I’ve been doing my daily tips Monday through Friday on Twitter ( I found it too difficult to remember on the weekends) and because I only have 140 characters I can only say so much. I encourage you to ask questions if I give a tip that you need more information on. I had one reader do just that. The tip was: Smoking cigarettes can lead to impotence in both men AND women. And his question is: What exactly qualifies as impotence in women? Low sex drive? Low lubrication production?
We all know what impotence means for men. Afterall, there are tons of commercials for Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, etc on TV all the damned time. Although, they usually call it erectile dysfunction these days so as not to upset the men folks, but I wanted to use a single word to describe what it is in both men and women. Granted, it actually is the same thing in women as men: erectile dysfunction. Although in women it is rarely called that. In women its called Female Sexual Arousal Disorder. I don’t know about you, but erectile dysfunction is a much nicer way of saying it. In fact, I think I’d prefer calling it impotence for everyone than calling women’s inability to get an erection Female Sexual Arousal Disorder. That sounds horribly sex negative.
Enough with the rant, what does it mean? People spend so much time talking about the differences between men and women that it almost seems like we’re two different species. But the reality is that we all start out female in the womb and either continue to develop as a female or the course gets altered and we become male. This means that our bodies are pretty much made up of the exact same stuff. Heck, why do you think men have nipples?
Sure, our genitals look pretty different from each other, but they’re actually strikingly similar. There is erectile tissue in both the clitoris and the penis and when any healthy, able-bodied person becomes aroused they sport an erection. Its just that some of ours are smaller and more internal than others. Its hard to ignore a man’s erection when its sticking out at you and its pretty obvious when he is having a difficult time getting or maintaining his erection. Sexual partners often take it personally or think that he is not a “real man” and the man with the limp dick often freaks out about it and starts asking the wrong questions of himself. Instead of asking things like “Am I really attracted to her? Am I gay? Am I not virile enough?,” he should be asking “What is different? Am I on any new medications that cause side effects? Have I changed my diet recently? When is the last time I had a prostate exam? Have I been really stressed out lately? Am I in bad health?”
When a woman becomes sexually aroused, we don’t think of her as having an erection, but she really does. Maybe its because our society focuses on one side of sex and not the other? Arousal in women is often judged by how wet she gets, not how big her clit gets. But if her clit does not become erect, it will be very difficult for her to have an orgasm, just like it is very difficult for men to have an orgasm when not erect. So while it is obvious when men experience erectile dysfunction because their cock isn’t waving at you, it becomes a bit more obvious when a woman cannot have an orgasm that she can normally achieve. However, it isn’t obvious as to what the reasoning is. A woman may still feel pretty aroused despite her clit not being erect. Or she may just feel her sex drive drop. And there really aren’t any pills out there for women to help with this dysfunction. But I don’t really think Viagra for women is going to fix the problem either if a woman doesn’t know why she isn’t becoming aroused or orgasmic. First, women need to learn more about their bodies in order to understand the way it changes.
So smoking effects the ability for both men and women to get an erection because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it tightens blood vessels and constricts blood flow. This obviously has a big effect on how the blood flows into the genitals.