Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
any connection...?
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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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any connection...?

I have had sexual problems for the past 4 months with erectile disfunction, that has hurt my relationship is many different ways, now the main concern has turned to a more recent problem of premature ejaculation. Is there any connection between the two, and any answers to either of the problems? I have been on webM.D. and it has help me with questions to ask but i am looking for more....
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Hi.

Of course they're connected. I'm assuming by "erectile dysfunction" (a horrible term) you mean that your penis doesn't erect when you think it should. BTW: That 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.

There are many reasons for your concerns--but it sounds as though it's primarily that you have some conflicts about being sexual with a partner. Coming before you want to is a dead giveaway that you're uncomfortable and wanting to get it over with. And not having erections indicates anxiety and discomfort as well. Here's some information for you:

Obviously, something about this relationship—or relationships in general--is making you anxious, bothering you, inhibiting you, etc. Or it’s something about being sexual with a partner.

Do you have any sense of what it is? What are you thinking about during sex? Perhaps it’s difficult for you to think of your partner as a sexual person and that’s getting in the way? What are the conditions like when you’re being sexual? Do you have enough privacy? Are you both relaxed and happy? If not, these can contribute to your discomfort.

There are various other possible psychological/emotional factors too numerous to detail here. These include fear of intimacy, or negative feelings about sex, unresolved anger, feeling conflicted about the relationship, etc. Some men find they can be totally uninhibited as long as they’re not in a committed relationship. Others find the day-in, day-out doldrums of being with someone 24/7 destroy any sexual tension or romantic feelings. You know: morning breath, bathroom sounds, the way your partner chews food, etc. Arghhh! It’s enough to turn ANYONE off! And, of course, that goes for your partner too. What’s HER/HIS role in this? So many questions; so little time.

Some other things to consider: You may have negative attitudes about sex in general, you may have performance issues. Either way, it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of trying too hard, which, in turn, just leads to more stress and anxiety. And you know what? It’s not that uncommon, and it’s not that hard to change. Take a deep breath, relax and examine these issues and see if any fit for you. Something is getting in the way of your pleasure, and you’ll need to do some serious thinking to figure out what it is.

Talk with your partner about slowing down and learning about each others’ bodies and responses together, and then you two can discover just what it is that arouses you. You have a chance to take a wonderful journey of discovery with each other which will not only be educational but lots of fun.

You’d be surprised at how often men put strong pressure on themselves to be sexually “perfect” once they’re in a committed relationship. And, of course, all that pressure just deflates the old tires and the car goes nowhere. How many times have I told you that relaxation is the key? Say it with me: “breathe, relax, enjoy; breathe, relax, enjoy.”

About lasting longer: It's definitely related to all the issues above. In addition, during their early self-pleasuring experiments, many men learn a very quick orgasm pattern in order to avoid detection—like in the bathroom (“You’ve been in there for hours! What are you doing?”) Learning to come quickly with a partner can also set up this pattern. Guilt, anxiety and relationship conflict may create a situation where some men just want to get it over with quickly so they won’t have to deal with any of those feelings. And, of course, if you’re focused on “performing,” rather than just enjoying yourself, your penis can become incredibly stubborn and uncooperative.

Many men think they have to last a very long time in order to please their partner, yet most studies show that around 75% of all males have an orgasm within 2 minutes of beginning penis-vagina (p-v) sex . I wonder if you’ve asked your partner whether it's important?

That said, here are some techniques for lasting longer:

First, slow down during self-pleasuring and unlearn that old pattern of quick orgasm. Try teasing yourself by stimulating yourself just to the point where you feel you’re about to orgasm, then backing off and relaxing, and then beginning again. This will give you a sense of control as well as teach you to recognize your own point of no return (when you know you're about to have an orgasm, no matter what). Another thing to try is when you feel yourself getting close to orgasm, relax, breathe deeply, and cease movement. Some men also find they last longer if they have an orgasm on their own awhile before beginning partner sex. This tends to take the edge off, if you will.

Once you feel in control of your orgasm, you can also examine whether you have any feelings of discomfort with being sexual—either with yourself or with a partner. These feelings of discomfort can create extreme conflict and cause you to feel the need to get it over with quickly. If you look at sex as something to finish quickly—get it up, get it in, get it off—you’ll need to let go of that old mentality. And naturally, any relationship conflicts can also contribute.

And lastly, you might want to examine why these sexual concerns have "hurt" your relationship. Is it built on sex alone? Does your partner feel inadequate? Is your partner supportive? What's your partner's role in all this? Lots to consider here... Best of luck to you. Dr. J

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