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Problems In The Bedroom

By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on August 21, 2013 in Other

It is easy to imagine that most people are sexually confident, and why wouldn’t they be? We often assume that our friends, colleagues and other people we know are doing just fine when it comes to fornication. When we look at the bravado of the stereotypical Aussie male, we hear boastful dialogue about their prowess, ability and durability.

But many of the men I see come to me because they are experiencing erectile dysfunction problems. The men, who vary in age, had previously taken their ability to perform in the bedroom for granted and have trouble understanding why this is happening to them now.

A common cause of erectile dysfunction in young men is performance anxiety. They experience great fear every time they engage in sexual intercourse, especially if it is with a new partner. They terrify themselves with thoughts of: Will I get hard enough? Will I keep it up? How long will I last? Will she tell her friends?

These are common performance anxiety thoughts, but they can cause men to lose their erections immediately. This, in turn, exacerbates their anxiety and leads to troublesome feelings of sadness, disappointment, guilt and shame.

The more this happens, the more these men lose their confidence. They may start avoiding sex or become so traumatised they stop having sex all together. This cycle often continues until it is addressed. To break the cycle, they first need to admit there is a problem.

Sharing the problem with their partner is a good start and it is helpful when the partner is understanding and supportive. She should tell him to relax, take his time and let things happen naturally. Unfortunately some women can be cruel, often without realising how hurtful it is, telling their partners, for example, how well their former lovers performed. This will only compound the problem.

If there are no physical problems, the issue can be successfully treated with counselling, practical sexual advice and reassurance.
Men need to know that occasional sexual difficulties are normal and can happen to any guy, young or old. Research shows that most healthy men occasionally experience erectile dysfunction or failure.

However, young men need to be aware that how they treat their health now can affect their sexual performance in the future. For instance, there is a strong link between smoking and erectile dysfunction due to limited blood flow.

In Australia there is no mention of impotence in anti-smoking advertisements so most men are not aware of the sexual damage it can cause. Smoking causes hardening of the arteries, and delicate penile arteries can be affected and damaged. Some research suggests that smoking also affects testosterone levels and reduces the volume of ejaculate, lowering sperm counts and fertility.

There are other important health issues contributing to erectile dysfunction. These include stress, depression and anxiety, obesity, heavy drinking, party drugs and some prescription drugs.