THE MANLY TRIFECTA Prostate Health, Testosterone and Bedroom Breakthroughs

Gentlemen, Men’s Health Month is a great excuse for us to shine the spotlight on three topics that aren’t always the easiest things to talk about: prostate health, testosterone, and sexual health. This blog will give you some practical info and perhaps even a few things to get excited about.

1. Prostate Health – Facing the Fear

For men, the infamous P-word is often the first topic that springs to mind when discussing men’s health, and having to do a rectal exam is something that most men would prefer to rather not have to think about. We’re going to cover some basics here to help you to be more informed, so you can chill.

When is D(RE) day?

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa recommends that black South African men consider screening from the age of 40 and that other ethnic groups should start screening from 45. There are two types of prostate tests, your doctor will most likely recommend doing both so here’s the low down on each of them:

The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

This is the test that generally causes the most anxiety for men. If you’ve never experienced one before, here’s a brief outline of what you can expect during a prostate exam.
  • It’ll be over before you have time to get uptight about it! It typically lasts less than a minute.
  • Using lubricated surgical gloves, your Doc will insert a finger into your rectum to check for any irregularities in the size, shape, or texture of your prostate gland.
  • It should be a pain free procedure, but it can be a bit uncomfortable, (a small price to pay for early detection if any issues are discovered.)
  • If you have haemorrhoids or anal fissures, these conditions could cause higher levels of discomfort so please tell your doctor beforehand if this is the case.
  • Remember – for your doctor, this is just another day at the office, so nothing to be self-conscious about.

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

This is a blood test that measures the quantity of a protein that is produced by both normal and malignant prostate gland cells in your blood. PSA 101 Tips:
  • Avoid sex, masturbation, cycling, horseback riding or any strenuous exercise 3 days before the test because these may elevate your PSA levels and make it difficult to interpret your results.
  • If your results are high your doctor will probably order a second test to confirm the results.
  • If your doctor is concerned he may want a more detailed picture of your prostate, and he may request an MRI and then recommend next steps depending on the results.

2. Spilling the T » Testosterone Highs & Lows

Testosterone affects everything from muscle mass to mood. While low testosterone tends to occupy more conversations, both high and low levels come with their share of complications. High testosterone may leave you feeling great in the short term, but ultimately causes more harm than good later on. For example, the body converts excess testosterone into oestrogen to help compensate which can lead to erectile dysfunction, and high testosterone can also put strain on the heart and cause hypertension, muscle, and ligament damage.

Tips to keep your testosterone levels in check:

  • Know the symptoms of low testosterone and get tested if you’re experiencing them on an ongoing basis:
    • Low energy
    • Mood changes
    • Sleep disturbances and/or feeling sleepy during the day
    • Poor concentration and/or feeling forgetful
    • Feeling depressed and/or weak
    • Decreased muscle mass and strength
    • Putting on fat
    • Less frequent than usual erections
    • A decrease in your sex drive
  • Symptoms of high Testosterone:
    • Increased aggression or irritability
    • Oily skin and acne
    • Excessive body hair growth
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Increased muscle mass
    • Changes in libido (including erectile dysfunction or low libido)
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Testicle shrinkage
    • Fluid retention
  • Fuel up on zinc-rich foods like oysters, lean meats, and beans (Zinc is like the unsung hero in your nutritional line-up. It helps enzymes break down food and also helps build proteins. If you’re not getting enough zinc, your testosterone levels can dip.)
  • Physical activity can help with maintaining healthy testosterone levels so make time for exercise. If you’re open to trying new things, consider Pilates (athletic) – it combines core strength, flexibility, conditioning, and balance training and while it looks passive, you’ll work up a serious sweat and discover muscles you didn’t know you had.

3. Let’s TALK about (tantric) sex!

Time to challenge traditional notions of masculinity! Are you brave enough to explore the strength that lies in vulnerability, emotional intimacy, and open communication? What have you got to lose? We’re talking about delving into the deep connection between emotional intimacy through tantric sex, an ancient practice that encourages you to embrace emotions as a source of power, ultimately deepening your relationship and enhancing pleasure. Limiting perceptions Society plays a significant role in shaping perceptions, and men may find themselves caught up in stereotypes surrounding openly discussing feelings and vulnerability. These are often misinterpreted as weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth, and such mindsets deprive people of a fuller view of life. It’s like seeing the world through a keyhole instead of an open door. Let go and flow! Courageously discard the socially imposed constructs and static conceptions of masculinity and acknowledge that sexuality isn’t just a physical act. It’s a manifestation of a more comprehensive, embodied experience that connects mind, body, and spirit. By daring to engage in this practice, couples can achieve a heightened form of intimacy. They find themselves immersed in a space where vulnerability is strength, and sharing emotions and open communication makes for a deeper, more profound relationship journey. This exploration of emotional truth also spirals inwards giving you an enlightening reflection of yourself. It’s a practice that brings self-awareness and nurtures confidence which positively affects your everyday life. In essence, tantric sex is an invitation to courageously defy convention, to explore the depths of your Self and your relationships, and ultimately, to elevate your existence.

Keen to explore? Here are a few tips to get started:

Open up. Engaging in open discussions with your partner about your desires, apprehensions, and emotions can be truly liberating. It strengthens trust, stokes sensual anticipation, and paves the way for a secure environment, where both of you can dive into an unexplored realm of intimacy. Be mindful. Focus your attention on your breathing, stay present in the moment, free your mind from distractions, and heighten your awareness to the sensations taking place around you. Touch. The eloquent non-verbal form of communication. Feel free to experiment, respond candidly, and stay in sync with your partner’s reactions. This mutual learning experience can enhance your understanding of each other’s needs. Savour. Take your time to cherish every interaction, focusing on building anticipation and prolonging the experience. Keep up that eye contact; it’s enchanting! Have Fun. Remember, as much as this is about discovery and connection, it’s also about intense enjoyment! So, embrace the playfulness and be curious, laugh, tease, enjoy being excited! For Men’s Health Month and every other month, we encourage you to experience the transformative power of knowledge, from understanding the intricacies of your body, to exploring emotional openness and revelling in the deeper connections that develop because of it. By taking charge of a holistic approach to your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, you’re choosing to care more about being a happier and healthier human for yourself and the ones you love.