Bodybuilding, like many forms of vigorous exercise, is an aphrodisiac. Certainly, the lean, shapely, muscular look of the bodybuilder's body is a psychological turn-on. But there is more to it than that. At the physiological level, scientists have found that vigorous exercise stimulates the production of the hormone responsible for the sex drive in both men and women - testosterone.
Research has found that the testosterone level in both sexes, athletes and nonathletes, is greatest following a vigorous workout. The explanation is that testosterone is important in muscular activity. The hormone stimulates the after-exercise replacement of muscle glycogen, the fuel muscles use to energize the action of hard training.
When you are bodybuilding at an optimum level of exertion, you are likely to have the most testosterone at your disposal for both exercise and sex. Circulation plays a role. Testosterone is produced by the sex glands, but if the blood flow to those areas is insufficient due to lack of exercise and poor physical condition, the cutback in production of the hormone is sure to be reflected in decreased sex drive.
Not all male impotence is physical. Psychological factors also can be the reason for potency disturbances. If there's anything men fear more than heart disease, it's impotence. It is a common problem that can be as the inability maintain an erection.
Inhibited sexual desire is the same as decline in sexual response. By middle age most men have lost some of the physical excitement of sex. Normally, in erotic situations, men don't lose their desire even though erections are harder to come by. However, there are many factors that may inhibit sexual desire in both men and women. In a University of Pittsburgh survey, 35% of women and 16% of men reported inhibited sexual desire, despite the fact that most of them were happily married.
Men are particularly apprehensive when it comes to sex. Customarily the man makes the first move. Even if he's good, he worries. Will his erection hold up? Is it big enough? Is he satisfying his partner? Can he make her climax? Is he better than her last lover? His manhood is always on the line.
Impotence has physical causes more than half the time. The most common causes are diabetes, which may decrease blood flow, hardening of the arteries, back or pelvic surgery, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, and drug (including alcohol) abuse. In fact, one of the first symptoms of diabetes is impotence. Obviously, a healthy lifestyle of exercise and proper nutrition remains the best preventative.
The psychological factors disturbing potency, once thought to be 90% of sexual problems, are now considered to be less than half. Inhibited sexual desire may result from marital problems, a deteriorating relationship, depression, stress, major life changes and the sexual revolution.
Inhibited sexual desire can best be described as a low rate of sexual activity and lack of sexual interest (thoughts, fantasies, etc.).
Routine sex can be boring after a period of time and result in loss of appetite for sex.
If both partners are career oriented, their work problems may disrupt their sex life.
Lack of sex interest can often be one of the first signs of depression. Factors such as retirement, career changes, moving to a new home or remarriage may also lead to temporary loss of desire.
On-the-job problems may cause sexual desire to deteriorate.
New female freedom in the sexual revolution has created pressures that have caused some males to retreat from sex. When demand for sex from his partner exceeds his own interest, a man may lose interest entirely.
Vasectomy, though not affecting male potency physiologically, may have a psychologically inhibiting effect.
Impotence is often temporary, but a man may experience performance anxiety from a failure that chain-reacts into subsequent failures. He may even avoid sexual encounters as a result.
It is not easy to overcome these anxieties or dysfunctions on your own. Many such problems can be diagnosed and treated successfully by professionals. Hormonal imbalances can be remedied, and psychological problems resolved. The urologist can look for physical problems in the genitourinary tract. Small testicles could indicate a low testosterone level. Blood tests provide the urologist with a hormone profile. Existing organic factors can thus be treated medically low hormone levels can be boosted by injections. Drugs to improve erections can be prescribed to counter the inadequate nerve transmission due to diabetes. Pill such as Viagra can also be prescribed to help create and keep an erection.
Men will slay dragons and reach for the moon, but when it comes to sex, they are as fragile as cut glass. Take the case of 'Vito."
Vito was the envy of his male friends. He taught bodybuilding full time, exclusively to women, one on one, sometimes at the gym, sometimes in their homes. He was handsome, tall, well-built, single and Italian — a winning combination to his clientele of beautiful actresses, stunt women, models, jetsetters, writers and business executives. He opened up a whole new world to them with bodybuilding. For 50 bucks an hour, he gave them hope, along with the attentiveness and kindness so often absent in their lives. They showered him with gifts and invitations to dinners and drinks that regularly lead to another kind of one on one.
Vito loved women, but it got to the point where he would almost rather kick back alone in his pad and watch the Raiders or Celtics on TV, or even read a book. Yet, he couldn't resist their overtures.
It happened one Monday night following an awards show to which he had escorted his gorgeous actress client "Sheila." It was his first time with her outside the gym. He had just been on a weekend boat party and tried to make up for it with a three-hour workout that morning. He was pooped, and he thought wistfully of his own empty bed. So when sexy Sheila closed in on him, he could not arise to the occasion. Nothing worked. He couldn't believe this was Vito.
The same thing happened shortly thereafter on a date with another of his clients. And then another. Amidst these failures, his self-image began to wilt.
Vito went to a specialist for a physical, sure something must be wrong with him, but he checked out A one. "It's all in your mind," the doctor told him. "Relax. Take your time. Remember, you can't will a sexual response. It's more likely to happen when you're rested, in a positive mood. Chances are, you're simply burned out from too much."
Vito stuck strictly to business for a couple of months. Then he met "Audrey," a secretary who had only recently started weight training at a health club. They had several dates that went no further than a good-night kiss. He found pleasure in the growing affection that comes with being close. He made time in his busy work schedule to be with her, and to work out with her. With this new mutual involvement in training, their intimacy grew. They shared their strengths and limitations, which opened the way for mutual compassion and support. Vito became more at ease. Then one quiet evening together at her place, while watching Monday night football, they were both delighted to discover some off-field action. Vito was too overwhelmed with love and joy of his own score to hear the outcome of the game.
Often lack of sexual desire comes from poor communication with the other person. The two people think that sex comes naturally, that they don't have to talk about it. Most middle-aged people today grew up not talking about it at all.
You can start now to tell each other what gives you pleasure in sex. Talk about what you don't like. Keep the conversation warm and affectionate.
Try bodybuilding together. Medical experts say that exercise releases natural tranquilizers that erase depression and anxiety and promote better mental health.
Bodybuilding improves your physiology and enhances the body's structure. It makes you look a lot better. It promotes a positive body image that sparks the confidence that can fire romantic relationships. The sensuality in physical improvement heightens your own self-esteem, which makes you feel sexier and look sexier to your partner. It gives a new sense of self and an emotional awareness that can translate into sexual desire. Done together with your companion, bodybuilding is a sharing of intimate time from which sexual relationships can develop.
When you are fit, sexual issues are less a problem. Some authorities believe the physical connection between two people training together may be biochemical. The scent of sweat can even be a turn-on.
Training together gives time together, valuable for cementing relationships. Good physical condition is an invitation to love. Impotence gets lost in the fun and passion of your healthy lifestyle.