Is the “love muscle” really a muscle? There is some controversy over the correct answer to this question. Actually, people who say that the penis is a muscle and those who say that it’s not are both correct – to an extent. Learning the facts about male anatomy, and particularly the penis muscle, will help men avoid common misconceptions, and it will also help them when it comes to maintaining optimum penis health. Smooth Muscle vs. Skeletal Muscle Those who say that the penis is not a muscle are correct in the sense that the organ does not contain skeletal muscle (except for at the base), as do the biceps and quadriceps, for instance. Skeletal muscles attach to bones, controlling movement usually through voluntary contraction. These muscles get bigger and stronger when they are placed under the stress of exercise. Those who say that the penis is a muscle are correct in the sense that about half of it is made up of smooth muscle. Smooth muscle tissues are found throughout the body in blood vessels, internal organs and the penis. In the male organ, there are two kinds of smooth muscle: the corpora cavernosa (two chambers that fill with blood during an erection) and the corpus spongiosum between them through which the urethra runs. Smooth muscle contracts and relaxes involuntarily, which is why you can’t simply will an erection. Erections occur when the smooth muscle tissue within the penis relaxes, allowing the member to engorge with blood. Maintaining erectile function, then, requires healthy smooth muscle in the penis. What is the best way to support these muscles? Although pumping the penis regularly is important to the organ’s health, it won’t make it stronger (or bigger, for that matter,) in the same way that lifting weights strengthens the skeletal muscles. Erections are all about healthy blood flow, which requires that the smooth muscles are able to fully relax. The following two tips will help men show their penis muscles some love. Manage Stress When a person experiences emotional stress such as anxiety, his muscles tend to tense up. This is true both for skeletal and smooth muscle. Since proper penile blood flow involves the relaxation of smooth muscle, chronic stress can interfere on a physical level with erectile function. Men can manage stress in a number of ways. Relaxation training techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing and guided imagery, can be immensely useful for those preferring a self-help approach. Psychotherapy can also do wonders for men’s emotional, and therefore physical, well-being. Get Plenty of Nitric Oxide Nitric oxide is a chemical in the body that relaxes smooth muscle to allow for proper blood flow. A number of factors can cause a deficiency in nitric oxide, including: - Sedentary lifestyle - Smoking - Age - Fatty diet - Lack of proper nutrition When levels of this chemical are low, the smooth muscle in the penis can’t fully relax, and therefore, erectile health suffers. Aside from eliminating activities that reduce levels of nitric oxide in the body, men can work to increase levels by: - Eating foods that promote higher nitric oxide levels, such as kale, spinach, beets, chard and berries - Exercising - Practicing relaxation techniques So is the penis a muscle? Answer: yes and no. Men can support the proper function of smooth muscle tissue by managing stress levels, eliminating behaviors that lower levels of nitric oxide in the body and increasing those that boost the chemical. Men may supplement their efforts to boost nitric oxide content and promote overall male heath by using a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains L-arginine, an amino acid involved in nitric oxide production. The best creams will also contain vitamins and minerals to support healthy nerve function. Look for natural moisturizers in a cream, such as Shea butter and vitamin E, for smooth, supple penile skin.