KARACHI: Growing up in an environment of toxic masculinity, a lot of men find it difficult to talk about problems they face in bed. Anxiety and performance related problems are very common but men often don’t know how to bring up their problems with a partner or how to seek help to figure out what’s going on with their bodies.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common sex related problems men face and tips on how to broach the subject with a sexual partner. In a lot of cases these problems aren’t only damaging for a man’s ego, they can also be indicative of a larger health concern. However, most of these problems are treatable, so if you’re experiencing any of them, don’t stress and don’t be afraid of bringing them up with your doctor.
1. PERFORMANCE ANXIETY: Sexual performance anxiety occurs when men temporarily lose their ability to perform in bed due to being stressed, anxious or nervous. Causes range from fear of not being able to satisfy your partner, body image issues or just a general stressed state of mind. Talking to your partner about the anxiety you’re experiencing can really help ease some of your worries. It’s important to communicate what you’re feeling without the fear of being judged. Anxiety is experienced by everyone and your partner will not only empathize with you, they might even help you figure out other ways of getting intimate that will help you relax.
You should also get yourself checked out by a doctor to ensure that there isn’t a larger medical condition that is affecting your ability to enjoy sex. Therapists can often be helpful in this situation as well as they help you work through your anxiety.
2. PREMATURE EJACULATION: Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates much sooner than he expects. According to Mayo Clinic, estimates suggest that as many as one out of three men experience the problem at some point. So if you’re experiencing the problem, know that it is a common problem and there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Premature ejaculation can be caused by biological problems such as disrupted hormone levels, inflammation or infection of the prostrate or the urethra, but it can also have psychological causes such as depression. In either case it is very important to get yourself checked out by a doctor. Treatment can range from medication to counseling but often discussing sexual techniques with your partner can also be of great help.
3. ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and sustain an erection for sexual activity and it usually manifests in three ways: trouble having an erection, trouble keeping an erection and a reduced sex drive, according to Mayo Clinic. Consistent erectile dysfunction is usually indicative of other health problems and you should see a doctor immediately, especially if you have a family history of/or are currently also experiencing a heart disease or diabetes.
Common causes of erectile dysfunction can range from high cholesterol to tobacco use, to obesity. A doctor will usually conduct a physical exam and recommend blood tests and urine tests to help ascertain if the condition is a symptom of other health concerns, but they will also ask you to make changes in your lifestyle – such as adding physical exercise to your routine, quitting smoking and losing weight.
These are just some of the common sexual health related problems faced by men. You could be experiencing problems that are very different from the conditions listed above which is why a trip to the doctor may prove beneficial.
Even if you’re not experiencing any sexual health related problems, routine check ups are extremely important. In a society where sexual health is taboo, it’s important to protect yourself by taking the initiative to understand your body in order to have a healthy and fulfilling sex life.
This story is part of a weekly series, you can read the previous entry here.