Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, or inability to get or maintain an erection, is surprisingly common. The problem is, you (men) do not talk about it with your friends – you are therefore denied the opportunity of normalizing it, or having a laugh about it.

When I say “having a laugh,” I am not being disrespectful.  On the contrary, if your problem is not organic, having a lighter mood may improve the situation.  Read on, and I shall explain what I mean.

Do you have an erection when you wake up in the morning?

If yes, then the chances are that the problem is not medical, although I do recommend constantly checking this out first.

If it’s not medical, what’s the problem then?  In a word – stress.

All men will have problems getting or maintaining an erection at some point.  If you chalk this up to “just one of those things,” the chances are your sexual abilities returned to normal.

On the other hand, it may have got you down, in more ways than one.

You might have started to worry

  • Oh God, what if this happens again?
  • What is she thinking of me?
  • I am not a man 

It’s Monday morning, and you are at work.  If you knew you were meeting your girlfriend on Friday, or a weekend away with your wife, your thoughts in work may be taken up with sex.

  • What if I can’t get it up?
  • Will she think less of me?

If these thoughts are familiar, you will not be feeling light and happy, when you are thinking this.  Your mood will change.  Even though it is Monday and you are not having sex.  You are at work.   You are creating anticipatory anxiety.  In a nutshell, you are anticipating something bad in the future.

This point is important – the anticipatory anxiety.  Sportsmen and women regularly use “mental rehearsal” to help them prepare for a match.  They imagine the shots, and

the game and perform according to plan when the event arises. 

Research has shown that musicians mentally practice their instrument in their mind, and

use the same brain processes as when playing for real.

Read more on stress and anxiety here

See where I am going?  If you are anticipating sexual problems, in a way, you are mentally priming yourself for it.  It would help if you got your thoughts out of the way.

Friday night arrives and rather than enjoying the evening, your mind is full of what may or may not happen.  By the time you are naked, you are in stress city.

One thing you need to know.  When you are experiencing anxiety, you get a stress response.  A stress response is what you automatically feel if a fight broke out near you.  Your body gets ready to protect itself.  During a stress response, blood is diverted away from less important areas to help your heart beat faster.

Your penis is included here as a less-than-important area.  If the stress response were concerning a fight breaking out, it really would make no sense to have an erection.


For love or money, if you are experiencing stress, the chances of having an erection start to fall drastically.  You worry more.  Rather than paying attention to your partner, you are caught up in your head, with a whole series of self-judgements, making the situation worse.

Help yourself with erection problems.

Back to what I said at the beginning about laughter.  I was not making light of your problem.  Maybe you can see already

that if it was just a funny story, you would not have worried about it afterwards

or gone crazy with worry days before you were going to have sex.

If your problem is not medical, try the following.

Any time, worry thoughts relating to sex come into your head, tell yourself, “that’s just a thought” and bring your attention back to whatever you are doing.

So if you are at work on Monday morning and notice you are worried about sex, bring your thoughts back to your work.  This takes a bit of practice.  The more you practice this, the easier it becomes.  You are then getting rid of anticipatory anxiety.

When you are about to have, sex-these are your new goals.

The goal is not to have an erection.  Why?  You take the pressure off yourself.  Previously if you were going into sex, thinking, “I must have an erection; what if it doesn’t work” this probably did not work.  You could not “talk” yourself into having an erection.  Well, at least not this way.

If you are playfully thinking about sex, you may feel something stirring.  In this case, thinking about sex can cause a change.  This is entirely different to “I must have an erection; come on what’s wrong.”  Not sexy.

Foreplay is not just for women.

It is essential to take the pressure off yourself to help you relax.  Relaxation counteracts the stress response.

For the next week, you can have foreplay but not sex.

An erection is an automatic reaction.  So.  The goal is not to have an erection.

The goal is to focus on your actions with no judgment.  That means paying attention to your partner and whatever sensations you feel.  No judgement is essential.  This means no “It’s not working” or “How am I doing?”  If these judgments pop into your head, bring your attention back to what you are doing.

Focusing on what you are doing, with no judgement, will eventually allow you to have, and maintain, an erection naturally.


is an important word.  You were not taught how to have an erection.  It is something that your brain and body know how to do.  It is out of your control.  A natural process.  Getting your thoughts out of the way

allows this natural automatic process to return.

Do not expect everything to be fine the first time you attempt this.  It’s practice.  See it differently – not as you practise something because something is wrong with you.  See it as a fun practice.  Something that you look forward to.

Erectile problems (including yours), if coming from stress, is a temporary hitch.  Once you start to see it like this, you take the pressure of yourself and allow nature to take its place.

The most important thing to know about stress and erectile dysfunction is that stress can contribute to ED, but it’s rarely the sole cause. Here’s a breakdown:

Stress can impact ED in several ways:

  • Physical: Stress hormones like cortisol can disrupt blood flow to the penis, making it harder to achieve or maintain an erection.
  • Mental: Stress and anxiety can lead to performance anxiety, which can further worsen ED.
  • Lifestyle: Stress can lead to unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor sleep,all of which can contribute to ED.

However, it’s crucial to remember:

  • Occasional ED is normal: Many men experience occasional ED due to stress, fatigue, or other factors. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.
  • Underlying conditions can be at play: Other conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hormonal imbalances can also cause ED. If ED is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out these possibilities.
  • Stress management can help: Techniques like relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and therapy can help manage stress and improve overall well-being, which can positively impact ED.

Therefore, the most important thing is to:

  • Seek professional help if ED is persistent: A doctor can identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, or medications.
  • Don’t panic or feel ashamed: ED is a common issue, and seeking help is a sign of strength and self-care.
  • Focus on overall well-being: Managing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and prioritizing good sleep can all contribute to better sexual health and overall well-being.

Remember, you’re not alone in this, and with proper guidance and support, you can manage stress and improve your sexual health.

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