While glamour and sophistication were the hallmarks of early cigarette advertising, and the world’s most charismatic actors and musicians helped popularise “smoking cool”, the evidence suggests that both your sex appeal and your sexual performance is significantly compromised as a smoker. So, if you see a James Dean or Audrey Hepburn in the mirror when you light up, you might want to look again—the reality is more Dot Cotton and Derrick Trotter.
But what are the benefits of quitting smoking from a sexual perspective? And how can kicking the habit help bring a little extra excitement into the bedroom? Here, we look at the many reasons stubbing out that last cigarette will improve your sex life and give you a better chance of conceiving.
Despite people’s belief to the contrary, smoking is a known stressor2, raising your heart rate and creating a vicious cycle where your body constantly craves nicotine. Stress is the ultimate mood killer, and increased libido for both men and women is one of the big benefits of quitting smoking for sex.
Smoking has also been shown to affect both testosterone and oestrogen in men and women3, two hormones that play a large part in sexual desire and libido. Returning hormonal balances to normal levels is one of the benefits of quitting smoking for sex, and there’s a good chance that it will reignite your passion in the bedroom.
Better Circulation — Everywhere!
One of the key benefits of quitting smoking is that is increases blood circulation—and this means everywhere! For men, better circulation means stronger and firmer erections, while for women, it may increase the intensity of your orgasm4. Quitting is really a win-win for everyone involved, reducing the likelihood of erectile disfunction and enhancing pleasurable sensations for both men and women.
As one of the sexual benefits of quitting smoking, better circulation and improved lung capacity are also likely to increase your stamina in the bedroom—meaning the only breathless moments you experience will be the good ones!
If you’re asking the question does quitting smoking increase fertility, then the answer is a firm YES! For women, smoking has a significant effect on ovarian function, the fallopian tubes and cervix, meaning that smokers are 1.6 times more likely to experience infertility5. Additionally, for women who do become pregnant, smoking is linked with higher rates of miscarriage and problems during birth. For men, smoking means sperm counts can be reduced by as much as 13-17%, while also affecting the quality of the surviving sperm.
Increased Sexual Appeal
If you’re single, you might be wondering why you should care about any of this. Well, we’re here to tell you that smoking is probably one of the main reasons you can’t get a partner! When you smoke, your breath, hair, clothes and even skin smell. For many people, this is an instant turn-off that isn’t easily overcome.
But it doesn’t end there, today’s strict smoking laws and regulations mean that, if your potential partner doesn’t smoke, you’re constantly nipping out of the restaurant, the pub or bar, the nightclub, or even the cinema or theatre for a quick cigarette—it’s a recipe for disaster, and definitely won’t leave a lasting impression on a first date!
If you’re already looking forward to the benefits of quitting smoking from a sexual perspective, then consult your local pharmacy for advice on how NRT products can help you stop for good. Alternatively, read our stop smoking advice to get the help you need to quit for good.