Expert Interview: How to Avoid Temporary Sexual Dysfunctions
Sexual dysfunctions are not always easy to deal with emotionally. But, did you know that some of the most common sexual issues could actually be temporary? In fact, in some cases, sexual issues like erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), diminished sex drive, and delayed ejaculation (DE) may be the result of poor lifestyle choices and habits. Your lifestyle can help you avoid sexual dysfunction.
Poor lifestyle choices, in fact like cigarette & tobacco smoking, along with overindulgence in alcohol, salt and sugar, processed foods, and junk foods have been linked to reduced cardiovascular health. Therefore, men, who smoke, drink, and/or eat unhealthy foods, are more likely to experience reduced blood flow to the penis, possibly leading to PE, DE, and ED.
In other cases, however, the neglect of one’s emotional health and well-being can lead to sexual dysfunctions. Once these needs are addressed and managed, they typically disappear. Your emotional lifestyle can help you avoid sexual dysfunction, too.
That is why it’s so important to identify these factors as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for a brief annoyance to wreak havoc on your sexual performance.
To ensure that your sexual function remains top-notch, we asked Dr. R.Y. Langham, a consultant for online premature ejaculation clinic Between Us to discuss temporary sex issues that can affect men.
What are some of the common male sexual dysfunctions that could actually be temporary?
“Many men are unaware that some of the most common male sexual issues may actually be temporary. Erectile dysfunction, for instance, the most common sexual issue, can temporary emotional and physical causes (you can read more about this here. The risk of developing erectile dysfunction, delayed and premature ejaculation is heightened if the male is experiencing anxiety, job stress, and/or general life stressors.
Moreover, relationship issues, such as poor communication, infidelity, financial issues, domestic violence, emotional abuse, and poor conflict-resolution skills can also lead to low sex drive.
Although not as common as some of the other triggers, some couples may temporarily experience a reduced sex drive following the birth of their child. Why? Because some men have a hard time “eroticizing” their partners after witnessing the intimate details of childbirth. Many times, the female’s anatomy, especially the vaginal and abdominal areas, changes after delivering a child. For some men, this can lead to temporary sexual dysfunction.
The risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction also increases the longer a couple is together. More specifically, men, who have become too familiar with their partner’s anatomy and sexual habits may experience low sex drive from time-to-time.
Moreover, a single episode of a “bad sex” can lead to a cycle or two of performance anxiety. Performance anxiety can also stem from a fear of being unable to sexually satisfy a partner due to past sexual experiences with that partner. This can lead to PE, DE, or ED, in some men.
Other factors that may lead to acute sexual dysfunctions are low self-esteem/confidence, a history of sexual trauma/abuse, incorrect masturbation practices (stemming from childhood experiences), and low testosterone.
Mental health issues like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can also trigger sexual dysfunctions, in some men.
More specifically, untreated OCD can lead to inappropriate sexual thoughts and behaviors that impede sexual performance and lead to sexual dysfunctions.
Depression can lead to low sex drive, causing the man to avoid or shun sex. The good news is, once these mental health issues are properly addressed and treated; these sexual issues usually lessen or disappear.
Lastly, excessively watching porn can trigger sexual performance issues like PE, DE, or ED. This is especially true if the man hides his “porn-watching” from his partner. These sexual dysfunctions may be remedied simply by reducing the amount of time the man spends watching porn in private and watching it together, as a couple.”
What can a man do to avoid the risk of a temporary sexual issue?
If you are in a relationship, communication in and out of the bedroom should be your top priority.
“It is important to talk about the things weighing on your mind (and happening with your body) with your partner. Why? Well, because your thoughts can impact your sexual performance. So, if you suffer from a poor body image or low self-esteem – don’t just let it go.
Address any personal, emotional, or sexual issues by taking steps to improve the situation, but include your partner in these steps. If you don’t think you can talk to your partner about what is troubling – talk to someone you trust like a close confidant or a therapist.
In many cases, therapy can help your sex life back on track.
Making better lifestyle choices may also help banish sexual issues from your life. In fact, studies suggest that working out and eating healthy foods may actually help you feel better about yourself, thereby, reducing your risk of sexual dysfunctions and improving your sexual performance.” This is just another way your lifestyle can help you avoid sexual dysfunction.
When should a man or couple seek professional help?
“It is important to understand that sex therapy is just like any other psychotherapy. During sessions (online or in-person), you share your experiences – past and present, concerns, fears, and worries to get to the real root of your sexual issue. With the guidance of a trained and licensed sex therapist, you learn valuable coping skills and relaxation techniques that will help you avoid these sex pitfalls in the future.
The end result? A much healthier and happier sex life.
So, the best way to determine if you or you and your partner need sex therapy is to think about how the sexual issue is making you and your partner feel.
- How is it affecting your self-esteem/self-confidence?
- Is it affecting your relationship?
- What is the impact on your sex life – i.e. performance and drive?
If the sexual issue is negatively affecting your quality of life (in any way) and/or your mental/emotional health, it’s probably time to look into sex therapy. Furthermore, if there appears to be a “disconnect” in the bedroom, a lack of communication, reduced intimacy, and/or sexual dissatisfaction (for you and your partner), talking to a sex therapist may be the solution you have been looking for.”
The truth is a happy and satisfying sex life is important to your mental/emotional and physical health for a variety of reasons. Some of the benefits of healthy sex are “normal” blood pressure, better mood, heart health, increased longevity, a stronger relationship, lower stress levels, and all-round happy sex life. And, let’s be honest, having a vigorous sex life is just a lot of good old wholesome fun.
Unfortunately, however, for some, sex can lead to massive amounts of worry, fear, depression, anxiety, and sexual issues. This affects both you and your partner and can damage a previously fulfilling relationship. Sexual dysfunctions can also lead to a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, isolation, and avoidance of intimacy and sexual intercourse.
The good news is that in most cases, the sexual issue is “reversible” or “correctable.” In other words, for many, this “sexual snafu” is only temporary, but the key is to acknowledge that it is causing you and your partner distress. Then, ask for help. You’d be amazed just how convenient it is to seek help for your temporary sexual dysfunction.