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If you’re a young guy, getting that rock-hard erection of your dreams—and maintaining it for a long period of time—really shouldn’t be a problem. Only it is becoming a problem. In some cases, a big one.
A recent study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the age that guys are being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED) continues to fall. In fact, researchers reported that about 25% of new patients showing signs of erection problems are under age 40, and almost half of those dudes have what is classified as “severe ED,” the latest euphemism for “not being able to get it up at all, buddy.” And though there are countless bogeymen out there blamed for this mass plummeting of sexual prowess—the stress of modern life, depression, booze, the inexorable rise of Tinder—there is really one thing we actually know for a fact: Many of today’s young dudes can blame their flaccidness on their diets, which are way too heavy on the types of greasy or fried foods that are clogging up their arteries at younger and younger ages.
Of course, the flip side is that if your sex is suffering (or if you’re already a blackbelt in bedroom judo and just looking to become a sex god), you can improve, and it all begins with eating right over time.
WHERE TO GET THEM: Arugula, basil, beet juice, beets, celery, Chinese cabbage, dill, endive, fennel, kale, leeks, parsley, spinach, watercress
WHY: They are essential for improving circulation, and they help erections by thinning blood and widening blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow.
WHERE TO GET IT: Avocados, bananas, lentils, lima beans, sweet potatoes
WHY: Potassium makes your heart beat, helps regulate blood pressure, and is also crucial for smooth muscle contraction.
WHERE TO GET IT: Eggs, liver, scallops, shrimp
WHY: The B vitamin has been shown to help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol, leading to cleaner blood vessels.
WHERE TO GET IT: Almonds, crab, pine nuts, pork, sesame seeds, tuna, turkey, walnuts
WHY: Arginine is an amino acid that helps your body make nitric oxide, which helps your blood vessels relax and expand and is the basic reason you are allowed to get an erection.
WHERE TO GET IT: Beef liver, cheese, fortified foods (milk, orange juice, soy milk), mackerel, salmon
WHY: They’re all full of vitamin D, which is actually a hormone that boosts testosterone when low and keeps your endocrine system—this includes the testes—pumping.
WHERE TO GET IT: Beef, chickpeas, lamb, lentils, oats, oysters, pumpkin seeds, quinoa
WHY: This essential mineral can boost testosterone in those who are deficient and can also help keep levels normal.
WHERE TO GET IT: Chocolate, clams, coffee, kale, oysters, spinach, Swiss chard
WHY: Magnesium is a mineral that works similar to zinc to bump up T levels when low, and frees up bound testosterone.
WHERE TO GET IT: Brazil nuts, flounder, halibut, mushrooms, oysters, tuna
WHY: Selenium, a mineral that also acts as an antioxidant, is crucial for testosterone production and has been found to increase sperm production and quality.
WHERE TO GET THEM: Apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cocoa, ginger, grapefruit, grapes, green tea, olive oil, onions, oranges, red wine
WHY: Chemicals called free radicals course through our body, wreaking havoc on our cells and genes, and antioxidants—free radical fighters we get from food—are our best defense against them. By keeping levels of these scavengers down, we also help keep our body, including the cardiovascular system, running smoothly.
EASY DOES IT:
Heat up some steel-cut oatmeal. Then toss in berries (antioxidants) and a few slices of banana (potassium—great for blood pressure).
EASY DOES IT:
Mix leafy greens (nitrates) of your choice with sliced shallots, chopped roasted beets (more nitrates), flaked smoked wild salmon (heart-healthy omega-3s), and one soft-boiled egg (artery-snow-plowing choline). Toss with balsamic vinaigrette.
EASY DOES IT:
Add some grilled domestic shrimp (choline) to a bowl with cubed avocado (potassium), sliced grape tomatoes (antioxidants), sweet corn kernels, a bit of cilantro, and ½ cup of cooked quinoa (zinc).
IN THE MORNING, I always drink a banana-flavored Muscle Milk for breakfast. I also finish the day with the same Muscle Milk.
I’ll also take my vitamins and supplements. I’ll take zinc and hemodilator, mostly in capsule form, which increase my sperm supply, and tribulus, which ups my libido. Also, I’ll add calcium and saw palmetto, which both help to thicken my semen.
It’s important not to eat too much before heading to set—I use Viagra, which hits you faster and harder on an empty stomach.
At the same time, because sperm is nearly all protein, I try to eat as many protein foods as I can: Eggs, chicken breasts, and steak are all good, so I’ll have chicken fried rice with four eggs sunny-side up for dinner one night, then follow it with a medium-well steak with two eggs and fried potatoes the next night.
