Testosterone, Sex and You

You need more than just gas to make this Lambo run hard and fast. (Courtesy: Stephen Hoyle)

How many times have you heard “enough is enough.” After you’ve told too many silly jokes? As a kid insisting on ice cream on a hot summer afternoon? Well, it may also be true for how the male hormone testosterone works on your body.

More Is Not More

But there’s also a corollary: “more is not always better.” We believe it’s the case for testosterone and erection issues and, now, a well-done study suggests that it may also be true for sex drive.

Sure having enough testosterone is like putting gas in the tank instead of water. Things just run better. But, is it true that having more than enough testosterone makes things better?

Sexy Science

You can study things and you can really study things. A group of Harvard researchers recently published a “mother-of-all-studies” on testosterone: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, equivalent of the royal flush in poker. Nothing beats this research design if you seek to know the truth in medicine.

The main goal of the study was to examine whether 3 years of testosterone replacement given to healthy men (age >60 years) with low testosterone levels would increase their risk of getting cardiovascular disease. It didn’t. But as kind of a side project they also studied 6 facets of sexual health and, lo and behold, there was no improvement here either. That’s right, double a man’s testosterone level, and no difference was observed in the following sexual health issues:

  • Erections
  • Orgasm
  • Sexual desire
  • Overall satisfaction with sex

What does this mean? It means that sex is….well….complicated. From a planetary viewpoint, it means that at some point, more testosterone doesn’t matter as much as other things might to affect sexual health. Things like sleep, stress, lifestyle, illnesses, weight, and medications to name a few. C’mon guys, you get this: Sure you need gas in the tank to race the car, but you also need good tires, a tuned engine and good mechanicals. In the words of champion pro football coach Bill Walsh: “Flying by the seat of your pants precedes crashing by the seat of your pants.”

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