What is erectile disfunction and how to recognize it
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or Impotence is the regular difficulty to get and / or sustain an erection long enough for a satisfying, fulfilling sex. Some studies suggest that it affects about 22% of men at the age of 40 and 49% by the age of 70. Though it is more common than one may think, it is a subject that most men are not very comfortable to talk about! Nevertheless, opening up the subject is the first step to finding a solution.
It has been shown that most men experience occasional difficulties with erection at some point in their life, and this is normal. However, it starts to become a problem when it happens more frequently, perhaps even to the extent that is causes feelings of shame or guilt and avoidance of having any intimacy at all intimacy.
Erectile dysfunction can affect men in different ways; some men have no trouble getting an erection but maintaining an erection is inconsistent. Some others are not able to get an erection under any circumstances while others can occasionally become erect.
In order to get a full picture, let's discuss how erection happens.
How does erection happen?
Erection starts in response to sensory and / or mental stimulation that causes arousal. This sends signals to the brain to produce a cocktail of hormones which affect the blood vessels in the penis. The arteries relax letting more blood flow entering the penis, while the veins compress letting blood to exit the penis slower than it enters causing a build up in pressure. The inside chambers of the penis are made of spongy tissue and have the ability to gain blood volume and grow in size. This chain reaction causes and maintains an erection.
Identifying causes of erectile dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction can result out of both physical and psychological imbalances that disturb the body’s ability to get and sustain an erection.
- Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease affect arousal signaling from the brain to the reproductive system.
- Medical conditions affecting the blood flow to the penis, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease.
- Damage of the erectile tissue that can happen due to injury or radiation treatment for prostate or bladder cancer.
- Psychological or emotional issues that may interfere with erection could be performance anxiety, body image, stress about finances, work or beliefs around sexuality. In some cases, there is not any conscious stress factor, however, unresolved traumatic experiences, abuse or beliefs are stored deep in the cellular memory having a physical effect.
Though ED is more common in men after 60, age itself is not a cause of erectile dysfunction. This increase is associated mainly with physical health issues (mentioned above), more common in older men.
The Mind is the biggest Sex organ
When being in our ‘heads’, we are in a ‘problem solving’ mode, constantly judging and trying to control an outcome. Many people have a lifestyle which is very mental, analytical and goal oriented. The problem starts when sex is also approached this way. The mind is also where stress and anxiety is coming from. Even a single episode of erectile dysfunction can put a man in a loop of fear and stress that it might happen again. The body starts releasing adrenaline which creates tension and affects the blood flow into the penis. When in the ‘head’, one cannot be present in love making. Tantra teaches us how to move from the mind and into the body and approaching sex as a ‘meditation’ practice.
Tantric Therapy for erectile dysfunction
Tantric Therapy works on both physical mental and emotional levels.
The deep pressure applied around the genitals and a subsequent release of pressure, increases blood flow in the area unblocking any vessels that might have been blocked. In addition, this increases the neurological sensitivity of the area enhancing the signaling to the brain and hence the release of hormones that create an erection.
During a session I help men become aware of their mindset and belief systems that might be the root of erectile dysfunction. I share some tantric techniques that help to move from the mind into the body and to access sexual energy on demand. Self pleasuring practices to building sexual confidence, last longer and experience a more fulfilling sexual life. Tantric bodywork helps to release trauma and negative beliefs, rebuilding neurological connections and increasing sensitivity reversing numbness.
For erection problems I recommend two sessions or more, in order to address the cause and maintain the results of the session.
6 tips I share with my clients to avoid the stress-loop of erectile dysfunction
- Avoid setting yourself up for ‘failure’ by entering a sexual experience with no expectation or prejudgment. These are byproducts of past experiences that keep you trapped in the loop!
- Avoid using pornography or fantasizing partners as these are both mental activities. This will help you to move your sexuality back from your ‘head’ and into your body.
- Use breath to stay focused on your sensations during self pleasuring or love making. This increases more sensitivity and enhances the natural hormonal response necessary for getting and maintaining an erection.
- Set the scene for a satisfying sexual experience. Your erection might be affected by feelings about your partner and the environment in which sex happens. Enter sex when you both feel relaxed, as opposed to having sex to relax. Be creative by exploring longer intimacy and foreplay and building up ‘anticipation’.
- Communicate openly with your partner even the feelings you feel ‘discomfort’ talking about. This is a prerequisite for sexual satisfaction.
- Build an overall healthy lifestyle to prevent or heal sexual dysfunction. Healthy lifestyle choices include; not smoking tobacco, limiting alcohol, regular exercise, sleep enough to wake up feeling rested, question your diet and adopt a nutrition plan that works for you, drink enough water, spend time in nature, hug at least 5 people per day!
For more information or to book a session, please contact STEFANIE NICOLAOU