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11 Tips to Improve Sexual Performance for Men

Katelyn Brenner FNP

Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 03/07/2018

Updated 08/05/2023

Guys, let’s face it: Most of us are obsessed with “hacks,” which can find their way into every part of our lives. From optimizing our computers’ performance to sticking supplements into our diets, we’re looking for boosters, power-ups and anything else to give us an upper hand.

You might be doing the same right now for your sex life. Maybe you’re trying to last longer or get harder — or maybe you’re not sure what you want, except for sex to be better.

Here’s the thing: There are no shortcuts when it comes to your health — at least none without consequences. If you want better sex, you have to focus on making changes toward a healthy lifestyle.

Likewise, you could unwittingly be cock-blocking yourself if you’re skipping obvious opportunities.

Below, we’ll go over 11 key behaviors that, according to medical advice, can help you have better sex and perform better in bed. Let’s get started.

First, let’s get something straight about the concept of sexual performance. 

Sexual performance isn’t really a medical term. In fact, it’s arguably a sum of things, like your levels of sexual desire, proper sexual function and semi-frequent sexual activity.

Medically speaking, you’re in fine performing shape if your erectile function is running smoothly. That means the blood vessels in your penis are getting adequate blood flow, that you’re able to get and stay hard more or less whenever you want to, and that your sexual response to things like foreplay is normal and active.

It might also involve your sexual stamina — aka how long you can last. It could even include factors for your sex drive, like testosterone levels.

When any of these things don’t happen, you’ve got sexual problems (and maybe high blood pressure). A person might also have sexual performance issues if their lack of sexual experience makes them anxious or causes performance anxiety — men’s health in bed is about more than just the plumbing, fellas.

From erectile dysfunction to premature ejaculation, many things can undermine your game. Luckily, an even greater list of performance-enhancing lifestyle changes can improve your overall health and get you back to business.

Incorporating just one of these behaviors into your daily regimen could boost your sexual performance, so imagine what doing all 11 could do. 

If you want to send your ED packing, try adding these simple behaviors to your daily to-do list:

  1. Break a sweat. Your cardiovascular health is closely related to your sexual performance — so physical activity is good for the pumping of more than just your heart. Being out of shape can be bad for sexual stamina. Luckily, working out can help. Getting just 30 minutes a day of sweat-breaking exercise can improve your cardiovascular fitness and your sexual health. Targeted ED exercises and pelvic floor exercises like Kegels can help you perform better, too.

  2. Chow down on fruits and veggies. Heart health is closely linked to sexual health, and high cholesterol is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease. So eating well is crucial to your sexual performance in the long term. One of the best ways to reduce your cholesterol is to eat more high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re interested in foods to last longer and foods that may help ED, our guides can help you stock your pantry.

  3. Fill up on healthy fats. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may boost your cardiovascular health and consequently improve your sexual performance. Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, sardines and herring are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as are avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. There may be even more avocado benefits sexually to discover, which we talk about in our guide on the superfood.

  4. Slay your stress. How you handle stress can have an impact on your sexual performance. Chronic stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, which suppress the libido and undermine male virility. By taking time every day to do something you enjoy, you can cut down on anxiety, which is strongly correlated with sexual dysfunction.

  5. Take care of your mental health. Stress isn’t the only mental concern for sexual performance. Sexual confidence can be a determining factor for psychological ED. Depression, anxiety and a number of other adverse mental health conditions can make it hard to focus, feel, enjoy or be present in the bedroom. So if you’re struggling, talk to someone about sexual performance anxiety and other concerns.

  6. Change things up in the bedroom. Having sex more frequently is the best way to improve your stamina and spice up your sex life. But if you don’t have a consistent sexual partner, masturbating on your own might help. Try to change up your habits, regardless. Sex toys like a vibrator can make sex and masturbation more fun, and finding new ways of doing it can increase stamina. If you feel yourself about to come, slow down or stop and wait a few seconds before you resume. 

  7. Stop drinking too much alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner can help put you in the mood for sex, but overindulging in alcohol — particularly on a regular basis — might depress your libido. One simple explanation of how you get ED from alcohol has to do with its effects on that pesky cardiovascular system. Over the long term, heavy drinking is also associated with liver disease and various other health problems, so cut back on the booze.

