'TIS the season for too much to drink, not enough sleep and increased anxiety.
So it's not surprising blokes are likely to struggle getting – and keeping- an erection over the festive period.
Unfortunately, impotence rates have doubled in the last 25 years, according to a new study by King’s College, London – and young men are increasingly affected.
A third blamed tiredness, a third anxiety and a third drinking too much – all factors which increase at this time of year.
But these six surprising Christmas gift ideas might just help perk up your lover’s performance.
It might not sound like a sexy stocking filler, but scientists say a tongue-scraper could work wonders for your man’s performance.
That’s because using the metal device to remove surface debris from the tongue allows ‘good’ oral bacteria to flourish, producing chemicals called nitrites, which build up in the saliva.
When your lover swallows, the nitrites mix with the acid of his stomach and turn it into nitric oxide, giving a boost to the blood-flow to his manhood.
Dr Nathan Bryan, a specialist in molecular medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, says: "With enough nitric oxide you can dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow and improve sexual function."
While your man is busy in the bathroom scraping his tongue, get him flossing too.
Several studies have found that men with gum disease are more likely to have problems getting and keeping erections.
Chronic inflammation caused by gum disease can damage the lining of the blood vessels in his penis, reducing healthy blood flow into the organ.
In fact, if a man has serious gum disease, he’s more than twice as likely to have problems between the sheets, according to a study of more than 200,000 men aged 20 to 80.
A coffee maker
Brew up some coffee in the morning, if you’d like to see a stronger performance from your man in the bedroom.
Just two or three cups a day could really perk him up, according to researchers at the University of Texas.
After studying the coffee-drinking of 4000 men, they found that those who enjoyed a couple of coffees were 42 per cent less likely to have erectile dysfunction.
It’s thought that ingredients in coffee relax the arteries in the penis and allow more blood to flow into it.
A vegan recipe book
Many men believe that eating meat is a sign of virility.
But recent research suggests it’s actually vegans who are likely to perform better in the bedroom.
US urologist Dr Aaron Spitz decided to conduct an experiment. One night, he gave men burritos containing beef, chicken or pork. The next, the burritos contained plant-based meat substitutes.
While they slept, the men wore special devices to monitor penile length and girth.
In the mornings, it was found that that men who ate the plant-based burritos had erections which lasted three to four times longer.
Why? Possibly because diets high in animal fats and rich in cholesterol can clog up the arteries, restricting blood flow to the penis. But plant-based foods boost nitric oxide, increasing blood flow.
Dr Spitz said: "What the scientific studies are showing is that the more meat men eat, the more quickly they lose their manly manhood."
Consultant urological surgeon Mr Vivek Wadhwa, who is based at Birmingham’s Spire Parkway Hospital, says the strength of your man’s erection can be a red flag for future heart problems.
"The small arteries in the penis tend to fur up (with fatty deposits) a good 10 to 15 years earlier than the bigger arteries to the heart and brain.
“So it can help for a man to reduce his intake of animal protein and increase plant fibre and antioxidants in the diet when he gets this early warning sign.”
Padded cycling shorts
If your man is a lycra cycling warrior, it might be doing wonders for his physique – but not much for his endurance in the bedroom.
Very active male cyclists have twice the rate of erectile dysfunction than non-cyclists, according to a study of 6,751 men by the University of Hamburg.
Certain men’s bikes – which make the rider lean forward and hold on to dropped handlebars – can press on the artery into the penis – as well as the blood vessels and nerves between the scrotum and anus.
This can cause pain, numbness and damage.
However, the effect can be lessened with padded cycling shorts which reduce pressure.
Or another option could be to buy him a new saddle with grooves in the middle.
A study in the British Journal of Urology International found that this type of seat is less numbing and less likely to cause erection problems.
Mr Wadhwa told The Sun: "I also tell patients that if they change their saddle to something softer there’s not so much pressure on the perineum – the area between the scrotum and anus."
A bottle of olive oil
Baste your Christmas dinner roast potatoes in olive oil, not chicken fat – it could be better than Viagra at reducing impotence as it boosts testosterone.
Researchers from the University of Athens found that eating just nine tablespoons of olive oil a week does the trick.
Study leader, Dr Christina Chrysohoou, said diet and exercise were key to improving a men’s sexual performance.
“Men who follow a Mediterranean diet – particularly consuming lots of olive oil – see their risk of impotence reduced by up to 40 per cent in older age."
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