We are in the middle of an obesity crisis. Two out of three Americans are overweight, and nearly one out of three Americans are obese. The health risks that are associated with excess weight are extreme. From Type II diabetes to increased cancer risk to adverse effects on blood pressure, blood cholesterol and beyond, being overweight can greatly decrease your quality of life—not to mention, greatly shorten it.
However, what many people don’t realize is that excess weight can also decrease your pleasure in the bedroom. A study published in the May 2011 issue of Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy stated that obese men and women reported significantly lower sexual satisfaction than those who were not obese, while a recent University of Florence study found that obesity is linked to erectile dysfunction. In fact, Dr. Giovanni Corona and the other researchers found that obesity was strongly associated with the level of a man’s testosterone. The more severe the obesity, the lower the testosterone (and this hormone plays an important role in libido and sexual response, among other things.) In other words, as the pounds on the scale go up, sexual pleasure goes down.
But there is good news. Losing even a moderate amount of weight can help to increase a man’s sexual response and enjoyment in the bedroom. A study published in the July 2011 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that obese men who lost just 5-10% of their body weight experienced improved erectile function. Research in this field is still emerging, but findings such as these are impressive and encouraging, as it shows that even small lifestyle changes can have a major payoff not only for a man’s physical health, but for his sexual health as well.
Excess weight gain might also impact a man’s sexual pleasure and performance due to emotional factors. Although we often think of women when it comes to weight and body-image issues, the truth is that men are just as susceptible to suffering from these concerns. Everyone wants to look and feel sexy in the bedroom, and if that confidence isn’t there, it can be very hard to get in the mood and stay in the moment. This is especially true for men. Many men who suffer from erectile issues highlight anxiety and lack of sexual confidence as a major part of their sexual concerns, and these issues only increase when a man doesn’t like how he looks in the mirror.
The good news is that when you take charge of your life outside the bedroom, you often reap positive benefits inside the bedroom as well. Small, positive lifestyle changes will do more than just help you to fit into your pants better—they will also help you to feel more confident and in the mood when those pants come off! And, knowing those benefits can make passing on that third piece of pizza just a little bit easier.