Common Erectile Performance
I’m not a fan of using the word ‘common’, as it implies that there’s something wrong if you don’t fit in society’s typical expectations. However, when it comes to erectile function, what your penis does and doesn’t do could be telling you something important about your physical and mental health, which might need some medical or psychological attention. Here we learn what is common erectile performance.
Why do men get morning glory?
From time to time, men are likely to experience random erections. A random erection is an erection that occurs without sexual stimulation. Random erections are normal.
Teenagers and young adults are more likely to get random erections, though they can occur in adult men too. Random erections that occur only in the morning are normal in many men, regardless of age. Occasionally having trouble getting or keeping an erection is not cause for concern either. However, if you notice a lot of changes in erection frequency or ability, it could be a sign of erectile dysfunction (ED) or another underlying medical issue.
Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT)
Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), sometimes called morning wood, is a type of random erection. The main symptom of NPT is waking up with an erect penis. NPT is a common occurrence for many boys and men.
Waking with an erect penis is a sign of healthy blood and nerve supply to the penis. Boys and men with NPT are likely to be able to maintain an erection while awake.
NPT is more common in younger men, though adult men can experience this. As men reach the ages of 40–50, natural testosterone levels begin to fall. As this level decreases, episodes of NPT may decrease as well. On average, men experience up to five erections while they are sleeping, and each erection lasts about 30 minutes.
What causes NPT?
Many factors are thought to cause NPT. One cause is physical stimulation, which your body can sense even while you sleep. This means your bedsheets brushing against your skin could trigger an erection.
Hormonal shifts may be the culprit, as testosterone is highest in the morning after waking. Brain relaxation may also be a factor, as the body releases hormones to suppress erections during waking hours, but less of them during sleep.
After orgasm, every man goes through a recovery cycle, called the refractory period, which is when it is not possible to get another erection. This resolution stage can take anything from minutes to days and varies from man to man, generally extending as you get older.
Anxiety and depression
The sexual urge that causes you to have an erection starts in your brain. When there aren’t enough brain chemicals to stimulate the blood flow needed for an erection, erectile dysfunction results. Depression causes these brain chemicals to get out of balance, and that can mean you have less desire for sex — and you can’t perform well.
Your penis is sensitive to what is going on in your brain and your nervous system. Anxiety and low self-esteem, which often accompanies depression, will not provide adequate blood flow to your genitals. Erections are formed from blood flowing into the penis and remaining there for a while, so negative and distracting thoughts and feelings will send the blood elsewhere.
If you get caught up in your thoughts during sex, worrying about whether you will get or maintain an erection, obsessing over whether it is big or hard enough, and what your partner might think, then you won’t be there in the moment, enjoying the pleasurable sensations. You might have experienced erectile loss before or ejaculated quicker than you’d have liked, but if you focus on these worries, you may find yourself experiencing performance anxiety which can stop your sexual arousal and lead to a loss of erection.
Similarly, if you find that you are preoccupied with a fear that you might hurt yourself or your partner during penetration, talk to your partner to see what they think and perhaps try using lubricant (lube) to aid penetration. For further information and advice on painful sex, see ‘Why do some men experience pain during sex?”
Read Also: Probable Reasons of Pain While Sex
Loss of erection with partner
You may find that erectile loss is unique to certain situations, such as sex with your partner. If you find that you have no issues getting or maintaining your erection during masturbation, but partnered sex has become an issue, then it could be down to deeper relationship issues or performance anxiety.
Your partner’s reaction to the loss of erections could play a big part in the outcome. If he or she has a relaxed and encouraging attitude towards this situation, then you may find that your erection comes back as your anxiety reduces. However, if you feel responsible, guilty, and ashamed, it is highly unlikely that your erection will want to come out to play.
Loss of erection while putting on a condom
Many men find that when it comes to putting on a condom, their erection disappears. It may appear as though that short break from stimulation stops the arousal process altogether. Condoms are important, not just as a contraceptive, but to protect against transmission of STIs and HIV. Visit our STI tests clinic and STI treatments clinic.
If you are confident that you and your partner are STI-free, you may find that an alternative method of contraception (if needed) alleviates the problem. However, this may not be a suitable option, so how can you include condom use in sex without losing your erection?
Play with your penis while soft in a condom, to get used to the sight, so it’s not so negative in your mind
Masturbate with a condom occasionally and make condoms part of sex play with your partner
Ask your partner to put the condom on you and experiment with different brands
Perhaps try watching porn where condoms are featured, so you associate condom use with arousal
Talk to your partner about this very common worry.
Remember that erections come, go, and can come back again, so even if your penis softens, focus on the physical sensations within your body whilst touching your partner and being touched. Following this, your erection may make a comeback.
Loss of erection during penetration
Some men find that their desire and arousal are fine up until the point of penetration. As soon as they enter their partner, their erection goes, which can be frustrating for both partners. Agree to intentionally let your penis go soft inside your partner, stop thrusting, and lay still together.
Try this on several occasions to both get used to the soft penis, so it is not something to fear. With less pressure, anxiety, and a more forgiving attitude, you may find erections stay for longer during sex. Take penetration off the menu sometimes and enjoy mutual masturbation. Penetration is not the gold standard in sex.
Further help with improving erectile function
Oral Erectile Medication
The first line of treatment for erectile dysfunction is a class of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. Some drugs in this class include Generic Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil).
Phosphodiesterase 5 is an enzyme found in the walls of blood vessels. It affects the way cells communicate with the body and regulates blood flow. By blocking the action of this enzyme, PDE5 inhibitors help relax the blood vessels to increase blood flow.
There are five PDE5 inhibitors approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of ED:
- Viagra (sildenafil) tablets, approved 1998
- Cialis (tadalafil) tablets, approved 2003
- Levitra (vardenafil) tablets, approved 2003
- Staxyn (vardenafil) dissolvable tablets, approved 2010
- Stendra (avanafil) tablets, approved 2012
Though some of these drugs were initially developed to treat pulmonary hypertension (like Viagra), it was discovered they had the added benefit of improving erectile dysfunction.
If you find that you are struggling with maintaining erectile function and have ruled out any physical causes, you may wish to seek help from a qualified psychosexual therapist, to explore more deeply the possible underlying psychological issues. This usually involves weekly talking therapy sessions, helping you to think about experiences in your life that may be affecting you and exploring the way that you think or feel about yourself and relationships. Guidance might include, learning about your body, sexual functioning, and being given exercises to do by yourself or with your partner between sessions.
For single men not in relationships, individual psychotherapy may help to address men’s reluctance to enter into relationships. For men in relationships, individual psychotherapy may help when the dysfunction appears to be rooted in childhood issues or excessive fear of or hostility toward women.
Individual psychotherapy may be exploratory, examining the developmental underpinnings of reluctance to enter into relationships, and fear of hostility toward women. It can also be behavioral, and specific techniques can be learned that help control ejaculation, improve attention to arousal, and manage anxiety.
Other Erectile Improvement Tips
If you want to achieve stronger and longer-lasting erections, the first step is to identify the underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the factors contributing to your sexual dysfunction then take a moment to explore the treatment options.
- One Erectile Dysfunction Remedy Is a Healthy Diet
- Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
- Good Sleep Is a Natural Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
- Take Steps to Control Your Stress
- Quit Smoking to Stop Erectile Dysfunction
- Limit Alcohol to Improve ED
- Get Your Testosterone Levels Tested
- Try Taking Natural Supplements
- Talk to Your healthcare provider About ED Medications
- Communicate With Your Partner
- Regular Doctor Visit
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