03/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Lose the Weight, Have Better Sex

My latest book is titled Dr. Ruth's Top Ten Secrets for Great Sex (with Pierre A. Lehu, Jossey-Bass, 2009). The publishers timed it to come out around Valentine's Day. All this is great marketing, but you know what? There really aren't any secrets. I'm not saying that if people read this book they won't learn ways of improving their sex life. When you've been a practicing sex therapist for many years and have answered people's questions in all sorts of media for decades, you do know what to tell people when it comes to improving their sex life. But the problem is that no matter how many times you tell them, they don't always listen. This book, and all the other ones that I've written and other experts have written don't really have much in the way of new scientific advancements to reveal, but rather are filled with the same advice we've been repeating endlessly. But if people don't accept that advice, then it's no secret that many people are going to have a lousy sex life.

But since I want everyone to have terrific sex, I keep publishing books in the hopes that I'll reach some people and get them to pay attention. Because the one secret there to having great sex is to pay attention to your sex life. If you and your partner have excellent communications and put some energy and effort into having sex, and make dates to have sex, and turn off the TV so that you have time to have sex, then you'll have great sex. But if you think that great sex is going to tap you on the shoulder and say "Here I am," then you're going to have a very sad sex life.

I do have one other secret to reveal, that's not even in the book because the research wasn't done yet when I wrote it. If you're an overweight male and you want to have great sex, then you must start losing that excess weight immediately.

Everyone has seen those TV commercials where they show the arteries leading to the heart filling up with plaque cells from too much cholesterol. But plaque doesn't gather only in that one set of arteries. If it's there, it's everywhere, including the arteries leading to the penis. Do you know what makes a man's penis stand erect? It's blood. And if a man's arteries are blocked, then there won't be enough blood flowing into his penis to cause an erection, or at least not a very hard one. So if a man with high cholesterol does something about it, while improving his physique, he'll also be improving his sex life.

And there's another reason why fat men should lose weight. Fat cells make estrogen, even in men. So if a man has too many fat cells, he's going to have a lot of estrogen, the female sex hormone, floating around in his blood stream. And the overall effect is going to be to lower his libido, his desire for sex.

And, did you know that in a normal man, one third of his penis is below his skin? That's right, the penis doesn't start where you can see it, but below the skin. Now I said one third is below the surface, but in fat men, that percentage increases. So fat men appear to have smaller penis because more of their penis is buried underneath all that excess flesh.

So now I've given every man who needs to lose some weight three more reasons to begin to diet and exercise more: he'll have an easier time having erections, his sex drive will increase and his penis will grow. If that's not enough incentive, then I don't know what is.