Posts Tagged ‘arteries’

Eating Yourself Limp

January 2, 2016

Andrew Siegel MD   1/2/16


Today’s entry is on the topic of how overeating and obesity affect one’s manhood and vitality (this holds true for female sexual function as well).  While optimal sexual function is based on many factors, it is important to recognize that our food choices play a definite role. What we eat—or don’t eat—impacts our sex lives.  It’s a new  year– a fresh start–and time for many resolutions, which often involve weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.  Yet another benefit of becoming leaner and fitter is improved sexual function. 

Sexuality is an important part of our human existence. Healthy sexual function involves a good libido, the ability to obtain and maintain a rigid erection and the ability to ejaculate and experience a climax. Although not a necessity for a healthy life, diminished sexual function can result in loss of self-esteem, embarrassment, a sense of isolation and frustration and even depression.

Sexual functioning is complicated and dependent upon a number of systems working in tandem– the endocrine system (which produces hormones); the central and peripheral nervous systems (which provide nerve control); the vascular system (which conducts blood flow); and the musculo-skeletal system (specifically the pelvic floor muscles that help maintain the high blood pressures in the penis necessary for erectile rigidity).

Sexual function is a good indicator of underlying cardiovascular health. A healthy sexual response is largely about blood flow to the genital and pelvic area. The penis is a marvel of engineering, uniquely capable of increasing its blood flow by a factor of 40-50 times over baseline, this surge happening within seconds and responsible for the remarkable physical transition from flaccid to erect. This is accomplished by relaxation of the smooth muscle within the penile arteries and erectile tissues. Pelvic muscle engagement and contraction help prevent the exit of blood from the penis, enhancing penile rigidity and creating penile blood pressures that far exceed normal blood pressure in arteries. For good reason, Gray’s Anatomy textbook over 100 years ago referred to one of the key pelvic floor muscle as the “erector penis.”

Blood flow to the penis is analogous to air pressure within a tire: if there is insufficient pressure, the tire will not properly inflate and will function sub-optimally; at the extreme the tire may be completely flat. Furthermore, slow leaks (that often occur with aging and failure of the smooth muscle within the penile arteries and erectile tissues to relax) promote poor function.

Just as your car suffers a decline in performance if it is dragging around too much of a load, so you penis will function sub-optimally if you are carrying excessive weight. Obesity steals your manhood and reduces male hormone levels. Abdominal fat converts the male hormone testosterone to the female hormone estrogen. Obese men are more likely to have fatty plaque deposits that clog blood vessels–including the arteries to the penis–making it more difficult to obtain and maintain good-quality erections. Additionally, as your belly gets bigger, your penis appears smaller, lost in the protuberant roundness of your large midriff and the abundant pubic fat pad.

Remember the days when you could achieve a rock-hard erection—majestically pointing upwards—simply by seeing an attractive woman or thinking some vague sexual thought? Chances were that you were young, active, and had an abdomen that somewhat resembled a six-pack. Perhaps now it takes a great deal of physical stimulation to achieve an erection that is barely firm enough to be able to penetrate. Maybe penetration is more of a “shove” than a ready, noble, and natural access. Maybe you need pharmacological assistance to make it possible.

If this is the case, it is probable that you are carrying extra pounds, have a soft belly, and are not physically active. When you’re soft in the middle, you will probably be soft where it counts.  A flaccid penis is entirely consistent with a flaccid body and a hard penis is congruous with a hard body. If your is penis difficult to find, if you have noticed man-boob development, and your libido and erections are not up to par, it may be time to rethink your lifestyle habits.

Healthy lifestyle choices are of paramount importance towards achieving an optimal quality and quantity of life. It should come as no surprise that the initial approach to managing sexual issues is to improve lifestyle choices. These include proper eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in exercise, adequate sleep, alcohol in moderation, avoiding tobacco and minimizing stress.

Eating properly is incredibly important, obviously in conjunction with other smart lifestyle choices. Maintaining a healthy weight and fueling up with wholesome and natural and real foods will help prevent weight gain and the build-up of harmful plaque deposits within blood vessels. Healthy fuel includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains and fish. Animal products—including lean meats and dairy—should be eaten in moderation. The Mediterranean-style diet is an excellent one for minimizing both sexual dysfunction and heart disease. Poor dietary choices with meals full of calorie-laden, nutritionally-empty selections (e.g., fast food, processed foods, excessive sugars or refined anything), puts one on the fast tract to obesity and clogged arteries that can make your sexual function as small as your belly is big.

Bottom Line: If you want a “sexier” lifestyle, start with a “sexier” style of eating that will improve your overall health and make you feel better, look better and enhance your sexual function.  Smart nutritional choices are a key component of sexual fitness. If you are carrying the burden of too many pounds, now is the perfect time to start on the pathway towards better health and reversing the sexual dysfunction that has been brought on by poor lifestyle choices. 

Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, happy (and sexy) 2016,

2014-04-23 20:16:29

A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:

Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo) and paperback: Coming soon is The Kegel Fix: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual and Urinary Health.

Author of Promiscuous Eating: Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship With Food:

Co-creator of Private Gym, a comprehensive, interactive, FDA-registered follow-along male pelvic floor muscle training program. Built upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, Private Gym empowers men to increase pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, power, and endurance: or Amazon.


