Dopamine can make you sexually motivated while serotonin can inhibit your sexual behavior. These two neurotransmitters are the key players when it comes to human sexual motivation and performance.
The negative effects of serotonin on sexual function are well documented. In fact, several studies have shown that medications which increase dopamine levels often cause different types of sexual dysfunction. Learn more about how your dopamine and serotonin levels impact your motivation for sex as well as your sexual performance.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that’s more popularly associated with depression. In truth, serotonin performs several functions and not just mood regulation. It’s involved in regulating your appetite and digestion. Serotonin also helps regulate sleep and memory.
Serotonin plays an equally important role in regulating your sexual desire and function, although this role is mainly inhibitory. Hence, low levels of serotonin typically result in increased libido whereas high serotonin levels result in impaired sexual desire.
With regard to sexual function, there are two important serotonin receptors in your body. When 5-HT(2C) serotonin receptors are the ones that are stimulated, it promotes erections while inhibiting ejaculations. On the other hand, when 5-HT(1A) serotonin receptors are stimulated, ejaculation is facilitated and erections are inhibited.
Agents that increase serotonin levels are often associated with sexual dysfunction. This is also the case for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which improve your mood by keeping your serotonin levels high.
It’s a known fact that SSRI medications can reduce your sexual motivation, cause erectile dysfunction, and even inhibit ejaculation, which is why SSRIs are now used to treat premature ejaculation.
While serotonin suppresses your sexual motivation, dopamine increases your sexual motivation and enhances your sexual performance and genital reflexes. The functions of dopamine are varied, depending on which part of your brain is involved.
Dopamine is usually described as a feel-good neurotransmitter. That’s because dopamine is the one that’s primarily involved in your brain’s pleasure and reward center. This means that dopamine is involved whenever you’re enjoying a pleasurable experience, like eating good food, having sex, or watching porn.
With regard to the regulation of sexual behavior, dopamine works through several pathways. Your libido and genital reflexes are influenced by dopamine acting in the medial preoptic area of your brain.
Dopamine is crucial for your erectile function because it sends the signal that initiates the erection process. For instance, dopamine acting in your paraventricular area triggers the release of oxytocin. In turn, this results in increased nitric oxide production, which then leads to the relaxation of your penile smooth muscles.
Your penile erectile tissues stay in a contracted state by default. Hence, when these smooth muscles relax, your penile arteries will also relax to enable blood to flow into your erectile tissues. Blood trapped in your penile erectile tissues cause your penis to become hard.
Several recent studies on the treatment of erectile dysfunction are focused on either increasing dopamine levels or stimulating dopamine receptors. Apomorphine, for example, is a dopamine receptor agonist that can induce erections in men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction.
Boost Your Dopamine Levels Naturally
Because dopamine is very important for you to be able to have an erection and enjoy sex, you shouldn’t let your dopamine levels drop below normal. If you do, low dopamine levels can lead to depression, reduced libido, and even erectile dysfunction.
One way for you to raise your dopamine levels is by eating foods that are rich in protein such as turkey and legumes. These foods contain tyrosine and phenylalanine which are amino acids that your body uses in order to synthesize dopamine.
Experts have recently discovered that your gut bacteria are also capable of producing dopamine. Hence, you should take care of your gut health by consuming probiotics. Kimchi and yogurt are great sources of probiotics.
Velvet beans or Mucuna pruriens is also another natural dopamine booster. The main active constituent found in velvet beans is a compound called L-dopa or levodopa, a dopamine precursor.
You should also make sure that you get enough sleep. Your body actually releases a large amount of dopamine in the morning when it’s time for you to wake up. At night, however, your dopamine levels naturally decrease.
When you’re not getting enough sleep or when you don’t follow a regular sleep schedule, this can disrupt your body’s natural rhythms and can negatively impact your dopamine levels.
Getting some sun is also another natural way to increase your dopamine levels. When your exposure to sunshine is quite low, it can lead to a reduction in the levels of your mood-boosting transmitters. Dopamine levels are also negatively affected by low sunshine exposure.
To ensure that your dopamine levels remain sufficiently high, you should follow a healthful diet that can give you all the nutrients that your body needs in order to produce dopamine. Alternatively, you can also try taking vitamin and mineral supplements that contain vitamin B6, iron, folate, and niacin.
Boost Your Libido Naturally
For men who are concerned about their waning sexual motivation and decreasing libido, try an excellent natural libido enhancer. Opt for one of the most widely recognized male sex enhancement supplements and known for being safe and effective.
Natural male sex enhancement supplements are composed of several herbal ingredients that naturally improve your sexual function and even enhance your reproductive health. Maca, for example, is one of the herbal ingredients contained in them. Maca is known not only for its rich antioxidant content but also for its positive effects male sexual function.
Tribulus terrestris is another important ingredient. Tribulus terrestris noted for its efficacy in treating erectile dysfunction, and it’s also recognized as an excellent testosterone and libido booster. Moreover, Tribulus terrestris can also help improve your fertility by increasing your sperm count and motility.
Tongkat Ali is another amazing herb that’s included in the formulation of these supplements. Tongkat Ali, just like maca, is rich in antioxidants. It’s also known as an adaptogen and energy booster. This means that Tongkat Ali can help improve your mood and increase your energy and strength. That’s on top of enhancing your erectile function and boosting your libido.