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Sexual difficulties for men

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Sexual problems for men and how to overcome them

It can feel embarrassing and even shameful to experience sexual difficulties as a man, but statistics show that its a very common experience affecting around 10% in the 20-40 age group and 40% in the over 60’s. It can be tempting to believe that you are the only person who is experiencing this whereas it is not the case and can be very comforting to know that many others share the same challenges as you do.

Sexual orientation is not really a factor that impacts on the possibility of sexual difficulty, problems can come about within men who are straight, gay, bisexual or transgender. Whilst sexual performance can feel an extremely private matter, most people have picked up on the strong messages in our culture that pressure men to be virile performers and always up for sex. Whilst we can laugh at these stereotypes, at some level the messages to go in and can be what gets in the way of men asking for help.

The common problems

Two of the most common difficulties are erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence and premature ejaculation. Impotence is where a man finds it hard or impossible to get and / or keep an erection. Most men will experience this at some point and it only becomes a problem if the man or their partner considers it so. The reasons behind this situation can be both psychological and physical, with classic scenario’s like first night nerves affecting how the man feels. Often as intimacy and trust builds these problems can go away but other stresses such as money worries, health concerns and even worries about getting an erection itself can all add up to pressure that impedes arousal.

Certain medical conditions are known for affecting erection. These include heart disease, diabetes, raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol and decreasing testosterone levels. Certain prescription drugs also have side affects that point to impotence, these include beta blockers, antidepressants, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medication. Alcohol and recreational drugs such as cocaine can also inhibit sexual arousal.

Talk it through with someone you trust

Steps that you can take to address any concerns that you have are firstly to talk to someone that you trust to explore what factors may be contributing to the situation.sexual problems for men See if you can identify ways in which you are stressed or putting pressure on yourself to perform well and if possible identify current stresses in your life and things that you can do to combat their effects. Physical exercise is great for reducing stress levels in your life and practices such as meditation or Chi Gong can calm your mind and body and settle anxieties held in your nervous system. (See article on making exercise a part of your life / relaxation techniques)

If the impotence may be more physically based you can talk the situation through with your doctor.  They may be able to change any medication that you are taking or suggest options to respond to lowering testosterone levels. If you are dealing with a lot of psychological stress you can also ask your GP what forms of support they can refer you to. Talking treatments are psychological services available from doctors in many areas of the country and there may be an option for psychosexual professional support.

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is where a man ejaculates or comes sooner than he wants to during sex. Again this is only a problem if it bothers him or his partner. Causes include being extremely excited! And having very sensitive nerves in the sexual area of the body that result in early and sudden orgasm. Many people find their way around this situation and the least pressure on the man to be different the better in terms of them navigating their way through. Suggestions from GP’s may include having sex again very soon after as second time around will often take longer to get to orgasm, the man or his partner can also squeeze the penis in a particular way to inhibit orgasm, you need to feel confident and comfortable to do this,  certain medication can slow ejaculation but it’s a big decision to take pills for that reason alone and overall techniques that help  both partners relax, communicate, find acceptance and humour in the situation may in the long run fare better.

 

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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