Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
erection concerns
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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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erection concerns

im an 18 year old male. i weight about 185 lbs a little over weight but im mostly muscle. im active and have low stress. my problem is that when im with a girl and were messing around i start off with an erection but it never lasts and i cant have intercourse. but when i masturbate i have no problems ( about 3 times a week more if i have sleeping issues ) also i rarely wake up with "morning wood". i rarely use majuana and the same with drinking. i dont smoke cigerette and i dont take any medicine regularly. i try to eat healthy to reach my weight goals but i slip up every once in a while. also i never really had a sex drive like most male think about sex constantly but i have the occasional though. and im sure im not gay so what my problem
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Hi.

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 adjust your attitude and relax. I suspect that once your penis didn’t respond on command, you 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. 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.

Since you’re having erections when not with a partner that indicates that your body is probably working fine—it’s your heart/brain that’s getting in the way. However, since you state that you rarely wake up with an erection, this might be a symptom of some physical issue. If you're concerned, you might consider seeing a urologist for a complete exam, just to rule out any physical causes.

In addition, some men find that certain condoms limit sensation, and, of course, this can intensify with each experience, leading to more anxiety.

For more information about erection issues, attitude, etc., I highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available in paperback and is an invaluable resource.

Relax, stop putting pressure on yourself and enjoy sex for what it is: pleasure. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever happens—and find partners who aren’t hung up on performances issues either. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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