Ten things that will slam brakes on his libido

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Smoking. Photo/Courtesy

An erection is a complex, coordinated effort of the brain, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and hormones that increase blood flow to the penis sixfold. But because so much has to go right for a man to have an erection, there’s also a lot that can go wrong. NJAMBI WANJIKU lists factors that can ruin a man’s sex drive and what to do about it

1. Medication

When you’re dealing with a health condition, medication can be the solution. But medicine can also be tough on your libido.

Antidepressants and high blood pressure medications are notorious for destroying sex drive.

Research has found men on these types of medications also felt less connected to their partners. Some drugs used to stimulate hair growth and even cold medicine can also affect men’s sex drive. 

2. Smoking

The ability to perform sexually has a lot to do with blood flow, which explains why men with hypertension often suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Smoking causes blood vessel damage, which slows down blood flow.

A 2012 study found men who were able to successfully quit smoking experienced speedier arousal and an increase in sexual function compared to those who relapsed.

3. Porn overdose

Access to pornography in the digital age is just a few clicks away but this great convenience can be potentially terrible for men’s sex life.

Sexual anorexia, a term for the inability to perform sexually after watching too much porn was coined after an Italian study found men who frequently watched Internet pornography on a daily basis starting in their teenage years began to experience a drop in libido and eventually were unable to achieve an erection.

4. Low testosterone

Studies have shown that men who have higher levels of testosterone are at lower risk of erection troubles and decreased libido.

Men who are healthy tend to have higher testosterone levels and their overall health may be the source of any superior sexual health or desire.

However, testosterone should not be considered a cure-all and does carry with it some health risks. It raises the risk of cardiovascular problems in older men with poor mobility.

5. Poor sleep

Poor sleep quality has been linked to everything from obesity to early mortality. Unfortunately, men can also add diminished sex drive to the long list of negative health effects.

Sleep apnea has been linked to erectile dysfunction in a number of studies. Lack of sleep can also cause testosterone levels to drop.

The lower a man’s testosterone, the more difficult it is to achieve and maintain an erection. Prioritising bedtime can help men improve their love life.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol’s physical effects may get in the way of men’s good time. Not only has drinking been shown to decrease libido and arousal, it has also been found to lessen the ability to attain orgasm.

Even when achieved, an orgasm under the influence is likely to be less intense.

Like smoking, long-term alcohol use can cause permanent damage, but instead of messing up men’s blood vessels, it can wreak havoc on their nerves, creating feelings of tingling pain or numbness.

7. Poor oral hygiene

Oral hygiene has been linked to poor sex drive in men. A study published in 2013 found men suffering from erectile dysfunction were much more likely to have periodontitis or gum disease. The disease can be controlled by careful daily brushing and flossing.

8. Poor heart health

A man’s blood pressure and cholesterol can tell him how his circulatory system is doing and can also give him a good idea of his sexual fitness. Whatever is good for the heart is also good for the penis.

Erections are caused by increased blood flow to the penis and kept up by the compression of blood vessels, so poor vascular health can interfere with how a man functions down there. Good diet and exercise is a man’s best bet, but a trip to the doctor’s is also a good idea.

9. Being overweight

Being overweight is often linked to cardiovascular issues and can make a man run out of energy faster.

It can also affect his self-esteem. In order to reach a healthy weight, men should engage in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week and ditch processed foods. These changes should not be made at once. They should be slow and sustainable. 

10. Stress

Most people think of a hefty work load as the biggest source of stress, but this is not always the case. Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found anxiety can negatively affect arousal.

For some men, low self-esteem is a huge source of anxiety. A study published in 2007 indicated that men with poor body image had the lowest levels of sexual satisfaction.

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