Men who take erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs merely for fun may damage their sex lives, suggests a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Among 1,200 college men who popped ED drugs without a prescription, the more ED drugs they consumed, the lower their reported sexual satisfaction.
Don’t blame the pills, though. Fixating on waiting for you upgraded erection to appear can hurt your ability to get hard. What gives? The researchers explain that this fixation turns up the activity of the sympathetic nervous system—which is responsible for people’s flight-or-fight response—thus making it harder to become aroused.
But that’s not the only thing that can cause you to go from noon to six in a matter of minutes. Check out the following four things that are getting in the way of your erection.
Distraction and Pressure
Performance anxiety can prevent you from becoming erect, says a study published in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy. Researchers had 48 men—half of whom had trouble maintaining an erection—view two sexually explicit videos. Subjects were hooked up to a device that monitored genital activity and were reminded throughout the film over an intercom that most men get at least a 60 percent erection in response to the films. The results: Both groups experienced a significant decrease in their erections any time they were reminded of performance expectations.
Your Skin Is Way Too Dry
Guys with eczema—the allergic skin condition that involves scaly and itchy rashes—may have a 60 percent higher risk of experiencing ED than other men, says a study of nearly 4,000 men published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Why? The researchers hypothesize that underlying inflammation of the skin may be affecting the men’s blood vessels. Your move? Get your daily dose of fish oil—at least 500 mg DHA and 500 mg EPA. Research has shown that fish oil not only decreases inflammation, but it also reduces triglycerides, boosts “good” HDL cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure.
Tears Are an Instant Turn-off
Not into makeup sex? Blame her waterworks. Being exposed to sad emotions and female tears actually decreases your arousal and reduces your levels of testosterone, says research published in the journal Science. Using fMRI scans, researchers had 24 men view emotionally ambiguous images of women’s faces and rate the sadness and sexual attraction of each photo. While viewing the images, subjects were asked to sniff tears (obtained from women watching sad movies) in order to see if the men could tell the different between that and a saline solution. The results: Regardless whether the faces were attractive or not, exposure to the tears reduced sexual arousal in men. What gives? Researchers claim it has to do with chemosignlas in tears—substances that are odorless, yet have an impact on mood when absorbed through the nose.
Jealousy Is Getting the Best of You
When your girlfriend becomes too close with your buds, your erection pays the price, says a study published in the American Journal of Sociology. When researchers asked 3,005 dudes to estimate how much their significant others talked with their buddies, almost a quarter reported that their partners talked to their friends more than they did. These guy were 92 percent more likely to report trouble getting an erection than those who spent more time with their buds. Why? The researchers claim that when she’s spending more time with your bros than you are, this can serve as a threat to your masculinity—which ultimately affects your sex drive. Your fix: You don’t need to necessarily distance yourself from her, just make a point to spend more time with the guys.