A conservative fitness influencer went viral in December for sharing what he’d learned in eight years of training: “If you’re not horny, you’re not healthy.”
The simple remark by Jack Bly garnered nearly 80,000 “likes” on Twitter and nearly 9 million views.
A week before the afterwhich has since grown into one mantra of the Bly brand, Japanese research published in the journal PLOS One seemed to prove its point. In a study of more than 8,500 men conducted by scientists at Yamagata University, researchers found that men with low libido were much more likely to die early.
“Our study suggests that a lack of sexual interest is associated with all-cause mortality in men, even after adjusting for age, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, education, marital status, frequency of laughter and mental health problems.” ,” they wrote. “Based on our results, we suggest that lack of sexual interest itself contributes to an increased risk of all-cause mortality independent of established risk factors in men over 40 years of age.”
The authors blamed decreased sex drive, at least in part, on poor lifestyle habits, from voracious diets to smoking.
A new commercial for a drug against erectile dysfunction (ED) should therefore leave most men scratching their heads. An attractive couple discusses how the man in the relationship struggles with intimacy.
“About three years into dating, Zach tells me he struggles with erectile dysfunction and takes medication for it,” says Cleo Abram, a Vox reporter turned YouTuber who is married to Zachariah Reitano, the founder of Roman.
Reitano started the men’s health company after years of struggling with a heart condition, which he shares in one of the company’s first advertisements. The company sells drugs that allow men to get up with the pill.
However, Reitano is not naive. He knows why many of his clients depend on his medicines.
“It’s never a condition in and of itself,” Reitano told Inc.com in 2019.
It’s always a symptom. It can be the symptom of a bad lifestyle. So smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, stress. But sometimes it can often be the first sign of a much more serious underlying condition: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and associated obesity and depression.
Judging by the man’s appearance, it’s hard to tell he’s not eating or exercising properly. But far too many men who use this drug are probably addicted to it as a Band-Aid for their underlying issues. Modern medical elites make far more money treating symptoms than curing their cause.
Men are not healthy these days
Estimates about the prevalence of erectile dysfunction vary widely. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, about 52 percent of men ages 40-70 experience some type of erectile dysfunction, and “complete impotence tripled from 5 to 15%” from age 40 to 70.
But the problem is not alone How much men today have erectile dysfunction, it’s how much young men have it. The condition is becoming more common in men below 40. Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2013 found that 26 percent, or more than 1 in 4 men under 40, suffer from new erectile dysfunction.
The rise in erectile dysfunction has also coincided with the rise of easy access to free digital porn. Study after study shows that porn consumption is linked to men’s problems, from getting erections to getting divorced. A clinical research article published in 2016 showed that men seeking help for ED may have become desensitized to the “hardcore Internet pornography” at their fingertips. Another paper by European researchers published in 2020 found that men with high porn addiction scores were much more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Other reasons for erectile dysfunction can range from poor lifestyle habits to chronic conditions, the latter often being a result of the former. Men today are certainly not as healthy as their fathers. They have grown fat, depressed and apathetic while addicted to cheap dopamine hits via Netflix and porn.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a whopping 43 percent of men were categorically obese in 2017-2018. And while men make up nearly half of the population, they accounted for 80 percent of suicides in 2020. Today, more than 7 million “first working age” men have retired from work.
Many blame lifestyle habits and a demoralizing culture for the growing prevalence of erectile dysfunction. But dr. Keith Nichols, an endocrinologist in East Tennessee, blames the ED epidemic, and just about every other crisis men face today, on plummeting testosterone levels, which have fallen by double digits since the 1980s.
“[We’re seeing] increased morbidity across the board with low testosterone,” Nichols told The Federalist.
Falling testosterone levels spell disaster
It’s no secret that male sexual function is dependent on testosterone levels, which have been dropping consistently over the past four decades. Last fall, researchers at the University of California San Diego concluded that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) only significantly increased men’s sexual desire in hypogonadal men, that is, men with a hormone deficiency.
Another study published in 2021 by a team of European, American and Israeli scientists found that testosterone therapy is associated with better metabolic health, sexual function, mobility, bone density and quality of life, while reducing depressive symptoms.
“[Testosterone deficiency] can affect not only men’s quality of life, but also longevity,” they wrote. In other words, testosterone is a key ingredient for longevity. Their findings could explain why the aforementioned Japanese researchers found last year that men with low sex drive were more likely to die early.
However, testosterone levels drop with each generation across the board, according to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Subsequent findings linked testosterone generational declines to weight gain and accelerated aging.
Falling testosterone levels threaten fertility, which is already declining as sperm counts drop. However, doctors today don’t necessarily even know that the patients they see are testosterone deficient.
In 2006, a trio of Harvard Medical School physicians conducted a study of the reference values used in more than two dozen laboratories to analyze men’s testosterone levels. The highest level of normal ranged from 486 to 1,593 ng/dL. The lab ranges are based on the means of other men in the same population, which have decreased with each generation. In 2017, one of the nation’s largest lab services, LabCorp, recalibrated its reference intervals from 348-1,197 ng/dL to 264-916 ng/dL, a dramatic drop.
Nichols cautioned that the new ranges create the false impression that men within a range considered “normal” today are safe, as baseline testosterone levels have continued to fall. “It’s not that men need less, it’s that they produce less,” Nichols said. “The averages are based on poisoned men.”
Castration by endocrine disrupting chemicals
Nichols says it is the modern population’s exposure to chemicals that has caused today’s men to be hormone deficient.
“All of this decline is related to the increase in chemicals in the environment,” Nichols told The Federalist. “We are chemically castrated by our environment.”
Nichols pointed to a series of studies that showed that chemicals commonly found in plastics, personal hygiene products and our processed food supply interfere with healthy endocrine systems. In 2010, Swedish researchers outlined how “EDCs [endocrine disrupting compounds] of natural or anthropogenic origin may have adverse effects on male reproduction and fertility.”
“The mechanisms of their adverse effects may be diverse,” they wrote, “but an important endpoint is the reduced ability of Leydig cells to produce androgens,” referring to the male sex hormones that catalyze puberty and regulate reproductive health.
Another 2014 study from the University of Michigan linked phthalates in plastic to reduced androgen levels. And in 2015, Italian researchers sounded the alarm about common chemicals, including phthalates and BPA, affecting male reproductive health.
“Reproductive effects following developmental exposure to mixtures of environmental EDCs have been observed both shortly after birth, in puberty and in young adulthood,” they wrote in a paper published by Frontiers in Environmental Science.
“There is no escaping this. We can’t solve the problem anymore,” Nichols told The Federalist. Children born today are “exposed to chemicals from the moment they are conceived.”