No man is an island – and neither is your penis.

There is an oft quoted poem by John Donne, written in 1624. The first lines are: “No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.” (As an interesting side note, the last line of this same poem gave Earnest Hemingway the title of his most famous book, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”) The idea is that no man functions independently of his fellow man. I often think the same thing about how men treat their penis.

The penis is part of our body and everything we do to our body will eventually affect our penis – for good or bad. High cholesterol, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, alcohol, drugs, poor nutrition and stress all exact a terrible toll on our bodies and this includes our penis. I have often found that pointing out the penile benefits of a healthy lifestyle creates a very strong motivator for life changes.

For example, it is pretty commonly known that for every 30-35 pounds that a man loses, he will regain one inch of his penis which was buried in pubic fat. 30 pounds! That sounds like a lot. Well, how about 15 pounds for half an inch of penis? That sounds a bit more doable. And, half an inch more of penis to use? That sounds good too. Time to forego that second cheeseburger.

Most men worry about heart attacks or strokes with high cholesterol. The fact is, the effects of too much ‘blood sludge’ often show up first in the penis with less firm erections, or no erections at all! The poor circulation caused by smoking will do the same thing. Lots of cardio exercise is the best exercise you can do for your penis. Time to hit the treadmill.

Stress is a killer. We all know that. Adrenaline (the ‘’fight or flight” hormone) is a miracle chemical, capable of enabling heroic feats of strength. Interestingly, adrenaline is also responsible for maintaining a flaccid penis. Too much stress = too much adrenaline = no erections. It also kills our libido, makes us grumpy, edgy and a poor partner for our lover’s amorous moods. Exercise, yoga, meditation/prayer, and good relationships all help lower stress levels. Time to go for a walk and then sit in the shade.

Our mental health, emotional well-being and mood greatly affect our libido as well as sexual performance. Feeling loved and connected will carry anyone through the rough patches of any sexual difficulty. Time to hang out with someone you love.

Holistic medicine is hugely successful at this approach to maintaining health. Your penis is connected and affected by every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional life. In fact, it is often the first indicator that one of these things is facing trouble. Time to go make sure it’s working alright!

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