When the new year rolls around, many people turn their attention to improving their health, whether it’s trying out the Whole30 diet or signing up for that barre workout class. Choices like these are great for personal well-being, and they have an added benefit—they can work wonders for your sex life! What some people don’t know is that men and women aren’t created equally when it comes to sexual health. That means they should be prioritizing different aspects of health, especially as they age. And listen, when he’s healthy, so is your sex life. So there’s that.
5 Healthy Sex Habits for Men
1. PRIORITIZE HIS PROSTRATE
A healthy sex life requires a healthy prostate. If your man is forty or over, he should get his prostate checked annually. This is done with a prostate ultrasound, a screening blood test called PSA (prostate-specific androgen), and a digital rectal exam (yeah—not fun—but good health is worth the temporary discomfort). More than 225,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States the coming year—it’s the most common cancer diagnosed and the second most common cause of death in American men. These statistics are alarming, which is why you should encourage all the older men in your life to check in with their doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment are key for overcoming prostate cancer and living a long, happy, sexy life.
2. GET IT UP
If your man is having any problems with ED, don’t forget the “magic pills.” Vasoactive drugs, such as Cialis and Viagra, increase blood flow to the penis and create a firm, long-lasting erection. The most common causes of ED are performance anxiety in younger men and atherosclerosis, which narrows the blood vessels, in older men. No matter the reason, vasoactive pills are almost universally helpful, and taking them is not a sign of weakness. Popping those pills is safe, effective, and often life changing for both partners.
3. TEST HIS TESTOSTERONE
If your man’s libido is sagging, his girth increasing, and his muscle mass diminishing, he should get tested for serum testosterone. If his serum testosterone is below the normal range, he may be a candidate for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), but he should definitely consult with his doctor first—elevating testosterone above normal levels can be disastrous for cardiovascular health. He should also make sure to follow tip number 1 and get screened for prostate cancer because, although testosterone alone does not cause prostate cancer, it can act like a catalyst for existing prostate cancer.
4. HAVE HIM SNIPPED
If you are past your childbearing years or not interested in having children, your man might consider having a vasectomy. Having the fear of an unwanted pregnancy off the table can really free up both of your sexual inhibitions and can lead longtime partners to feel more spontaneous. No more pesky diaphragms or condoms to worry about! Vasectomy causes no reduction in sensation, no lowering of desire, no loss of testosterone, no loss of the ability to get or keep an erection, and no less satisfaction when having an orgasm. And, if you and your partner change your minds about having kids, he may be able to reverse the surgery with a vasovasostomy. This is a more difficult procedure than the original vasectomy, but it has a high rate of success.
5. GO AT IT!
The last tip is for both men and women—have sex as frequently as you physically and emotionally are able! The number of orgasms, erections, and ejaculations you can have are limitless. You may get fatigued from having a lot of sex, just as you would from any physical activity, but it will invigorate the rest of your body and keep your spirit young and vibrant.
For men, luckily, damaging the penis is next to impossible. If you have ever heard a man complaining about a penis injury, chances are it had to do with the most vulnerable part of his penis—the skin, which can suffer abrasions, cuts, and bruises from embarrassing accidents like getting his penis stuck in a zipper. The most frequent sex-related injury is skin irritation caused by excessive friction. This keeps more men from having sex than any other injury and is why one of my colleagues believes that “lubricants have saved more marriages than Dear Abby.” So do yourselves both a favour: next time you’re at the drugstore, pick up a tube of lube and make the sexy resolution to turn up the heat this year.
Dudley Seth Danoff, MD, FACS, is president and founder of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health.