Time and time again, there’s been a debate between fitness experts and fat-positive activists on whether or not fatness is a detriment to achieving an amazing sex life. Of course, anyone can have “good” sex, as the term “good” is relative to individual definition. But to achieve that toe-curling, orgasm-inducing, long lasting, almost-unable-to-breath sex, it does take a certain level of fitness that extra weight can prevent people from attaining.
For men, cardiovascular fitness is an essential factor in preventing erectile dysfunction, which is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain a penis erection during sexual performance. Obese men are at increased risk for developing erectile dysfunction, and male excess abdominal fat has also been cited as a characteristic associated with ED. In regular speech, a man’s ability to “get and keep it up,” often depends on his heart health, physical activity, and weight. And thus, his health can influence the sexual gratification of both himself and his partner.
Duke University researchers found that up to 30% of obese people who sought help in controlling their weight made the decision due to a decrease in their libido, sex, drive, and/or sexual performance. A recent study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy also indicated that moderately to severely obese people report being less satisfied with their sex lives than the general population. It could be because of unrealistic standards of body image promoted by the media and wider public; thus impacting self-confidence and performance. Or it could simply be because of pure biology and the lack of fitness initiative that many overweight and obese people fail to consistently perform.
According to the CDC, 68.3 of American adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. Perhaps, America’s weight issue could be the cause of reports indicating we’re having lackluster sex. About 75% of women never reach an orgasm from penetrative intercourse alone. But exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to the genital region, and thus, can assist in attaining orgasms. Just to provide an example, a 2003 study found that women were more sexually responsive and aroused after 20 minutes of cycling. Not to mention, improved muscle tone also aids orgasms, as they’re dependent on multiple muscle activity.
Additionally, studies have also reported that athletes have better sex lives than the general population, as regular exercisers tend to have higher levels of self-confidence and sexual satisfaction than their non-exercising peers. People who regularly exercise reap the benefits of physical activity reducing stress, elevating moods, and helping with relaxation, which are all positive benefits that lead to better sex and great fitness motivation.
But if African-Americans are 1.5 times as likely to be obese than their Non-Hispanic counterparts and four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese, perhaps, Black Americans’ sex lives aren’t being fully actualized due to our struggling relationship with fitness and thus, maintaining the extra pounds.
Is it fair to say that fatness and a lack of fitness is ruining our sex lives? Have you found that your sex life improves when you exercise more and don’t maintain as many pounds? Or can anyone enjoy incredible toe-curling sex regardless of being overweight and failing to make physical activity a consistent priority? Weigh in.