Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Steroids or Porn for Low-Testosterone - Rx vs. XXX?

http://www.affgossip.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/affiliate-marketing.jpg

In a 2009 article from Newsweek, some unnamed writer suggests that pornography may be the better choice for low T therapy than using one of the FDA approved testosterone creams or gels.

Yes, looking at porn increases T-levels. Not as high or as sustained as the gels and creams, so it would require more time viewing DVDs or surfing for internet porn. But you also won't get gyno (man boobs), lipid imbalances, and so on. On the other hand your partner won't likely be pleased and many people end up addicted.

Here is a taste of the article:

Rx vs. XXX

The makers of a testosterone supplement are launching a national campaign touting the youth-enhancing benefits of their product. But there may be a cheaper, less clinical solution to low hormone levels.

Porn or prescriptions? It hardly sounds likes a typical fork in the road. But it's the choice that middle-aged American males apparently may face if they suffer from symptoms of low testosterone—as around five million men do, a figure that seems to be growing along with male girths, diabetes and the aging boomer generation.

At issue are competing claims about the testosterone-hiking benefits of medication versus manual labor of the most private kind. The case for pornography derives from research showing that adult fare can help restore a sapped male mojo. Monkeys that see sexually active females register as much as a 400 percent jump in testosterone (nature's own performance-enhancing drug) promoting lean muscle and quick recovery times, according to the Yerkes Center for Primate Research at Emory University. In humans, German researchers have found that just having an erection is enough to spur testosterone levels. it makes no difference whether a man is watching sex on a screen or having it in real life, his testosterone levels will go up. Just having an erection, in fact, is enough to spur production.

Such findings, along with work that shows family life to be a drain on testosterone levels, prompted Rutgers University sex researcher Helen Fisher to advise this month that males in the "captivity situation"-her term for married with kids-"go on the Internet and look at porn" as a kind of hormone-replacement therapy. "[Porn] drives up dopamine levels, which drives up your testosterone," she tells NEWSWEEK, while kissing your wife or hugging your kids drives it down.

You can read the whole article if you want - but I am curious what you men think of this idea.


4 comments:

Duff said...

According to the research Marnia Robinson has accumulated, porn--especially when coupled with masturbation to orgasm--creates a dopamine rush followed by a crash.

http://www.reuniting.info/introduction/about_science

Robinson has also received numerous anecdotal accounts that men who frequently watch porn get erectile dysfunction. I suspect that T levels go up and then crash as well from regular porn viewing, but I haven't seen any data.

We should also ask ourselves what the real causes of lower T production is and what we are aiming at by getting production levels up---looking good? Health? Sperm count? Culturally constructed notions of what makes for a man?

Duff said...

Here are a couple more related links:
http://www.reuniting.info/science

And from a study of rats:
"The androgen receptor density in brain areas closely related to the expression of masculine sexual behavior, such as the medial preoptic nucleus, was drastically reduced in sexually exhausted animals"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12914589

So it may depend on whether these images involve "sexual exhaustion" on the part of the viewer or not, as is typically the case from a porn watching male human.

WH said...

Hi Duff - thanks for the perspective and the links.

That dopamine rush you mention from Robinson's research is why porn is addicting (or partnered sex for some people, but it's much easier to have frequent porn experiences than it is to have frequent partnered sexual experiences).

As for why we would want to replace declining T levels: maintain bone density, keep muscle tone and strength to prevent falls, maintain heart health, prevent depression, maintain sexual health, maintain brain health, prevent cancer (most cancers feed on estrogen to grow), etc.

And of course, to feel younger and more vital. This one is perhaps vanity, but feeling good actually keeps the brain healthier. Feeling more "manly" can be a form of antidepressant for some men.

My preference is to keep T levels higher through exercise (especially weight training) and proper diet (good protein, healthy lipids, and some supplementation) - not drugs, and definitely not porn.

Curiously, studies about 10 years back found that simply looking at sexually appealing people (those who turn us on) boosts T levels, so if we combine that with what you cited, the trick is to get turned on and not masturbate.

And the BIG question is how T levels get low in the first place - my list: (1) being overweight, (2) not lifting weights, (3) inadequate zinc and other nutrients, (4) xenoestrogens in the environment, in our plastic bottles, in our foods, in air fresheners, in sunscreens, and on and on - this may be the biggest issue, (5) medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, (6) licorice used as a sweetener, (7) beer - hops are highly estrogenic, and the list could go on for days.

Peace.

Frank said...

The "German Research" isn't at the link given by Newsweek. I can't find it with google.de either --- I think it's an urban legend, and I'm amazed that Newsweek would publish it. Perhaps somebody who can't read German misinterpreted something?