One of the most emasculating things that can happen to a man is to lose the ability to perform sexually. The inability to get or maintain an erection for sex is called erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence. The symptoms are easy to spot because, well, it’s your dick and it’s not working like it should be.
If you’re a guy you already know how bad it can affect you if you’re not able to perform. Even just losing or not being able to get an erection once with a partner can set off a whole chain reaction of doubt. And this doubt makes it more difficult to perform next time because you’re already questioning it.
ED is nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to a lot of guys and nearly everyone experiences a time when they can’t get hard or keep it up. But unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with or let go after it happens.
The purpose of this site is to help you overcome your ED. Whether it’s just the mental cycle from that time where you couldn’t get it up or a more serious, chronic issue we’re going to explore the reasons and solutions.
What Are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
The causes of ED are complex and aren’t always easy to diagnose. It can be a variety of physical and mental issues. But they symptoms are plain as day, you can’t get hard and if you do you can’t stay hard when you want to.
We’re going to break down the causes of ED into 3 different categories. This doesn’t mean that these are the only 3 causes or that a situation can’t involve more than one. But we’re going to do our best to cover it all below.
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Age and erectile dysfunction have a very strong link. ED can hit at any age but studies show that there is a sharp increase once men enter their 50s. But getting older isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your ability to get an erection. This is natural but you can take steps to keep your sex drive going long into your later years.
Doctors used to believe that ED was just a part of aging. But today urologists have shown that the majority of the cases of impotence in men over 50 have underlying health issues that contribute to the problem. You can think of it this way, as you age the healthy and unhealthy decisions you make in life start to catch up to you. You’re just more susceptible to ED as you age.
Testosterone production also slows as we age. Low testosterone can produce a decrease in sex drive and can also interfere with the ability to get and maintain erections.
There is evidence of a correlation between men’s age brackets and the prevalence of ED. For example, 40% of men in their 40s report having issues, 50% in their 50s and so on.
ED is On The Rise For All Ages
According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine ED rates have been going up in the past few decades, and not just for older men. While no man really wants to discuss the problem the studies are clear that it’s getting more common. One in four men seeking treatment for ED is under the age of 40.
Many of the causes for ED are the same as they have always been. Sometimes you have an off night and once you start thinking about it the problem only gets worse. This is generally temporary though and nothing new.
It’s believed that some of the biggest reasons for the increase are that people are just living a less active and unhealthy lifestyle. If you want to greatly reduce your chances of ED now and as you age you need to start taking care of yourself. Learn more about the biggest health factors that contribute to ED.
Health and erectile dysfunction have a very close relationship. An individual that takes care of himself is much less likely to suffer from ED than the individual that doesn’t.
Male arousal is complex. The process involves the brain, nerves, hormones, muscles and the blood vessels. Any of these factors being out of whack can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection.
What Are the Links Between Health and Erectile Dysfunction?
While there are countless health and lifestyle factors that can contribute to ED we’re going to break them down into a few categories to make it easier. While some factors are easy to call out, like smoking, for instance, the health factors are often interlinked and require big changes to make improvements.
Lifestyle covers a lot. As more and more men live a sedentary lifestyle (sitting at work, plopping down on the couch when you get home, etc.) our overall health is deteriorating. Not only are we not exercising but we’re also eating more junk and processed foods. All these things take a toll on your body and sexual function is linked to your overall health.
Once you add in other unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking (which can severely impact your ability to get erections) you have a recipe for ED. Many people also don’t get nearly enough sleep and this can help to contribute to ED as well. A lifetime of unhealthy choices takes time and dedication to reverse so many people just give up.
Disease & Medical Conditions
There are health factors that can cause ED. These may be related to unhealthy living as mentioned above or they can be totally unrelated. Here’s a list of some conditions that can lead to impotence:
- Heart disease & clogged blood vessels
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Metabolic syndrome
- Obesity (as mentioned in the previous section)
- Scarring inside the penis – Peyronie’s disease
- Surgeries that impact the pelvic region or the spinal cord
Testosterone is the main male hormone responsible for sex drive. Testosterone production is linked with age but it can be low even in young men. Low T can be a big factor in ED. Have your doctor check your testosterone levels if you are concerned that this may be a contributing factor.
Prescription medications can cause ED or at least contribute to it. This causes a difficult situation because no one wants to have to choose between taking their prescribed medication and being able to function sexually. Here is a list of types of medications that have been known to cause erectile issues:
- Antidepressants and Anti-Anxiety
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle Relaxants
- Prostate Cancer
Important: No one wants ED but never go off a prescribed medication to try to combat it. Consult with your doctor and let them know what’s going on. There may be an alternative or they may have advice to help lessen the negative effects. Don’t risk your health over your boner.
There is a definite link between stress and erectile dysfunction. Erectile function is dependent on many processes that play off of each other. For example, a heart condition can lead to stress that can lead to ED or stress can lead to unhealthy habits that lead to ED. There are countless combinations of things that can trigger it and they are all dependent on your physical and mental health.
How Are Stress and Erectile Dysfunction Linked?
Life is stressful and full of anxiety. Not everyone has a hard time coping but work, school, money, relationships and other obligations often wear us thin. We internalize it and it keeps building. Because of this, we are often neglecting our physical and mental health.
Stress and anxiety interfere with the natural processes needed to produce sexual arousal. For many people, you can actually identify times of high stress by that feeling of your stomach being in a knot. But there is lingering stress too, the kind that you think about over an over through the day. Will I be able to make rent this month? Is my partner unhappy in the relationship? How can I lose this weight?
Learning to cope with the inevitable stress of life is vital to maintaining a healthy sexual life. Therapy, yoga, and learning to identify major causes of stress and prioritize what’s really important are just some of the steps you can take to improve. And this will help more than just your ED, it will improve your life as a whole.
Performance Anxiety and ED
This is the leading cause of erectile problems in young men, generally those under 30 but it can happen at any age. Erections are a funny thing, the more you think about them the harder it is to get them.
Everyone has had a time where they couldn’t get hard. Maybe it was the first time with a new partner and your nerves got the best of you. It could be with someone you’ve been with for years. But at some point, it will happen.
When you get stuck in the mental cycle after a poor performance it can turn a one-time thing into an ongoing issue. Granted this is generally a temporary situation that will pass but the negative mental loop can make it hard to stop fixating and obsessing over getting hard. The anxiety triggers a flight or fight reaction and your body isn’t thinking about boners.
Sex is often very penis-focused, especially from the guys perspective. Like I have to be big and hard and ready to go at all times. But the truth is sex involves a lot more than just penetration. Taking a step back and just focusing on being intimate with your partner can help a lot. Even talking about it if you’re comfortable with doing so can help. If you’re with a one night stand you might just have to chalk it up as a loss but you can focus on relaxing for the next time you’re ready for action.
Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction
Porn is nothing new. It’s been around for a very long time. But where it used to be somewhat difficult to obtain, at least for those too embarrassed to be seen buying it, it’s now available anywhere and anytime. The Internet has made access to porn effortless and free. This has lead to a new form of ED called porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED).
What is Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
The most straightforward definition of PIED is someone that is able to get an maintain an erection with porn but is unable or has difficulty with an actual partner.
First, we want to start off by saying we’re not trying to villainize watching porn. For many people it’s a simple release, it’s something they enjoy and it doesn’t have negative effects on other parts of their life. There’s no harm here and it’s healthy.
But when a man prefers porn over actual interactions with his partner it’s damaging. Or when a man can’t perform without integrating porn, it’s a problem.
Do I Have Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
While this list is by no means exhaustive here are some things to look out for. If you find yourself answering yes to these questions you may have PIED.
- You’d prefer to watch porn than have sex with your partner.
- Sex with a partner isn’t as stimulating as watching porn.
- You need or want to incorporate porn into sex regularly (this isn’t always bad but needing it to perform is).
- You need to masturbate really roughly to be stimulated.
What Causes Porn-Induced ED?
Porn can be addicting. Many people can pick it up and put it right back down whenever. But for others, it’s not so easy. They develop an addiction and over time they begin to alter their perceptions of what sex is and to a degree alter brain processes that control arousal.
When we watch porn our brains are flooded with dopamine, which is a big component in feeling that rush. The more we watch the more closely related that release of dopamine and porn become interlinked. For some people, it gets to the point where regular sex just doesn’t create the same level of arousal.
Another element of porn that can create problems is that it often shows sex in ways that aren’t really practical in the real world. Real sex is rarely like what is seen on the screen. The crazy positions, multiple partners, and wild sets all create a bigger than life element to it. That and the fact that you can just fast forward to whatever part you like, rewind, etc. It’s just not real.
In real life, you have a partner that you’re hopefully thinking about as well. No such consideration needs to be made when watching porn.
Adding up all these elements and you can create a powerful addiction in some people.
What Is Death Grip?
Death grip is a term that you’ll hear a lot when PIED comes up. It’s pretty much what it sounds like, an extremely tight grip. It’s used to describe a way that some guys masturbate. The problem with it is that over time you become accustomed to this really tight grip.
Actual sex doesn’t provide the same level of pressure and usually isn’t nearly as fast as a guy strokes himself. So you end up needing this very rough stimulation to get and stay hard. This is especially bad when in combination with porn addiction.
What Can You Do About Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
Well, the obvious solution is to stop watching porn. Or at least make it a smaller part of your sex life.
If you look around the Internet for info on PIED you’ll probably come across NoFap. It’s a Reddit community and website that pushes for no masturbation. What you want to do is up to you but we don’t want to make it seem like you need to refrain from masturbation all together.
Here’s one thing you can try. Put your phone down and back away from the computer. Try to get aroused and masturbate without any visual stimulation. It’s probably going to be pretty tough at first, you haven’t had to rely on your imagination for a long time. It’s a good exercise though. You’ve likely heard the saying that the brain is the biggest sex organ in the body. It’s kind of cheesy but there is truth to it.
What Can I Do To Treat My Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction and because of this, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For “simple” situations like nerves or just being hung up on losing your erection that one time you can likely get past it yourself or with a bit of self-help. But there are many cases that require treatment from your doctor, medication, the help of a home ED treatment program or supplements.
We’re going to cover some of the most effective home remedies and techniques that you can use to get your manhood back on track.
Pills & Supplements
Pretty much everyone is familiar with Viagra (which is prescription only) now. But there are other ways to treat ED with natural, non-prescription supplements for cases that are not as severe.
ED Treatment Programs
There are very effective programs out there that you can do on your own. They are often a combination of both mental and physical exercises, diet and potentially supplements. While it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor erectile dysfunction is often treatable without the need for prescription drugs.
There are countless ED “solutions” being sold online, from pills to devices to self-help programs. The problem is most of them have little to no impact and you’re left in the same spot with less money.
Some are outright scams while others address only parts of the problem. In the end, if you still can’t perform to your max potential you’ll still be looking for another solution.
The best solution we’ve found is not a one-size-fits-all pill or exercise, it’s a custom tailored plan that can only be found with individualized coaching. I know, coaching for my dick? It sounds ridiculous, but it works. It’s a combination of nutrition, exercises and tracking your progress – much like a personalized training regiment for the rest of your body just for your dick.
It sounds expensive but it’s really not, and it’s worth it for what you’ll gain. We could keep going on but it’s probably better if you just check out meCoach yourself.
Premature Ejaculation – It’s Over Before It Started
So maybe you have no trouble getting it up but you’re what they call a “two pump chump”. Actually, I don’t know if anyone says this anymore but you get the idea. You’re just starting to get intimate, you’re finally about to get inside and as soon as you do you realize you’re about to cum. This is just plain disappointing for everyone involved.