Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sex and the Aging Man

As we all age, sex is another activity that is usually affected. The issues are different for men and for women, so I'm writing separate articles for each.

Sexual activity is an important, positive activity for men and women as we age. It affects our mental health as well as our physical health. Sex relieves stress, hinders depression, and strengthens relationships and intimacy.

There are many other positive aspects to sexual activity, but as we age many accept that it's natural for desire to decrease. And even though decreased desire IS natural as we age (sometimes it can be the opposite for women, and I will explain that in my next blog), we shouldn't accept allowing it to diminish or to become a job to please our partners. There's no reason in the world to accept sex as anything less than pleasurable as we age, and this blog is dedicated to helping you get to, or get back to, that pleasure. 💕

FUN FACT
Male ejaculate can travel 
up to 8 feet
during orgasm!!! 👀

Your penis is a barometer to your health. If it isn't working correctly, more likely than not you have a health problem. Here are some of the signs of a bigger health issue:
  • Your going soft a lot- Going soft more than twice a month could be a sign of potential heart disease. The risk of getting heart disease is up to 65% higher in men with erectile dysfunction, according to an Austrian study (Fowler, 2014).
  • Your pee has gone from yellow to red - "Blood can be a sign of prostate, bladder, or kidney disease, so you need to find out where the blood is coming from," according to Dr. Billups. But if your semen is bloody during sexual activity, deadly danger is less likely, says Eric Klein, MD. Although, it could be a sign of prostatitis, which can be treated with antibiotics. So, if you have blood in your urine, go see a doctor.
  • Your sex drive has been stuck in neutral - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) might be reducing your sex drive. OSA can reduce testosterone, which can affect your erections. If your snoring is loud, if you gasp for air when you awaken, or if you're feeling exhausted during the day, ask your doctor about having you tested for OSA.
  • You see that the tip is red and swollen - Inflammation, redness, and pain can be a sign of balanitis. Balanitis is usually caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and is usually because of hygiene that is less than stellar, according to Dr. Paduch. You may be prescribed an over the counter antifungal, prescription antibiotics, or steroid cream. Diabetics are three times as likely to get balanitis, so be sure to get tested for diabetes. 
  • You notice it doesn't feel as sensitive as before - This can be the sign of a poor diet, low blood sugar, or diabetes. Make sure that you're getting enough vitamin B12 (2.4 micrograms), and folate (400 micrograms). Deficiencies in these vitamins can prevent nerve fibers in your penis, from sending signals to your brain. Low blood sugar from 8 hours of fasting can even effect penile sensitivity, according to Dr. Paduch. So if you feel a little numb, eat some clams or beef, or drink some milk to get B12 in your system, and eat some green leafy vegetables and black-eyed peas to get some folate in your system. Hopefully, your penis will start communicating with your brain again; otherwise, go to see your doctor.
  • You have to urinate more often than usual - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is probably the culprit. This condition rarely causes symptoms before 40 years of age, but affects up to 90 percent of men in their 70's and 80's. An enlarged prostate presses on the tube that carries urine out of your body, giving you that "gotta go" feeling. Your doctor can prescribe medications to alleviate this annoying feeling, by relaxing the muscles in your prostate.
  • You produce less ejaculate or can't orgasm - Low testosterone could be the culprit, and the cause could be sitting right in your medicine cabinet. If you take Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) for depression, about 1/3 of men who take them experience difficulty reaching orgasm, according to researchers in Iran. Ask your doctor about changing your dose, or switching medications.
  • Your erection is curving at a strange angle - 23 percent of men ages 40 and over get Peyronies disease. This condition can cause an erect penis to bend in any direction at an angle of 30 degrees or more. This can be genetic, or a sign of too much or too little sexual activity. You should seek treatment within 24 hours, and consider getting a blood sugar text. High levels of glucose could cause plaque to form in your penis, which can lead to this issue (Fowler, 2014). 

Erectile Dysfunction ED is a big problem as men age. Although there are many reasons and remedies for this issue, I would like to say that as we age, many of the things that use to get us aroused, no longer do; please remember this. A male friend of mine enlightened me to this fact about men, but it's the same for women. Try some new things, in new places, with a more open mind, and less inhibitions. Who knows, this may be all that it takes to rev up your libido. Eating healthier and working out will also help with sex drive. Getting your health under control is paramount. Try some blueberry and blackberry smoothies (there are compounds in these berries, that have a viagra-like effect), and start adding these berries to your oatmeal, or some plain yogurt.

I have found that many times we have to fight for our own health, and stop leaving such an important part of our existence in the hands of doctors only. Do as much research as you can about your issues, and work to resolve them yourself, along with your doctors help and care.

Here are some foods that will help keep your penis working better, and maybe even prevent the issue altogether:
  • Watermelon
  • Oysters
  • Coffee
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Grape or Pomegranate Juice
  • Garlic
  • Salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, makerel
  • Kale and other leafy green vegetables
  • Chili peppers (cayenne, jalapeno's, habanero's, and other peppers)
  • Olive oil (WebMD, 2015).

