Any way you look at it, 1998 was just a bizarre year. Titanic was smashing records at the box office, Will Smith was telling us how to get jiggy with it, and it became impossible to turn on the tube without being beaten about the soul with tales of Presidents doing strange things with White House interns behind powerfully-guarded closed doors.
To make things even more interesting, a little known drug called Viagra® was making some very stiff claims to scores of would-be Don Juanabees. The rest, as you can imagine, is history.
Cialis®. Levitra®. Hundreds of commercially-spewed OTC formulas. They erotically line the shelves of gas stations and drug stores, while blacktopping the electronic streets of our beloved internet superhighway. Real ones, fake ones, cheap ones, take one. Oh yeah, the sex pill market is a big, swelling enterprise that shows absolutely no signs of going limp any time soon.
You've seen the commercials, heard legendary tales of acrobatic bedroom all-nighters, and watched with awe as the popularity and blasé acceptance of these drugs has exploded on every social front. At some point, you may have even decided to give them a go. If not, it's safe to assume that you-or at the very least, someone you know-has spent an unusually lengthy amount of time considering it.
Assuming that this is not too far of a stretch, it's equally safe to assume that you're completely clueless when it comes to understanding how these potions work within the body.
After all, these aren't the sort of things that the manufacturers want to waste their time explaining to you in the commercials they collectively spend, literally, billions of dollars on annually. And even if they did, thirty to sixty seconds would never be enough time to run through science of such detailed stripe.
Actually, it's not all that complicated. Bare with me. Shortly after becoming aroused, the brain sends signals to its downstairs neighbors; letting them know that things are about to heat up. This transmission results in the production of a chemical called nitric oxide, or NO2.
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This release of nitric oxide stimulates the production of an enzyme that makes it possible for the necessary blood vessels to relax. And when the right blood vessels are relaxed, blood flows freely to all the right places.
Simple enough, right? Well, actually yes. That's about all there is too it. Sexual dysfunction-be it erectile dysfunction, female orgasmic dysfunction, whatever-happens at the expense of either poor circulation, poor NO2 production, or any number of underlying factors that tend to result in the two aforementioned roadblocks.
Simple logic, though, has taught us that blood flow south of the equator is largely and ultimately responsible for an individual's ability to perform. And there are dozens of natural compounds that can do just that.
Here are some of the safest and most effective:
Arginine is an essential amino acid that the body is incapable of manufacturing on its own. As a result, it must be obtained from the diet. Sadly, this can be difficult for anyone who doesn't consume a respectable amount of meat, nuts, chocolate, grain and dairy products.
Within the body, one of L-arginine's is foremost functions is to produce-you guessed it-nitric oxide. And as we touched on earlier, increased NO2 makes it possible for more blood to reach the lower extremities, by relaxing the blood vessels that carry them.
Suggested Dose: 3,000-3,500 mg daily
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Citrulline is a precursor to arginine that (just like arginine) works by supporting the rate of blood flow and circulation throughout the body. In addition to its many other biological responsibilities, such as detoxification, ammonia removal, and cardiovascular support, citrulline provides many of the "raw materials" that the body needs in order to produce arginine.
Greater amounts of arginine result in greater amounts of nitric oxide. This, as we've discussed, relaxes the blood vessels that transport blood to the South Pole, so to speak.
Suggested Dose: 1,500 mg, taken once to twice daily
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Natives to the Brazilian Rainforests have been consuming this not-so-distant member of the Olive family for thousands of years to help combat poor nervous system function.
More recent advances in the nutritional sciences have uncovered a number of active compounds, such as alkaloids, fatty acids, tannins, volatile oils, sterols, and resins that help stimulate libido, stamina, and blood flow. In fact, Muira Puama extracts are now commonly included in many OTC libido boosting formulas.
Suggested Dose: 1,000-1,500 mg daily
According to some rather interesting studies, this staple mineral is good for more than just combating the effects of a cold. As the most highly concentrated mineral in the prostate gland, zinc has been shown in studies to support circulation, encourages healthy testosterone production, and inhibit the pituitary gland's ability to produce prolactin-a hormone that is notorious for interfering with the efficacy of the body's sex hormones.
Suggested Dose: Adding 30-50 mg a day is all it takes.
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Ginseng is legendary when it comes to increasing blood flow throughout the entire human system. Even more interesting, a number of well conducted studies have suggested that men who've used it on a regular basis experienced better erections, increased stamina, and stronger orgasms.
It's loaded with saponins known as ginsenosides-specialized plant extracts that support testosterone production, virility, and stamina.
Suggested Dose: Start with 500 mg daily, and/or 500-1000 mg one hour before loading the Barry White CD.
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On your quest to destroy your boxspring, keep something in mind. Good sex does not come at the expense of pills or potions or expensive wine. The human body is the biological equivalent of a Mercedes S500. Skipping the maintenance, ignoring the warning signs, and pumping it full of cheap fuel are all sure fire ways to ensure that it will not fire at full steam.
The supplements mentioned in this literary romp are just that-supplements. They are not intended to take the place of a healthy lifestyle, and will under no circumstances result in an instant elevation to late night hero. Live well, stay fit, and be as good as you possibly can to your lover. At the end of the day, there is simply no better recipe for romance.