Men in general for hundreds of years have based their very essence of manhood and virility on the assumption that if you can get an erection, you are virile. It seems reasonable on the face, but lets look at the realities. Virility has nothing to do with the ability of a male to obtain an erection. Virility can be defined as the ability to maintain an erection for the purposes of intercourse leading to ejaculation. Smoking greatly decreases the ability of males to obtain and or maintain an erection. In order to understand this on a deeper level, lets go back to basic anatomy and physiology 101 shall we.
We will begin with a basic refresher course on the anatomy of the male sexual organs. Think you know it all-ready, think again. The human male penis is a dual chambered shaft that extends from the body outwards, generally about 2-3 inches ( approximate. 8 cm ). This is the normal relaxed state of the penis. In order for the penis to become erect a complex series of physical and chemical actions and reactions must occur in proper sequence, otherwise erection will not occur, or not be able to be maintained. Typically, when a male gets an erection, there is a surge of testosterone release resulting in a dumping of adrenaline and serotonin. These hormones act upon the body by stimulating blood flow, increasing heart rate, and increasing blood pressure. When these things are in unison, the musculature around the base of the penis relaxes, allowing blood to flow into the chambers, engorging the penis with blood. These blood filled chambers are what makes the penis erect. The penis can only hold so much blood. When this threshold is achieved, another set of chemical reactions occur that literally clamp off the muscles, making the penis erect for prolonged periods of time. Once ejaculation is achieved, the body releases other hormones such as norepinephrine, which is a hormone that is partially responsible for telling the body to relax. When these hormones are released, the muscles relax, and the blood is released from the penis, which then returns to its flaccid state. The average male penis in its erect state is around 6 inches ( 15 cm ). Some larger, some smaller, but this is the average.
All tobacco products contain a stimulant known as nicotine. Nicotine is a drug that has a high incidence of addiction on par of other drugs such as heroin. The reason for this is that the nicotine molecule is an almost perfect fit in the pleasure receptors in the Brain. When nicotine is introduced into the body, there is a rush of pleasant sensations that humans in general seem to crave. This includes increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, a pleasurable rush that the body enjoys more than sexual release. As a stimulant, nicotine is in the same class as methamphetamine by the virtue that both drugs act on the very same pleasure receptors. Because nicotine acts on these receptors, the human body builds a resistance to the drug, and like many not so nice recreational pharmaceuticals, the body requires more and more in order to reach the same level of pleasurable release. Like other drugs, there is a limit to what the body can release in the form of these feel good receptors.
Nicotine, as well as other stimulants, greatly affect the ability of a male to achieve and maintain erections for many reasons.
- Stimulants block the hormones necessary for the proper cascade of biochemical reactions that allow blood to enter the penis. Nicotine can also act as a muscle relaxant, and as such inhibits the bodies ability to keep the blood entrapped within the chambers of the penis.
- Nicotine directly combats the bodies natural ability to regulate its blood flow. Like all stimulants, it is a vaso constrictor, but in the case of the male hormonal system and its relation to the muscular systems, it can act as a relaxant.
Those are two of the largest considerations when contemplating male physiology. But what other effects can nicotine play on the male sexual systems. Tobacco products in general contain countless additives and chemicals that directly affect our bodies. These additives are deliberately placed in order to increase the addictive properties of nicotine. So what do these other chemicals do?. Well the biggest effect is the big C...aka cancer. Tobacco itself is very mildly carcinogenic, but the additives are highly toxic. Some of the additives in products like cigarettes would shock you to no end. Let us consider formaldehyde. This is a chemical that is the basis for embalming fluid, labs use it to preserve organs and tissues excised from the body. It is highly toxic and causes liver failure, kidney failure, fumes cause lung cancers, throat cancers, mouth cancers, and a few others. notice a connection. When this chemical is being used in the laboratory setting, the technicians wear full protective gear. This means that they are wearing foot protection, spill proof gowns, heavy rubber gloves ( not latex or vinyl, since the formaldehyde molecules are smaller than the pores in latex or vinyl gloves ), eye shields, and respirators. Gee and we inhale this same stuff willingly into our lungs.
So what other effects does nicotine and smoking play in our bodies. The nicotine content has been indicated in greatly reduced sperm cell counts, atrophy of the vas deferans, impotence, decreased production of seminal fluids, less effectual penile contractions for the expulsion of semen, and a few other things. The chemicals found in tobacco products are also show strong correlations to malformed sperm, that is sperm cells that are greatly mutated.
Mosbys medical dictionary describes virility as : Pertaining to the male sexual functions: Capable of procreation. OK, based off of this definition what have we determined:
- Nicotine adversely affects the ability of a male to achieve or maintain erection
- Nicotine and added chemicals cause cancer
- Tobacco and its additives mutate sperm cells
- Smoking decreases the chance for the male to effectively procreate
- Tobacco and related products and additives cause impotence
- Tobacco raises heart rate and blood pressure effectively blocking necessary hormones
- Tobacco and additives greatly reduce sperm counts
- Tobacco smoke contains formaldehyde
So next time you think about wanting to get intimate with your partner, and you smoke or use tobacco products, consider these points. Quitting smoking will also have the added benefits to your love life:
- Higher energy levels
- Less oxygen consumption
- Greater endurance
- Stronger erections
- Extended erection times
- Higher sperm counts
- Fewer sperm mutations
- Increased quantity of seminal fluids
- Increased penile contractions during ejaculation
- You will smell better, thus more action
- You will look better, fewer wrinkles
- Your confidence will be boosted
The list is virtually endless as to the benefits to the male sexual health when they quit smoking and other tobacco products. I can attest to this, as I am a former smoker. In as little as a week after quitting smoking, the male body will begin to noticeably return to its pre tobacco levels of testosterone and other hormones.