Life is stressful, alright. But when it starts interfering with your erections, that’s when you need to draw the line.
When you’re way over your 50’s, it might not come as too much of a shock when your erections aren’t working as they once did. But if you’re still in your 30’s and all young and full of life, it’s definitely alarming. It might get you overthinking and overstressed about what could possibly be wrong with you. While many diagnose this as Erectile Dysfunction (ED), there’s a difference between the ED and being unable to perform due to psychological reasons.
What is ED?
Erectile Dysfunction describes the inability of a man to keep, or even get an erection. Naturally, this ability declines with age, but when it happens early on it’s usually indicative of another problem. Many of the causes of ED are related to physical conditions or diseases that require quick medical attention. However, around 10 to 20 percent of men can suffer from erectile problems due to psychological reasons.
The first step in treating this class of condition is to determine the underlying cause and address it. In the meantime, your doctor might prescribe you some medications to help you in overcoming the obstacles.
What Can Cause Mental ED?
If you’re a healthy person who is able to get erections when you’re alone and in your natural habitat, chances are what you’re experiencing is mental ED and not something pathological. An ED that stems from a condition or a disease will make it extremely difficult to get erections at all. Mental ED can stem from a number of psychological reasons such as:
1. Performance Anxiety
Being too stressed about how well you can perform gets you in a vicious cycle. The more stressed out you are, the less you’ll be able to perform, which stresses you out even more. Performance anxiety can result from many reasons, such as having low-self esteem, being insecure about your body image, or being too preoccupied with overthinking whether you’ll be able to satisfy your partner or not.
2. Stress, Anxiety or Depression
If you’re leading a busy and stressful life, the craziness from work or family matters is apt to pour over into the bedroom, which can cause performance issues. Becoming overwhelmed with work and constantly stressing out about what’s going on and what might go wrong is such a mood killer, but it also extends to your physical ability to perform.
Being constantly anxious and nervous will also lead to similar results. If these feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and stress remain unresolved for long periods of time, this could even result in depression. Basically, any causes of mental distress will find its way into affecting the way your body operates.
3. Relationship Issues
Having an unstable relationship can also be a reason for the mental ED. If you’ve been fighting too much lately, or if your relationship has become mundane and boring, that might influence both your ability to perform and even enjoy your time together. Mental ED can also be a result of the less obvious issues in the relationship, such as lack of communication, feelings of guilt, or any other unresolved problems.
4. Addiction to Porn
The porn industry is all about building unrealistic expectations about performance, size, physique, or how your sex life should be generally. Becoming too addicted to porn makes your mind adopt these unrealistic expectations of how you should perform, or even about a woman could be satisfied. Under the stress of unrealistic expectations, it’s completely normal to fail at performing altogether. That being said, the reality is that most gay guys watch porn and will continue to do so. Finding a healthy balance, as with everything in life, is crucial.
How to Get Over Mental ED in the Bedroom
As mental ED stems from your mind being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you can only overcome it by confronting your thoughts, feelings, and issues. Here are some useful tips to get you started:
1. Get to the Root of the Issue
Running away from the problem or denying it will only make it worse. The first step of solving any issue is to confront it, which takes some deep digging until you’ve realized the root of the problem. Once you reach the root of it, you might be tempted to stay in denial or resist it, but your only way through is to be brave and honest enough with yourself to admit it exists.
2. Focus Your Thoughts on the Experience
When your thoughts are all over the place, it’s quite natural to be unable to get in the mood. All of the thoughts of anxiety, insecurity, nervousness, and stress are all distractions. Instead, try focusing on the experience itself and on your partner, and remind yourself to enjoy the moment. Another tip is to try and take it slow. Take your time to enjoy foreplay and heat it up, and don’t try to rush anything. Once you do that, it should come naturally and your desire can take over from that point forward.
3. Be Realistic
Remember how we’ve discussed the unrealistic expectations that porn implants your mind? Make a conscious effort to remember how different reality is from fantasies and on-screen acting. What you have right now is real, and that can be magical once you realize this fact.
Keeping regular on your exercise routine won’t just help you with your self-esteem as you get in better shape. It will also help lift your mood up, alongside enhancing your mental health to deal with stress, anxiety, and even depression. You can never underestimate the power of the feel-good hormones produced after a refreshing workout!
5. Communicate with Your Partner
If you have unresolved issues with your partner that are strong enough to affect your sexual relationship, you guys need to fix it. A healthy relationship isn’t devoid of fights or conflicts, but it is based on honest and straightforward communication between two persons who want to make it work. In case your issue stems from performance anxiety or any other psychological factors, try to communicate with your partner about your fears and anxiety. That way you can both be on the same page, and you can avoid making your partner feel responsible or worried about the performance issues.
6. Couples Counseling or Sex Therapy
In case of having ongoing problems that are too complicated to fix on your own, maybe booking a counseling session with a therapist can help. Your therapist can guide you both through the rough patch you’re going through your relationship. They can also give you tips and advice on how to revive your sex life once again.
7. Relaxation Techniques
Part of the puzzle is getting into the right mindset and calming your nerves. Meditate, relax, and focus on what matters. You can even try some breathing techniques that are scientifically-proven to calm your nerves down, such as:
Rhythmic breathing helps focus on slowing down your breathing patterns. If you notice your breathing becomes rapid and shallow as a result of stress, make a conscious effort to slow it down. You can do that through taking a slow inhale while counting to 5, pause while keeping the air inside, then exhale for five counts. Keep repeating until you feel your nerves calm down a bit.
Another technique that helps deliver more oxygen to your body is deep breathing. In this exercise, you focus on inhaling your lungs fill with air every time you breathe in. Imagine filling your abdomen with air. Then on the exhale, you blow out the air as much as you can too. You can combine it with rhythmic breathing for better results.
This technique incorporates rhythmic and deep breathing with the power of visualization. As you breathe in, imagine the flow of air deep into your lungs, and as the oxygen seeps into your blood and the carbon dioxide leaves, exhale slowly. You can visualize the stress as the exhaled air leaving your body, or the relaxation as the oxygen seeping in.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Next is adding another technique to relieve muscular tension. In this technique, you focus on contracting a certain muscle (or group of muscles) to the maximum while inhaling, then you pause a while as the tension builds up. Exhale as you relieve the contraction. You’ll be able to feel the muscular tension easing up, leaving you with a state of relaxation.
One of the best ideas you can do while carrying out your breathing and relaxation exercises is to play music in the background. The music can help clear your mind and stimulate feel-good hormones to be produced, its beat can even help with the rhythmic breathing techniques.
Breaking the Cycle
Getting stressed out to the point that makes you unable to perform, which makes you even more stressed, is a vicious cycle. What you need to do is to break free from this endless cycle of psychological stress, and it all starts with identifying the issue and learning how to solve it and deal with it. Mental ED is becoming quite common among younger men, but more often than not, its cause can be easily determined and fixed. Focusing your thoughts on the experience, being realistic in expectations, communicating with your partner, maintaining an active lifestyle, seeking counseling, and learning how to relax are some ways you could overcome your mental ED and rock in bed once again.