Erections! I enjoy writing about men’s health as medicine and health is a subject I know alot about. To help you, my simple test requires you to answer one question, How easy is it for you to develop and maintain an erection?

I Won’t Get too Sciency

Every artery in the body contains a single-celled lining called the endothelium. It’s this single-cell lining that releases nitric oxide gas, In the case of the penis, causes the smooth muscle tissue of the corpora cavernosa to relax.

When this pressure gets to a certain point, it literally squeezes shut the veins caught in between the corpora cavernosa. Thus preventing blood from flowing out and consequently erecting a “quality” hard-on.

So What Is Healthy?

A healthy endothelium is consequently essential to a good, strong, serviceable erection. As is blood flow throughout the body. While an unhealthy endothelium leads to erectile dysfunction (ED), it’s also a strong predictor of heart disease and premature death. Simply put, bad erections often equals bad heart.

Cardiologist Joel Kahn, a proponent of the erection/heart health theory, points out the following alarming bit of epidemiological data:

Some Scientific Proof – As I Love and Respect Science

“…if you are a man between the ages of 40 and 49 without known heart disease but with ED, you have up to a 50-fold higher incidence of eventually having new heart events compared to men the same age without ED. Rarely in medicine is there ever a risk factor this powerful. To compare, smoking, for example, may raise the risk of similar events 3-fold.”

In another example, if a man who has diabetes is unable to achieve a strong erection, it can predict diseased arteries. And future heart problems! Years before a heart attack or death from heart-related problems. The correlation is much stronger than that of smoking, elevated blood pressure, or family history of heart disease. Eeekk!

Fess Up – What Fruit/Veg Are You?

So, how do we define a strong erection? Let’s use a simple one,  rate your own hardness….are you a cucumber, unpeeled banana, peeled banana, or tofu?

If you’re a cucumber, chances are you have the heart of Secretariat (who, after necropsy, was reported to have a heart twice the size of a normal horse). Unpeeled bananas are probably okay, too. Once you get mushier than that, you need to take stock of your cardiovascular health.

In your 50’s and 60’s

Older men also have to contend with declining testosterone levels. Also a loss of elasticity in the connective tissues of the penis. This effects erections also.

Of course, external factors can affect the duration of an erection. Things like intent (a quickie as opposed to a marathon love-making session), premature ejaculation, or lack of a stimulating partner. As such, duration isn’t as valuable a barometer of heart health as erection strength.

What this means for you?

I get that there are other possible causes for ED. Many cases of erectile dysfunction are associated with psychological problems. These range from something as simple as performance anxiety to severe mental scarring stemming from childhood.

Barring that, though, the ability to easily achieve and maintain an erection is a VERY valid barometer of cardiovascular health.

If you struggle to achieve a serviceable erection and you don’t think the preceding psychological/hormonal explanations apply, understand this. You NEED to take stock of basic lifestyle issues like exercise, sleep, and nutrition. Here is another article I wrote on men’s health you can check out.


Schwartz BG, Economides C, Mayeda GS, Burstein S, Kloner RA. The endothelial cell in health and disease: its function, dysfunction, measurement and therapy. Int J Impot Res. 2010 Mar-Apr;22(2):77-90. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2009.59. Epub 2009 Dec 24. PMID: 20032988.

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