Erectile dysfunction used to be thought of as an issue only for older men and something that was generally fixed by the little blue pill (Viagra).
Yet in recent years there has been a huge rise in erectile dysfunction (ED) in the under 40s. It has become such an issue that the medical profession have even coined the term 'Millennial ED'.
In 2016 NHS digital showed that three million prescriptions were given for Viagra. This is almost three times greater than ten years before.
I am not a doctor; I am a therapist with 18 years’ experience working with all kinds of different problems. The support and advice I will give here is not medical advice and, if you feel you need
to see a medical professional, please do.
Generally, if you are able to get hard, stay hard and cum when you are on your own, then most likely the issue is psychological (in your head), and that is where I can help.
Not Getting/Staying Hard - The
Some men find it difficult to get hard when they are with sexual partners and other men get hard, but later lose their erection, which may or may not come back during that session.
There are several common reasons why this happens including:
The moment we start worrying about our erections, no matter when or why that happens, we start to tense up. The more we tense up, the more difficult it becomes to get hard; and, the more difficult it becomes to get hard, the more we worry – and round and round we go.
Getting an erection is an automatic process that is triggered by sexual activity, or things our minds confuse with sexual activity – being bounced around on a bus for example.
Automatic processes, like breathing, maintaining our body temperature and getting hard are taken care of by our subconscious minds.
This is the super powerful part of our minds and in fact:
Our conscious mind on the other hand, the part of our brain we're aware of, the bit that allows us to talk and consciously think, processes ONLY AROUND 40 BITS OF INFORMATION each second.
This lesser processing power is one reason why we can get locked on to ideas, it's very easy for all of our conscious brain's processing power to be taken up by just one thing.
And if that one thing isn't productive it can be really damaging, like preventing us from getting erections. It's often thought of as being locked onto an idea or even 'getting in our heads' about things.
Once this happens concerning erections, the cycle can be a tricky one to break. And unless the problem is tackled effectively not getting or maintaining an erection can be a life-long issue.
Not Getting/Staying Hard - A Holistic Approach
When I work with clients I take a more holistic, more rounded view of treatment. This includes work for the client to do at home, plus, on average, two hour to hour and a half, in person sessions - BOOK HERE.
Re-education and Homework
Our subconscious mind, though hugely powerful, has one prime objective, to keep us alive and, sadly, in doing this, it can actually stand in the way of us moving forward.
If we have been doing something for a while, and we haven't died, our subconscious mind helps us carry on doing that action, as all it wants to do is keep us alive.
Have you ever wondered why smokers carry on smoking, even though they are shown horrendous images on every cigarette packet? Well, as far as their subconscious is concerned, they have been smoking for years and they are still alive, so the subconscious mind wants to keep it that way and does so by reinforcing your smoking habits.
This is why if you do not get your subconscious on side when quitting smoking, it is very hard to manage to stop.
Do you want to quit smoking, check this link here.
Thankfully, there are ways to work with the subconscious and the first way to do this are the use of affirmations.
By repeating our intentions several times a day, we start the process of sending a clear message to our subconscious that things need to change.
How to Use Affirmations - Homework
“You are a confident man and you get hard when needed”
You can create any affirmation that you feel appropriate, but I find this one works well with clients.
Change the Language
First, you'll notice in the affirmation that it says 'get hard when needed.' Most of us are used to seeing porn where actors appear to stay hard forever. I'll talk more about the huge impact of porn in a moment, but we're not actually designed to stay hard for any length of time.
When humans first evolved around 200,000 years ago and started having sex there were many animals that would happily hunt and kill us.
With this in mind, we were designed to get hard, have sex, and cum quickly, so that there was less chance of an untimely death.
With this in mind, staying hard for a 'long session', isn't actually what we're designed to do. Now, I'm not advocating short sessions, what I'm saying is that if you can get used to the idea of being hard, mixed in with being soft/semi through a longer session you will have a better time.
For example, it is good to get hard when you first start kissing and touching, and then you move on to oral sex, then while you're sucking the guy, it really doesn't matter if you're hard or soft. When you move back up to kissing, as you've stayed relaxed about your erection, there's more chance that you'll get hard again.
