Who doesn’t love spending time in the sun?
It boosts your mood and gives your skin that sought-after holiday glow, but there’s a hidden benefit you might not have known — it boosts your sex life.
Just an hour in the sun is enough to heat things up in the bedroom for men and women.
It’s all down to a little thing called vitamin D, often dubbed the sex vitamin, which we get from sun exposure.
Several studies have linked vitamin D, or a lack thereof, to changes in your sex drive.
Aly Dilks, a sexual health expert at The Women’s Health Clinic, told The Sun Online: “We know that people can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter, so the sun is hugely important for our wellbeing. In terms of the chemicals it stimulates, testosterone is the one most responsible for our sex drive and studies show that the sun is a great factor in its production.”
“Think back to caveman times, those men catching animals out in the sun all day still needed the energy to come back and procreate to save their race. This is nature at its rawest.”
A vitamin D deficiency can cause low estrogen levels in women, which results in a low sex drive. It also has the same impact on men, only they lose testosterone.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone and is not only responsible for a high sex drive, it also helps keeps the muscles in the vaginal wall healthy and creates discharge.
Without this discharge the vagina will be drier than normal, making sex uncomfortable — so it’s a double whammy of having little desire for sex and discomfort when you do get down and dirty.
A little time out in the sun can change all of that, boosting a woman’s sex hormones ready for some summer loving.
In men, vitamin D can significantly boost testosterone levels, which drives their need to get down and dirty.
“It’s not so much the sun but the level of testosterone production we both are capable of,” Dilks added.
“Females produce testosterone in their (quite small) ovaries whereas men produce in their testes so there’s more capability for an increase in sex drive. Small quantities can also be produced in the adrenal glands so getting hot and sweaty is certainly an indicator.”
“Research has shown that men suffering from a low sex drive only need 30 minutes exposure over a two-week period to increase their sex drive. With this upcoming heat wave that means there’s every excuse to be spending our days in the sunshine – and our nights between the cool sheets.”
A 2010 study, published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, of 2,299 men found those with enough vitamin D had more of the male sex hormone than those with less.
Researchers from the Medical University of Graz, Austria, found men with at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood had much more testosterone circulating than those lacking in the vitamin.
Ad Brand, of the Sunlight Research Forum, said: “Men who ensure that their body is at least sufficiently supplied with vitamin D are doing good for their testosterone levels and their libido among other things.”
Professor Winfried Marz who ran the study said he planned to look into whether vitamin D supplements had the same effect on testosterone levels as the sun.
Low testosterone levels have also been linked to erectile dysfunction, decreased body hair, decreased muscle mass and even man boobs.
All it takes is one hour in the sun for men and women to reap the rewards of a better sex drive.
There’s another chemical reaction that happens in your body when you bask in the sun – it produces more melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH).
This helps produce melanin, which protects your skin from sun damage and helps you tan.
Some studies have suggested that melanin and sex hormones interact to boost each others performance.
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