Erectile Dysfunction: An Older Man Problem?

In common American culture, erectile Dysfunction (or ED) is thought of as only plaguing older men. It is more common in older men than younger, but in older men, the problem is usually related to physical causes. What about the percentage that affects younger men? Why would a seemingly young vigorous man have issues getting “hard” when it’s time to do the deed?

Psychological Warfare

As I am writing this, we are in pandemic – especially where I am at. With this pandemic not only comes illness related to symptoms of catching COVID-19, but also a population increase in anxiety. The anxiety caused by the pandemic can be from fear of contracting the illness, loss of a job, finances, not being able to see friends and family, and more. With the anxiety can also come an inability to perform sexually. Sexual arousal is usually associated with excitement, but your mind and body actually have to do the opposite – relax. It is when you are calm and nothing else is grabbing your attention that you can become erect. Your primary focus is engaging in your desire to have sex with someone. Your body can then react, without any apprehension, to the sensual touching, audio, and visual stimuli of sexual activities.

Causes of Sexual Anxiety
  • Worried about pleasing your partner: This is the most common reason for erectile dysfunction in younger men. This may not just be related to sexually pleasing your partner, but also if they are attracted to you – and you’re worried that you may ruin it.
  • You have had erectile dysfunction before: It’s a very common thought to think that if it happened once, it can happen again. Anxiety that goes unchecked will surely bring that thought to mind. This can keep the anxiety alive and the issue in your life.
  • Stress of everyday life: You might have a lot going on in your life. School, job, family; all can be sources of stress, and stress can lead to anxiety. This can certainly affect your ability to perform sexually.
How to Treat It

There are several ways to treat it. It’s important that you realize that there is treatment – no matter how severe. I would recommenced discussing the issue with someone – preferably an expert in sexual dysfunction. They can discuss the best options based on your situation and severity of symptoms. The issue is usually deeper than just worrying about the specific sexual act, but caused by an underlying anxiety disorder.

The Aftermath

There is the shame and embarrassment of not being able to perform sexually, but there can also be the worry and and doubt your partner feels. They may be thinking that they cannot sexually arouse you or that you do not find them attractive. It is important that you discuss this with them, and let them know that it is not related to them, but instead a “you” problem. What is equally important is that you understand that there is a chance they may not want to continue seeing you. But do not fret if that happens. There are plenty of people out there and you have plenty of time to work on whatever issue you have.

The most important thing is to seek treatment, if needed.

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