Stuff this shameless secrets nonsense! I’m going to let the cat out of the bag straight away and let you into a massive, unspoken, sniggering behind the bike sheds, orgasmic secret:
Cyclists have great sex.
Yes, you heard me correctly. It’s all that pumping rubber, sweaty breathless rhythm and endurance training baby!
And with great sex cometh other great benefits to both body and soul. Peace of mind, long life and prosperity. Enjoyment of sexual pleasure without guilt or hang ups.
Well, bollocks to that!
Have you ever tried having sex when you can’t get a moment to yourself, you’re tired out, worried the kids are going to hear you/barge in, the phone keeps going and the cat’s done a shit on the bathroom mat again?
I might be a cyclist and I might (sometimes/often/on Tuesdays/always/sporadically/luckily/desperately/gratefully) have great sex and I might even, at times, aspire to gain the physical and mental benefit from such a noble activity…..
But, I’m also a dad, a middle-aged man, a worker, a carer, a fixer, a worrier and a provider. Frankly, the frequency of my ejaculation is relatively low down on my list of priorities, way beneath how to pay the mortgage, is my teenage daughter using condoms and what the fuck is that expensive to fix sounding noise coming from the car again?
So, I’m going to lead you platonically by the hand as we explore why sex is so good for you (hurrah!), why it can become a bit of a fishy issue, particularly for the mid-life male (basically because we are penis obsessed weirdos) and ultimately how cycling can help you to become king of the mound in the bedroom as well as king of the mountain on Strava.
Then let’s start by having a candid look at why sex is just so bloody great for you!
#1 An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away
That almost sounds like a challenge!
Joking aside, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that having more sex can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and also reduce the risk of death by suicide and stress related illnesses.
The other good news is that scientists are saying that the more orgasms a man has the longer he’s likely to live – how cool is that! One of the leading exponents of this research is Michael Roizen, a doctor who is Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic. He says:
“For men, the more the better – the typical man who has around 350 orgasms a year versus the national average of around a quarter of that, lives about four years longer. These men will also feel about eight years younger than their contemporaries”
I’m willing to give that a try!
Roizen has also suggested, quite seriously, it seems that if a man was to have 700 orgasms a year for a number of years he could possibly add 8 years to his life! This seems a bit crazy as we all do, of course, have other things to do in the day and twice a day really does just seem like hard work but hey, no pain – no gain!
BTW the average American adult male has sex just 81 times per year. Who the hell actually counts these things up!?
There was also another Swedish study in the 1980’s ……… (OK, yes my brain automatically also went straight to bad Swedish 80’s porn movies and ABBA) linking older men’s health to their sexual frequency and also numerous other smaller and less conclusive pieces of evidence.
But that’s not all…..
The dog’s bollocks (if you’ll excuse the expression!) of research in this area took place in Wales (of all places!) where scientists interviewed 1000 men about their sexual frequency and then compared them with their eventual death records. Ten years later they worked out that the men who had two or more orgasms a week had died at a rate of half of that of the man who only had an orgasm once a month. They concluded that increased sexual activity seems to have to have a protective effect on men’s health.
You could, of course, say that the men who lived longer and had more sex were probably healthier anyway. You could also argue that Welsh men aren’t the best subjects for such an experiment but the general trend, putting all of this research together, seems to very clearly suggest that as men, the more orgasms we have the healthier and longer living we will be – and I’m not complaining or arguing with that!
So what are some of the other health benefits of having lots of sex?
#2 Sex helps boost the immune system
People who have more sex have fewer sick days. In fact having sex boosts your immune system by creating more antibodies that fight of germs, viruses and other unpleasant visitors.
#3 Sex Can Lower blood pressure
Researchers have suggested a link between having more sex and lowered blood pressure. Particularly, there’s a link between having intercourse and lowering systolic pressure – that’s the first number of the blood pressure reading.
#4 Having More Sex Lessens the Risk of Heart Attack
Sex is good for your heart in that it’s a great way to raise your heart rate and sex also encourages the correct balance of estrogen and testosterone levels. In one study, men who had sex twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease than men who had sex only rarely.
