Nasal Breathing Boosts Your Sex Life
Written by Anders Olsson, founder of the Conscious Breathing Retraining Program
A man contacted me after having read an article in the leading Swedish business paper Dagens Industri about how I had run a half-marathon with duct tape over my mouth. He said:
“I am 78 years old and damned if my potency is not too shabby. My sex life is better than ever, practically like that of a teenager! And bugger me if it hasn’t happened over the last few years. I am convinced that the biggest reason for this is the fact that I have slept with my mouth taped the last five years.”
How can taping your mouth at night improve your sex life?
Taping your mouth at night doesn’t sound very sexy, but once you experience the benefits, there’s every chance your partner will be eager to tape up his or her mouth too! And if you’re still not convinced, you can, of course, always cuddle first and then tape your mouth before you go to sleep. Below are just some of the examples of how taping your mouth at night can boost your sex life and enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Good breathing lowers inner stress
It’s no secret any more that stress is the single biggest threat to living a long, healthy, productive life, but did you know that stress can seriously impact your love life? Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and a reduced libido are all closely tied to different kinds of stress. Good breathing is a fantastic tool to reduce inner stress and thereby improve one’s sexual prowess.
How we breathe has a huge impact on our ability to maintain a balanced nervous system. Mouth breathing increases sympathetic activity—the fight-or-flight response—while nasal breathing and extended exhalation increases parasympathetic activity—braking effect—which leads to recovery and lowered stress. Tantric sex and other techniques place great importance on breathing in a relaxed and rhythmical manner to increase sexual prowess and pleasure.
In the book The Multiorgasmic Man the authors Mantak Chia and Douglas Abrams writes, “Learning to control ejaculation and be able to have more than one orgasm starts with strengthening and deepening your breathing. It is well known within the worlds of fighting sports and meditation techniques that breathing is the key to maintaining control over the body.”
Low stress increases sex drive and ability to achieve an erection
The ability to achieve an erection is linked to a relaxed body, where the parasympathetic part of the nervous system is more active than the sympathetic part. Ejaculation, on the other hand, is activated by the sympathetic part of the nervous system. Stress increases sympathetic activity, making the muscles surrounding the penis tighter and therefore harder for it to fill up with blood. Reduced blood flow to the penis will make it difficult, or even impossible, to achieve an erection. Even if an erection can be achieved, a high level of stress can contribute to premature ejaculation.
The concept is the same for women. Stress and high sympathetic activity leads to tightened muscles and a subsequent difficulty for the clitoris to fill with blood, which in turn reduces the sex drive.
Mouth breathing increases stress hormones
Air that comes in through the nose is prepared for the lungs as it is warmed, humidified, and cleaned of bacteria and other airborne particles. Conversely, mouth breathing allows for dry, cold air full of bacteria to enter the airways. This leads to more constricted airways as they become irritated, inflamed and swollen, and also increases phlegm production in order to excrete the increased number of particles.
As breathing is so closely tied to our survival, it is always given the highest priority. If our breathing is threatened, for example due to constricted airways, the body interprets this as high stress and a fight for survival. When the body experiences stress, the levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol increase. Adrenaline has a widening effect on the airways whereas cortisol inhibits inflammations. This is why substances that are similar to adrenaline and cortisol comprise the main active ingredients in medication for asthma, in which the airways become constricted.
Nasal breathing increases sexual ability
There is a close connection between the nose and sexual prowess. Nitrogen oxide (NO), is a substance produced in large quantities by the sinuses in the nose. When inhaling through the nose, the NO is taken by the inhaled air down to the lungs where it widens the airways and the blood vessels, which leads to more effective breathing and increased oxygen uptake.
In 1998, the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to three American researchers who showed how NO works in the body, as well as its widening effect. Thanks to their research Viagra was developed. Viagra was originally developed to counteract vascular constriction. Nitroglycerin was the main medicine used to increase NO production, and in turn widen blood vessels to counteract vascular constriction. Viagra was intended to be a competitor to Nitroglycerin, but a happy side effect was that men experienced erections, so it was instead marketed as a compound to enhance potency.
Switching from mouth to nasal breathing increases sexual ability
A stuffy nose, due to polyps, for example, leads to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing reduces the amount of NO that enters with the inhaled air and is taken down to the lungs and from there, to the blood. Mouth breathing not only leads to ineffective breathing and lower oxygen uptake, it also has a negative impact on sexual prowess. A study of 29 male participants with nasal polyps found that 34% of them had reduced sexual prowess, compared to 3% for the control group. Once the polyps had been surgically removed, and the participants had begun using nasal breathing again, this figure dropped to 10%.
There are masses of NO receptors around the penis. When NO levels are high, these receptors are stimulated. The muscles around the penis then relax, allowing it to fill up with blood thereby creating and also maintaining an erection.
Another important effect of nasal breathing is that more carbon dioxide is retained by the body. Breathing aims to maintain a balance between our need for oxygen, which we take in from the air around us, and our need to get rid of carbon dioxide, which is produced in the body. When we inhale, we take in oxygen and, when we exhale, the exhaled air contains high levels of carbon dioxide. During mouth breathing, carbon dioxide is released too fast, thereby depleting CO2 levels in the body. Just like NO, CO2 has a relaxing effect on the muscles surrounding the penis. When these gases are at low levels, the smooth muscles that manage blood flow to the penis draw together.
Female sex drive, hormones, the menstrual cycle and breathing
The female sex drive can vary in line with the menstrual cycle. One reason for this is that the hormone progesterone affects breathing. The levels of progesterone are typically higher between the 15th and 28th days of the menstrual cycle. A high level of progesterone increases breathing and, therefore, the outflow of carbon dioxide. About a week after ovulation, around the 22nd day and for a few days after, carbon dioxide levels are usually at their lowest. This low level can contribute to a reduced sex drive due to the association between low carbon dioxide levels and worsened oxygen uptake in the body. If the carbon dioxide level is already lower than normal around ovulation, due to stressed breathing, then the increased progesterone level results in even lower CO2 levels, impacting the sex drive even further.
Low carbon dioxide levels acts on smooth muscles to tighten them, and as the uterus comprises smooth muscles, these low levels can contribute to menstrual pains caused by cramping muscles in the uterus. Women normally feel their best between the 1st and 14th days of the menstrual cycle, which coincides with the blood carbon dioxide levels being at their highest (and progesterone levels at their lowest). The last week of the cycle is normally the worst, which coincides with carbon dioxide levels being at their lowest (and progesterone levels at their highest).
Nasal breathing enhance our sex drive, thanks to:
· Reduced inner stress
· Better hormonal balance
· Reduced stress hormones
· Balanced nervous system
· Improved blood circulation to the penis (increased erectile ability) and clitoris (increased sex drive)
Keywords; nasal breathing, hormones, sex drive, nervous system, blood circulation
© 2014 Anders Olsson
This article is based on the book “The Power of Your Breath“
About the author: Anders Olsson inspires people to improve their breathing habits through courses in Conscious Breathing (based on among others, yoga, chigong and the Buteyko method).
For more information go to http://www.consciousbreathing.com/