Achieving the Dick of Death
Getting and maintaining an erection is a complex interaction of fluid mechanics, fluid hydraulics, sensory stimulation, and mental stimulation.
As anyone who's the proud owner of a penis knows, erections occur all the time for non-sexual reasons. Consider them gifts from the psychic feel-good god.
They just pop up out of the blue and it seems a sin to question their origin. They're like hummingbirds; when one shows up, everybody stops to ooh and aah. When they leave, conversation and activities resume but our lives are nonetheless enriched just a little bit.
Erections resulting from sexual stimuli are a different beast. They are driven by hunger, sexual hunger. No hunger, no boner, for the most part. And sexual hunger is governed almost entirely by Testosterone.
If you've got low amounts of Testosterone, then it's likely you're not very interested in sex and without this distraction are hugely productive in a number of other areas like building impressive armadas of model ships; cataloguing and arranging your socks in neat little rows arranged by color, hue, and degree of wear and tear; or having an encyclopedic knowledge of Battlestar Galactica facts at your disposal.
Other men have mid-range or even high amounts of Testosterone available but still have trouble achieving an erection because of a lack of "free" Testosterone (which I'll discuss a little later in the article) or other problems like performance anxiety, stress, or plain old bad plumbing.
Even the definition of what constitutes an erection is muddled with nuance. Consider that the European Association of Urology has come up with a scale to determine the vitality of an erection. This scale, known as the Erection Hardness Score, or EHS, uses food items, believe it or not, as a handy and easy to understand comparative tool.
Tofu is used to describe a level 1 erection where the organ is large but not hard, whereas a peeled, ripe banana – still not hard enough for vaginal penetration – is used to describe a level 2 erection.
Level 3 erections are compared to an unpeeled banana, which is firm but still not completely hard, and level 4 erections are equated to a completely hard and rigid cucumber. Despite the cucumber comparison, the penis should not be green, which would necessitate flying to a special clinic in Zurich.
I don't think it's taking too great a deductive leap to assume that most men want to have cucumber erections all the time that are as long-lasting and reliable as Yellowstone's Old Faithful, with geysers that are comparable in volume and force.
If you fall into that category, I think I can help you.
Kicking Testosterone Up a Notch
Manipulating total Testosterone levels is actually the easiest part of the dick of death equation.
You can opt for Testosterone shots, implants, creams, or you can go the "organic" route, which involves taking herbs and supplements to coax your gonads into working a little harder.
Most, obviously, prefer the latter because, aside from being more natural, you can do it without a physician's consent.
Biotest has done a lot of research on this for personal gratification reasons as much as financial ones, and the result of that research was the landmark Testosterone booster, Alpha Male.
Alpha Male contains three primary ingredients that work in beautiful concert together to boost T levels:
• Tribulus Terrestris
• Vitex Agnus Castus
• Eurycoma Longifolia
Tribulus is classified as a LHS, or luteinizing hormone secretagogue. That simply means that it causes the release of luteinizing hormone, which in turn signals the testes to produce more Testosterone.
Vitex also works as a LHS, but it also acts as an anti-progesterone and anti-prolactin agent. Progesterone and prolactin can be ugly hormones as they can cause mental depression and shudder, storage of body fat. By lowering the levels of these hormones, you also increase Testosterone levels by various feedback mechanisms.
While Tribulus raises T through its affects on the brain (which then signals the balls to produce more Testosterone), the herb eurycoma longifolia increases T levels by directly affecting the testes.
It selectively controls the conversion of DHEA and other androgens into Testosterone and it even works when there isn't any luteinizing hormone present, thus giving Alpha Male a potent, elegant, one-two-three, Frazier is not down, but erect! punch.
Generally speaking, high Testosterone means a high sex-drive and a willing and able-bodied penis, but there are other factors that can screw things up.
Some Testosterone invariably gets converted into his sister hormone, estrogen. In fact, it's been my experience that most men have too much estrogen and too little Testosterone.
Make no mistake about it, men need estrogen for a variety of things, bone density and cardiovascular health among them, but if estrogen levels get too high and mighty, things go squirrely. You might accrue higher levels of body fat, grow small Kate Hudsonish breasts, or start watching Brothers and Sisters on Sunday nights.
And, more pertinent to this article, the more Testosterone that gets converted to estrogen, the less sexually frisky and capable you are.
There are four things that I do to combat high estrogen:
1. Keep body fat levels low (fat cells can convert androstenedione into estrogen).
2. Keep alcohol consumption to the low or moderate level (an alcohol-damaged liver is ill-qualified to remove excess estrogens).
3. Take zinc every day, as zinc, in addition to increasing Testosterone in those that might be zinc deficient, also acts as an aromatase inhibitor, thus preventing Testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
4. Take REZ-V because its active ingredient, resveratrol, acts as a selective estrogen antagonist, meaning that it works against estrogen in all the right ways while at the same time also working withestrogen in all the right ways (blood vessel health, bone density). Resveratrol also prevents Testosterone from being converted into estrogen, making it a pretty special compound.
The preceding steps will surely give you high T levels, but there's still a potential fly in the hormonal ointment.
Set My Testosterone Free!
While Alpha Male and the anti-estrogen protocols I describe kick up total Testosterone, it's freeTestosterone that drives the James Brown sex machine.
