Whether you?re having trouble yourself or you?re ?asking for a friend? there may come a time in your life when you need to know why there?s less ?lead in a man?s pencil.?
Different men with erectile dysfunction have different causes for their troubles.
Here are 9 of the most common:
1. ?The Yips?
The Yips, as we learned in How I Met Your Mother is when a man gets so nervous about doing something well that he psychs himself out and the nerves make him do it poorly.
This might happen during the first time with somebody he really likes, or regularly as part of general anxiety.
What?s worse is when a first going soft episode leads to all kinds of worries that interfere the next time, and the next time?and the time after that.
It can become a downward spiral of poor sexual performance that?s difficult to escape.
Best Solution: Relax. Take time to make out, go down, and fool around before you ?slide into home.? Think about her. Not much is sexier than a woman having an orgasm, so give her one while waiting for the ?little guy? to come to attention.
2. Too Much Booze
Alcohol is fun, but it can mess up a man?s bedroom mojo in three different and important ways:
- In the short term, alcohol causes changes in circulation when consumed in excess. One impact of this is less blood going to the penis. Less blood equals weaker erections, since blood in the penile tissue is what makes it hard.
- In the medium term, most alcoholic beverages are estrogenic. That means they put more estrogen in the body, leading to a lower testosterone levels. Testosterone drives arousal and erections, so anything that messes with the balance also messes with erectile health.
- In the long term, damage to the liver from long-term chronic drinking has been proven in study after study to cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Too much drinking is bad for people, especially those with poor sexual health.
Best Solution: Moderation. Nobody?s saying to quit drinking altogether, but cutting out binge drinking entirely, and limiting evening drinks to just a couple times each week will help a lot.
3. Using SSRIs
These commonly prescribed antidepressants work by interfering with how your body interacts with hormones and neurotransmitters.
Though they sometimes may help when those neuro-chemicals are causing depression and anxiety, they have a dark side.
Hormones and neurotransmitters are also responsible for sexual arousal, in some cases the same hormones and neurotransmitters those SSRIs mess around with.
That?s why sexual dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of taking SSRIs.
Best Solution: Check With Your Doctor. Work out a plan for lifestyle and diet options that can reduce or eliminate your need for these big pharma moneymakers.
4. Getting Bored
This one?s simple, but very common in long-term relationships. The brain is the largest sex organ, and if it doesn?t get new input once in a while it can stop doing that part of its job.
Having too much of the same kind of sex, with the same person can lead to less powerful erections because the brain needs new stimuli to keep your head in the game.
Similarly, moving from a wild and crazy relationship into one with a more ?vanilla? partner can have the same results.
Best Solution: Add some novelty to the bedroom. Try new positions. Read some erotica. Get a hotel room. Use a feather (or the whole chicken, we won?t judge). Change it up.
5. She?s Too Wet and/or has Vaginal Atrophy
A penis needs friction to stay hard, and a vagina that?s too wet provides less friction. Sure, it?s good for the ego?but not as good as staying hard.
Similarly, as a woman ages, or in response to hormone imbalances, her vaginal wall becomes thinner and looser.
Hormone imbalances are often at the heart of these issues, but take a long time and a very uncomfortable conversation to correct. But that doesn?t mean there?s nothing to be done.
Best (Short-Term) Solutions: Keep a towel handy to collect excess moisture, and use positions that tighten up the vagina, like anything with the legs kept together. These both increase the friction and keep the penis happier.
6. Damaged Dopamine Receptors
Dopamine is the most important brain chemical when it comes to anything that feels good, including sexual arousal, erections, and orgasms.
If the brain?s ability to respond to dopamine gets compromised, erectile function can decrease.
Lots of things can damage dopamine receptors.
Here?s a list of the most common:
- Screen addiction (netflix)
- Excessive masturbation
- Hard-core pornography
- Substance abuse
- Excessive couch time
Best Solution: Find the items on the list above that have the biggest footprint in your life. Cut back or eliminate that cause. If you?re addicted to porn, kill that habit first by following the tips on this page.
Fill your free time with new and novel activities, such as learning new skills, taking up new hobbies, building income streams, establishing new relationships, etc.
7. Negative Relationship
Good relationships equal good sex. Bad relationships equal bad sex. Enough bad sex in a bad relationship can lead to a penis to mutiny.
This may seem obvious, but it?s important to mention because it?s extremely common. To fix his sex life, a man should look to fixing the relationship with the provider of his sex.
Best Solution: If in a bad relationship, get out of that relationship. If in a good relationship going through a bad patch, make fixing it a priority.
8. Medical Problems
Erectile health is complex, and relies on a lot of different parts of the body to work. If something is wrong with any of those body parts, it can impact erections.
Obesity, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure are three very common causes of erectile dysfunction.
This is because they impact circulatory health, which directly impacts a body?s physical ability to get hard.
Other illnesses, especially mental disorders, don?t directly impact erections?but put you on medications which can.
Best Solution: Get to the root of the problem?.If you?re obese, lose some weight, if you have high blood pressure, change your diet, if you have metabolic syndrome, re-read the last two sentence and start exercising, etc, etc?
9. Tobacco Addiction
Using tobacco damages the lining of the blood vessels, reduces blood flow and interferes with erections.
It also compromises nitric oxide production, making it harder for the body to begin the chemical processes responsible for getting hard.
It also interferes with your general cardiovascular health, your ability to feel sensations downstairs and also your ability to remain alive.
Death is not kind to erectile health.
Best Solution: Quit. Just quit smoking, man. It?s the 21st century. The cool kids aren?t doing that anymore.
Knowing what?s causing a problem is the first step in finding any kind of solution.
So when ?your friend? asks you about his erection woes, go through this list with him. Identify the most likely culprits, then find ways to solve them.