Viagra – how does the blue pill improve your erection ?

When the little blue pills called Viagra were introduced to the market in 1998, it was really breaking news. At last, there was a medicine that could help men with an erection that was too weak for a satisfying intercourse. Not all men, but many.

When I give talks and lectures about sex, I almost always get the question: ”How does Viagra make erection stronger? Does it work for women too?”

I’ll answer the second question first: No, Viagra has no effect on women. It does not make them more sexually aroused or give them more fantastic orgasms. (Well, maybe if their male partners use it).

With men, it’s something else. To understand how Viagra works, you have to know a little about how erection is produced and sustained. The mechanics is quite simple. Imagine that you want to fill a balloon with water: You hold the balloon to the faucet and let the water run. The balloon will fill and get bigger and firmer. If the water runs fast the balloon fills quickly, but if there is a lot of limescale in the pipes, the water flow will be slow and it takes ages to fill the balloon. If there is a small hole somewhere in the balloon, it will never get filled.

The erection mechanics is about the same. The penis has two elongated, spongious structures resembling balloons. They are small and soft when they are empty, but become elongated and firm when filled. When something excites the man and makes him want sex, the blood vessels leading to the penis open and the structures fill with blood. If the erection mechanism works the way it should, his penis gets elongated and stiff – that’s the erection.

But it is also important that the blood stays in the spongious structures long enough to enable the man to have an orgasm. So the blood vessels leading blood from the penis must stay closed. Otherwise, the man will lose his erection too early.

Viagra only works if the man wants to have sex

Even if the mechanics seems simple, a lot of things have to function. First, the man must want to have sex. Desire is crucial to get the process started. Desire makes the brain send signals down to the blood vessels in the pelvis to produce something called NO ( although in this situation, YES would have been more appropriate). NO makes the vessels open, provided they are elastic and can change their diameter. And as the vessels must not close again too early, NO is produced until the man has had his orgasm. The stiffness itself helps to keep the blood in the penis by pressing the vessels together. So will a good strong bulk of pelvic floor muscles.

So what exactly does Viagra do? It keeps the production of NO in the vessels going, so they can stay filled and the erection holds until the man has orgasmed.

But even if Viagra helps a lot of men, it is no miracle cure. It doesn’t work if the man has lost his desire for sex. If the blood vessels have lost their elasticity and are stiff and narrowed by arteriosclerosis, they fill too slowly and there won’t be much erection. It the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, they can’t keep the blood in the penis and the erection will wane off too quickly.

So, to keep your ability to get an erection, or regain what you have had: do pelvic floor exercises and avoid arteriosclerosis. The remedy is lifestyle, again and again…

Real men exercise for better erection!

Can exercise really give you a stronger erection? Yes, it can!

If you are 50+, you have probably noticed that muscles lose their strength with age. That you can’t lift heavy things, run up the stairs or do push-ups as when you were 20. The muscles in the pelvic floor get weaker too – and this may have consequences for your sex life.

Strong pelvic muscles make it easier to get a firm erection and keep it. They help you control your orgasm and prolong the pleasure for yourself and your partner. And strong muscles also give you better orgasms, make the sensation of  the rhythmic contractions in your pelvis stronger. And who wouldn’t want that?

This is how it works: Imagine the pelvic floor muscles like a hammock that can be tightened and lifted and also relaxed. The hammock has passages for the urethra and the rectum, and for women also the vagina. When the hammock is relaxed and lowered, urine, gas and stools can pass. If you couldn’t control your pelvic floor at all, the hammock would be relaxed all the time. Both the rectum and the bladder would empty themselves without your being able to stop it.

In children and young people, the muscles are strong. But as you get older and the muscles become weaker, you may start to drip a little urine and pass some gas occasionally. You can also get a sudden urge to urinate and may not be able to reach the toilet in time. And it will only get worse if you don’t start strengthening those muscles. As you can imagine, there may be some really awkward situations here…

So how do you do your Kegel exercises?


Squeeze your muscles as if you were trying to stop passing gas

Squeeze as much as you can and count slowly to ten

Relax, count to ten – and squeeze again

Try to do the exercises twice daily and 8-10 times each time.


If you are not sure you are using the right muscles, you can try exercising while lying on your back with your knees flexed. This position makes it easier to feel the muscles contracting.

You can also try to stop the flow while you are urinating. If you can do that, you are using the right muscles.

When you do the Kegels in the right way, you can feel your anus being pulled upward towards the abdomen. Your penis will also move a little when you squeeze. Try not to squeeze the muscles in your abdomen, buttocks or thighs. And remember, muscles only get stronger if you demand something from them that they can’t do! Be prepared that it takes some weeks’ effort before you will notice a change. And then, look forward to an even better sex life!

Sex after 50? You’re still young at that age!

That people over 50 are enjoying sex is hardly hot news anymore. But what’s it like when you get a lot older?

Do people over 80 have sex at all? Yes, they do. And it’s not even a few youthful exceptions. British researchers have interviewed 7000 men and women over 50 about their sex life, about how often and in what way they have sex, and about their thoughts and worries about the future. The survey showed that 60 % of people between 70 and 79 and 37 % of people over 80 were sexually active in one way or the other. As people get older, intercourse becomes less common. Instead, kissing, cuddling and masturbation takes its place.

The reason for not being sexually active anymore was usually that people had lost their partner. It was especially true for women over 80. If you become chronically ill – get diabetes, high blood pressure or another cardiovascular disease, joint pains or asthma, the disease often also impairs your sex life. This risk is greatest for men. Older women’s sex life is hampered by a dry, sore and sensitive vagina, men’s by erection problems. And both sexes feel that their desire for sex diminishes with age.

Women generally don’t worry as much as men if their desire wanes and sex is given up altogether. For the oldest, it does not seem to matter at all. But it’s important to both women and men that they agree with their partner about how often and in what way to have sex. Otherwise, at least one of the parties will be frustrated. The one who wants more sex will feel unsatisfied, and the one who wants less taken advantage of.

What to do? Well, there’s only one solution. Talk about it!