The Infamous Mr. ED

Remember that commercial where Mike Ditka threw a football through a tire swing to symbolize how taking Levitra would lead to successful intercourse? Well, I can’t find it online, so you’ll just have to trust me.  Surely, though, you’ve heard of (or seen in your inbox) the countless products out there that claim to make your dick harder/longer/longer-lasting/etc. Judging by how many men we get in the store who are desperate to get their hands on this snake medicine, the false advertising seems to be doing its job.

Gentlemen, it seems to me that we’ve gotten ourselves into quite a pickle, culturally-speaking. Men are supposed, nay, required, to be constantly ready to go, able to brandish a rock-hard erection at the drop of a hat, and anything that deviates from this expectation is considered abnormal. Well. This sounds about as reasonable as the myth that women are expected to be passive and uninterested in sex. And yet both persist. Luckily for us, medical science is here to rescue your cock from certain doom, right?

Well, yes and no. First you’re going to have to face facts: you don’t have a 24/7 hard-on. And that’s okay. Occasionally having trouble getting it up does not mean you need to hit up the Horny Goat Weed aisle of the pharmacy. It’s normal to have fluctuations in libido. The physical translation of the male sex drive — erection — is a very complex physical process that can be thrown off by a number of things, ranging from how much sleep you got the night before, to how much your boss is bugging you at work, to how much water you had to drink yesterday.  Occasional boner issues do not require intervention. They are very very common.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when the issue of maintaining an erection for sex play becomes more frequent. How frequent is too frequent? That’s up to you and your doctor to determine. ED is more common in older men, but it can happen to younger men too. And in younger men without any evidence of health problems, ED is often traceable to a few very mundane issues: stress, anxiety, smoking/drugs/alcohol. And so? In these cases where there is not specifically a physical health issue causing ED, stress (or anxiety, etc) leads to a limp dick, which leads to more stress, low self-esteem and anxiety which leads to more limp dicks. Anxiety, friends, is the anti-boner. Though this isn’t a “physical” issue, per se, it’s still worth swallowing your pride and checking in with your doctor. You are not the only young man to be dealing with ED; try to remember that.

Of course, it is true that physical issues are commonly (particularly in older men) the cause of ED. Heart disease, clogged blood vessels, certain medications, injury, and obesity are all culprits. I am not a doctor, and I can’t tell you how to deal with ED. All I can say is that you should try and work up the courage to talk to your doctor about these issues before chugging that bottle of Stay-Hard. Your dick can be the canary in the coal mine when it comes to your  health, so why not address the whole package?

With that in mind, while you’re waiting for your appointment, look into making positive changes in your lifestyle. Your cock will thank you. Cut down on cigarettes, recreational drugs, and alcohol. Exercise more regularly and eat a more balanced diet. Talk to your therapist if you have one, or, you know, get one so that you can talk to them. Talk to your partner about your concerns and fears — sometimes open and honest communication can help relieve a lot of anxiety. Get enough sleep. Give yoga, meditation, or other relaxation exercises a try. Full-body health can lead to a happier dick.

For more information on the subject, check out the Mayo Clinic’s website.

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