He Was 22 Years Old And His Erection Always Disappeared After Foreplay: Filip Told Us How Twenty-Somethings Can Fail In Bed
We attribute problems with erection mainly to older men. But the number of men under forty who seek help is still growing.
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Filip experienced his first erection problems when he was 22 years old. He was single for about two years, he describes himself as not a very social type, so he didn't have short-term relationships. In addition, he had a time-consuming job, so instead of meeting women, he plunged into the world of pornography. He did not get it professionally diagnosed, but he thinks he was addicted to porn for a while. During that period, he connected with someone and was about to have sex.
It did not go according to pornographic scripts. "During the foreplay, I had an erection, but when it came to action, the erection went away, followed by an awkward feeling of disappointment and anger."
According to the British National Health Agency NHS, 8% of young men aged 20 to 29 and 11% of 30 to 39-year-olds have permanent erection problems. Lifestyle, health problems or the state of mental health affect erection and its endurance, and not everyone who struggles with it for a while has the problem forever. Treatment is possible.
A break from porn and nutritional supplements didn't help
Filip was ready for the next date: he bought an over-the-counter supplement to support erection and took a one-week break from porn and masturbation. But the scenario repeated itself, the supplement did not work and the erection did not last.
The permanent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse is called erectile dysfunction. According to urologist MUDr. Ján Švihra, it is more a symptom than a separate disease. The causes can be organic (for example, heart and blood vessel disease) or psychogenic (stress, addictions or other psychological problems).
However, the occasional failure of an erection does not mean that you suffer from dysfunction. Attention should be paid to the moment when spontaneous morning erections disappear. Then it is time to visit a general practitioner. "In addition to sending you to a urologist, GP will also consider the possibility of heart and blood vessel disease," adds urologist Švihra. He adds that erectile problems can sometimes be a sign of other health problems.
Filip did not go to see the doctor. He says that the topic is stigmatised, he didn't even talk about it with his friends at first. Over time the problems went away, but it took some work.
The drug which helps with erectile problems is actually called sildenafil. Viagra lost its patent at the beginning of 2020, so the drug is now named after the active substance. It was developed by Pfizer, which is also responsible for the covid vaccines.
It works by improving the blood flow to the penis, thus increasing the duration of the erection. However, it cannot induce an erection if the person is not aroused. The medicine is subject to prescription.
No need to panic
If you find yourself in a situation where you or your partner cannot achieve and maintain an erection, it is important to keep a cool head. In particular, partners should not be afraid that the other party is no longer interested in them. Lack of erection is not a sign of loss of sexual interest, explains psychologist Dušan Gábor.
He emphasizes that there is no need to panic at the first "failure". "It is not at all the case that occasional erection problems automatically lead to problems with health and masculinity. There is also no need to worry that erection problems will reappear during the next sexual experience."
He says that according to professional studies, roughly 8 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 30 have problems achieving and maintaining an erection.
There are always two people when it comes to sex, breathe it out together
Even Filip himself was surprised that his partner did not react negatively. She did not avoid sex with him, on the contrary, she supported him.
The erection failed in the next attempt, but this time they did not give up. Filip tried to relieve the stress, tried to relax and suppress the fear of failure. Instead of penetration, they focused on another form of gratification, and as they focused on his partner's pleasure, Filip gained some time to prepare again. There was a breaking point, the erection returned, and after this success, his self-confidence returned.
The difficulties with erection are gone and today his sex life is according to expectations. He is still dating the aforementioned woman, it's been about two years now. With time, he perceives that the erection was influenced by a psychological block after the first failure. According to him, excessive watching of porn also played a role.
He watches adult content even today, but it no longer affects his erection. "I want to tell men with the same problem, don't lose patience and don't give up,"
Where to look for help
From a psychological point of view, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, stress, alcohol, drugs, anabolic steroids, some medications, pornography and excessive masturbation can affect persistent erection problems, psychologist Dušan Gábor explains for Refresher. If you can't figure out what's causing it for you, the best thing to do is to talk to a doctor or a psychologist about it.
Stress, nervousness or problems in a relationship also affect the ability to achieve an erection. "If there is a problem in the relationship, it is good to first work on improving the mutual functioning of the partnership," says the psychologist. He recommends psychosexual therapy, which is completed by a man affected by erectile dysfunction together with his partner.
It uses classic psychotherapy methods (anxiety, unresolved issues from past relationships, childhood trauma, etc.), but also practice exercises. These help to improve the perception of one's own body, the experience of feelings and the ability to relax.
According to Gábor, psychosexual therapy can also include psychoeducation or porn addiction therapy and work with various myths and beliefs associated with understanding one's own sexuality.
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