Doctor Zac Turn has revealed the surprising answer to the question a man asked before his honeymoon: “Will the flying economy ruin my libido?”
Welcome to Ask Doctor Zac, a weekly column from news.com.au. This week, Dr. Zac Turner explains how to keep your libido intact for your honeymoon.
QUESTION: Hello Dr Zac, I am about to get married! Eeek! My partner in crime and I booked a honeymoon in Europe, and we couldn’t be more excited!
However, we hit a little bump before our honeymoon, as my “know-it-all” aunt told me that long-haul economy class flights ruin your libido. She insisted that we fly business class, so that we stay comfortable and leave the airport ready to “consume the marriage”. But business class is so expensive.
Is it real – or is it an old woman’s tail? Will our 24-hour flight turn us into nuns? What can we do to keep our libido intact for our honeymoon? Troy, 28, Sydney
ANSWER: Hi Troy, great question. A study was undertaken which compared the experience of travelers in business class and economy class, and how they felt afterwards in the first days of their vacation. The results of the study showed that people in business class were more energetic, happier and had a greater libido after their flight.
The factor that differentiated the two sets of factors was stress. Those in the economy class had higher levels of anxiety during trips, and for obvious reasons, businessmen were calmer.
Many people before their long-haul flight will stress about getting to the airport, customs and whether they will be comfortable on the plane. This causes stress to build up, which will cause them to feel worse when they land at their destination.
Luckily, you don’t have to shell out a fortune for Business Class, as there are ways to survive Cattle Class without taking a hit to your mojo.
There are many reasons why we feel stressed when we travel. First, we increase our level of anxiety as we accumulate long-haul flight experience. Second, planes have lower oxygen levels to cut costs – so our bodies become uncomfortable operating with less oxygen in the air.
When these two factors combine, they trigger our body’s fight-or-flight mechanism. During this time hormones like adrenaline, norepinephrine and epinephrine are released and they lower testosterone which will immediately have an effect on libido and even sexual function.
Here are some ways to combat the stress of long-haul flights, so you can step off the plane “ready to rumble”:
Keep your head in the game
Libido is 98% mental and 2% physical. I recommend that you alleviate your low libido with meditation and mantras. From the moment you buy your plane tickets, repeat mantras in your head when you feel stressed about the upcoming flight. It can be phrases like “I’m going to love my vacation.” You should also meditate during the flight and repeat the same mantras while imagining yourself relaxing on vacation. I promise you’ll walk out of the plane as calm as anything. If you are new to meditation – try reading my previous column on the subject.
Bring lots of distractions
What is your favorite activity that helps reduce your anxiety? For some people, video games and movies provide a visual distraction to pass the time. Others find comfort in quiet activities, such as books and puzzles. Whatever your distraction, remember to take it with you. Pleasant distractions can help ward off negative thoughts and give you something positive to focus on instead.
Limit your alcohol consumption during the flight
There’s nothing wrong with greeting your newlywed with a glass of champagne on a flight to Europehowever, don’t overdo it. Alcohol will significantly dehydrate your body in the air, which will cause more stress. And you know what that means – say goodbye to your libido when you arrive. If you have one drink, follow it up with two glasses of water.
Look for the positives while traveling
Exploring new experiences, cultures, and cuisines is a great way to broaden your view of the world. Before your trip, it can be helpful to write down any positive experiences you hope to gain from your trip. Keep this list with you when you travel and refer to it during times of anxiety.
Troy, have the best time with your wife in Europe. Remember to stay happy and positive and not to think too much about your long-haul flight. Remember that flying is part of your vacation, so have fun!
When you land do this
Have you noticed that when traveling for long periods your legs swell? This is because there is less oxygen in the air, your increased anxiety, and your lack of movement. This causes the blood vessels in your legs to dilate, as blood redistributes away from other parts of your body. This includes the constriction of smooth muscle vessels in other parts of the body, such as those that supply our sex organs.
This means there is less pumping of oxygen around your body and a reduced ability to get to where it needs to go. If you do the following it can have the same effect for many as having Viagra!
Midair – find space and do a few air squats to increase circulation.
And as soon as you land, take a hot shower followed by a cold shower. This will allow oxygenated blood to flow through your body again. It will also cause your blood vessels to snap and tighten in your feet and open up around your “bits”. Bonus points if you also take a brisk walk and explore your new surroundings.
These are safe ways to bring blood oxygen back to pre-flight levels. And you know what that means.
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Dr. Zac Turner holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney. He is both a doctor and co-owner of a telehealth service, Concierge doctors. He was also a registered nurse and is also a qualified and experienced biomedical scientist in addition to being a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering.
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