The naked truth

You know that question they sometimes ask you going through the immigration desk at the airport? ‘Business or pleasure?’ Lately I find myself mentally asking that every time I spot someone open a laptop, log on to a tablet, even check a smartphone.

Why? Because in the past 10 years the number of free to access porn videos on the internet has shot up faster than … I dare say a lot of the people using those videos. A 2017 survey (note: link takes you to non-saucy page of a saucy site) to celebrate a decade of Pornhub, found that on just their pages alone there was 173 years worth of videos to watch.

173 years! That means you could watch porn for your whole life and still not nearly get through it all. Boy, that would make for some interesting eulogies at the funeral, huh? Good luck getting that coffin shut properly too.

But what effect does watching all this free fumbling have on your – sorry – your friend’s testosterone levels? T is crucial for a healthy libido as well as sexual function after all. When we’re having sex levels of testosterone rise, but what about when it’s more of a spectator sport?

For example, is it true as some claim that watching porn actively raises your T?

Get Diggling

Stud(ies)

To answer that we’re going to have to do a bit of research. Hey, HEY, zip that back up, man! Not that kind of research. We’ll only be looking at studies. A little dry maybe, but there are plenty other of places online you can go if that’s what you’re after.

First, one of the more unique clinical trials we’ve read. In 2011, Escasa et al invited 44 men to a swingers club in Las Vegas. This was allegedly so researchers could record how watching sex happen live affected their T levels. They did this by collecting saliva samples (we’re guessing the team didn’t exactly have to go looking for those.)

It sounds like a hastily cobbled story to avoid a sting operation in the club, but apparently it’s legit. What’s more these Looky Lous saw their T increase by an average of 11%.

But if you want to give your T a boost this way you can’t very well go knocking on the door of those newlyweds next door asking to sit in, can you? So what about video porn?

Well in 2012 Sports Council, London explored this. 12 athletes’ hormone levels were monitored while watching film clips of different genres, including; erotic, sad, funny and aggressive.

They found that T rose in response to the sexy scene, dropped during the sad scene and cortisol – which can block testosterone – spiked while viewing the aggressive scene. What’s more, the hot stuff also seemed to improve the athletes 3 Rep Max squat test. So one kind of up and down helps another apparently.

Similarly, in 1985, 20 guys were shown films of either a sexual, aggressive, stressful or neutral nature. Dr Dirk Hellhammer – a man with a name so good it sounds like he could’ve been in most of these films – then tested hormone levels.

He found T started rising 15 minutes into the erotic movie and peaked at 35% higher than base 60-90 minutes after the end of the film. The subjects reported feeling more motivated, competitive and energized around this same time.

The good news just keeps coming, so to speak. In 1993 a trial from France tested a group of 9 men’s luteinizing hormone and testosterone level after an erotic and a neutral film. Samples of blood were taken every 10 minutes for 12 hours. It was found visual sexual arousal raised the volume of T in the bloodstream.

Come off it

Sounds pretty promising so far eh? Hold on a second though. Before you pull down the shade and reach for the hand lotion, there’s a catch.

How can I put this…you know how you’ve got a quality bottle of wine, the longer you leave it the more valuable it gets? As soon as you pop the cork that value goes away, right? Similar thing here, by all means try porn to give your T a boost, just don’t, well, pop your cork.

So if staying hands free helps T build, surely keeping away from temptation long term will send levels through the roof? Some top sportsmen do reportedly use abstinence to boost performance. Does it actually work though?

Seemingly it all comes down to length. Of time lads, I mean of time! A 2001 study from Germany did find that abstaining from sexual activity for 3 weeks can stimulate a slight rise in testosterone. Compare that to an Italian trial though which reported men who went without for 3 months saw serum T dip.

Only depriving yourself short term is any help then. Leaving it too long does more harm than good. Let’s face it, if the longer you went without the higher your T got, every monastery would look like muscle beach.

 Happy ending, sir?

The research does blast a few cold showers on this method occasionally. There are a few small studies, like the ones above which find little or no changes to T levels from visual stimulation.

However a 2006 overall analysis of work in this area by van Anders and Watson reported 80% of experiments showed erotica raised male hormone levels.

So it seems like both viewing and doing do raise your testosterone. Given the health advantages high T brings, in theory you could get a doctor’s note to excuse your search history.

Remember though there are other ways to boost your T than sitting in front of a screen. Look around this site for other ways to safely boost your male hormone. Ways that improve your whole physique and avoid the the temptation to focus on just one arm.

Write a comment