Many men are interested in enhancing their own and their partners’ pleasure and satisfaction during sex.
However, focusing on sexual performance can lead to anxiety. A set of simple lifestyle changes can help to:
- reduce anxiety
- improve erectile dysfunction
- enhance relationships with sexual partners
- increase stamina
1. Focus on foreplay
Some men believe that penetration is the most important, even the defining part of sex.
However, many who experience erectile dysfunction may be heartened to learn that they do not need an erection to please their partners. In fact, erectile dysfunction can even be an incentive to try new strategies that work better for their partner.
Foreplay can include touching, kissing, and oral sex. Making foreplay last can improve the sexual experience for everyone involved.
Foreplay may be especially important for women. A 2017 study found that very few women — around 18 percent — experience an orgasm from intercourse alone. According to the same findings, 36.6 percent of women said that clitoral stimulation was necessary for orgasm during intercourse.
2. Eat these fruits and vegetables
Certain foods can also help you increase blood flow. They include:
- Onions and garlic. These foods may not be great for your breath, but they can help your blood circulation.
- Bananas. This potassium-rich fruit can help lower your blood pressure, which can benefit your important sexual parts and boost sexual performance.
- Chilies and peppers. All-natural spicy foods help your blood flow by reducing hypertension and inflammation.
4. Reduce stress
Stress can affect all areas of your health, including your libido.
Stress increases your heart rate (in the bad way) and increases blood pressure. Both of these are damaging to sexual desire and performance.
Psychological stress can also affect achieving an erection or reaching an orgasm.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your health.
Talking to your partner about your stress can also calm you down, while strengthening your relationship at the same time.
Stress can also trigger bad habits, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, which can harm your sexual performance.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking cigarettes can lead to high blood pressure and other heart-related problems that cause erectile issues.
Smoking is also independently linked to erectile dysfunction. A 2015 analysis of 13 studies on smoking and sexual performance found that quitting smoking often improves sexual function and reduces erectile dysfunction.
6. Open communication
Speaking freely can significantly improve sexual experiences.
If issues related to sex have created tension or worry, it is best to bring this up with a partner. Working together on a solution can help a man to feel less isolated and address any concern or guilt.
A partner may be able to ease fears about sexual dysfunction, and they may have practical suggestions.
7. Consider counseling
Erectile dysfunction is often due in part to psychological factors. These can include:
- anxiety and depression
- relationship problems
- social stigma associated with aging or penis size
- untreated mental health conditions
- a history of trauma
Individual counseling can help a man to address the role of these and other factors in sexual satisfaction.
Relationship counseling can help partners to speak openly about sexuality without shame or judgment.
When a man has an underlying health issue, for example, counseling can help him to cope with the stress of erectile dysfunction while communicating about options with a partner.
8. Get More Exercise
Being physically active can reduce risk factors for heart conditions and improve sexual function and overall health.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes can damage nerves and change the amount of blood that flows to the penis. This can make it more difficult to get or maintain erections.
In addition, some men find that regular exercise improves their mental health, reducing anxiety and helping them to feel better about their bodies.
Men can also benefit from exercising the muscles involved in arousal and ejaculation. The following exercise may help:
- While urinating, stop the flow of urine. Repeat several times and learn to identify the muscles involved.
- When not urinating, try to contract these muscles for 10 seconds. Relax them for 10 seconds, then contract them for another 10 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle of contracting and relaxing 10 times each day.
Sex isn’t a one-way street. Paying special attention to your partner’s desires not only makes sex pleasurable for them, but it can also help turn you on or slow you down. Talking about this beforehand can help ease any awkwardness if you need to slow down during a heated moment.
Alternating pace or focusing on your partner while you take a break can make for a more enjoyable experience for both of you.
10. Get more help if you need it
If you have erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease, or other diagnosed disorders, you may need medical treatment. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about how you can improve your sexual performance.
It’s never a bad decision to exercise, eat right, and enjoy your sex life to the fullest.