I was 54 at the time, my husband was 59. I looked at her like she was out of her mind.
“Of course!” I exclaimed. “All is exceptionally well on that home front.”
I wanted to ask her if she was still having sex. I don’t know why I didn’t. Apparently, it is not uncommon for couples our age to just give sex up entirely. Over 30 million men in America suffer from erectile dysfunction and at some point in their lives it affects 50% of all men. No wonder erectile disfunction drug sales are out the roof and you see men like former senator and presidential candidate, Bob Dole, on television gaping at Britney Spears’ shapely fanny in a commercial advertising Viagra.
Have you found yourself in an intimate moment and your partner, for the life of him (bless his heart), simply could not… how can I say this delicately… activate the launch sequence? How disappointing for all concerned! Especially if your partner is still a relatively young man. Is this inability to perform something that happens to most men after they’ve passed their sexual peak? This can really be a concern to young women faced with the prospect of one day settling down to a marriage doomed to the male aging process. Marriage without the fringe benefits? What would be the point? I once jested that there must be something in the water supply. Now there is good reason to suggest there may be something in the food supply.
A diet heavy in animal protein clogs the body’s blood vessels and arteries affecting not only the heart but all the intricate functions of the body. Cholesterol collects in our arteries creating a lessening of blood flow to the heart, to the brain, to the lungs, kidneys, liver and, dare I say, to the sexual organs as well. Simply put, adequate blood flow to the penis equals erections.
Our bodies produce a certain amount of cholesterol, in fact, (according to T. Colin Campbell, The China Study) all we need to function properly. We ingest the excess in the form of animal protein; beef, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish and shrimp. We also ingest saturated fats in animal products, which contributes to the cholesterol burden in our bodies. Most plants contain no cholesterol and only a few plants such coconut and coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil and palm kernel oil (which are found in abundance in processed foods) contain dietary saturated fat.
High blood pressure and diabetes are known factors contributing to erectile dysfunction. Do you know, according to Dr. John McDougall (author of The McDougall Diet andThe Starch Solution), that one can expect to eliminate high blood pressure on a whole foods plant-based diet in as little as three weeks! In the book, Dr. Neil Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes, Barnard makes a case for a plant-based diet as a means of reversing diabetes. A host of disease processes can be improved or reversed simply by making the switch to a whole foods vegan diet. There is over 30 years of sound research supporting these claims.
While not all erectile dysfunction issues are lifestyle related, it certainly is a reasonable place to begin. Simple changes in diet and exercise could produce great gains without the potential side effects of medication and risks which go hand and hand with surgical intervention.
It’s not all about tofu, salads and wheat grass. Vegetarian food can be as varied and delicious, if not more so, than anything with hoofs, fins and feathers. It’s also better for the planet. One way to sneak up on it is to try eating out and ordering vegetarian Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern or Ethiopian dishes. They are chock full of flavor and high in nutrients. There are scores of vegan meet-up groups across the country where one can become educated on a plant-based life style and try dozens of vegan entrees and desserts for the cost of a pot-luck contribution. You can google vegan meet-ups to find one in your area.
A healthy, fulfilling sex life can be as close as your dining room table. (Yes, I’m fully aware of the double entendre.) To both, I ask, why not?