Though few things are worse for your erection than a cigarette habit, coffee can actually help you out below the belt. A study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that men who consumed the caffeine equivalent of 2-3 cups of coffee per day were less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those who preferred to wake up with caffeine-free beverages.
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It’s common for men who start having affairs to stop having erections. So common, in fact, that doctors who treat erectile dysfunction often ask their patients if they’re getting any action on the side.
Unless your wife knows about, approves of, and participates in your new sex life—in which case, we’d like to meet her—you’re bound to feel at least a little guilty about it when you’re with her. Guilt can turn to anxiety, and that can kill an erection.
According to WedMD , research has shown that foods bad for the heart are also bad for the penis—which makes sense, since the heart and penis both depend on blood flow to function properly.
The Mediterranean diet—which includes, fruits, whole grains, heart-healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, red wine, and vegetables—is a good place to start.
"The link between the Mediterranean diet and improved sexual function has been scientifically established," Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, told WedMD.
One vigorously misplaced thrust is all it takes to rupture the corposa cavernosa, the elongated “erectile chambers” that run the length of your penis.
Don’t believe us? Try aiming your erect penis at the trunk of a tree—it’s roughly the same density as your partner’s pubic bone.
A complete rupture will require surgery within 24 hours to stanch internal bleeding and reduce the risk of permanent damage. A partial tear isn’t as serious, but it may cause problems later on. As the linings of the corposa heal over with scar tissue, they lose their elasticity—leading to curvature, pain, and impotency.
Did you know that a cock ring can help you maintain an erection? This O-shaped toy fits around your penis and helps keep blood in the shaft, where you want it. A cock ring also helps prevent venous leakage, a form of erectile dysfunction where blood flows to your penis, but has trouble staying there.
There are four types of cock rings, all of which can help in the erection department:
The penis is the most temperamental part of a man’s body. When you want it to stay hard during sexual activity, it goes soft. Then, when you finally manage to sustain an erection, you end up ejaculating too quickly. It responds poorly to alcohol, even when you’re in a sexually arousing situation. It also tends to show up in a big way at inopportune times, like in the middle of your important presentation for work. As far as sources of pleasure go, it can be pretty damn frustrating. You may never be able to predict how your penis will behave with 100 percent accuracy.
Cardio. Cardio. Cardio.
According to Ryan Berglund, M.D., a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, bloodflow is the key to a healthy erection, and there's nothing that encourages bloodflow like aerobic exercise. Not only does it keep you in shape, it builds the body's nitric oxide, which helps maintain erections.
While running is great, stay off the bike if you can help it. “Endurance cyclists who spend a long time on their bike seats may have more trouble with ED,” says Erin Michos, M.D., an associate professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Your penis needs as much shut-eye as it can get. Every night while you sleep, you have between three and five hour-long erections. You probably noticed this phenomenon the last time you had to pee at 4 a.m.
Those erections are not there just to make life interesting for your bedmate. They work to recharge your penis—keeping it well nourished with oxygenated blood.
“Theoretically, the more nocturnal erections you have, the more flexible your erectile tissue will become. And that may help keep erections strong as the years wear on,” explains Dr. Goldstein.
Low testosterone doesn't directly affect the mechanisms involved in your erection, but it does affect your libido, making it harder to get turned on—and harder to get, well, hard . If you notice an uncharacteristic drop in your sex drive—or any of these symptoms of low testosterone—you might want to ask your doc if your T levels are lower than they should be. If they are, your doctor can help get your testosterone back to levels within the normal range.
Sorry if that photo made you yawn just now. Actually, we're not sorry—because as far as your body’s concerned, yawning and getting an erection are practically the same thing.
They’re both controlled by a chemical called nitric oxide. Released in the brain, it can either travel to the neurons that control mouth opening and breathing, or go down the spinal cord to the blood vessels that feed the penis. Sometimes it does both (that’s why a big yawn can cause a tremor down under).
We don’t recommend foreplay with your mouth hanging open.
If all else fails, there is ED treatment in the form of drugs, such as Viagra and Cialis. Talk to your doctor about whether the option is right for you—and know that men's wellness brands like Hims and Romans both prescribe ED medication online and then deliver them straight to your door.
In one recent study, researchers found that men who walk just 2 miles a day had half the rate of erection problems of more sedentary men, says Dr. Goldstein. (Twenty minutes of jogging or 30 minutes of weight training will work, too.)
Deposits that clog or stiffen penile arteries can also wilt erections. “Guys tend to think of their arteries as simple pipes that can become clogged, but there’s a lot more going on than that,” says Laurence Levine, M.D., a urologist at Chicago’s Rush-Presbyterian Medical Center.
In a study conducted at the University of Kentucky, researchers found that when asked to rate their sex lives on a scale of 1 to 10, men who smoked averaged about a 5, while nonsmokers rated theirs a 9.
One reason is that smoking is a known cause of impotence, and there’s some evidence that smoking affects erection strength—and size. In one study, researchers found that smokers’ penises are smaller than those belonging to nin smokers.
Besides taking up residency at a monastery, having diabetes is the quickest route to a lifetime of celibacy.
In fact, more than 50 percent of all men with diabetes are impotent. The disease hits the penis with a double whammy. It accelerates the process of arterial disease, and it slows the transmission of stimuli along nerves throughout your body. And, trust us, a numb penis is not a happy penis.
Staying trim is the best way to avoid diabetes. If it’s too late for that, be vigilant in checking your blood sugar (talk to your doctor about the best methods).
If you’re finished producing offspring (or you’re sure you don’t want kids), consider investing in permanent renovations at the sperm factory.
“The risk of a contraceptive failure can be a big source of anxiety for some men, especially those who’ve had a birth-control disaster—or a scare—in the past,” says Karen Donahey, Ph.D., director of the sex- and marital-therapy program at Northwestern University.
That anxiety can, in turn, lead to erection problems—and cause the same vicious circle that makes performance anxiety such a mood killer.
The discovery of a small community in the Dominican Republic, where some males are born looking like girls and only grow penises at puberty, has led to the development of a blockbuster drug that has helped millions of people
You’re sitting in traffic, late for an important meeting, watching the minutes tick away. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.
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