  8. Get enough sleep. Are you too tired to make love? You could be and not even know it. Most testosterone release happens when you’re sleeping, so if you have a constant lack of sleep, your body might not produce enough testosterone to support healthy erections. A restful night can make for a more satisfying morning, if you know what we mean.

  9. Quit smoking. Cigarettes are just bad for sex. The connections between smoking and ED are pretty well-established at this point. Smoking and passive smoking (second-hand) are both associated with significant increases to your risk of ED, not to mention a dozen other heart, lung and general health problems. Also, your breath tends to smell bad.

  10. Don’t overindulge on sugar. If you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to drown your sorrows in a sugary soft drink or a bowl of ice cream. Don’t do it — at least, not all the time. Too much sugar in your diet increases insulin production, which, over time, can cause you to lose muscle mass and store more fat around your abdomen. High levels of belly fat are correlated with low testosterone and increased estrogen levels — these factors combined may cause low libido and erectile dysfunction.

  11. Look at what you’re putting in your body. We’re all about healthy eating and drinking habits, but you need to be careful about the things that go in your body. Supplements (like ginseng) marketed as aphrodisiac treatments to increase sexual performance don’t have the kind of scientific backing you’d want — and they can lead to health issues of their own. In other words, only use scientifically proven treatments for sexual dysfunction.

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The reality of sexual performance is that not every problem can be cured with an extra trip to the gym or some food substitutions — it may require proven medical techniques.

Erectile dysfunction can have a number of initial causes. So to treat erectile dysfunction, you may need to employ several solutions (even beyond what we mentioned above).

We’ve covered tips to maintain an erection elsewhere, but for now, here’s the low-down on ED treatments:

Choose your chew

  • ED is more common as men age, but its causes aren’t all aging-related. For instance, you may find sexual confidence to be the problem, or a healthcare provider might look at your hormones due to the low testosterone and ED connection.

  • Therapy and lifestyle changes are proven treatments for ED when there’s a physiological or psychological cause to be addressed.

  • Medications like sildenafil (generic for Viagra) and Tadalafil (generic for Cialis) are well-known examples of PDE5 inhibitors — medications that support better erectile function. You might also want to try Stendra (or the generic version avanafil) or our chewable ED meds hard mints.

As for premature ejaculation, several premature ejaculation treatments are worth investigating. Men have success with start-stop techniques and the squeeze technique, but certain antidepressants can also help you last longer (though, in some men, they may cause problems with finishing).

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By now, it should be clear that everything you do impacts your health in some way. The food you eat, the level of stress you experience and the amount of sleep you get can all affect your health in positive or negative ways.

If you’re serious about improving your sexual performance, start taking accountability for your actions and daily habits.

No, you don’t have to start doing them all at once — you might find it easier to stick to these habits if you incorporate them gradually. Just remember:

  • Regular exercise, weight loss and other healthy changes to your lifestyle can trickle down to your sex life as well.

  • Mental health can’t be ignored as a contributing factor to your sex life — if you’re feeling disconnected or stressed about intimacy, a sex therapist may be able to help.

  • Other treatments are available for guys who aren’t seeing the results they want from diet, stress management and exercise changes.

Want more support? We can help.

We’ve already mentioned medications, but our online mental health services include online therapy and other tools to help you address your intimacy issues and get back to absolute legend status. 

Boosting your performance starts with taking care of yourself, so take better care of yourself today.

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  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022a, April 19). Facts about moderate drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  10. Ciaccio, V., & Di Giacomo, D. (2022). Psychological Factors Related to Impotence as a Sexual Dysfunction in Young Men: A Literature Scan for Noteworthy Research Frameworks. Clinics and practice, 12(4), 501–512.
  11. Bodenmann, G., Atkins, D. C., Schär, M., & Poffet, V. (2010). The association between daily stress and sexual activity. Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43), 24(3), 271–279.
  12. Anderson, D., Laforge, J., Ross, M. M., Vanlangendonck, R., Hasoon, J., Viswanath, O., Kaye, A. D., & Urits, I. (2022). Male Sexual Dysfunction. Health psychology research, 10(3), 37533.
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Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

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