Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
My ED ?
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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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My ED ?

hi i'm 47  .. 6'  175lbs have been this size since 20 and no health issues other then ED .. my ED started slowly around 15 yrs ago and has become more of an issue now .. i know the negative physcologically impact does'nt help .. my question is i struggle for an erection most of the time but why do i get complete erections during my sleep and waking i have no trouble holding them during this time but when i stand up out of bed then they fade ... the only thing i've noticed during the past 12 yrs or so is my blood pressure has gone from 120/80 to about 110/60  can low blood pressure affect erections? and is it hopefully and good that i still have these late nite early morning erections?  thanx
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hello.

There are several issues to address here: 1) what you mean by "ED," 2) your blood pressure, and 3) the fact that you get erections during times other than partner sex.

1) You mention "ED," which is a term that is meaningless, because people use it to refer to anything from "I had six beers and a fight with my wife and couldn't get it up" to someone who has a physiological condition which prevents blood flow to the penis and requires medical intervention.

However, so many people see those drug commercials which refer to "ED," that now many folks think there's actually some sort of disease. Not true. Erection concerns run the gamut from those which happen once and are totally psychological to those as serious as the one to which I referred above. An awareness of these issues can help lessen the stigma attached to this term. Since I have no idea what you mean by this term, I can only guess--and give you general answers based on that guess.

Welcome to your 40’s! When you're younger and just beginning to be sexual with others, erections pop up everywhere--including when you don't want them! Post-pubescent men are highly excitable. As you age, you’ll find that you need more direct touch and stimulation. This is just part of life and doesn’t indicate any underlying condition to worry about.

Also as part of the aging process, you'll find that erections sometimes take longer, and even come and go. Again, this is not an indication if ill health, but just part of life. Sexual interest ebbs and flows as well, depending on other circumstances in your life.  Also realize the more stress you’re under, the less energy your body has to respond sexually, so stop worrying!

2) Low blood pressure can definitely inhibit erections. This forum is concerned solely with psychological and emotional conditions related to erection concerns. However, if you suspect that your low blood pressure is affecting erections, see a urologist for an exam and testing to determine what's going on.

3) Since you get erections at times other than during partner sex, what does that tell you? That something about being sexual with a partner is problematic for you. I bet if you think for awhile, you might be able to identify just what that is. Here are some possibilities: Much of your problem may be 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. This could be due to anxiety—either about sex in general, or about some aspect of your relationship. Perhaps the intimacy of sex 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 partner sex creates anxiety

Or perhaps you’re not receiving enough stimulation during partner sex, or you might be starting sex 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.

To sum up: Worrying about erections is a dead-end street. All it will do is make you anxious, which will make your penis very uncooperative. And remember you don't need an erection to be sexual, have fun, experience pleasure, etc. Relax, enjoy your own unique sexuality and stop judging yourself. And find partners who aren’t hung up on outdated macho ideas of what constitutes “good” sex. Many people are more interested in a caring, sensitive partner than one with a “porn star” penis. For more information about this and other men’s issues, I recommend the book, “The New Male Sexuality,” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., widely available both used and in paperback. The information in this book has helped millions of men overcome discomfort and anxiety about sex. Good luck to you. Dr. J
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thank you for your inputs they make alot of sense and give me hope .. maybe there could be something with my low blood pressure that a specialist should check? .. knowing that my nightime erections are a positive cheers me up! :)  - kinda lets you that psychologically i've been putting undue pressure on myself .. and to give myself a chance i can't expect my penis to act/compare to when i was in my 20z - but thats what i've been doing :(    don't know if you come back to posts you've already answered dr. j  if you did thanx for the above   curt23
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hi Curt:

Happy to help. You said it best: don't have the expectation that your penis will always be the way it was in your 20s. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy and have fun. If you're worried about your low blood pressure affecting erections, do see a urologist for testing. Best of luck. Dr. J
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