Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
Major ED Issues...
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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Major ED Issues...

So, here's my story in a nutshell. I'm 24, been masturbating since I was 16. Nowadays, I have a lot of trouble maintaining an erection for more than a few minutes, and I ejaculate very fast. Keeping it hard enough just to get penetration is a big issue. Semen leakage plays a part in this too, as within a few seconds of getting hard, a little bit drips out. I've been doing kegel exercies, but I don't think that's going to solve the problem. I've read online that a weak parasympathetic muscle contributes to this (not getting hard enough or for long enough/premature ejaculation), and I'm wondering if anyone can provide any legitimate thoughts as to how to fix this (besides not masturbating)?
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Hi Drew.

Welcome to your 20’s! Erections go up and down. You’ll find this happening all your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex, but you have to let go of worrying about performance.

Do you experience erections upon awakening? I’m being serious, because it’s important to know if you’re experiencing erections at times other than when you’re with a partner (e.g., morning erections). If you ARE, this would indicate that there aren’t any physical causes and that there’s something emotional/psychological contributing to your concern (performance anxiety, etc.). If you AREN’T having any erections at all, you should consult a urologist to determine whether something is impeding blood flow to your penis.

Much of your problem is probably due to your attitude. Once your penis didn't act as you expected, you probably started feeling anxious and judging yourself, which can be a vicious circle. The more you worry about erections, the more your penis won’t cooperate. In fact, it can be downright rebellious!  Many men feel that if their erection goes down even a tiny bit, there’s something wrong with them. Where does this come from?

Men receive so many messages that sex is about “performance” and pleasing a partner, rather than just enjoying the pleasure of it. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. By being so goal-oriented, some men never get to feel the simple pleasures of touch, of kissing, of soft skin on skin. And, of course, if you can allow yourself to let go of goals and just enjoy, guess what? That erection will come right back. So don’t focus so much on penis-vagina (p-v) sex as the “end-all, be-all” of sex, but rather just let yourself relax and enjoy whatever occurs. And don’t have p-v sex until you’re ready.

The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure. Ask yourself whether you have any conflicts about being sexual—any old messages that might be lurking in your subconscious.

There are many other reasons why you may be inhibited with your partner. I’m going to assume that when you say “sex,” you mean penis-vagina sex (p-v).  This could be due to anxiety—either about sex in general, or about some aspect of your relationship with her. Since you’re fine with either manual or oral stimulation, perhaps the intimacy of p-v is making you uncomfortable? Why would that be? What does it represent to you—and to your partner? These are questions to ask yourself.  Or it might just be that some aspect of p-v creates anxiety

Or perhaps you’re not receiving enough stimulation during p-v, or you might be starting p-v before you’re turned on enough. In addition, some men find that certain condoms limit sensation, and, of course, this can intensify with each experience, leading to more anxiety. I’m also wondering how aroused you are by your partner. You could be bored, or perhaps some aspect of your relationship isn’t satisfying.

One more myth to bust: self-pleasuring does not contribute to erection concerns. In fact, the more you know about your own sexual response, the better. However, if you have an orgasm during self-pleasuring just prior to being sexual with a partner, your body may need a bit of time to build up sexual tension again.

And while we’re at it, let’s put to rest another myth: your penis isn’t “leaking.” It’s behaving exactly as your body is telling it to do. When post-pubescent (adult) men become sexually aroused, a gland called the Cowper’s Gland, secretes a milky fluid, also known as "pre-come." Some men produce large amounts of this fluid, while others produce very little. Everyone is different. This fluid clears the urethra of uric acid prior to ejaculation. Without this fluid, many of the sperm carried in semen would be killed or damaged by the acid contained in urine. So when you get turned on, that’s what happens: Cowper’s Gland fluid comes out the end of your penis. If you’re producing lots of fluid, you might want to be sure to carry some tissues for wiping up.

In addition to examining the above issues, I also highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available online, both used and in paperback and is an invaluable resource. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
3 Comments
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In regards to morning erections, I wake up and once in awhile its a little erect, but not fully and not everyday. Should I try to get to a urologist?

Also, I understand "pre-come" is normal, but within a few seconds of getting erect? I don't think thats normal...

Any other suggestions?
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hi Drew.

I'd recommend an exam by a urologist in order to rule out any physiological factors. And I caution you to remember that there is a wide diversity in Cowper's Gland production. What you consider an early release may simply be your body's usual response and not an indicator of any problem. Again, you might want to check this out with a urologist.

Please remember that there are many people, especially on the Internet, who are peddling simple solutions to complex problems, most unsupported by data. Be a good consumer and educate yourself. I recommend you begin with Dr. Zilbergeld's book, which is recognized as a premier resource on male sexuality. Dr. J
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Dr. J:

I just wanted to let you know that the answers that you gave on this post, and others on a similar topic, have been incredibly valuable to me, and I'm sure to many others.  I very much appreciate how you explain the issues involved, and how you try to remind guys in these situations that this is supposed to be fun, not stressful!  

I also appreciate your understanding of the pressure that guys put themselves under to "perform", and how society reinforces the foolish idea that a "normal" guy is ready for sex on a moments notice.

I hope that your advice has been of help to nydrew822, because I know it has been to me.

Thanks!!!
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