I often see guys who have jacked up their T, either through pharmaceutical or supplemental intervention, but didn't experience any libido enhancing (or muscle-building effects). The most likely problem is something called sex hormone binding globulin, or SHBG.
Testosterone that is bound to SHBG isn't available to cell receptor sites. That means there's no libido-enhancing effect (and, as mentioned, no muscle building effect).
Levels of SHBG differ from man to man, but one thing's certain: the older you get, the bigger the problem it is. Once a man passes 40 or 45, the binding capacity of SHBG can increase by up to 40%, which is why middle-aged guys, when combing through the mail, look through the Costco catalog before they look through the Victoria's Secret catalog.
When too much of your Testosterone is bound up by SHBG, Testosterone isn't free to do its thing.
Luckily, concentrated extracts from the nettle root bind to SHBG instead of Testosterone, thus reducing SHBG's Testosterone-binding capability and increasing the amount of free Testosterone in the blood stream.
Nettle root is also a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which means that it prevents Testosterone from converting to DHT, the hormone that's known to be implicated in hair loss and prostate enlargement.
Upping the Stakes
I've laid out the path to achieving a hormonal environment that's conducive to doing the nasty, but there are other factors crucial to building the dick of death.
For one thing, as mentioned earlier, sexual function has a lot to do with hydraulics and fluid mechanics in general. If the penile pipes are bad, all the Testosterone in the world isn't going to give you mahogany-hard wood.
There are a few things you can do to ensure good blood flow. One is taking 1,000 mg. of Vitamin C and 800 i.u. of Vitamin E a day, split into two doses. Studies have shown that this combo improves vasodilation, meaning that it pumps up blood vessels, thereby allowing more blood to flow through the penis (and elsewhere).
Another interesting compound that you might want to add to your arsenal is pine bark, or its penile-active ingredient, pycnogenol.
To achieve an erection, you need relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle, which is triggered by nitric oxide (NO). In fact, this is how the various erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs on the market work.
Pycnogenol, in two or three doses of 40 mg. per day, will mimic the effect of these ED drugs, but keep in mind that the effects of pycnogenol seem to improve over time, i.e. the more you use it, the better the effects.
Yohimbine hydrochloride is another potent vasodilator that has some delightful sexual possibilities.
Doctors used to prescribe large doses – on the order of about 15 mg. to treat erectile dysfunction, but I'm assuming that you don't have erectile dysfunction and are simply using yohimbine to take an already perfectly serviceable erection and turn it into the forearm of Abraham.
Studies on rats have shown yohimbine to be effective in the reversal of sexual satiety and exhaustion, along with increasing the volume of ejaculate in dogs. Anecdotally at least, it does the same thing to humans. Woof!
No one seems to know exactly how it works (other than increasing blood flow), but it probably has to do with increasing nerve impulses to the penis (or vagina, for that matter).
Putting it All Together
Here's a recap of what I recommend the dick of death aspirant to take on a regular basis:
Alpha Male – 2 capsules daily for 5 days, take 2 days off, repeat.
Zinc (ZMA) – 3 to 6 capsules of ZMA a day, depending on intake of zinc from other sources (shoot for between 60 and 80 mg. of total intake a day).
REZ-V – 3 capsules a day
Nettle* – 240 mg. a day
Vitamin C – 1,000 mg. per day in two divided doses
Vitamin E – 800 i.u. per day in two divided doses
Pine bark, or Pycnogenol* – 2 to 3 doses of 40 mg. per day
*Nettle and pine bark are available through various tree-hugger health food stores or on the Internet.
On special days where the specter of birthday or conjugal visit sex is in the air, add some yohimbine to the mix so that your penis is rock-bottomed and copper sheathed.
That's where Biotest's Spike or Spike Shooter comes in handy. Both contain perfectly suited amounts of yohimbine hydrochloride. Experiment with one or two Spike tablets or one Spike Shooter a half-hour or so before getting frisky.
Some of you may be thinking to yourself, "Why not just use Viagra?" Good question. Sort of.
Viagra will give you wood, but it will be wood without soul, without heart.
Okay, I'm kidding. Viagra gives you a serviceable erection, but it does nothing to aid sexual desire. Without enough free Testosterone, you won't even feel like using Viagra, of anything else for that matter; you'd just rather watch the History Channel.
Likewise, Viagra, or any of the prescription ED drugs, won't increase blood circulation like Vitamins C and E, nor will it/they increase nerve impulses like yohimbine.
At best, the various ED drugs would substitute for the pycnogenol as all of them increase nitrous oxide production.
I prefer my way and I think you will, too. Just remember to silently thank me while you're cuddling afterwards.
Sure, T NATION is about building muscle. That's a given. But there's more to living a good life than just muscle. There's another category that we specialize in and it's the exploitation or manipulation of human physiology. We can pretty much make your body react in almost any way you want it to. The answer is often there...if you've got the guts to try the solution.
That's the focus of this series from TC. If you want to know how to use supplements or drugs in orthodox and sometimes unorthodox methods to increase your sexual vitality, your energy, your athletic and muscular capabilities, your looks, or your joy of life in general, TC's got it covered.
Each article will cover some aspect of feeling better, performing better, looking cosmetically better, or just plain kick-ass being better.