#5 Sex Helps With Managing Stress
Being sexually aroused really turbo charges your brain’s pleasure and reward system and being close to someone else can also boost your self-esteem and happiness rating. Your body releases it’s natural feel good hormone during sex making it a relaxing and pleasurable experience.
#6 More Sex Makes Prostate Cancer Less Likely
In a study by the American Medical Association scientists found that men who ejaculated 21 times a month or more were less likely to get prostate cancer. Obviously, lots of other elements go together to influence cancer risk but the conclusion has to be that sex can only help.
#7 Sex improves Your Sleep
Well, maybe not initially (!) but you will probably find that you will nod off more quickly and sleep more soundly after having sex. The hormone prolactin is released after orgasm and this is responsible for feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
Sex also generally increases self-esteem as the feeling of being wanted and desired is very powerful and of course, sex can build intimacy, trust, and be a powerful and enriching element in a relationship.
So, the bottom line?
Having a lot of sex, in fact, almost as much sex as one could possibly reasonably manage can increase the length of your life, reduce the risk of many serious diseases and greatly improve the quality of your life.
Joy! Sounds like a pig in shit scenario to me!
But, you know, that’s great if you are a testosterone fuelled 19 year old. It’s all a bit different as we gracefully glide into our slightly more mature years. Maybe things start to not exactly work as expected, other pressures take priority and let’s face it, the novelty factor of having sex can well and truly have worn a little thin after doing it for so many years.
So, what’s the deal for the more mature penis?
There’s an age old myth that men are uncontrollable, testosterone fuelled sex machines at 17 and that women reach their peak at 35. Obviously, this is a bit of a problem and the incompatibility of theses age ranges was always thought to be a bit of a sticking point – but luckily it’s not actually true.
The myth harks back to an early study by sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in 1953 and is basically swayed by the fact that a majority of 35 year old women were married and having regular sex often for the first time in their 30’s in the 1950’s and the fact that 17 year old boys simply masturbate a lot!
#8 Sex is better in middle age
According to a new study in 2016 by the website Happify, a majority of people are saying that they actually are having the best sex of their lives in their 40’s. In fact 46 is apparently the best age!
Sadly I’m slightly past that but you still may hopefully have that red letter year to look forward to!
Why is this?
Well, we apparently have less sex than in our 20’s but the quality is better! It takes experience, confidence and practice to get better at sex and the emotional maturity of our middle years is a great benefit to our enjoyment as well.
Rock on the middle-aged sex gods!
But it’s not all plain sailing. The sexuality of middle-aged men generally isn’t copiously discussed and there’s a bit of an assumption, beyond the stereotype of the middle-aged man struggling to match his libido to his struggling erection, that we are basically all well, good and sorted by this age.
Often, that’s simply not the case and middle age men often struggle.
We live busy, stressed lives often trying to juggle career and relationships often with increasingly ageing parents, increasingly demanding teenage children and, to add to the stress often feel as if we are expected to be in a period of our lives where we have got everything sorted and under control.
We have such high expectations of ourselves as the tough, provider alpha males and we are, quite frankly, often crap at looking after ourselves, asking for help or even admitting we are struggling.
We think, in our primitive caveman brains, that it makes us look weak and unattractive to struggle and ask for help.
I can certainly be a pig-headed dickhead in this respect sometimes – what about you?
We also have to deal with the fact that, as we get older our arteries narrow, we might get prostate problems, circulation problems and, particularly when combined with stress and our over inflated self-expectations, it’s not surprising that we are at increased risk of erectile disfunction.
And what a massive issue this is…
How closely our self-esteem is linked to our penises (or apparently “peni”, and yes, of course, I did have to look it up!) and what a devastating effect a lack of or change of ability in sexual performance can have.
There’s a reduced amount of testosterone produced as we get older and this can lead to both sexual desire and performance being reduced as well.
#9 O shit! It really does seem as though the odds are not in our favour!
