Of course we all want optimal sexual performance (especially men who, in their urges for conquest and achievement, sometimes seem to thrive on bragging about their sex lives), but there are many factors that influence it. Although lower testosterone levels, decreased libido and even erectile dysfunction are considered somewhat normal as we age (the decline usually creeping up on men in their 30’s, but getting worse in their 50’s and onward), we can fight mother nature a bit through natural means. This becomes increasingly important as testosterone levels have been dropping dramatically over the last 60 years or so. In recent years, 10% of men between 40 and 70 years old have severe or total erectile dysfunction. In that same age category, another 25% of men has mild or recurring erectile dysfunction. Even below 40, 5-10% of men suffer from it in some form. I have no intention of becoming one of those people, not when I’m 60, not when I’m 50 and sure as hell not when I’m 40 or younger.
This post is not specifically geared towards people with ED (although it might help them), but more for people who enjoy experimenting with their body and want to get some more kicks out of their sex life for many years to come. This post is mostly geared towards men for a long term healthy sex life, but some advice can help with -ahem- short term results too. Maybe women can learn something useful here as well.
As I usually say when giving out advice like this: Use your common sense. I’m not a fucking doctor, this is a blog. It’s the internet. Some of the things I mention below have been thoroughly researched, some things are anecdotal and some things are purely theory. I am aware of that so don’t bother nitpicking on that unless one of my advices has been thoroughly disproven. Additional tips for this list are always welcome though, I may add them in this post.
Experiment and see what works. A placebo effect can be good enough. You’re in this for more fun and especially longevity between the sheets, it’s not a dick measuring contest to see who’s right about what works.
Eat your cholesterol. Although dietary cholesterol seems to have VERY little effect on our body’s cholesterol production, it does seem to aid our production of sex hormones. Eat the yolk. That’s where the cholesterol is and that’s where the minerals are. Perhaps the whole ‘eggs as an aphrodisiac’ thing does have some truth to it. For much the same reason, don’t try and do something silly like cut out dietary fat as much as possible. Vary your fat intake. Avoid hydrogenated oils (!) but make sure you get your omega 3’s, a bit of saturated fat, some olive oil, avocado, the works, you know it. Also make sure to eat nuts. (no, not that, I’m talking about a handful of almonds and a few brazil nuts daily like Timothy Ferris advises in the 4-Hour Body)
Vary your food intake, to make sure you’re not missing out on important nutrients. Besides that, some people also claim that variety prevents the build up of the same toxins that could possibly mess with your hormones although that’s not a hard, scientific fact. If you’re curious whether you vary your food intake enough, you probably don’t.
Short, intense bouts of exercise (strength training and/or intense interval training) can give you many benefits related to sex, both direct and indirect. From your state of mind to your endurance, from protecting against diabetes and cardiovascular disease (both can aid in developing ED) to managing stress levels and improved self-esteem. You better get to it. Make sure not to overdo it or you’ll get the opposite effect. If your libido drops, you feel tired, unwilling to hit the gym, break out in acne and your appetite decreases, you might be on the verge of overtraining. Step down before you fall off.
Use a zinc supplement. Although this mostly tends to go for people with low zinc levels, taking in high doses of zinc can help testosterone production, libido and give you more intense orgasms. I’ve only read about this in men, I have no idea whether this works with women as well. When I say ‘high doses’, I do mean high doses. 4-5 times the RDA (let’s say 60-80mg a day, as opposed to the 12-15mg RDA) sounds about right. Maybe a little less for lightweights and maybe a little more for our sizable brethren. Make sure you increase your copper intake too, since taking in high doses of zinc can lead to zinc poisoning. Once again, use your common sense. Preferably do your own research too.
Consider an overall mineral/vitamin supplement. Many micronutrients play a role in healthy sexual functions. Few people really eat healthy and there’s no harm in taking a supplement like this unless you OD on them or take contaminated supplements.
Eat your protein. You need the amino acids for a properly functioning body. Eat your meat and eggs. If you’re a vegetarian, vary your food enough to make sure you don’t miss anything. Deficiencies could even lead to ED in worst case scenarios.
Manage stress levels and maintain a healthy self-esteem. ED is supposedly more often a mental issue than a physical one.
Prevent excessive or too little bodyfat. Both mess with your hormones and in some cases even your reproductive capabilities. I generally stick to 10-20% for men and 18-28% for women, assuming they have some decent amount of muscle mass, although this varies with age and ideal numbers differ depending on what research or guru you follow.
Know alcohol’s place. Most people know that a bit of alcohol can help set the mood and work on the mental aspect of sex, but supposedly it can have a direct physical effect on arousing women as well. Too much alcohol on the other hand can cause anything from sleepiness to temporary impotance and -in some people- some mental issues.
Experiment with testosterone booster supplements. Although research usually concludes that they have hardly any effect on
your testosterone levels, some of them (like tribulus testris) still tend to increase the libido.
Ask your doctor for testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone levels will normally drop when you get older. In worst
case scenarios this will not only lead to less fun in the bedroom (or wherever you prefer), but will lead to lower overall energy levels and even depression-like symptoms. With testosterone replacement therapy, you can get low doses of testosterone from your doctor. It’s not as high as taking steroids though, about 80-90mg a week if I recall correctly, where 300-500mg a week is normal for testosterone use in bodybuilders starting out with steroids. If you have tried all the natural stuff and TRT won’t get you into trouble with sports competitions and the like, consult with your doctor.
Watch less porn. Watch this 16 minute video about why. Long story short: watching a dirty video is not much of a problem, but doing it too much can mess with hormone levels and can indirectly lead to unsatisfying sex lives. Both physically and mentally, it can mess with you. The speaker makes some controversial statements related to depression and ADHD that I am sceptical of, but I really believe this is worth a look either way.
“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger