Among the many, many complaints old people have about the modern world, one of the most common is that there are no "real men" anymore. What happened to the rugged tough guys who spent their entire lives drinking, hunting moose and whistling at every pretty girl who passed by their construction site?
Well, science says there might be something to this one. Testosterone levels in America are dropping like there's no tomorrow. Why? Well ...
#5. Modern Life Deprives Men of the Sun (on Their Dick)
When we think of archetypical manly men, we think of people like John Wayne, or Ernest Hemingway, or even -- if we dare -- Teddy Roosevelt. Despite their vastly different professions and lifestyles, they all had one thing in common: They all enjoyed the rugged outdoorsy lifestyle. Come to think of it -- the occasional Don Draper notwithstanding -- pretty much all of the truly manly characters we can imagine seem to have a healthy boner for the great outdoors.
"Man, it must be this fresh air or something, but ... I'm probably going to fuck this lunch."
It's all about the sun, the celestial body you may know better as that pesky bright thing that keeps shining on your monitor while you're trying to think up rebuttals to YouTube comments. Or rather, it's about vitamin D, which is largely provided to us by said sun. Vitamin D levels correlate with testosterone levels, so the more sun a guy gets, the more man-chemicals his body churns out. That's why everyone's horny during the sunniest months.
The thing is, these days most folks live in cities, or at least work indoors during the majority of the sunny time of day, so all that free vitamin D is left hammering our roofs in naked desperation.
Too ashamed to get a Viagra prescription? Try sitting pantsless under a sunroof.
However, speaking of naked ... there is a way for the modern man to load up on sun in the extra-speedy manner that suits today's hectic life. See, what really needs the sunlight the most is a man's dick. Skipping all that "modesty" and "pants" horse crap and exposing male genitals to direct sunlight is said to increase testosterone levels by a neat 200 percent.
Be warned, though -- there's only one study on this, from 1939, and we don't know that it wasn't just a huge prank. Still, what does a busy modern man in desperate need of that testosterone fix have to lose? Besides his pale complexion and status as a non-sex offender?
"Excuse me while I slip out of something more comfortable."
#4. Going on a Diet Can Have Nasty Hormonal Side Effects
If a guy wants to look like the manly, sexy dudes on magazine covers, he has to watch his diet -- nobody's ideal man needs a scooter to get around Walmart. So which diet does today's male pick in order to get down to, say, the size of a nice underwear model? He'd better pick carefully, because there's an excellent chance he'll kill his testosterone in the process.
For instance, you've probably heard that high-fiber diets are good for you. While that's all fine and dandy, what Wilford Brimley and other spokesmen for healthy eating often neglect to mention is this: If you're a guy, such diets are particularly good at turning you into a feminine, feminine man. Specifically, it can chop testosterone levels down a full 12 percent and put testicular and adrenal androgens through a wringer. Younger guys aren't any safer: Research indicates that those who consume a high-fiber/low-fat diet, such as vegetarians and hippies, are quick to find out that the lanky posture so often associated with the lifestyle is -- at least in part -- a direct hormonal result of their dinner table choices.
"Here, you can have mine, Dad. I've decided I don't want to be a pussy anymore."
Now, let's take this in the opposite direction. Let's say you have a deep hatred for carbohydrates stemming from your mom's tragic death in a freak wheat bran accident, and therefore choose to go the Atkins route. Wallowing elbow-deep in a pool of bacon may not be the most healthy thing to do in the long term, but at least it's delicious and, above all, manly. Or so you'd think! In reality, high-protein diets can mess up a guy's hormone levels even worse than their muesli counterpart.
"I'm gonna go man out and make some meat. Could you hand me my apron?"
The problem is that the male body needs all sorts of ingredients to cook up the chemical cocktails necessary to maintain an acceptable level of manliness, and neither high-fiber nor high-protein diets can provide them all. But if you're thinking that it's best for men to just abandon special diets altogether and eat what they want, well ...
#3. Failing to Go on a Diet Also Has Nasty Hormonal Side Effects
While we all know that being fat is bad for you, world-class love handles are hardly a life sentence of diabetes-sprinkled sissiness. Loads of lumberjacks, construction workers and other classic masculine types sport an impressive gut, yet come across as far manlier than the 110-pound Justin Bieber types. As long as a guy doesn't let himself go completely spherical, being a bit fat doesn't make him any less manly. Well, except for the part where said fat starts actively kicking him in the balls.
A recent study says that obesity has yet another item to add to its already impressive gift basket of ailments. It looks like excess lardassitude puts teenage boys at a severe risk of growing up inadequate in the trouser department. Excess fat appears to decrease testosterone levels by up to 50 percent, which is bad news, because said hormone plays every part in keeping men manly: It helps them build muscle and grow their man-parts, and supports both the interest in sex and the ability to have it.
And of course it's not just teenagers. Regardless of your age, the fatter you are, the higher your chances of having low testosterone levels. Given that a whopping one-third of the American male population falls into the obese category, this opens doors to some pretty worrying math: Imagine that each and every one of those guys is running on just half a tank of manliness fuel. That would mean that obesity alone has single-handedly destroyed nearly 17 percent of America's testosterone.
"I just feel sometimes like you only see me as an arm to take blood pressure from, you know?"
Man, diabetes doesn't sound half-bad anymore.