Sadly, men often strongly associate their sexual impulses as being a symbol of their manhood. As the impulse naturally subsides in middle age the midlife male brain goes into a panic. It feels as though it’s owner is less of a man, less desirable and weaker despite the fact that our brains are generally functioning at their optimum level of development in this period and we are often at our most productive and successful.
So, what happens?
Well, we over compensate and try to get back those feelings of manhood by trying to prove that we still “have it” despite our hormones telling us otherwise. And often, in a state of self-denial, men start all sorts of new hobbies, take up new sports, set new goals and ambitions and buy things that make them feel young and virile and fall into what has been called the midlife crisis.
Unfortunately, our over confident ambition can also lead us to try to prove our continuing attractiveness and sexuality by flirting with and trying to attract younger members of the opposite sex.
And here’s the big issue…..
No matter how much a man loves his partner he will pretty much always be attracted to other women. Obviously, it’s how you choose to act on that impulse that’s important but the other problem is that the hormonal changes in middle age don’t necessarily decrease the sexual urge or libido but just, in the first instance at least, possibly just effect sexual performance.
So now we have the image of the creepy old man trying to pick up younger girls due to his flagging testosterone levels urging him to prove his manhood despite the fact that his actual sexual performance is diminished.
Sad, disgusting and a gross over generalisation – I apologise.
So, what can we do to help ourselves along with all of this and where the bloody hell does cycling fit in?
Stick with me my friend as all shall be revealed. But first, to lighten the mood because writing all that lot above made me feel seriously depressed, some strange similarities between sex and cycling……….
An academic study on Some noteworthy similarities between sex and cycling:
So, after that heartening little interlude let’s press on and discover how cycling can actually improve your sex life…..
The Brazen truth about how Cycling can whip your sex life into turbo mode
#10 Cycling helps Get that blood coursing through your erm…veins
Cycling is extremely effective at improving cardiovascular strength and this increased efficiency and increased blood flow can only have a positive effect on sexual performance.
‘Cycling is a major contributor to improved cardiovascular health and increased blood flow,’ explains Roger Walker, consultant urologist at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital in Surrey. ‘Both are proven benefits for healthy sexual function. Cycling has been shown to be an ideal low-impact means of addressing the issues linked to sexual dysfunction, especially among men approaching or in middle age.’
There have also been studies that have linked the opposite ie weak heart muscles to erectile dysfunction and I guess it stands to reason that if the blood flow is weak maintaining an erection is going to be a struggle.
But there’s a lot more to the problem in that it’s also very closely linked to psychological issues and cycling can help here as well.
#11 You’re too sexy for your bib shorts
Cycling boosts your self-image. If you feel fit, you will feel more confident, particularly with your own body and you will naturally feel more desirable. Researchers at the University of Arkansas conducted a study of 400 men and women and found that those who were physically fit rated their desirability much higher than those who weren’t.
In the survey, 80% of males and 66% of females rated themselves as more desirable and there was also an increased perception of sexual performance as well. Typical blokes! They could well have been over-egging the pudding a little but it does stand to reason that if you feel good you will feel more desirable.
I don’t think that you have to be a mega iron man 100 mile per ride type either. Just small increases in the amount of exercise you are getting and just getting in the mindset of looking after your body can have big positive gains.
#12 Goddamit Everyone else can see how hot you feel too!
It gets even better as in a survey by the British Heart Foundation they found that of 600 people questioned 1 in 4 would rather date a cyclist rather than any type of athlete! Is it the muscley thighs or the stamina inducing cardiovascular response or just the fact that we are just uber cool and sophisticated? It does seem that at least the idea of dating a cyclist is hot.
Now, I think we should all calm down a little and, despite feeling a little hot under the collar and flushed with our own desirability have a careful think about a slightly concerning issue that effects middle-aged cyclists in particular……
Here’s the dilemma:
We all now know that the midlife man is rather at risk of over exaggerating his desirability in an attempt to prove his ongoing virility despite the odds being stacked rather against him.
We also know that cycling makes the aforementioned mid-life gentleman feel hot, sexy and desirable.
