Most men will experience erection problems at some point in their lives. These disorders are, therefore, far from exceptional and can result from multiple factors. Organic erectile dysfunction usually occurs from poor blood circulation. It also has a close link with ageing. However, almost 25% of men under the age of 40 also experience erectile dysfunction. In such cases, it is the psychological factors that play an essential role.
An erection occurs when your penis engorges with blood. For this, it must be stimulated so that the muscles at its base can relax and accommodate the blood flow in the corpora cavernosa of your penis. However, several factors can prevent the process and cause a soft erection. The elements are not limited to environmental and physiological, but most often is a result of your mental state. Some possible psychological factors that can affect your ability to get or maintain an erection are:
- Anxiety: The sexual encounter goes from being a moment of enjoyment and fun to a stressful moment. Therefore, stress occurs and partially inhibits the blood flow towards the penile vessels. Anxiety about performance is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction and can affect young people as well as adults facing a long period of celibacy.
- Self-esteem: When a man feels that he is not able to meet expectations, then it can be a drag on his self-esteem causing erection problems. The depression, difficulties in relationships or a poor self-image may be enough reasons to cause a decline in sexual performance. The expression of "not living up to it" can, uniquely, weigh in such scenarios. Nobody has their height in the crotch, but social stereotypes are internalized and affect.
- Stress: Stress at work or following a traumatic event can be the cause of your erectile dysfunction. Sometimes men who have suffered a heart attack fear that sexual arousal will cause another attack. This fear can manifest itself as helplessness when the problem is persistent, anxiety increases and can lead to fear of coital relationships, with the consequences it can have on health and relationships.
- Insecurity: Routine, emotional conflict or lack of communication can lead to less frequent intercourse, shorter foreplay and therefore block your erection
- Embarrassment: Often, people are not accustomed to talking about sex and feel shy when it comes to issues like erectile dysfunction. Due to self-esteem, men refrain from discussing it with others and do not receive the appropriate treatment, aggravating the problem and its symptoms further.
Erectile dysfunction goes beyond something physiological; we should not minimize its importance. Of all these consequences, the first we must address is the psychological ones. Shame is the beginning of the fish that bites its tail. By not solving the problem, its consequences increase.
In general, take this erection problem as the opportunity to rediscover your sexuality. You can, for example, lengthen the duration of your foreplay and vary the strokes. In any case, take your time and take advantage of this moment to be more complicit with your partner. And let your excitement build up gradually.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP