Have you ever wondered about the root cause of your erectile dysfunction?
Because our minds are wired to look for the path of least resistance, everyone wants a silver-bullet solution to something that isn’t as simple as it may seem on the surface.
In truth, sexual arousal in the body is a multi-variant process. Whether or not you are able to get or maintain an erection is influenced by many factors. Your mind is a factor. Your age is a factor. Your nerves, muscles, hormones, emotions/mood, relationship stage, and level of comfort with your partner are all factors. So there isn’t a one-size fits all solution that will cure every person’s erectile dysfunction, because it always results from an individuals circumstances differently.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the most common factors that my clients face when it comes to chronic or intermittent erectile dysfunction, and the resulting solutions/actionable steps that you can deploy in your life to resolve them.
Side note: I do not classify someone who has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection a handful of times in their life as someone who struggles with erectile dysfunction. That’s just a human being. Every man, at some point in their life, will struggle with getting or maintaining an erection. By my definition of it, erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects a man in an ongoing manner, in a way that it negatively impacts his sex life and overall quality of life. In the same way that it wouldn’t qualify as depression if you were to feel sad a few times over the course of a year… if you don’t get hard a couple of times, it doesn’t mean that you have erectile dysfunction. There has to be an ongoing trend occurring before you should label yourself with anything (which, more often than not, just gets you more in your head and out of your sexual experience).
5 Questions To Ask Yourself To Get To The Root Cause Of Your Erectile Dysfunction
1. Are you healthy?
Many men who struggle with erectile dysfunction do so because there are health factors that are limiting the strength and quality of their erections.
Diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or others drugs all have negative impacts on erectile function.
If you have certain health conditions that are known to exacerbate erection dysfunction (such as Peyronie’s disease, Parkison’s disease, or multiple sclerosis) then you should go to a doctor and ask them if prescription medicine would be a viable course of action for you to take.
Medical conditions aside, your overall health and wellness is a huge factor in how well your erections function.
Ensuring that you are getting a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep per night, drinking enough water daily, eating as many unprocessed, whole foods as possible, and getting regular exercise will all go a long way in keeping your erections strong. And conversely, being a heavy drinking, chain-smoking, couch potato who almost exclusively gets by on processed foods and hasn’t worked up a sweat in weeks will severely limit your likelihood of getting rock hard erections with any sense of regularity.
(Side note: if you are experiencing low desire with your partner, and you want some quick tips on boosting your testosterone levels naturally, check out my article The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Testosterone Naturally)
2. Are you having sex with someone that you want to be having sex with?
The importance of this question can not be overstated.
Especially in the context of modern ‘hookup culture’, there is a chance that you are simply trying to get yourself to be sexual with someone that your body doesn’t truly want to be sexual with.
Are you trying to will your penis to be sexual with someone because you think they should? Because your ego wants the conquest more than your body wants the experience? Because you think they expect sex from you and you feel guilty and/or are afraid to say no, because you’ve been conditioned to believe that all men should want sex, all the time?
News flash: you will not be attracted to everyone. And sometimes your body just simply isn’t to the person that you’re trying to be sexual with. And that’s okay. It isn’t a failing on their part, and it isn’t a failing on your part either.
If you consider the idea that you don’t have to be sexual with this particular person, and your body feels a sense of deep relaxation, then there’s a chance that you are simply trying to get your body to have sex with someone that you don’t want to be sexual with (either because this relationship isn’t the right one for you, or because you’re feeling less sexual right now).
In this case, the solution is to simply listen to your body. Let your body be correct, and don’t willpower your way into doing something that it is telling you it doesn’t want.
3. Do you feel safe with your partner and are the communication channels clear between the two of you?
Okay… so you feel generally quite healthy… you are trying to be sexual with someone that you want to be sexual with… and your erectile strength still isn’t what you’d hope it would be. The next thing to do is to look at the current state of your relationship.
Does your body feel completely safe with your partner?
Are there any unresolved conflicts that you have yet to get to the bottom of? If so, there might be some work to do on the communication level.
I truly believe that if people in relationship simply named some difficult truths, and had the challenging conversations that they were avoiding, the Viagra/Cialis/boner pill market would take a 50% hit overnight.
