When compared to smoking the benefits of electronic cigarettes seem obvious; reduced exposure to harmful toxins, improved lung function, increased energy levels and the elimination of repulsive odors. Surprisingly, experts have not conclusively tied these benefits to SEX, but the connection to your sex life cannot be ignored. The inability to be intimate is a serious problem for millions of Americans, with one in ten men over the age of 20 suffering from erectile dysfunction. Not only can smoking reduce your stamina and desire, but science has proven the link between smoking and impotency. Are e-cigarettes a potential solution?
The Sexual Implications of Smoking
For years we’ve been inundated with anti-smoking campaigns that display the charred lungs of deceased smokers. Everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, heart disease and a variety of serious health conditions, but many people don’t realize that it may lead to IMPOTENCY. A 2003 study by Tulane University found that men who smoked tobacco had up to a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction, compared to men who never smoked. With decades of research on the subject, doctors and medical experts agree that the connection between smoking and impotency is undeniable.
On a related but less obvious subject, ask a smoker about the times they’ve struggled to breathe after partaking in simple activities such as climbing a flight of stairs or riding a bicycle. You don’t need medical research (although there’s plenty available!) to prove that tobacco smoke compromises lung function, and physical activities, such as sex, can be much more strenuous and difficult.
It’s not just older men who experience these problems; young men who smoke are just as adversely affected. Oxygen and blood flow are the primary mechanisms needed for sexual activity. Cigarettes deprive the body of both, and as a result, hormonal balances are disrupted. Cigarettes also reduce the production of nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate erections. Together, the affects of smoking work against a satisfactory sex life by lowering libido and desire.
Nicotine May Not Be The Culprit
Nicotine has been shown to lower testosterone levels and constrict blood vessels, which certainly doesn’t bode well for improving your sex life, but it may not be the only cause for millions of smokers who suffer from ED. Like the majority of studies regarding nicotine, those that tie nicotine to erectile dysfunction almost always use smokers as test subjects, who inhale thousands of other chemicals besides nicotine. They don’t take into consideration the more insidious danger of tar and other toxic chemicals added to traditional cigarettes. The National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that:
Clinical studies provide strong indirect evidence that smoking may affect penile erection… whether nicotine or other products of cigarette smoke mediate the effects is still unknown.
To be sure, electronic cigarettes will provide a kick of nicotine, if you choose, but before you jump on the ‘nicotine is dangerous’ bandwagon, consider the fact that nicotine may have other benefits, and in vapor form it DOES NOT impair lung function or oxygen levels like tobacco smoke. In addition, nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are often significantly lower than that of traditional cigarettes.
Other Benefits E-Cigarettes May Have on Sex
Besides the fact that they lack tar and other harmful chemicals that inhibit your ability to perform, e-cigs provide other benefits that may assist in the bedroom:
- Increased Stamina
Tar from tobacco smoke coats your lungs, decreases respiratory function and reduces oxygen absorption. All of these factors decrease your stamina, an important factor in sexual performance. Since electronic cigarettes lack the tar and harmful toxic chemicals, users are able breathe more freely and may be able perform for longer durations without getting exhausted.
- Higher Energy & Motivation
Increased stamina will keep you going longer, but higher energy levels will create an increased sexual desire throughout the day. Because of it’s impact on the heart and lungs, smoking can make users feel lethargic and tired, but people who switch to e-cigarettes overwhelmingly report feeling healthier, more motivated and energetic. This will undoubtedly help your sex life.
- Improved Sensory Perception
We perceive the world around us through our senses, an important component of sexual attraction. Smoke from cigarettes can negatively affect both partners – one physically and the other (if a non-smoker) psychologically. As an ex-smoker, I can personally attest to a loss of taste and smell. My senses were dramatically diminished by smoking, and it wasn’t until I quit smoking and started vaping that I realized how much they affected my sexual experience. For a non-smoking partner, the smell of stale tobacco smoke that lingers on your hair and skin, yellowing teeth and bad breath are likely to be big turn-offs, contributing even further to a lack of sexual interest.
A 2014 survey of 19,000 electronic cigarette users found that nearly 74% reported higher endurance levels. 86% reported improved smell, 82% better taste, and 27% of respondents said their sexual performance had improved since switching to electronic cigarettes. In a 2009 UKMedix survey, almost 60% of those questioned said their sex lives had “significantly improved” since switching to e-cigs.
No Definitive Proof… But The Perks Are Obvious
While there are no definitive studies that prove e-cigarettes actually improve the sex lives of vapers, it can’t be denied that kicking tobacco and switching to e-cigs will eliminate many of the negative side-effects associated with smoking, including the deterrents to sexual performance. It’s reasonable to conclude that for anyone who wants to enjoy nicotine, e-cigs are a better choice for maintaining a healthy sex life; and for smokers who make the switch, it’s likely to improve their experience. Whether you suffer from erectile dysfunction, are looking for a jump in performance or just want to heat things up a little bit, choosing electronic cigarettes over tobacco may be a good place to start.
Asked about his opinion on whether or not e-cigarettes have an impact on sexual health, Dr. Michael Siegel, professor at Boston University and a leading expert on smoking and e-cigarettes, added:
There is biologic plausibility for an effect of switching to electronic cigarettes and experiencing improved sexual health. Cigarette smoking has documented adverse effects on sexual health, and smokers who are able to quit using electronic cigarettes would be expected to experience an improvement in these symptoms, in addition to a great improvement in other aspects of health, including respiratory symptoms and exertional ability.