Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Does Sex Increase Testosterone? (4 Things You Need to Know)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Last updated: October 25, 2022

In my decade-long fitness career, there almost hasn’t been a male client who, at some point, hasn’t asked for tips on improving testosterone.

Recently at the gym, one of them wanted to know if something as simple as having sex can affect natural production in any significant way.

Because testosterone plays a huge role in nearly every aspect of a man’s overall health, I decided to tackle this question by spending several days reading published research and discussing my findings with an endocrinologist.

Let’s dive in.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone deficiency can decrease sexual desires leading to reduced sexual activity, but having sex may increase testosterone production and improve many areas of sexual function.
  • Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in a man and directly impacts his sexual arousal.
  • Lower testosterone levels in men and women impact sex drive and can cause reduced sexual function.

Can Sex Boost Testosterone Levels?

A couple cuddling in bed while smiling

Sex can boost testosterone levels in both men and women, with research showing levels highest right after intercourse, suggesting that sexual activity influences T-levels in addition to testosterone affecting sexual activity [1].

The relationship between humans, sexual stimuli, and sex steroid levels is complex, and there is no shortage of research on the topic.

I found many interesting studies on the link between T-levels and sexual stimulation, intercourse, and even abstinence.

Let’s take a closer look.

Sexual Activity

One study at a United States sex club looked at the impact of participating in sexual activity vs. observing and found a significantly higher increase in salivary testosterone levels in those participating than those observing human sexual activity [2].

A study by researchers looking at male and female salivary testosterone concentrations measured levels on evenings the couples engaged in sexual activity and on evenings with no intercourse.

It found that T-levels increased after sexual activity in both men and women [3].

I also read an interesting study that observed older men with low sex hormones and libido.

Upon receiving testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), the men experienced improved sexual performance and desire [4].

I bring in the previous study because the relationship between T-levels and sex seems to be a bit of a which came first, the chicken or the egg scenario:

  • Low T-levels significantly decrease interest in sex
  • Having sex may increase testosterone

So:

  • Boost levels of testosterone to increase sexual desire
  • Have sex to potentially see an increase in testosterone

Perhaps my clients should consider this: for decreased testosterone levels in men, boosting testosterone should be a consideration to jumpstart interest in sexual activity, which could help maintain or improve T-levels [5].

“Testosterone treatment “will not fix everything that’s wrong with you, but it will increase your libido and desire to have sex.”

- Dr. Jeanne O’Brien, Urologist

Let’s examine different scenarios a bit closer.

Sexual Behavior

A couple in bed looking at each other smiling

One study examined the effects of sexual thoughts on the serum testosterone level, and the results proved a bit disappointing.

Men visualized sexual situations and wrote down their thoughts; though this may produce sexual arousal, it had little effect on testosterone [6].

Some people believe that masturbation affects T-levels.

However, it does not seem to have any long-term effects, though the research is not entirely conclusive [1].

Abstinence

Abstinence can potentially increase testosterone levels. Studies show no real change in the level between two and five days, but those levels peak at around the seven-day mark [7].

Health Benefits of Sex

Besides potentially boosting lower testosterone levels, healthy sex life has many physical and psychological benefits [8].

These include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved immune system
  • Lower risk of heart attack
  • Improved bladder control (women)
  • Potentially lower prostate cancer risk (men)
  • High-quality sleep
  • Pain reduction

And better yet, sex counts as exercise because it increases your heart rate and uses multiple muscles.

Does Low Testosterone Affect Performance?

A stressed man while sitting in bed with a woman in the background

Low testosterone can affect performance, including causing erectile dysfunction and reducing your ability to have satisfying sex.

Men aren’t alone, women can also have increased sexual dysfunction due to testosterone deficiency, and research found TRT may be beneficial [9].

Natural Ways to Boost It

Exercise can be a great way to increase serum testosterone, along with some dietary interventions.

You can also opt for testosterone-boosting supplements, which are essentially a formula of all-natural pre-workout ingredients that stimulate your ability to increase T-levels naturally.

Some studies also suggest vitamin D supplementation can be beneficial as well [10].

FAQs

Does Thinking About Sex Increase Testosterone?

It is unlikely that thinking about sex increases testosterone. Studies suggest that sexual thoughts are insufficient to increase testosterone or cortisol, though cortisol may facilitate sexual arousal [11].

Does Sleeping Naked Increase Testosterone?

Sleeping naked may increase testosterone by helping regulate the temperature of the testes to promote hormone and sperm production.

So, Does More Sex Mean More Testosterone?

Research suggests having sex increases testosterone levels; however, the results are mixed.

Boosting testosterone can offer many benefits beyond the bedroom, like more energy and confidence, reduced body fat, and lean muscle.

When it comes to all-natural best testosterone boosters for men, our testing results are solid regarding their ability to successfully address low T-levels. I have used them myself and have numerous clients who report excellent results.

So if you‘re struggling with low testosterone, check out our list to find out what these products can do for you.


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325418
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21165688/#:
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1529008/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971331/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701987/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21993767/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12659241/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474615/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18624961/
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

You May Also Like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *