What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. Just consider that some health organizations claim that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.

Male fertility issues have multiple causes, with medical conditions being a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.

However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary for guys to improve the health of their sperm.

There are a lot of do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency; however, some of the most popular DIY tricks aren't be as effective as previously thought. So which lifestyle changes do (and don’t) enhance sperm quality? Here’s a look at what the research says.

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Yes, You Can Break Your Penis. And This Is The Most Common Way It Happens

Yes, You Can Break Your Penis. And This Is The Most Common Way It Happens

While erections are sometimes referred to as “boners,” the truth of the matter is that there aren't actually any bones in the human penis. Some animals do have penile bones, though. For instance, male walruses can have penis bones up to two feet in length! In fact, they are so big that they were supposedly once used as war clubs by Native Alaskans--but I digress. Returning to the human penis, you may be surprised to learn that, despite the absence of bones, it's still very much possible to “fracture” an erection. Here's what we know about "broken" penises.

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Is Masturbation Good For You? (Video)

Is Masturbation Good For You? (Video)

May is Masturbation Month. We can trace the origin of this special month back to 1995, when US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said that masturbation is a part of human sexuality and something that should perhaps be taught in sex education courses. Her comments set off a huge controversy that ultimately led to her being fired. To mark her unjust dismissal, sex toy company Good Vibrations declared May 14 to be National Masturbation Day, which was later expanded to include the whole month.

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In an LTR, What (if Anything) Does it Mean if Your Partner Masturbates?

In an LTR, What (if Anything) Does it Mean if Your Partner Masturbates?

In a long-term relationship, what does it mean when one or both partners masturbate on their own? A lot of people would be tempted to conclude that it's a sign that things are going poorly in the relationship--in other words, when people aren't getting the amount or type of sex that they desire, they turn to masturbation as a substitute. However, some researchers have argued that, rather than being a substitute for a lack of sex, masturbation tends to complement to an already active sex life. Basically, they claim that regular sex amps up your overall level of arousal and makes you want to touch yourself more often. 

So which one is it? Is masturbation a substitute or a complement? 

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The Sex Lives of Older Adults

The Sex Lives of Older Adults

A reader submitted the following question:

"How many people over age 50 are still having sex?"

Older adults are often assumed to be celibate, but the truth of the matter is that many of us remain sexually active for our entire lives.

As some evidence of this, let's consider findings from a recent, nationally representative U.S. survey of adults aged 14-94.

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Boxers or Briefs? How Men’s Underwear and Lifestyle Impact Sperm Health

Boxers or Briefs? How Men’s Underwear and Lifestyle Impact Sperm Health

It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. In fact, some health organizations have claimed that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.

Male fertility issues have multiple causes. Medical conditions are a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.

However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary when guys want to improve the health of their sperm.

Indeed, there are some do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency.

Read More

5 Things You Should Know About Asexuality

5 Things You Should Know About Asexuality

A small percentage of the population is asexual. This term is often defined as either a lack of sexual attraction or a lack of desire for partnered sexual activity. Asexuality is something that many people are not familiar with and, as a result, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about it. So, let’s take a moment to review some key facts about asexuality that have emerged from the science to date. To learn more about this topic, I highly recommend Anthony Bogaert's recent book, Understanding Asexuality.

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7 Reasons To Give Thanks For Sex This Week

7 Reasons To Give Thanks For Sex This Week

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, don't forget to be thankful for sex! Scientists have discovered that sex is linked a wide range of benefits for both body and mind. Below, I highlight just 7 of them; however, there are many, many more...

1. Studies have found that frequent orgasms are associated with better physical and psychological health. As if that's not enough, research has also found that frequent orgasms are linked to a longer lifespan [1]!

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Sex Question Friday: I’m A Man Married To A Woman And I Masturbate To Gay Porn. Is That Common?

Sex Question Friday: I’m A Man Married To A Woman And I Masturbate To Gay Porn. Is That Common?

A reader submitted the following question:

“I'm a married guy in my mid-40s. I'm happily married and travel a lot for work. Since my teens I've been an avid masturbator. I sort of thought I'd stop after getting married and I did for a little while. However now I bate pretty much every day that I'm not home and even sometimes when I'm home. I also enjoy straight, bi, and gay porn while bating. I'm wondering if either or both of these things are common for married guys. I sometimes feel like a bit of a freak and like I'm very unusual in these preferences/habits. And, of course, if you were wondering, my wife has no idea because I know she would freak out about both. Am I the exception or are there more guys like me out there?”

Thanks for this very interesting question. Let me address it in two parts. First, let’s consider whether it’s common for married guys to masturbate. The answer to that is easy: yes. A million times, yes.

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Video: Is Masturbation Good For You?

Video: Is Masturbation Good For You?

Historically, masturbation has been viewed as an immoral activity capable of causing a wide range of negative health effects, including everything from blindness to hairy palms to insanity. Warnings about the dire personal health consequences of self-stimulation persist even today--but is there any truth to them? Not so much. In fact, research suggests quite the opposite. For a brief summary of what the science of self-love has revealed, check out the video below, which dispels some of the most common myths and misconceptions out there. For a closer look at some of the most interesting research to date suggesting that there might be potential health benefits of masturbation, check out this article.

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Do Asexual People Masturbate And Have Sexual Fantasies?

Do Asexual People Masturbate And Have Sexual Fantasies?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that is often characterized as a lack of sexual attraction. Research suggests that up to 1% of the population may be asexual and, further, that this is not the result of a medical issue, sexual arousal problem, or fear of sex. Although we do not yet know the true origin of asexuality, research suggests that biological factors are likely involved. Given the nature of asexuality, one might reasonably assume that asexuals neither masturbate nor have sexual fantasies; however a new study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality suggests that this is not necessarily the case and that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the solitary sexual expression of asexual individuals.

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Sex Question Friday: Is It Normal For Guys To Use Vibrators?

Sex Question Friday: Is It Normal For Guys To Use Vibrators?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“Is it normal for guys to use vibrators or other sex toys?”

Great question! However, I’m going to answer by focusing on whether vibrator and sex toy use is “common” among men instead of focusing on whether it’s “normal.” My reason for saying this is because I don’t want to turn this into a discussion about whether you should or shouldn’t be using sex toys. In my view, that’s something that you and (if applicable) your partner should decide for yourselves based on what you’re comfortable with. After all, you can have a great sex life with or without the addition of toys.

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A Scientist’s Response To The “War On Masturbation”

A Scientist’s Response To The “War On Masturbation”

In the not-too-distant past, masturbation was routinely denounced as an activity that not only damages your health, but also your soul. Physicians and priests would warn people about the dangers of this so-called form of “self-abuse,” which included everything from blindness, to insanity, to eternal damnation. They also went to great lengths to prevent people from touching themselves. For example, masturbators might have their hands tied together at night or be forced to wear a chastity belt of sorts to prevent contact with their genitals. Some "experts" at the time also recommended that boys who were frequently caught masturbating be circumcised without anesthesia, while masturbating girls should have carbolic acid applied to the clitoris. Yes, masturbation was deemed so awful that it was worth cutting or burning your child’s genitals in order to stop it.

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Almost Everything And Everyone Seems More Attractive When You’re Sexually Aroused

Almost Everything And Everyone Seems More Attractive When You’re Sexually Aroused

How attractive do you find the prospect of sex with animals? Do you think it would be fun to watch another person urinate? Do you find shoes erotic? If you’re like most people, you probably said that these things aren’t exactly up your alley. However, if you were asked these same questions while you were in a heightened state of sexual arousal, research suggests that you might perceive them at least a little differently. Scientists have found that when we’re feeling very sexually aroused, things that we might otherwise perceive as gross or disgusting don’t seem quite as bad.  

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Is Public Masturbation Acceptable In Sweden?

Is Public Masturbation Acceptable In Sweden?

Compared to the United States, European nations tend to have more relaxed attitudes toward public nudity. Certainly, there’s a lot of variability across individual countries in terms of the type and amount of nudity that is acceptable, but it is pretty clear that Europeans generally don’t have as many hangups about seeing the human body a naturel. For example, just consider that sunbathing in the nude is permitted in many public parks and beaches across Europe (something that is very rare to find in the U.S.). I don't think anyone is particularly surprised to hear this; however, if you're anything like me, you were probably shocked to see all of the recent news reports claiming that Sweden has taken things to a whole other level by declaring that public masturbation is also acceptable. But is this really true?

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A Little (Or A Lot) Of Masturbation Won't Hurt Your Health

A Little (Or A Lot) Of Masturbation Won't Hurt Your Health

For centuries, numerous religious, political, and medical figures have argued that masturbation is hazardous to one's health and can lead to a wide range of negative effects, including everything from blindness to paralysis to insanity. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, medical textbooks went so far as to label masturbation a form of "self-abuse" and made outlandish arguments about how the loss of one ounce of semen is as detrimental to the body as losing forty ounces of blood! Such warnings about the dire consequences of self-stimulation have certainly lessened over time, but they persist even today. So what exactly are the health implications of masturbation?

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Women's Experiences With Orgasm (Infographic)

Women's Experiences With Orgasm (Infographic)

Female sexual pleasure is a rare topic of discussion in sex education courses. One consequence of this is that the female orgasm is something that many people know far too little about. Even very basic information such as the average age at which women have their first orgasm and how they first experience it isn't common knowledge. The goal of this infographic is to try and fill in some of those gaps with descriptive information on women's experiences with orgasm because knowledge is power...and pleasure.

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Sex Question Friday: I Can’t Seem To Orgasm. What Should I Do?

Sex Question Friday: I Can’t Seem To Orgasm. What Should I Do?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a female reader who can’t reach orgasm in any sexual situation and wants to know what she should do.

I can't climax. It does not happen with my partner, nor does it happen in a hookup. It does not happen during intercourse, nor during masturbation or oral stimulation. Should I see a doctor about that? Or maybe a sex therapist? 

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What Counts? College Students' Definitions Of Abstinence (Infographic)

What does it mean to be "abstinent?" It depends who you ask. A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior finds that there is incredible variability in people's personal definitions of the term abstinence. While people almost universally agree that abstinence allows for kissing, they are split over whether activities such as sexual touching and oral sex are permitted. Interestingly, people do not even agree on whether abstinence necessarily excludes the possibility of having sexual intercourse! Check out the infographic below for more information.
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