It’s, therefore, imperative that the fit, hot and sexy feeling midlife man clad in his body-hugging lycra should actually always remember that:
#13 Hot girls look sexy in lycra – you don’t.
Despite how you might be feeling there will always be a large number of the population that don’t really want to look at your bulging hairy thighs or tightly clad backside at the traffic lights. Few people want the view out of their car windows to be obscured by your sweaty chicken legs and no woman in her right mind is going to go for a panting dripping mass of spandex and pasty white skin in a month of Sundays…..
….just an observation!……
But hey, stuff ’em because I’m off to get high!
#14 Getting high on wheels you feel good junkie
Fancy a hit of endocannabinoids? Yeah, man get that happy relaxed and in the mood feeling and the good news – well, it’s completely legal and free. Cycling releases stress-relieving feel happy hormones, what’s not to like?
Regular cycling can also help to regulate hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which can lead to feeling less stressed overall and if you are feeling relaxed and happy the chances are you will feel a lot keener to have sex. There’s a strong link to depression and lack of sexual motivation and therefore it stands to reason that the more relaxed and blissed out you are feeling the more you are going to feel like getting it on!
#15 Pump it up, Get up and go
Finally, all of this cardiovascular conditioning, fitness and mental positivity simply leads to you having more energy, more pizzazz and get up and go and inevitably you will not only feel more like having sex rather but you will also have more energy for it as well. More stamina, more muscular strength and better blood flow can only mean one thing and it’s a great and wonderful thing that the pleasures of cycling should compliment and inspire the pleasures of great sex as well!
Get on your bike then ride!
So, knowing that cycling is great for your sex life is it possible to optimise your cycling experience to help you have even better sex?
Spank the crank – uncensored cycling tips to shake up your sex life
#16 Little and often wins the day
You will gain much more benefit from cycling if you indulge a little and often rather than just blasting out along the tarmac for 50 miles on just on a Sunday morning. Regular riding with regular rest days in between work best and you are much more likely to keep cycling long term if you can build it into your daily routine.
Perhaps you could try commuting by bike, or going to the shops by bike or just replacing as many short journeys as you can by cycling. If you can’t do that then having regular ride times actually scheduled into your diary as a priority will help you to get into a regular pattern or habit of riding.
#17 Getting breathless helps you get it on
You might well be training for an event or other cycling goal but if your cycling goal is simply to cycle for better sex (and what nobler goal could there be!) then you don’t have to be measuring your heart rate and power output and stressing about average speeds. Just listen to your body and cycle at a rate that gets you very slightly out of breath.
This is a relatively easy level to maintain and will give you a good return on your effort in terms of cardiovascular improvement.
#18 Best bang for your buck – 30 minute intervals
However, if you do want to go more hardcore then the most time effective method for improvement is to dive into doing 30 minutes of interval training. There are many different ways of doing this but essentially the idea is that you go flat out for a short period then have a period of recovery and rinse and repeat for 30 minutes.
You could, for example, do ten seconds flat out followed by 20 seconds of recovery and repeat six to eight times. If you have a warm up and cool down at either end of the 30-minute session you should be able to fit in two or three sets with a gentle spinning recovery time in between.
Alternatively how about doing pyramid intervals where you warm up then do 10 seconds flat out 10 seconds recovery, 20 seconds flat out, 20 seconds recovery etc. Keep going until you are doing a minute for each and then come back down and reduce until you are doing 10 seconds again.
#19 You need to Give it some time
If you are a beginner and “cycling for sex” (!) don’t expect that you will become a massive horny mound of attractive, permanently aroused man with the stamina of a young stallion overnight. These things do take time and you might, for a start, feel more tired and no more like having sex than you did before.
It could take a number of weeks, maybe a couple of months but, if you keep going you will gradually see that you are feeling different, feeling better, feeling good about yourself and quite naturally your sex life will hopefully begin to attain new heights as well.
