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Male Sexual Problems And Concerns

Psychologist Anywhere Anytime

Male sexuality, like female sexuality, is a complex process, including your psychological, neurological, vascular and endocrine systems. Sexuality also includes your family, societal and religious beliefs, and is altered with aging, health status and personal experience. In addition, sexual activity incorporates interpersonal relationships. A problem in any of these areas can evidence itself as a male sexual problem.

Understanding Male Sexual Problems

There are great differences in individual male sexual functioning and there is no one standard that a man must meet for his sexual functioning to be considered normal.  If you experience a sexual issue that troubles you, then it is a problem for which you should seek help.

The term Sexual Dysfunction is a general term used to describe a number of sexual problems.  The problem areas for men generally include erectile problems, premature ejaculation, performance anxiety, gender identity problems, and hypoactive sexual desire. 

Erectile Disorder is the recurrent inability to achieve or maintain an adequate erection until completion of sexual activity. While even one occurrence of an inability to maintain an erection is a concern to many men, it is not considered male erectile disorder if it is merely an occasional problem or if it does not create distress and interpersonal difficulty.

The problem can be due to psychological and/or physical factors or any combination of these, and it can occur in most or just some settings. For some, the onset occurs at a specific time in life as in response to a specific situation. For others, it may be of lifelong duration. Erectile disorders may accompany a fear of failure. In many cases the erectile failure is intermittent and is dependent upon the specific partner, the nature of the relationship of the man and woman, and the frame of mind of the male at the time of sexual intimacy.

Psychosocial factors are important in all forms of erectile dysfunction. Careful attention to these issues and attempts to relieve sexual anxieties should be a part of the therapeutic intervention for all patients with erectile dysfunction.

Performance anxiety is a common sexual problem in which anxiety about engaging in sexual activity becomes an block to sexual feelings and thoughts.  Performance anxiety can result in avoidance of sexual encounters, lowered self-esteem, relationship problems and actual sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can develop as an outgrowth of performance anxiety.

Premature ejaculation is the persistent or recurrent experience of ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before or shortly after penetration. Sometimes, it is misperceived by the male as occurring "too soon" when, in reality, ejaculation is occurring within what is considered an average length of time. The normal physical response is for the man to experience ejaculation is approximately 2 to 3 minutes after vaginal penetration.

Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are often a temporary response to stress or loss of confidence and they respond well to treatment. It may also be caused by physical factors, by medication, or may be secondary to the ageing process.  The disorder may have an onset later in life or have been in effect for the person's entire life, and it can manifest in only specific situations or in almost all situations. Premature ejaculation and erectile problems may be caused by, or be aggravated by, psychological factors such as guilt, fear, performance anxiety, and interpersonal issues affecting the couple.  There are physical causes which should also be considered, but the vast majority of such situations arises from psychological experiences and become associated with fear that it will simply happen again. 

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder may exist when the person does not have a desire for sex and is not interested in the sexual advances of his partner. While aging and life circumstances affect sexual desire, they do not necessarily lead to a permanent deletion of sexual desire and interest. 

Gender Identity Disorder refers to those men and women who evidence of a strong and persistent gross-gender identification. They have a frequently stated desire to be, or insistence that he is the other sex. The person may try to pass as the other sex and/or want to live or be treated as the opposite sex.

Treatment of Male Sexual Problems

Male sexual problems and concerns can be due to psychological, psychosocial and/or physical factors or any combination of these.  Careful attention to these issues and attempts to relieve sexual anxieties should be a part of any therapeutic intervention.

Male sexual problems can occur in most or just some settings, may occur at a specific time in life or in response to a specific situation, or can be lifelong in duration.  Determining the cause of the problem can be especially important in the treatment of sexual problems since they may have a chemical or biological cause which will require medical intervention.  Accordingly, a comprehensive examination by a physician should always occur before any therapeutic treatment is started.

Treatment will then vary depending on the unique aspects of the person, the nature of their problem, and their life circumstances.   

Treatment of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation may involve therapy which emphasizes behavioral techniques and may include relaxation, hypnosis, the use of external stimulation, hormone treatment, and medication.  Treatment may involve explaining why premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction occurs, assuring the person or couple that the "problem" may be a normal part of the male sexual response, and providing techniques that may assist the man and his partner in learning behavioral techniques to help obtain an erection and delay ejaculation.  Other forms of treatment may involve injections into the penis, penile prosthesis or implants, vascular surgery, and vacuum device therapy.

Additional Information

For more information about sex and sexual related issues or problems, please click on the linked websites listed below.

 Psychnet: premature ejaculation
 Psychnet: male erectile disorder
 Psychnet: sexual desire disorder

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Feel free to contact me now for your free initial consultation. Once you become an existing client, you will be given a pager number where you can reach me whenever you need.

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