My only requirement for an apartment in New York City was an east facing window in the bedroom, preferably on the top floor of a building. I didn’t care about anything else — neighborhood, location, amenities or lack thereof — because and east facing window is by far the most important thing to me. Why? Because I sit naked in the sun each morning.
By profession, I’m a journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time sitting at a laptop. This is by far the most unhealthy thing that I do … but professions tend to not be very healthy things to begin with. To make amends with my body for hours each day of sitting stationary, I try to do so in direct sunlight with the window open.
Sunlight boosts testosterone, synthesizes vitamin D, improves metabolism, bolsters mitochondrial function, limits the chances of multiple diseases, and basically makes you physically and mentally your best.
Humans have evolved in the sun, and even though we have things like solid roofs and walls, air conditioning and heat, sunscreen, smartphones, and Netflix we’re still the same dumb biological entities we’ve always were … and still need sunlight.
Sunlight and testosterone
Testosterone is essential for both male and female health. This is especially true when it comes to sex, as testosterone is a primary driver of libido in both sexes. If you’re a male and are into the swinging lifestyle, having adequate T levels is especially vital, as it plays a role in your ability to perform, the size of your testes, degree of musculature, metabolism, and overall physical appearance.
What’s more, the average testosterone levels in men has been generationally plummeting. In a study by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, it was found that average testosterone levels are declining at a whopping 1% per year — so a 30-year-old in 2020 has 10% less T than a 30-year-old did in 2010. While a study by the American Urological Association found that testosterone levels of the average American male dropped 25% between 1999 and 2016 alone. Men are also weaker now than they were in the recent past, as a study in the Journal of Hand Therapy showed a 16% reduction in grip strength among 20- to 34-year-old men between 1985 and 2016.
This is all to say, there is something going on in our lifestyle, diet, and environment that’s sapping the testosterone right out of us. So we need to take our T where we can get it, and the sun is a free source of it, sitting right there in the sky for 8 to 12 hours everyday.
Sunlight is well-known to increase testosterone levels in humans. A 2021 study demonstrated the effect of UVB rays on our hormones, showing that men who got 20-30 minutes of sun a few times a week had significantly higher T:
“In an 2021 Instagram post about the study, Huberman posted, “It appears the skin is acting as a hormone-promoting organ to exert these effects.” Huberman wrote. “[The] p53 [gene] in keratinocyte skin cells can activate the pituitary gland and hypothalamus if the skin is exposed to ample sunlight (UV-B light in particular…). That in turn, causes increases in LH/FSH that trigger testosterone, estradiol and progesterone.
In other words: When your skin is exposed to the sun, skin cells called keratinocytes (common skin cells) trigger the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland releases follicle stimulating hormone (FHS) and luteinizing hormone (LH), the latter of which stimulates testosterone production in the testes.””
Meanwhile, a study on published in Cell Reports showed that UVB exposure on mice induced enhanced sexual responsiveness, attractiveness in females, more male-female interactions, increased examples of romantic passion, and boosted T levels in the males.
They then wanted to find out if these findings were consistent in humans. It turned out they were: when exposed to sunlight, both men and women experienced a significant increase in testosterone, other sex hormones, and reported more passionate desires.
As we all know, sunlight drives the production of vitamin D in the skin. But did you also know that vitamin D boosts testosterone?
In 2015, the American Urological Association discovered that vitamin D and testosterone are inseparably linked. When vitamin D is processed by the liver it pings the testes to release more free testosterone. In multiple studies, it has been shown that dudes with subpar testosterone levels usually always have subpar vitamin D, and dudes with adequate testosterone have adequate vitamin D.
I’m not sure if I need to write any more than that …
The other benefits of sunlight
Besides testosterone, there are other sexual benefits of sunlight. There is a direct link between exposure to the sun and lower blood pressure, as well as less morbidity from cardiovascular problems: “They suggest that exposure to sunlight triggers the skin to release stores of nitrogen oxides, which cause arteries to dilate, lowering blood pressure, and may reduce the impact of metabolic syndrome.”
Good cardiovascular health is essential for good sexual health, especially for men.
And then there’s the fact that sun exposure improves metabolism, which is a big part of looking fit … and looking fit is a big part of attracting mates.
How much sunlight?
I’m not the kind of guy who goes around timing his sun exposure, weighing his food, and counting his steps. But to ballpark it, I generally sit in the morning sun for one to three hours each day, turning myself like a rotisserie chicken, while I write on my laptop. But you actually don’t need as much sun as this, as many people say that 20-30 minutes of direct sunlight each day will do it.
So if you don’t live a lifestyle where you work and recreate outside each day, make sure you find a sunny window, open it, strip down, hang out for a while, and boost your sex hormones a cheap, easy, and natural way.