Most of us — men and women included — are led to believe that men are always ready for sex. That they can jump into the sack at a moment’s notice, or sustain an erection to infinity and beyond.
In reality, most men experience some kind of performance problem at some point or another in their life. Whether it’s a stubbornly flaccid member or a penis that rises and falls, erectile dysfunction (ED) is pretty normal. So normal, in fact, that an estimated 30 million American men suffer from it, according to figures from the National Institutes of Health.
While ED does tend to befall older men more often, it can also happen to men in their 20s and 30s, too. The crucial difference is that for older men who can’t get it up, physical health problems are most often to blame, while for younger men, the problem is more likely to be psychological.
If you’re a younger man who’s experienced ED, chances are that one of the following psychological issues is to blame.
1. Performance Anxiety
If a sexual opportunity has you feeling the pressure to perform, your nerves can turn on you, causing you to not perform at all. For many younger men, this problem is made worse by other situational factors, such as having too much to drink or having sex with someone for the first time. The more you worry, the harder it is to get and sustain ab erection. Recognizing this cycle and trying to relax in sexual situations is crucial — sex therapy can help, if necessary.
2. Condom Woes
For many men, the mere act of having to put on a condom can contribute to erectile dysfunction. One study suggested that as much as 25 percent of men have lost an erection while trying to get that condom on. It only has to happen once to trigger a cycle of anxiety. Break out of it by asking your partner to keep up the sexual stimulation come condom time, or even put the condom on for you.
3. The Blues
Depression can have a profound dampening effect on libido, especially among young men. This general lack of desire can lead to downright disinterest in sex, affecting your ability to get it up. Antidepressants aren’t exactly helpful, here — they may also contribute to a lack of libido.
4. Booze and Recreational Drugs
It’s a well-known fact that alcohol makes it harder to go from flaccid to hard, but that doesn’t mean that it’s exactly easy to avoid. It’s the default social lubricant — paradoxically making it much easier for you to talk to women, whether you’re on a date or at the club. Unfortunately, avoiding technical issues as the night goes on means also ensuring you drink in moderation. Same goes for recreational drugs like cocaine, Oxycontin, and even marijuana.
If you feel like you’re tired all the time, your sex drive could take a hit. Whether it’s insomnia or an outrageous work or school schedule which leaves you with few hours to snooze, you may find yourself unable to sustain an erection as a result. Taking care of your sleep problem will likely clear up your impotence problem.
[Image via Getty]