Erection problems whether formally diagnosed as Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or not can truly take a toll on a guy’s sex life and happiness.
ED can be caused by things like medication side effects, organic issues, or the result of a medical or psychological condition (e.g., vascular issues, depression or anxiety) that require diagnosis and treatment.
For this reason, it is always best to talk with your doctor. If you’re recovering from trauma or experiencing ongoing depression, anxiety, or other significant psychological issues, it’s also wise to also talk with a psychotherapist about these concerns.
The most common causes of erection problems relate to thought patterns, how we think and act with regard to sex and relating to others intimately. Other factors such as how we treat our bodies, also matter a lot.
Many issues that cause erection problems, including most of those that need to be treated medically or psychologically can also be helped by taking action and doing some simple things yourself.
5 Changes you can make to address erection problems
Often the changes are simple but can be revolutionary because most people don’t bother with them. Simple does not always mean easy, but change is possible.
With some effort and patience, these strategies can make a significant difference in your sexual pleasure and fulfillment.
1. Lifestyle changes
Your car won’t get you across town if you fill the gas tank with water. Same goes for your body. You need to put the right things into it if you want it to perform well.
If you smoke, better sex is a great reason to stop.
Too much alcohol or caffeine can make it harder for your liver to do its job, including keeping your estrogen levels low enough.
Diet and exercise matter too. Extra weight can cause your body to have too much estrogen which is linked to prostate cancer and problems with sexual functioning. Extra weight can also put you at risk for circulatory issues that might affect your erections.
Small changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle can have a substantial impact over time.
2. Stress management
Stress can take a toll in the bedroom in many ways. Aside from their direct emotional impact, snoring, sleep deprivation and chronic stress and exhaustion have been implicated in physical and hormonal issues that affect sexual function.
Besides getting enough sleep, the two best things you can do are to learn to relax and to plan enough uninterrupted time for sex.
There are many ways to relax such as through breathing, visualization, meditation, walking, yoga or tai chi. Methods like breathing and meditation that help you place your awareness on your body can have a side effect of increasing your capacity to feel physical and sexual pleasure.
Few people think that the local fast food joint makes the highest quality food in town. The same goes for sex. Sure, there’s a time and place for a “quickie.”
However, if you have problems getting or staying hard, it’s a good indication you would benefit from slowing down. Taking more time for sex and sensual touch will help you relax more fully and let go of performance anxiety.
If you can’t imagine filling up more than 30 minutes with sex, start by taking turns giving each other a 30 or 60 minute massage focused on relaxing the whole body. If you’re adventurous, don’t allow touch to the crotch, butt or mouth until the time is up. (You can adapt this for solo pleasuring, too.)
Then, see what happens. You’ll probably be happily surprised at the ability to enjoy
3. Learn to feel
We’ve all heard those phrases, “Be a big boy” and “Don’t cry.” In the world I grew up in it was OK for women to have emotions, but men and boys were not allowed to have them.
No one ever officially said that. It was just the message that was “caught” though never formally taught. And that’s what makes the message so dangerous to the ability to enjoy great sex.
The problem with this is that if you don’t learn to feel everything, then you can’t feel much of anything – including most of the sexual pleasure available to you.
Also, learn to pay attention, to notice what you feel both physically and emotionally as you go throughout your day. Don’t wait until sex to try to turn that ability on.
Our society is very mentally focused and so it can be challenging to shift from thinking to feeling during sex. The more you feel and learn to navigate everything you feel with conscious awareness, the less likely performance anxiety will get in your way.
If you feel and experience your body fully in your daily life, then over the longer term you’ll be happier in bed, and out – and more fun to be with, too.
4. Be present
Worry occurs when your mind is in the future. Regret occurs when you’re in the past.
Can you just be here right now?
That’s what makes sex electric – when someone is fully with you 100% rather than off in his mind somewhere else. (Or for solo sex, when you can be with yourself without mental distraction.)
Master this art of being right here in the present moment with someone, and you’ll be magnetic, even if you don’t have the best body or sharpest wit.
5. Assess your sexual motivation
There are a variety ways to experience sex. None of them are wrong, but if one is your default or only way of approaching sex, it can greatly limit your pleasure and even possibly mask other problems or issues with sex and intimacy.
- Sex as escape – such as from the stresses of life or from challenging issues in a relationship
- Sex as a performance – to show off or to be seen
- Sex as adventure – to break a taboo, or because guilt is an aphrodisiac, alone or to share this with a partner
- Sex for a result – to reach a goal, please your partner or achieve an outcome (such as penetration or ejaculation)
- Sex to fulfill a role – whether it’s being a good boyfriend or husband or to do your part in a kinky role play, you’re playing a part or role.
- Sex as a dance – to experience the ebb and flow of energy with yourself, or between two people
- Sex simply for pleasure – to be in an unrushed space sensually feeling everything
- Sex for knowing and being known – sex as an act of being seen or witnessed without judgment. And to offer that to your partner.
None of these motivations is bad or wrong. A sexual ninja is capable of all of them and consciously chooses a motivation or approach for each encounter.
If you’re experiencing erection problems (whether formally diagnosed as Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or not), one thing you can do is bring more variety to your sexual experiences and self-pleasuring, rather than just one or two of these.
Take some time to consider your capabilities for each and what your default mode is. Is that helping you to feel pleasure or possibly hindering you from it?
A sexual revolution is possible for you
There are many causes of erection problems and many other things you can do to address and improve your sexual experience, so I can’t promise you specific outcomes for your unique personal situation.
However, if you take action and put even one or two of these things into consistent practice it’s highly likely that you will be enjoying yourself more.
Doing nothing has predictable results – no changes. So, give these strategies and try and be curious and open to good things happening.