So, when you are with a guy, rather than getting lost in worry, or thinking that you’re not getting hard, focus on foreplay. If the guy touches your cock and it’s not hard, say, ‘it just needs some warming up’ and move back onto the foreplay.
Avoid letting the guy you are with keep trying to get you hard, that can just knock our confidence. It can be hugely damaging to have a guy trying to suck you into life and have nothing happen. Instead, it is better to pull him away, and move your thoughts back into the moment.
What does he feel like? Smell like? How does his kissing make you feel – stay in the moment.
Then when you are more relaxed, stimulate yourself to bring your attention back to your penis and allow the blood to flow.
You can do this on repeat, get hard, have your erection go away when not needed, focus back on foreplay and get the blood flowing again, for as long as you want to enjoy the session.
Imagination Over Porn
Over the last ten years there have been countless studies done on the damaging effects of porn.
Like most men, I'm a huge fan; however, I can see the impact it has had on men over the years. I don't believe that we should ban porn, or go without it altogether, but we have to relearn how to use it with moderation.
Some of the basic issues with porn are that it sets up unrealistic expectations of sex. The men are usually super fit, with massive cocks, who appear to stay hard and last forever, then cum bucket loads.
Of course we don't realise that, for sex to look that good, it needs a bunch of pills and potions, fluffers, a director, huge amounts of lighting, make-up etc.
Not to mention the fact that one 'scene' can actually be filmed over several days, with rest, resetting, extra lighting and so on to ensure that everything looks perfect. Now, I'm sure if you have had sex, you know it's far from perfect.
Most of us do not look like fitness models and sadly no one yells, 'cut', while we stop for a refreshment break. On top of that, the more porn we watch, the more porn we need to watch to get off – if you want a super depressing read about why porn is doing men no favours have a read of this article (or don't, just take my word for it :) ).
For me, the biggest issue with porn is that it ruins our imagination. There used to be a concept of a mental 'show reel', the idea that we stored our best sexual experiences so we could draw on them at a later time.
Added to that, before the abundance of available porn, we used to have to conjure up our fantasies. When we watch too much porn, everything sex related that isn't porn just isn't as good – this is not ideal when we're trying to get hard, stay hard and enjoy sex.
The Fix - The Porn Fast
Five to One - The Mindful Fix
I'm sure you've heard the term Mindfullness, which is basically a fancy way of saying, staying in the moment.
Staying in the moment is super important during sex, if nothing else it will make the experience more fun. But when it really comes in handy is if your mind becomes locked onto the idea of not getting/staying hard.
One of the easiest ways to pull your mind back into the moment is simply to count down from five to one.
Try it now, just count down naturally from five to one and notice how your mind starts to clear.
When you're with a partner and the first worrying thoughts start to push their way into your mind, do the count down and move your focus onto what's going on in front of you.
Pay attention to kissing, kissing is super important and triggers all kinds of happy body chemicals and as I mentioned before, think about what he feels like, smells like, the heat of his body etc.
Condom Triggered ED
It is a sad fact that if parents gave their 11 year old boys condoms and told them to have fun masturbating with them, there's a good chance we'd have less teen pregnancies and random STIs.
Why? Because look at what we do instead. We tell teenagers that they MUST wear a condom, they ABSOLUTELY MUST wear condoms because if they don't they RISK getting into all sorts of trouble.
It never goes super well when you tell a teenager what they MUST do and certainly not when it has such scary connotations.
What this does is create an anchor for condoms in their mind. Anchors can be anything, a piece of music that when it's played it triggers a happy memory, a random smell that reminds you of your grandma's baking, or your penis going soft when it looks at a condom and all those 'YOU MUST' memories come flooding back.
In a less scaremongering world, we'd look at a condom and think... 'Excellent, I'm going to have sex!' and our subconscious mind would be trigger into making sure we were nice and hard for the fun about to start.
THERE IS A FIX and a pretty easy one at that, we have to create a new anchor for condoms. So rather than see it as a bad thing, we have that 'OMG sex is coming' feeling when we see one.
And the easiest way to do this is to include condoms in your month porn fast. What I mean by this is that it's a great idea to get yourself a bulk pack of condoms and every other day or so, have yourself a nice long wank with one on.
Really get in to it so that you start to reverse the miserable anchor most of us attached to condoms and create a fun, horny one that you can use to your advantage in the future.