstrual and premenstrual cramps
  • improve fertility
  • build stronger pelvic muscles
  • help produce more vaginal lubrication
  • potentially protect you against endometriosis, or the growing of tissue outside your uterus

The act of sex can help strengthen your pelvic floor. A strengthened pelvic floor can also offer benefits like less pain during sex and reduced chance of a vaginal prolapse. One study shows that PVI can result in reflexive vaginal contractions caused by penile thrusting.

Women who continue to be sexually active after menopause are less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy, or the thinning of vaginal walls. Vaginal atrophy can cause pain during sex and urinary symptoms.