Lack of Libido: The Number One Curse of the Age of Sexual Liberation

Bats do it, bees do it, even monkeys up in trees do it. Why don’t we do it – with more enthusiasm and zest? There’s little doubt that lack of physical fitness is one of the major barriers to optimum sexual fulfilment. That was one of the key findings of the thousands of anonymous replies which men gave to the questionnaires sent out by Shere Hite, the American sexologist. These formed the basis of her best selling book The Hite Report on Men and Male Sexuality (1981) A typical response came from a forty-year-old executive who told her that he had finally realised that his sedentary lifestyle had seriously undermined his health, to the point where he had almost become a semi-invalid. So he took himself in hand, initially by taking regular walks around the block, and later by taking more vigorous aerobic activity. The results he described as ‘dramatic’. “My sexual feelings and ability returned rapidly”. He came to realise that what he thought were psychological problems were more far more physical than he realised. Unfortunately too few people are prepared to get off their butts and adopt the activity cure. That was the conclusion of two London psychologists who sought to find some way of increasing their patient’s libido. They found that aphrodisiacs like Spanish fly, oysters, caviar and cannabis, were either useless or harmful. The finest stimulant they found was fitness training, but they said this therapy had one great drawback, since “most men would consider taking an early-morning run round the park to be too drastic a step to take in the interests of their libido.”

Numerous studies have shown the erotic effect of fitness training. A 1988 poll revealed that two-thirds of runners, and an equal percentage of cyclists, found that taking up regular aerobic exercise made them better lovers. A more detailed survey was carried out for a women’s fitness magazine. Most of the women replying were exercising at least three times a week. Four out of ten reported that they were more easily aroused since they’d made the effort to get themselves fit. A third had sex more often, and a quarter reported that they climaxed more quickly. A similar effect is seen in competitive athletes, according to a German professor who studied the intimate sex lives of 800 sportsmen competing in the Munich Olympics. He found them a randy lot who, despite their heavy training schedules, still found the time and energy for coitus three to five times a week. The same is true of top British athletes, in the experience of Dr Craig Sharp, chief medical adviser to the 1972 British Olympic team. He tells of a runner who had sex and then an hour later set a world record at his favourite, middle-distance event. Another of his charges worked off his surplus energy in bed and then recorded a personal best on the track, running a mile in under four minutes. Many fun runners choose to plaster the rear windows of their cars with stickers boasting: ‘Joggers make better lovers’ or ‘Joggers can keep it up for hours’. There seems to be some truth in these proud claims. One case has gone on record of a young couple who entered a marathon on a miserable day and got increasingly aroused as the race proceeded. After a few miles of running side by side their mounting excitement and pheromone-laden sweat proved irresistible and they ‘veered off into the fog-shrouded bushes to prove that runners do indeed make better lovers.’ Since reading that account, the press reports published after most marathon events take on a totally new meaning. “Four hundred gathered at the starting line; 284 finished.” Now we have an inkling, if only in our fevered imaginations, of the fate that befell the 116 who fell by the wayside.

© www.donaldnorfolk.co.uk

(This item first appeared in Sex Drive: The Complete Programme for Revitalising Your Sex Life, eBook versions of which are now available from Amazon.)

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