Is there any truth to the Use it or Lose it theory?
Well, this article by David Jaynes makes a very strong case that the theory is actually dead on.
Let’s take a look…
Use it or Lose it-The Cold Hard Facts
Here’s something you already knew: men want to have sex.
Specifically, men who want to avoid erectile dysfunction want to be having sex at least once every week.
A 2008 study in Finland analyzed data of almost 1,000 men between the ages of 55 and 75.
They found men who had sex at least that often were only half as likely to experience ED as those who did not (source).
There’s a lot of reasons for that, which doctors are just now really beginning to investigate. So far, they’ve pinpointed the following:
Erections supply nutrient-rich blood to the penis.
An erect penis has up to six times the blood flow as a flaccid member, meaning oxygen and other blood-delivered nutrients enter your “bathing suit area” at six times the rate while you’re having sex.
More erections (especially the longer-lasting erections involved in foreplay followed by sex) means more nutrients to the tissues in and around your penis. More nutrients means healthier tissue.
If you’re not having sex at least once a week, the tissues responsible for achieving and maintaining erections may deteriorate from lack of vital nutrients.
Sex enhances testosterone production and uptake.
You probably already know that testosterone is one of the key hormones in erectile health.
You might not know that sex directly improves testosterone production and uptake. A huge range of studies have demonstrated this across multiple situations:
- As early as 1992, researchers found testosterone levels raised and stayed up throughout the night for both men and women on nights they had sex (source).
- Multiple studies have found older men who have sex experience age-related ED less frequently than those who have sex less as they age.
- A study on animals in Britain, and a study on humans in the USA, both showed that anticipating sex raised testosterone levels, but not as much as actually having sex (source).
- An array of research has shown that lack of sex can reduce testosterone levels. More on this in a moment, because it’s really important.
Frequent sex improves lifestyle factors.
Erectile dysfunction isn’t solely a physical game. Mental and emotional factors play a large role.
Frequent sex can help with many of those factors. It reduces stress, improves body image, gives you moderate exercise (if you’re doing it right), and generally improves feelings of health and well-being.
While it’s at it, sex also improves your relationship with your sex partner. You feel closer to each other, more confident in the relationship, and more forgiving of annoying habits or small mistakes.
Intercourse is protective.
Remember a little bit ago when I mentioned that lack of sex reduces testosterone levels?
It turns out sex and erectile function can create either an upward spiral or a downward spiral, depending on how often you have sex.
Having sex improves your testosterone levels. Higher testosterone makes you want to have sex more. Having sex more further increases your testosterone, which makes you want even more sex…
Not having sex decreases your testosterone levels. Less testosterone makes you want to have sex less often. Having even less sex decreases your testosterone, which makes you want even less sex…
I don’t have to draw a picture for you to see which of those situations is better for your erectile health.
There’s also a correlation vs. causation thing going on, because men who are generally healthier tend to both have more sex and experience ED less frequently…
But even once you filter out the impact of being healthier, There’s plenty of proven causation between more sex and better erectile health.
Use it or Lose it – More Benefits of Having Sex
But wait! There’s more!
Having more sex helps more than just your erectile health. It carries a heaping helping of other good mojo for your mind, body, and spirit.
- Sex increases immunoglobulin A levels, which significantly improves immune function. You get sick less often if you have sex on the regular.
- Men who have sex at least twice a week are half as likely to develop heart disease as men who have sex once a month or less.
- Sex releases hormones that reduce pain, and has been found to provide relief for various kinds of chronic pain.
- Frequent sex reduces your risk of prostate cancer.
- Sex is moderate exercise, improving cardiovascular health if you do it long enough.
Bottom line, guys: sex is really good for you. You should have some.
Use it or Lose it – Don’t Fly Solo
It seems to make sense that if you can’t have sex once a week, you can get the same benefits from masturbating frequently — but that just isn’t so.
Masturbation actually harms erectile function for a variety of reasons, especially masturbation to video and hard-core pornography. Especially masturbation instead of sex with a partner.
You can read this article for details on the whys and hows of masturbation hurting erectile health.
It’s a bit like the old joke about how a thermos knows whether to keep something hot or cold.
We’re not sure how your body knows the difference between erections and orgasms from masturbation and sex, but it can tell, and the difference can have a serious impact.
Use it or Lose it – Conclusion
Here’s some great news: sex at least once a week is just this side of a medical necessity.
- It will help improve your erectile health.
- It will help improve your hormonal health.
- It will help improve your general health.
What’s more, it will help improve your relationship with your partner. Having sex releases a basket full of hormones responsible for feelings of love, affection, patience, well-being and attachment.
There’s really no downside to frequent sex, so go find your partner give your mattress a workout.
You’ll be glad you did.