Biking Bad for your erection ! The Natural Support System
The human rear is perfectly designed to support the weight of the body on two “Sit bones”. Those structures are protected by muscle and fat and have no arteries or nerves that could be crushed by your weight. As long as you are sitting on a flat surface, like a chair or couch, your sit bones easily support your weight. It’s a different story when you sit for long periods on a narrow bicycle seat. The penis is part of a hydraulic system. When stimulated, its twin chambers fill with blood until it’s erect. After ejaculation, the blood leaves and the penis softens again.
But about half that hydraulic system is inside the body. When a man sits on a narrow bicycle seat, his body weight can crush the pudendal artery and nerves that serve the penis. That sensitive area between the anus and the scrotum is known as the perineum. So bike riding can result in temporary and permanent impotence. Extra padding or jell padding in the seat does not help because the padding bunches up and also cuts off circulation.
Researching The Problem
Researchers have discovered that nerves, arteries and veins in the perineum can indeed be damaged by bicycle seats. Moreover, some cyclists have fallen on the bike’s cross bar and injured the groin. The bike–related impotence problems vary. Some erections are not sustainable because although blood gets into the penis, damaged valves can’t hold it there. Others may have trouble ejaculating due to decreased sensation. Overweight riders and cyclists who pedal many miles weekly are at higher risk for impairment.
Guy–friendly bike seats
Of course, the picture isn’t totally bleak. The perfect seat would look like a toilet seat and would remove all pressure from delicate areas, some men in the West have switched to recumbent bicycles in which the rider sits reclined and pedals with his legs stretched out in front. Others use wider saddles or switch to one of the half dozen seats that claim to be more guy–friendly. Some of those seats are hollow in the middle so the perineum is not crushed, and some are basically two large circles upon which the sit bones rest. Some have a large wedge or oval cutouts in the middle while still others have a long groove down the middle. Researchers know exactly how numb the genitals become because they tested those areas with a device known as an esthesiometer–a gadget used to measure the sensitivity, or lack thereof, in people with diabetes who often lose feeling in their hands and feet.