FUN FACT
Ejaculate moves through the urethra 
to the penis at about
28 miles per hour!!! 💨💨💨


Premature Ejaculation is another problem for some men. About 1/3 of men ages 18 to 59 have issues with PE. Here are a few ways to outsmart PE:

  • Wear a condom - A condom can create a barrier that decreases sensation, and helps sex to last longer.
  • Use a desensitizing condom - Try a performance enhancing condom, which contains a numbing agent inside of the condom. (If you have erectile problems, or very sensitive skin, these condoms may not be your best choice. If your not sure, try using one during masturbation, before trying to use it with a partner.) These condoms can be helpful to many men, by helping them to last a few minutes longer.
  • Try the stop-start or squeeze techniques - This takes a bit of time and focus, but this technique has been around and recommended for quite a while. 
    • Stop-start or Squeeze: Stimulate your penis until just before the "point of no return", then stop all stimulation, OR gently squeeze the head of the penis. Wait for arousal to decrease slightly, then start all over again. Repeat once more, then on the third time, allow yourself to ejaculate. In time, this will teach you how to hold your imminent ejaculation, and help you to last longer.
  • Consider SSRI antidepressants - Men who have problems with premature ejaculation find that SSRI's help to delay ejaculation by several minutes, although men who are prescribed SSRI's for depression, sometimes have problems ejaculating. Speak to a health professional who is experienced in treating male ejaculatory issues, to see if this is the right treatment for you.
  • Expand your sexual experience - Many men find it hard to believe that many women are okay with shorter bouts of sexual intercourse. If you understand that intercourse can be demanding on a woman's body, maybe you'll be more inclined to believe her; and you should BELIEVE HER. Just make sure that you make it about pleasing her. Ask her what gives her the most pleasure, or makes her orgasm. Maybe it's oral sex. Or maybe it's stimulating her with a vibrator or your fingers. Or maybe it's kissing, or making out for 10 to 20 minutes before intercourse. Or if she doesn't know, try reading up on different techniques that please most women, and have fun trying them out on her. Hopefully, you'll help her find out what pleasures her, and enjoy yourselves while exploring (Herbenick, 2010).

"Men who ejaculate 21 times 
or more per month reduce 
the likelihood of prostate cancer 
by at least 19% (Niemiec, 2016)."

Here are some fun, and informative, facts about your penis that you just might want to know:

~The average size of an erect penis is
 5.2 inches in length, and 4.6 inches in girth.~

~It should get hard 3 to 5 times a night.
 Nighttime erections keep it healthy.~

~The most sensitive spot is the frenulum,
or the foreskin if you have one.~

~Cold temperatures can make
it shrink by 50 percent.~

~You really CAN break it.~

~Smoking can shorten it by a centimeter.~

(Men's Health, 2016).


Here are some of the best foods for great sex according to sex experts, cardiologists and psychologists; and the pro-sex nutrients, etc. that make them so.

  • Spinach and other green vegetables - Magnesium and folate
  • Unsweetened tea - Catechin
  • Peaches and other orange fruits - Vitamin C
  • Eggs - B5 and B6 vitamins
  • Red wine - Antioxidants and alcohol
  • Red meats - Zinc
  • Seeds and Nuts - Monounsaturated fats
  • Beans - Protein
  • Fatty fish (like salmon) - Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Oatmeal and other whole grains - L-arginine
  • Oysters and other shellfish - Zinc
  • Dark chocolate - Phenylethylamine
  • Strawberries - Folate and vitamin C
  • Blueberries and blackberries - Compounds that have a viagra-like effect (Men's Health,2013).

Wow! All I can say is that I've learned a lot researching for this blog. I know that men are notorious for hating going to any doctor, but as you see if you have an issue with your sex drive, many things are health related. If you don't do it for you, do it for your significant other. And if that's not a strong enough reason, do it for your family. Your health and life might just depend on it!!!

(Please be sure to check out the articles in my references for more detailed information about your sexual health. Stay informed!)

Talk to you all next time! This was fun!!! 😀

References

Eaves, A. (2014, July 18). The best age for sex: have you peaked?
     Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/
     sex-women/best-age-sex

Fowler, P. (2014, September 29). 8 ways your penis speaks for your health.
     Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/health/penis
     -health-issues

Heid, M. (2015, February 6). How to last longer in bed. Menshealth.com
     Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/have-sex-for-
     an-hour

Herbenick, D. (2010, April 25). 5 ways to outsmart premature ejaculation.
     Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/how-to-outsmart
     -premature-ejaculation?internal_recirc=outbrain_arr

Men's Health (2013, October 9). The best foods for great sex.
     Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com
     /sex-women/better-sex-foods

Men's Health. (2016). 6 things every man should know about his penis.
     Menshealth.com. Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-
     women/6-important-penis-facts

Niemiec, M. (2016, May 10). Why you should ejaculate at least 21 times this
     month, according to science. Menshealth.com. Retrieved from http://www.
     menshealth.com/health/ejaculation-and-prostate-cancer-risk?

WebMD. (2015, July 22). Foods to help erectile dysfunction. WebMD.com.
     Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/ss/slideshow
     -foods-erectile-dysfunction?

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