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The Effects of Smoking on Sex (and Sex Appeal)

Whether you are in a relationship or single, keeping your sex life healthy and active is probably of some importance to you. And while sex is strongly dependent on desire and mood, performance and libido are often subject to physiology. Your body withstands various obstacles every day, and yet it sustains its need and capacity for a sex drive, because nothing is more essential to the species than to procreate, and so your system fights tooth and nail to remain sexually healthy and capable. But smoking can be one of those things that can slowly and gradually damage your sex life. How does it happen and how to combat it? In this article we explore the effects of smoking on sex and sex appeal.

Effects of Smoking on Looks and Sex Appeal *

What attracts a person to another is fairly relevant, and differs from one person to the next. But knowing that smoking can definitely affect your looks, your smell, and the speed with which you age should be taken into consideration. Smoking makes it harder for you to maintain healthy vibrant skin; it can cause wrinkles and dry discolored skin because not enough blood is circulated in your system. Plus, the toxins in cigarette smoke can deplete the nutrients in your blood responsible for healing damaged skin.

Furthermore, smoking can affect the color of your teeth and your overall smell, besides, of course, the smell of your clothes. No aftershave, deodorant, or perfume can rid a smoker of the very strong odor of cigarette smoke. That can’t be attractive, can it?

Effects of Smoking on Sex *

Biologically, males and females operate differently. But despite the different mechanism, smoking seems to have grave effects on the sexual health of both genders. It goes without saying that smoking makes you age faster and tire faster, but it can also have more direct negative consequences on performance, durability, ability, and overall enjoyment. Here’s how.

Effects of Smoking on Sex for Men *

Men like to take pride in their sexual prowess, but if you’re a smoking male and have a few problems in the sack, you might want to consider the possibility of them being caused by heavy smoking.

Erectile Dysfunction:

Losing the ability to develop or maintain an erection can be disastrous to your sex life. Having an erection is a purely physiological process, mainly dependent on the blood flow and the workings of a healthy heart. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor; that is, it tightens the blood vessels, and thus smoking can drastically affect your heart and restrict your blood flaw. It can also clog your arteries; consequently, the amount and velocity of blood reaching the penis are greatly influenced. Studies have found that smokers are twice more likely to have erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers.

Low Libido:

The level of testosterone released regularly in your body is largely responsible for your libido. Libido is, in simple terms, the appetite to have sex. So if you’re low on the mood or the desire for engaging in sexual relations, that might mostly be it. But how is smoking responsible for affecting your testosterone levels negatively? In fact, smoking does initially encourage the production of testosterone, but only temporarily. With continuous use, it also raises the percentage of carbon monoxide in your blood, which can easily inhibit the natural production of testosterone. Smoke also contains cadmium, which interferes with zinc metabolism and eventually results in lowering testosterone levels.

Effects of Smoking on Sex for Women *


A woman’s sex life is often regulated (or interrupted) by her menstrual cycle. This “time of the month” can influence general mood and libido, and does to some degree define the calendar for ovulation. Irregularities in the menstruation cycle can be related to smoking, as well as more pain accompanying it or during PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Likewise, smoking can cause early menopause.

Oral Contraceptives: 

Women on the pill have an increases chance of suffering of “cardiovascular conditions like blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.” And given our previous explanation of the nature of nicotine and its capacity to tighten blood vessels, smoking women are at a higher risk. Hormonal birth control and smoking can be very dangerous together, especially on older women.

Smoking and Reproduction *

If you desire to parent a child, whether you’re a man or a woman, smoking is detrimental to your reproductive health.

Sperm Health:

Smoking males are more likely to counter problems with fertility due to the impact smoking has on sperm mobility, sperm count, and sperm morphology. These effects can greatly hinder insemination, since the quality of sperm motility (the ability of sperm to swim) is vital for the fertilization process.


It goes without saying that smoking during pregnancy does not only endanger the fetus, but is also a morally questionable decision on the mother’s part. Smoking can directly affect the development of the egg and can cause a miscarriage. But even if the baby survives, all the toxins inhaled through the cigarette are carried in the blood stream and delivered to the fetus. The negative effects of smoking can and will outlast pregnancy.

The Fetishization of Smoking *

There is no denying that when speaking of the relationship between sex and smoking, the first associations most people’s brains would come up with would be positive. We’ve grown up watching movies that sexualized the cigarette. Be it the one cigarette lovers share together after making love, or the fact that attractive tough men are always shown smoking, the associations this advertising has left in our heads are never healthy. Successful hardcore women in movies are often portrayed as smokers, and so are rebellious different teenagers.

And regardless of these portrayals being true to life or not, they have contributed in cementing the same idea in young people’s minds: that smoking is a sign of toughness, coolness, impulsivity, and defying the rules. It’s then crucial to differentiate between the deceiving picture brought to us by the media, and the truth of the situation. Heavy smokers suffer through heart and respiratory problems that leave them out of breath, too tired to run or climb stairs, and, naturally, too exhausted to last through a long and enjoyable sex routine. It is not tough, it’s not cool, and it’s most definitely not sexy.


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