A man with impotence has either a problem getting an erection or difficulty maintaining one. This usually interferes with sexual activity.
Impotence can happen suddenly or gradually. Some men slowly lose the firmness of their erections or how long the erections last.
In other men, especially those whose impotence is largely caused by psychological factors, the problem may occur unpredictably. It can improve at any time.
Men with impotence may continue to have normal orgasm and ejaculation without a full erection.
LOSS OF ERECTION
Let’s face it: Our bodies don’t always cooperate with us. For men whose erections disappear at an inopportune time, the stress and embarrassment can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Men may have trouble getting or maintaining an erection for a variety of reasons ranging from medical side effects to stress and anxiety.
Research suggests that erectile issues may be a sign of a medical condition, so if you are experiencing repeated erection loss, check in with your doctor to rule out any medical issues.
Some of the medical conditions that can interfere with erection include pelvic surgery, spinal cord injury, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hardening of the arteries, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, as well as a number of medications. Should your erection loss be a result of one of these conditions, options for medically supervised treatment might include a change to your medications, oral prescriptions, penis pumps, injections, implants, or hormone therapy.
Many men immediately seek pills in response to erectile issues, but these medications are not a solution to issues of desire, intimacy, stress induced dysfunction, and performance pressure.
If you receive a clean bill of health from your doctor and you find that you still lose your erection, fret not! Every man will experience erection loss at some point in time, so rest assured that you are not alone. If you are in the middle of sex play when your erection disappears, don’t stop what you’re doing. You may have to make adjustments, change the pace, or try a new position, but keep doing what feels good for you.
Enjoying sex play, connection, and intimate affection can boost your mood and even restore blood flow to your genital region.
Lifestyle factors impact sexual response, so practical changes can have an impact on how your penis responds during sex play. Smoking and diabetes can restrict blood flow to the penis, as can carrying excess weight in your abdominal area. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy dose of rest and relaxation can work wonders for your erections and sex life in general.
If you are preoccupied with the stress of work, it is not uncommon for intrusive thoughts to sabotage even the hottest of sex sessions. And while you likely cannot eliminate work stress entirely, you may be able to reduce the pesky mind clutter through relaxation exercises, meditation, exercise, or yoga. If you are partnered, talk to your lover about your concerns and invite her to be a part of the solution.
Sometimes your erection can be elusive because of performance pressure. If this is the case, the solution is to reduce or remove the pressure. It may be easier said than done, but some of the deep breathing techniques may help to get you started. Visualization techniques and fantasizing may help to get your head into the game and stay focused on the pleasure of sex as opposed to the pressure of performing. Fantasizing about another lover or sexual scenario is not an act of betrayal, and the escapism of fantasy may be just what you need to detach from the pressure of real life.
In the meantime, take advantage of the opportunity to explore other sexual options and connect with yourself and your lover in new ways. You may not believe it now, but many men say that changes in their erectile response were actually a blessing, as it forced them to be more experimental in the bedroom and start talking openly with their lovers about their sexual needs and emotions.
If your lover loses his erection, rest assured that it has nothing to do with you. It’s not your body, your touch, or your technique that is keeping him from getting it up. Be supportive and let him know that it’s no big deal. Don’t overdo it, but do tell him that it’s okay and that it’s perfectly normal. Because it really is! And then kindly demand that he continue to focus on your mutual pleasure, as sex doesn’t begin and end with his penis. Show him how to push your buttons with his hands, lips, and tongue and show lots of appreciation.
Remember that you have probably dealt with similar issues yourself, as you can likely recall situations in which your arousal and desire were high but your body’ response (e.g., lubrication and orgasm) did not reflect these levels. Share your thoughts and be sensitive to the fact that this is likely a very delicate issue.
The major causes of Erection Loss include:
- Vascular (blood vessel) disease — Erections happen when blood collects in the shaft of the penis. Vascular disease can limit the amount of blood flowing to or staying in the penis. Both can result in problems with erections.
- Vascular disease is the most common medical cause of impotence.
- Nerve damage — Nerves must be working normally for a man to get and keep an erection. Nerves can be damaged by diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate surgery or damage to the spinal cord.
- Psychological factors — Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, guilt or fear can sometimes cause sexual problems. At one time, these factors were thought to be the major cause of impotence. Doctors now know that physical factors cause impotence in most men with the problem. However, embarrassment or "performance anxiety" can make a physical problem worse.
- Medications — Many medications cause problems with sexual function. These include drugs for high blood pressure, depression, heart disease and prostate cancer.
- Hormonal problems — Abnormal levels of certain hormones can interfere with erections and sex drive. Hormonal problems, such as a low testosterone level, are an uncommon cause of impotence.
How does alcohol affect sex and erections?
Does it enhance or inhibit sex? The answer is that it does both. Having a drink or two can relieve stress and anxiety and make it easier to cold start a conversation. In this sense it can enhance sex drive and motivation, basically by peeling away the everyday stress that keeps the libido under wraps. And as alcohol weakens your conversation filters, you may end up saying things that you really feel without even realizing it.
But alcohol is also a depressant and a sedative and acts like an anesthetic. It numbs things up pretty good. Before the development of the first true anesthesia in 1846 at Massachusetts General Hospital, surgeons routinely relied on alcohol and bullet-biting to carry out operations. Drink enough of it and alcohol can numb sensation to the penis to the point that it can be hard to get and maintain an erection. Not only that, orgasm is harder to reach and is often blunted.
Literally over the same couple of hours, alcohol can both boost sexual motivation and flatten your performance. It’s a fine line to walk. And, of course, sexual performance isn’t the only thing to consider as you’re deciding whether or not to order a cocktail. If you have trouble controlling your consumption or if you’re going to be driving, consider skipping the liquid courage and take heart knowing that your erection and sex will be the better for it.
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