Complete and Partial
Loss of Erection
The loss of erectile power is known as
dysfunction; there are two kinds of erectile dysfunction which afflict men:
full erectile dysfunction and
partial erectile dysfunction.
Full erectile dysfunction is when the man
cannot get any sign of erection at all (also known as impotence.)
Partial erectile dysfunction is when the man
can get a strong erection during sex-play, but loses it as he tries to
penetrate his partner, or very shortly after getting his penis into the
vagina and before he can bring either himself or his partner to orgasm -
this is often termed loss of erection.
Let's take full erectile dysfunction first.
The first point about erectile dysfunction is that half the cases it is
caused by a psychological issue of some kind.
The other half of the cases are due to
physical problems, some of which can be treated and corrected, some of
Sometimes the psychological issues in
erectile dysfunction are the result of the same kind of psychological or
emotional issues which result in premature ejaculation, e.g. anxiety of
one kind or another, feelings of acute sexual inadequacy, feelings of
resentment towards the partner, or a desire to punish her.
Most often, however, it is fear of
becoming impotent that produces the erectile dysfunction; in other words,
a vicious circle of anxiety and its effects on the erectile mechanism loss
of erection) producing more anxiety.
on the threshold of middle age represent most cases. This is because
as a man grows older,
not only does his sex drive lose some of its strength and frequency, but
ability to achieve and sustain a strong erection is weakened slightly.
It is when he notices this deterioration
that he begins to fear the worst, though most of the time his fears are
Despite this, he fears he is going to
fail to get an erection and, sure enough, his fear makes him fail; or he
fails to get an erection on one occasion, panics, fears that he may be
impotent next time, and then he is.
The point about this kind of
fear-induced impotence is that the cause for the first failure may be very
easily corrected. I will come to this presently, just as we discussed
premature ejaculation in the previous section.
Before going on to consider psychologically induced
what about the fifty per cent of cases that do not have a psychological
These may be caused by diseases such as diabetes or hyperlipidemia,
or accidental injury to the spinal column, which can cause erectile
dysfunction by preventing the nerves which produce erection from receiving
or sending nervous impulses.
is how that happens: erection is brought about initially by nerve centers
in the brain.
from the brain to the penis travel down the spinal column to the erection
centre in the spine, which is a kind of junction box located about four or
five inches above the base of the spinal column.
From the erection centre nervous impulses travel along the sexual nervous
system to the erectile tissue of the penis.
When these messages are received, the
erectile tissue, which is a sponge-like material, fills with blood, which
enters the tissue at a faster rate than it leaves it, and the penis
becomes stiff and erect.
Any damage to the nerves along this very
extensive route will result in the messages not reaching the erectile
tissue, and the penis will remain soft and limp.
All sorts of disturbances can afflict
this important nervous system including diabetes,
high cholesterol, high blood pressure and so on.
One of the main psychological causes of
erectile dysfunction is exhaustion, which may affect the central nervous
system and its associated systems. Exhaustion is less frequently found in
young men, but is very common among middle-aged and older men.
In the 1970's, sexologists Masters and
Johnson listed six main categories of causes of the impairment of sexual
function in older men, and this list is still probably valid today:
- boredom with sexual partner
- preoccupation with career or making
- mental or physical fatigue
- overeating and/or overdrinking of
- physical and mental health issues
either of the man himself or his partner
- fear of failure of sexual performance,
perhaps associated with or resulting from any of the other five
cause is yeast infection. This common condition affects many people,
some of whom may show no symptoms.
Boredom with the sexual partner is one of the most common causes of male
erectile dysfunction, and one which need never happen. It is not good
enough for men to blame their partners for this, by accusing them of lack
of interest, refusal to experiment or to make love in any other position
but the man on top.
Far too many men, despite all the
assistance in the shape of books and the internet, are such lazy lovers
that it just isn't true; and far too many men are singularly unimaginative
when it comes to making love.
If a couple's sex life is varied and
interesting from the word go, it will remain that way for as long as the
It is unfortunate that a man tends to
experience the mid-life crisis just as his sex drive and some of the
physical-sexual functions are beginning to taper off a little.
He is eager to reach the top or, if at
the top, to make himself more financially secure for retirement, and in
doing so, he so fills his mind with career thoughts so much so that he has
little time for other interests, including sex.
could shut business out the moment he crosses the threshold of his front
door, and make sex one of his chief alternatives to business, he would be
surprised how the mental and physical relaxation that inevitably flows
from a good session of lovemaking, would equip him better for dealing with
his business. Yet the fact is, sex in
midlife can be
great - it just needs some adaptation.
Sex, however, is strangely persistent in forcing its attentions on men of
all ages. It does so even on the man who has stopped enjoying sex.
He hasn't the energy or desire to be
sexually active, but he is nevertheless subconsciously aware of what he is
missing and tries to compensate for his loss of sex by drinking too much
alcohol, or eating too much, or both, or by some other noble pursuit of
mid-life, such as getting a powerful motorbike and running off with his
successfully launches himself on the treadmill of the vicious circle. He
has given up sex because of his other preoccupations, yet by overdrinking
and/or overeating he makes absolutely certain of undermining his sexual
establishing erectile dysfunction treatment even more.
The man who consumes too much booze and
overeats needs to start his sexual rehabilitation by getting his diet and
alcohol under control and then should restart his sexual activity.
He must not expect overnight miracles,
however, and he must have the sympathetic and physically active partner to
provide him with the sexual stimulation and the sexual stimulus which will
persuade his penis to respond.
If a man has a partner who plays the
active part in the lovemaking and the man just lies there and lets her
have her way with him - so that he does not add to his mental or physical
tiredness - he will experience intense orgasms which will make him so
relaxed that the tiredness will quickly vanish, especially if he can sleep
When all is said and done, it is fear of
sexual failure that creates more erectile dysfunction and impotence than