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…
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Bottom line, guys: sex is really good for you. You should have some.
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.
Here’s some great news: sex at least once a week is just this side of a medical necessity.
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.