Smoking And Your Sex Life
We've all seen adverts: the elegant, sophisticated, smoking woman whose cigarettes are part of her sensual and sexy allure. Don't forget her male counterpart: the very essence of virility, who, having chosen the right brand of cigarettes, now succeeds in the world of sport and business, not to mention with women. Yes, the fact is that before cigarette advertising was severely restricted in many Western countries, the tobacco industry had already successfully implanted the sexy cigarette image in our minds.
This false image persists even today, despite the fact that we now know that smoking can physically impair our sex lives! If you are tempted to start smoking to boost your chances with the opposite sex, or you are holding on to the sexy image idea as your last excuse for not giving up, read on. Here's what you can expect from your sex life as a smoker...
Smoking will damage your sex life in different ways depending on the amount you smoke and then length of time for which you have been smoking. Some of the nasty effects are obvious - such as bad breath, bad skin, premature aging, that clinging smoky odor on your clothes and hair, not to mention yellow teeth and fingernails - most smokers will be familiar with these. The danger is that as a smoker you become accustomed to these things and you may not realize just how unattractive they are making you to the opposite sex. Women beware! One poll carried out in the United Kingdom found that almost 50 percent of men associate smoking with wrinkles, bad breath and less enjoyable kissing! It's a safe bet that women feel the same way about male smokers.
Another factor in the negative impact of smoking on your sex life is your gender.
Medical experts agree that smoking is linked to male impotence, i.e. smoking can leave you unable to have sex. The chemicals in cigarettes restrict blood flow and can therefore reduce a man's ability to have an erection. There is evidence that men have softer erections after just two cigarettes! Furthermore, one Australian study found that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day are 40 percent more likely to suffer from impotence than non-smoking males.
Many researchers also believe that cigarettes reduce a man's sex drive. Carbon monoxide, which is released into the blood stream each time you smoke a cigarette, reduces testosterone levels and brings down the male libido. One study found that men aged 25 to 40 who smoked more than one pack of cigarettes a day, or more, were having less sex than non-smoking males in the same age group. Smoking also reduces male fertility.
The message is clear. If you want satisfaction from your sex life for you and your partner - the cigarettes have got to go.
Although less research has been done on the effects of smoking on women's sexual health than on men's, smoking is thought to interfere with a woman's ability to have an orgasm. This seems logical when you consider that nicotine restricts blood flow. When a woman is sexually aroused, the blood flow to her sexual organs increases, just as it does in men. Therefore restricted blood flow to a woman's genitalia during sex could result in reduced sensation and enjoyment. So women who smoke could be cheating themselves out of sexual pleasure! We also know that smoking reduces a woman's fertility. If all that doesn't put you off, then this might: research published by the European Union has found that smoking alters the balance of male to female sex hormones in women, possibly causing women who smoke to have a less feminine, and essentially more "male" body shape.
Time To Quit
The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more likely it is that your sex life will suffer, so the time to take action is now. Check out our section on giving up cigarettes for advice and tips. Consult your doctor - support is available for smokers who are serious about getting cigarettes out of their lives once and for all!