#20 You’ve gotta Look after the equipment
There’s a lot of coverage on the possibility that doing a lot of cycling can cause erectile dysfunction. To a certain extent, this has been blown out of proportion by a press that just loves to write about genitalia and quash any segment of society that might just be having too much of a good time. But, all the same, it has to be taken into account.
Basically, the issue is that when you are sitting on a bicycle seat a lot of pressure is put on your perineum. This compression leads to lack of blood flow and there have been some suggestions to links of erectile dysfunction particularly in men who cycle for many many hours on a regular basis.
Other studies have found no direct link between any problems and cycling and have pointed out that the many health benefits of cycling far outweigh any possible slight risk of erectile dysfunction and other issues.
So, what does this mean in the real world for us? Well, all of the studies talk about numbness being the initial symptom of any potential problems and they also seem to say that you need to be cycling for over 7 – 8 hours a week for this to potentially be an issue.
So, if you are riding less than this you should be OK. Common sense also tells us to look out for numbness and, if this isn’t an issue not to worry. Now, we all get a bit of saddle soreness down there occasionally but this is referring to the penis tingling aching numbness that recurs and lasts for a long time after you get off the bike.
Obviously, if you are in any doubt then you should take action.
So, what to do?
Obviously seeking medical advice is a must but also, in terms of cycling, having a break and then cycling less becomes a priority. You can also look into changing your saddle and there are a number of different saddles on the market now that have a channel down the middle which is designed to reduce pressure on the perineum. Similarly, some of them are designed without a nose or front bit to alleviate pressure and the advice of a good cycle shop should be sought as to which one might suit you best.
It seems to me, that if you are in the slightest doubt, it’s a complete no-brainer not to spend money on a quality saddle. The peace of mind and comfort it will afford is, to a certain extent, priceless and, as the primary contact point between you and the bike it has to be a priority.
Also, always riding in a quality pair of cycling shorts will make life much more comfortable and help to keep the blood flowing. You generally find that the more expensive the shorts the better quality and more comfortable the pad is. Again, I would personally direct a good proportion of my funds to this as it’s a primary contact point with the bike and my personal comfort has a direct effect on the amount of cycling pleasure I get!
Using chamois cream, particularly for longer rides, can have a pleasant cooling and lubricating effect in your vital areas and, once you have got over the initial grossness of applying it, it does make a noticeable difference.
But the most practical tip I can give to keep the blood flowing down below and to prevent numbness is to regularly reduce the pressure by shifting your weight around on the saddle, or better still regularly taking the pressure off altogether.
Now, this is easy to do if you’re riding alone as you can stand on the pedals periodically or have a break and get off and stretch but it becomes much more difficult on a group ride where you need to maintain speed and predictability. The key is to take every opportunity available to lift off, when you are slowing or coasting lift up a little, when approaching a junction move and stand and shift your weight around when you are on the move as frequently as you can. Every opportunity, no matter how brief will help and you can try to get into the habit of sitting more lightly on the seat and supporting your weight more with your legs as well.
A hint of scandal
Finally, a sorry tale of a nameless person who, for some unknown reason – be it perceived cleanliness or increased sexual sensitivity or simply because they just wanted to try it – shaved off their pubic hair at the front, underneath and in every nook and cranny. This was a fine plan for a start and all was smooth and good, maybe there was some sensation of less friction on a bike, more sensitivity and a feeling of all round affinity between the shaven regions, the chamois cream, pad and saddle.
But sadly, shaven hair starts to regrow and, for a start, rather than being long and fluffy and compliant between the arse and saddle it sticks up like stubble in a newly harvested corn field and over the course of a 50 mile ride the multitude of pins prick, stab and torment like the devil himself inside your shorts until it feels like the fires of hell are licking up your bum and your saddle feels like the prod of a red-hot poker between two slabs of lard.
I can only imagine the pain and it must be even worse if you’re a girl!
You might have been shocked, appalled, scandalised and scarred for life by this post. Actually, it’s more likely, particularly as you are here and have possibly read most of it, that you were faintly amused, titillated and mildly intrigued! Whatever your reaction it would be great to hear from you – leave me a comment in the box below and let me know what you think.