Why Guys Won’t Go to the Doctor Unless Their Penis Is Broken, and Other Truths About Men’s Health

Becoming a healthier guy doesn’t need to be complicated, according to Jesse Mills. A practicing urologist, health specialist for the Lakers and the Dodgers, and director of the Men’s Clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles, Mills is the author of the new book A Field Guide to Men’s Health: Eat Right, Stay Fit, Sleep Well, and Have Great Sex—Forever. His prescription is right there in the subtitle, and is the major theme of the entire text, dressed up in a little jock-y braggadocio: Eat less, move more, and sleep better. Do these three things, my fellow kings, if you want your bodies—and your dicks—to feel incredible.

“These are the pillars of all health, and it’s also what I think men have control over,” says Mills, who’s 50.

Admittedly, it sounds a bit straightforward, like the recycled advice of your high school gym teacher. Yet the slim guide that Mills has put together—literally, the book is 238 pages and pamphlet-width—is a stark staredown with the modern man. We get the sense that a major course correction in overall physiological fitness is required, especially when compared to previous generations of guys, who, he says, exercised more, ate better, and experienced erectile dysfunction at a lower rate.

Our motivation for fixing it is where Mills comes in. The book’s chapters are slickly organized by themes—eat, move, and sex are three of the seven—so that a guy can get the lowdown based on where he thinks he needs to improve. What’s more, Mills’s station as a urologist means he can make a particularly potent case for why men should care. 

“I’m seeing guys walk in off the street because they got a prescription for Viagra, but it wasn’t enough for them,” Mills says. “They’re saying, ‘What do I do now?’ So that’s it: I bring guys into the doctor’s office to treat their ED, but I help them to take much more empowerment over their life and their health.”

It’s not all our fault, truly. What to do, what to eat, and what to avoid is a confusing mess, a wilderness that combines various answers and bro-science, packaged into self-help guides and listicles.

“Some of it is good; some of it is just maddening,” says Mills. “I hit my head against a wall every time I get some clickbait about why I should be doing this exercise, or why I should be intermittent fasting, or why I should just be eating a steak a day and nothing else.” (Guilty!)

But it is the unrelenting truth that men seem to just suck at taking care of ourselves. We avoid doctors’ visits like the plague. We don’t get annual physicals. We visit the doctor only when we think there’s something seriously wrong with us. Enter the field guide, which is geared toward the guy who’s interested in consistent, everyday health. You know: good eating, good exercise, and good sleep.

Dr. Mills, show us the error of our ways.


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