Since every day is a workday, I always eat like that. It’s good for my sperm supply to ingest as much protein as humanly possible.”
YES, BUYING DINNER FOR your lady is Dating 101, and not only because she deserves it and you need to make her feel special. You also need to simply feed her, because a recent study from the University of California, San Diego found that if your lady is a hungry lady, then she probably isn’t as interested in focusing on anything else.
But what should she eat to really, really get in the mood? We’ve got you covered (below). Before you order, though, beware: On the whole, your foods need to be compatible.
“If she’s going to eat curry, you eat curry. If she doesn’t, you shouldn’t,” says Susan M. Block, Ph.D. If you both order something that’s potentially smelly or offensive—and gives you garlic or onion breath—you’ll be less likely to be turned off when the heat rises.
And be sure to avoid foods that might upset stomachs or cause digestion issues—like broccoli or brussels sprouts; any dairy that could get you congested and phlegmy; and processed or fried foods, which will make you feel lethargic and leaden.
A final note: Stay away from garlic, even if she eats it. No lady likes the taste of garlic sperm. Trust us on this.
Two glasses of red wine (or one bottle) is perfect. It’s the perfect amount of loose without getting wasted. (And small amounts of alcohol have been shown to boost libido in women.) After dinner, opt for green tea, an elegant shot of caffeine to heighten attention.
When it comes to appetizers and sides, go with anything involving these main ingredients: avocados, crab, figs, oysters, and shrimp. Oysters Rockefeller are perfect. So are stuffed avocados, baked crab dip, and figs with goat cheese and almonds.
Leaner meat like a grass-fed steak and wild salmon are perfect. Cows raised on mostly grass will have more heart-healthy omega-3s, which for you can reduce the inflammation that damages blood vessels and leads to heart disease; for her, they will provide less calories, so she won’t feel bloated in the bedroom. Wild-caught salmon is also great. It’s filled with omega-3s, and it’s also a lighter bite that won’t weight her down in the sack.
OK, don’t blow this. When dessert comes around, stay away from sugary bakery bombs like cakes or pies. The smarter choice: fruit, especially watermelon, peaches, or strawberries, because they have high vitamin C levels and lower sugar content. If saying no to sweets would spoil the mood, offer to share one together to lower any chances of a sugar crash.
“When you start with kissing, have a bowl of fruit and maybe pass a seedless grape back and forth, mouth-to-mouth, until one or both of you can’t help but bite the grape or other fruit—that juices up your kiss with this fruity sweetness and can make the kiss go longer. It can help you to get into the kissing and use your tongue.”
Food definitely makes oral sex more pleasurable. For instance, if you’re going to go down on your girl and maybe you feel a little squeamish, you might put something you really like down there, like whipped cream or chocolate or guacamole. Maybe turn your dick into an ice cream cone with icing. (Or put it on her hard, perky nipples.)
“Start by sucking some food off your lover’s body parts almost like you’re eating them. Caveat: This can sound really nasty, but it feels really good. Just make sure, if your female lover is prone to yeast infections, to avoid getting sweet stuff inside her vagina. If you want to practice, try sucking down oysters or eating a fig—both will give you lots of good ideas and a good sense of how to lick a pussy and enjoy it.”
WELL, IF YOU BELIEVE the Internet, chocolate, strawberries, eggs, and various nuts are all guaranteed to give you a boner that is strong enough to go through drywall.
I have guys who come in to see me, and they’re like, “If I eat half a bag of almonds, is that going to improve my erections?” I’m like, “I don’t fucking know. Dude, really?” As if 16.3 ounces of almonds will give you a raging boner. I mean, come on now.
Here’s the deal: The most important thing to do for great sex (though not the only thing; keep reading!) is to eat a wellbalanced Mediterranean-type diet (see the Better Sex Shopping List, above). Over time, it’ll lower your cholesterol, improve your cardiac output (important, because the small blood vessels in your penis are the same diameter as the vessels in your heart), help you lose weight, and in the end, give you a better boner than any specific food at any particular period of time.
That being said, yes, there are a few things that can improve blood flow more immediately.
For instance, caffeine—from coffee, or chocolate-covered coffee beans, tea, or green tea—is going to make your heart rate go up. When your heart rate goes up, your cardiac output goes up. And when that happens, all the organs in your body get more blood flow—more blood velocity/unit of time.
So if you’re horny, if you take one of those pills that has ingredients like nitrates, L-arginine, L-citrulline, plus caffeine and other things that raise your heart rate, then of course you’re probably going to have a little bit better boner.
Just be sure to play both the short and the long game.
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