The Penis Is the Star of the Show, But Don’t Forget the Supporting Cast

July 26, 2014


Andrew Siegel, MD   Blog # 164

When it comes down to it, the penis is the star of the show, the lead performer, the anchor, and the host that gets all of the attention, credit and limelight. Like a rock star, he is expected to perform consistently—and when it is time for the show to begin, he usually roars onstage to give a 5 star performance; however, truth be told, often lurking deep within is the specter of a meltdown and total bombing of the act, and, for the less experienced performer, doom by stage fright.

What can help ensure his success? Behind every great performer is a cast of supporting players, a pit crew that encourage, boost and work diligently to guarantee a first-rate show. Without this crew, the penis would struggle with his solo act and fail miserably. Sadly, the entourage team gets little to no respect, even though they are essential in order for the penis to shine and stand at tall attention, confidently at center stage.

So, when the house lights dim, the emcee of the show is the penis, the one who rises to the challenge alone, engaging the crowd and timing his delivery flawlessly. The behind-the-scenes team has labored to make this happen. Let us now meet the members of this vital support group. The supporting cast members are the brain, nerves, arteries and the pelvic floor muscles, without which the demanding audience that seeks a stellar and satisfying performance would most certainly boo the penis off the stage.

The brain is the master control of the penis, instructing the nerves to deliver the message to the arteries to flood the penis with blood to assure a “stand-up” performance. These front-end team members have crucial functions in the preparation of the penis for the show, in order to get things rolling. On the other hand, the pelvic floor muscles are the members of the pit crew who work the back-end, responsible for maintenance of the “outstanding” performance of the penis, ensuring staying power in order to complete the act and its culmination in a loud round of applause from the enthusiastic crowd and perhaps cries for an encore.

The pelvic floor muscles are situated between the scrotum and the anus, known in medical terminology as the “perineum,” but better known in slang as the “taint,” because “it ain’t there (scrotum) and it ain’t there (anus).” Why should this nether region, located between “bottom of the balls and the butthole” garner any respect at all? Like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, with “checkerboard” neighborhoods boasting lavish mansions located adjacent to slum housing, so, too, this area is some very valuable human real estate that should never be sold short—for here reside the all-important cast members, the pelvic floor muscles, as well as critical-for-erection nerves and arteries.

The pelvic floor muscles form the floor of the pelvis, bridging the gap between the pubic bone and the tailbone, supporting the pelvic organs and surrounding the base of the star performer, thereby supporting rigid erections and ejaculation. If these members of the supporting cast went on strike, not only would organs plunge out of our pelvis causing us to be diapered like an infant, but also our star performer would be rendered in a perpetual state of flaccidity. He might be able to eek out a meager stand up routine, but his posture would be poor, his confidence lacking and he would be unable to finish the act to his and the audience’s satisfaction, inevitably failing.

Another muscle that works industriously behind the scenes, but gets little credit, is the diaphragm. It’s the heart and lungs that get all the respect and celebrity. The diaphragm is a crucial supporting cast member and its relationship to the lungs is similar to the relationship of the pelvic floor muscles to the penis.

The diaphragm and the pelvic floor muscles have much in common. The diaphragm and the pelvic floor form the roof and the floor, respectively, of our core muscles. The diaphragm separates the chest from the abdomen, while the pelvic floor muscles separate the pelvis from the perineum. The diaphragm supports the heart and lungs that rest on top of it, while the pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs that rest on top of them. The diaphragm has openings for the esophagus (the canal connecting the throat to the stomach) and the vena cava (the major vein of the body) and aorta (the major artery of the body), while the pelvic floor muscles have openings for the urinary tract and rectum.

The diaphragm descends when it contracts while the pelvic floor muscles ascend when they contract. A contraction of the diaphragm decreases pressure in the chest, causing inhalation of air, while relaxation of the diaphragm causes the exhalation of air; the diaphragm thus plays a critical role in supporting the function of the lungs, and without a functioning diaphragm, we would be hard pressed to breathe. Pelvic floor muscle contraction pinches closed the urethra and the rectum, maintaining control, while pelvic floor relaxation is necessary to urinate and move one’s bowels. Aside from urinary and bowel control, the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for erectile rigidity and are the motor of ejaculation. Via external compression on the inner part of the penis, they enhance rigidity by aiding closure of veins and elevating the blood pressure within the penis so that it is sky-high—a hypertensive penis—causing bone-like rigidity and a rock-star erection. Without well-toned and functioning pelvic floor muscles, one’s sexual, urinary and bowel health suffer dramatically.

In conclusion, for the smooth and flawless functioning of our star—and for the achievement of superstar status—it is critical to have top-notch, skilled, behind-the-scenes supporting cast members. To ensure that the supporting cast members do their best, they need to be well taken care of. In the case of the pelvic floor muscles, targeted exercise makes for a happy, healthy, and hard working support team—one that can go a long, long way in enhancing the capabilities of our star and preventing his performance from going south. Without the help of such a supporting cast, stellar status would be impossible to achieve.

The reason that the Oscars always run overtime is because the winning stars take endless minutes thanking everyone on their team, knowing they could never have risen to fame and glory without them!

Bottom Line: No penis “is an island,” and “it takes a village.” Respect the “pit team” that works behind the scenes to keep the penis performing like a star. Exercise is the best medicine, and pelvic floor muscles can and should be worked out just like other muscles of the body in order to achieve pelvic fitness. The Private Gym pelvic floor instructional DVD and resistance training equipment will give you the means of keeping the pelvic floor muscle support team in tip-top shape and help to ensure an impressive performance!


Andrew Siegel, M.D.


A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:


Author of: Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health; available in e-book (Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo) and paperback:


Private Gym website for pelvic floor instructional DVD and resistance training equipment: