Erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as ED, is a problem that can be caused by a multitude of reasons, both physical and mental. With physical causes, we can very often see the root of the problem; doctors will be able to determine from bloodwork, for example, whether low testosterone is causing erectile dysfunction, and then look to start a targeted program of treatment to address the condition. However, with psychological issues, it is often harder to pinpoint the cause, and just as difficult, if not more so, to start addressing it and fighting it. That said, ED is often down to a few distinct and commonly occurring reasons.
This is perhaps the most persistent reason for erectile dysfunction, and it is a twofold issue. In the more immediate sense, if we are stressed out or anxious, we often find ourselves unable to think about anything else other than the problem itself. For instance, someone worrying about not being able to pay the rent may think solely about that, which means that when it comes to sex, they are not focused on the task, enjoying it less, and also making it less enjoyable for their partner. However, stress and anxiety also contribute to tiredness and eventually the risk of hormonal imbalance, with reduced testosterone being a common complaint amongst stressed men. And what do we need to be able to get in the mood and maintain an erection? You guessed it – Testosterone. Ask anyone about the root cause of their erectile dysfunction, and a large percentage will cite stress and anxiety.
Tiredness can also contribute to ED, and, like stress, is a two-pronged problem. Sex is harder to engage in and maintain when we are tired, and it will often feel like a chore. So when it comes time to enjoy lovemaking, maintaining an erection can often be difficult as we just want to sleep. But in the longer term, tiredness can cause a multitude of medical problems, such as stress, heart trouble, and low testosterone. If we spot a pattern of repeatedly feeling too tired to have sex, or too tired to get an erection, it can thankfully be tackled early on.
While we have all heard the jokes about drunk people having an issue with erections, the joke is nevertheless rooted in fact. Having a few drinks may reduce inhibitions and get people more ‘in the mood’, but too much alcohol can reduce the ability to obtain and keep an erection. So it is a vicious circle; the drink gets us ready for the task, but then we cannot perform. If this is happening, the answer is simple; reduce or remove alcohol from the equation altogether.
A common root cause of erectile dysfunction is that, psychologically, many men see sex as a task, or something that their partners are not enjoying as much, simply because it has become the same old routine. However, addressing this and telling our partners that we want to change things around is a delicate issue, and so this small problem suddenly becomes a massive barrier to getting an erection and enjoying sex. The good news, however, is that if we see this psychological issue, the chances are that erectile dysfunction is not down to anything else other than boredom and predictability.
Expectations From Partners
This is perhaps something that is the most deserving of a full and frank discussion between partners. Often, the man will feel unable to perform because of the expectations placed upon him by a partner, leading to performance anxiety which affects up to 25% of men. Perhaps the partner expects a long, drawn-out sexual experience, or simply has more stamina, and as a result, the male cannot get or maintain an erection.
Although psychological erectile dysfunction can often be treated well with a variety of prescription medications, it’s still essential to discover the root cause. Whatever the reason, the good news is that if it’s psychological, it’s reversible.