There can be an incredible rush of sexual energy that is freed up once you have the conversations that you and your partner are tiptoeing around.
Maybe your partner said some upsetting things to you several months ago when you couldn’t get an erection, and it left some fear in your mind about it ever happening again (thus perpetuating a cycle of you not being able to get an erection with them, because of the resulting shame you feel). Or perhaps you have been feeling less connected to your partner in general and you wish that you had more time for intimate connection, in and outside of the bedroom.
Whatever isn’t being addressed in your relationship, set aside some time to talk it over with your partner when you both have the time and the mental/emotional bandwidth to dig into it. It might just free up the sexual energy that your penis needs to feel safe enough to get hard and stay hard with your partner.
4. How have your stress levels been lately?
When we feel stressed, our sex drive is one of the first things to be negatively impacted.
It’s as if nature knew that people who felt the most heightened sense of ongoing threat shouldn’t be focusing on procreating (which, if you ask me, is some pretty genius software to come hardwired with).
If you have taken on too much and your calendar is jam-packed, consider setting some healthy boundaries around what you are committed to.
Or, if you aren’t feeling stretched thin because of your day to day commitments but just generally feel stressed because you tend to be a bit more on the anxious side (I’m there with ya bud), then there are steps you can take to off-gas your stress levels on a regular basis.
Try meditating. Find an infrared sauna in your neighbourhood and sweat it out there. Go to the gym and lift weights. Go for long walks by yourself in the morning (without cramming podcasts into your brain while you do so). Try eating more vegetables. Experiment with supplements (such as ashwagandha, L-theanine, magnesium bisglycinate, or B complex vitamins). Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Avoid consuming stimulants (yes, this includes coffee and energy drinks). Basically, just aim for a generally easeful life, and don’t pack your calendar, your stomach, or your brain, full of low-calorie noise.
5. Do you view sex as a performance?
The majority of men, on some level, view sex as a performance. And as long as you feel like you need to perform sex, you would naturally feel some performance anxiety.
But sex is not a performance. You are not juggling ten flaming bowling pins in front of an audience of hundreds of people.
Sex is about feeling. Sex is about connecting. Sex is a beautiful, exploratory conversation that your body has with your partner.
If you are having sex in a way that is conscious of how long you are lasting (and subsequently having sex with the clock more than your partner)… or if you are having sex in a way that you are tracking the number of orgasms your partner has had… then you are having sex from your ego and your fear, as opposed to having sex from your heart.
If you view sex as a performance, then you likely aren’t remaining connected to your own pleasure. Because feeling deeply connected to your pleasure means that you must get out of your head and into your body. If you have the sense that you’ve never really had sex with anyone from a place of feeling deeply connected to your own pleasure, I would recommend you try out some extended, conscious, self-pleasuring sessions.
It bears repeating…
Sex is not a performance. Sex is about feeling and connection.
Drop the goals. Drop the numbers that your mind is tracking. And simply show up and hold the intention of giving and receiving pleasure… while also being loving towards your partner. That’s it.
Erectile Dysfunction Is Merely The Symptom
The root cause of your erectile dysfunction doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem. Your penis simply wants the best fighting chance of giving you the results you want.
On the prevention level, the best thing that you can do is to do the things that the world has been telling you to do your entire life. Exercise regularly, limit alcohol/sugar/junk food intake, don’t smoke, take time to actually rest on a regular basis, and get sleeps of at least 7-8 hours on a consistent basis. You know, all of that boring but necessary stuff.
If you’re always consuming junk food, your body will give you junk-y results. If you’re always running around, wearing ‘busy’ as a badge of honour, and you never let yourself slow down to rest, don’t be surprised if your nervous system will feel too taxed to allow you to rise to the occasion when you most want to.
Ultimately, erectile dysfunction is a symptom… and the work that you can do to prevent it is an inside job. Your body needs a certain set of conditions to feel safe and relaxed enough for you to get an erection. So… support your penis by cultivating those conditions, and you’ll have the highest likelihood of rock hard erections, whenever you want them.
Dedicated to your success,
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