How to Overcome Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is common. In fact, occasionally failing to achieve an erection is perfectly normal in both casual sexual encounters and committed, loving relationships. Often, the problem is temporary and soon resolves itself. Sometimes, however, it persists, causing great distress and even destroying relationships.
The causes are numerous, and can be either physical or psychological. Physical causes can vary. Medication, for example, can cause numbness, delayed orgasm, and erectile dysfunction. Some anti-depressants have this effect, as do certain treatments for diabetes and hair loss. Surgery for prostate or bowel cancer can also affect erections. Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease have all been linked to erectile dysfunction as well.
The psychological and emotional causes are even more varied and often harder to treat. Sometimes they are unexpected. For example, men in the early stages of a relationship frequently suffer from it. They will complain that it makes no sense, since their new lover excites and arouses them. But the man may be afraid of disappointing her, so he’ll try too hard; this only leads to stress and anxiety. Pornography can also affect a man’s sexual life. Masturbation is natural and healthy, but combined with Internet pornography, it can cause problems. Men may find their pleasure is dulled and numbed when they begin to associate orgasm with sitting and staring at a screen rather than with the touch and presence of a real human being. Porn addiction has been discussed further in this ( post ).
Psychological and emotional causes can arise from even deeper sources. Childhood sexual abuse, for example, often leaves people with a sense of shame about the sexual act. In women, this can manifest as frigidity; in men, it may cause erectile dysfunction. Individuals raised by parents who treated sex as a shameful, dirty secret can remain affected for life. Sexual confusion is also more common than people suppose. Some men have repressed homosexual desires, and others find conventional sex has ceased to arouse them.
Before you can solve a problem, you first must understand the cause. Look at your life. Are you stressed about anything? Are you depressed? If you have tried to understand, but remain bewildered, you may want to consider seeing a psychosexual counselor. You needn’t visit them with your partner if this makes you uncomfortable, but you must tell your partner where you are going and explain why you’d rather go alone.
Talk to your partner. Communication is vital. Both you and your partner have a part to play in the recovery. Be honest. If you suspect pornography addiction or anxiety issues lay behind your erectile dysfunction, you must say so. The partner needs to respond in a positive way, to reassure their lover that penetration is not everything and that this temporary problem has not altered their feelings. Never blame your partner. The more tension and anxiety surround the sexual act, the worse the problem will become, so always avoid blame, tension, and impatience.
Pay attention to your physical health. Lose some weight and take up an exercise regimen. Smoking and drinking can affect erectile strength, so try reducing them to a minimum. Since anxiety and stress often lay behind erectile dysfunction, do all you can to relax. Mindfulness and yoga will calm the nervous system, as will a change in diet. Cut down on junk food and replace it with fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and herbs that are proven to increase erection quality and help over come erectile dysfunction.
Above all, remain optimistic. The more you focus on your problem, the worse it will become. Follow the aforementioned advice and have patience. In most cases, the problem soon resolves itself.
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