In the opening episode of “Masters of Sex,” the new Showtime series detailing the research and personal life of 1950s sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Dr. Masters tells an uninhibited study subject: “Think of yourself as Sir Edmund Hillary leaving base camp.”
Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what makes sparks fly and what dampens desire:
High heels can interfere with a woman’s orgasm. While shoe designer Christian Louboutin may claim the arch of his heels replicates the arch of a woman’s back in the throes ... those sky-high perches actually trigger chronic contraction of pelvic floor muscles. That means there’s less muscle motion during orgasm — and less sensation as a result.
A couple of drinks may loosen you up, but alcohol can dehydrate, and that dampens (how ironic) orgasms for women and men. Good hydration positively affects semen volume, vaginal lubrication and muscle tone and contraction.
You may gobble bar food on date night, but what you need to keep blood flowing (essential for erection and orgasm) and to reduce inflammation (which can cause aches and pains that make intimacy difficult) is nutrition and muscle power. So take half a multivitamin twice a day; 900 international units of DHA fish or algal oil daily; and eat foods that deliver the recommended daily allowance for 19- to 50-year-olds of calcium (1000 milligrams), magnesium (310 to 400 milligrams) and zinc (8 to 11 milligrams). And keep blood vessels flexible by taking 10,000 steps a day and getting 30 minutes a week of resistance exercises.
Now who’s the master of sex?
Children 12 to 17 are the No. 1 viewers of athlete-sponsored food commercials. So what are top sports figures selling this impressionable audience? Mostly junk. In 2010, nearly 80 percent of athlete-endorsed food products were energy-dense and nutrient-poor — and more than 93 percent of athlete-endorsed beverages got 100 percent of their calories from added sugar.
If you wonder why people who value physical health above all else would push disease-causing foods to kids, well, the facts speak for themselves.
In 2010, Maria Sharapova raked in millions of dollars from her own line of gummies called Sugarpova. Isn’t that swe-e-e-et! Kobe Bryant earned around $12 million endorsing drive-thru burgers. Serena Williams hauled in tens of millions of dollars for serving up sweet words for cookies and other nutritional nightmares. But it’s LeBron James who wins the title of Junk-Food-Ad-Man-Extraordinaire (JFAME)! He earned around $45 million for endorsing a whole menu of bad-for-you foods, beverages and chewing gum. (If he really eats this stuff himself, did it hinder his performance enough to delay his winning a championship by a year?)
But luckily, Mom and Dad, you can help kids resist these nutritional bombs. Most importantly, you can become the star who inspires your child by making good nutrition and regular physical activity a part of everyday life. Talk to your children about how “buy this junk” messages aren’t kid-friendly. Explain that an athlete may deserve respect for accomplishing major feats in sports, but that doesn’t mean he or she has any credibility when it comes to suggesting what you should eat for breakfast. Chew on that!
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.