Men take sex seriously!  Effective sexual functioning provides men the confidence and self-esteem both in and out of the bedroom. Performing well sexually provides a man with power to stand proudly with his partner, and also to own his power throughout the relationship. Men take great pride in sexual performance and their sexual skills.  Most men regard good sexual performance as a masculine obligation and put much pressure on themselves to succeed. 

Click the links below to visit the description of many sexual stumbling blocks for men:

Premature Ejaculation (PE)

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erections and Aging

Delayed Ejaculation

Sexual Compulsion and Addiction

High Sexual Desire

Discrepancy of Sexual Desire

Discrepancy of Sexual Interest

Performance Anxiety

Pornography

Sexual Avoidance

Premature Ejaculation (PE)

A man suffers from premature ejaculation when he is unable to possess sufficient control over the timing of his ejaculation to satisfy himself and his partner. In extreme cases, a man may lack the control to delay ejaculation even before the penetration of intercourse has begun. Many men do not possess sufficient ejaculatory control to hold off on ejaculating beyond one, two, or three minutes into intercourse, but well before he would prefer to time his ejaculation.  Lack of control causes men to be burdened with powerfully negative feelings of shame, embarrassment and inadequacy.  Some men are so deeply bothered by their lack of ejaculatory control that they avoid sexual opportunities, and those that are single, avoid potential sexual partners that comes with dating. Men who suffer with premature ejaculation experience a cycle of performance anxiety where their worry interferes with ejaculatory success and resolving the problem.

See below the section on performance anxiety

Men in long-term relationships who suffer from PE get caught in a cycle of frustration with their female partners.  When disappointing sexual experiences become the norm, female frustration may progress to contempt. Some female partners discontinue all sexual experiences when their male partner has not demonstrated good ejaculatory control, enough to provide her with satisfaction. An array of negative feelings will ripple throughout the relationship making problem resolution many times more difficult while partner suffering increases. Men are able to develop the kind of control they desire. With an increase in muscular control, sensitivity to their arousal, greater awareness of their emotional state, an increased capacity to relax and improved confidence, a man can possess the kind of control he seeks. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

Erectile Dysfuntion (ED)

This problem can be caused by physical or emotional obstacles.  Poor health, heart problems, circulatory problems and medications, especially blood pressure medicine, can all result in poor erections or lack of erections altogether. Aging is a factor that naturally causes softer erections and the slower process of getting an erection. If an erection fails to live up to a man’s expectations or his partner, the conditions are present for the cycle of performance anxiety to be generated in which erectile dysfunction becomes a pattern.  However, strong negative emotions can also eliminate the potential for a man to experience a solid erection.  Fear, anxiety, stress, pre-occupation, anger can all interfere with full erections. If a man is in conflict with his sexual partner or harbors resentment towards the partner, he may have difficulty or the inability to achieve an erection. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

Erections and Aging

As a man ages, so does his penis. Age-related changes are viewed negatively by most men and represent a loss. The changes a man experiences in his erections vary from man to man, but the aging process includes changes that are typical, such as erections which are not as firm as decades earlier. The older a man is, the amount of time to become erect is greater. As age increases, the negative factors that had interfered with a full erection occasionally, will prevent an erection often and easily, such as anxiety, busy mind or tension between he and his partner. A young man may become aroused upon seeing something or someone erotic (which can be embarrassing for a young man) but for an older man, an erection is unlikely even though he may be mentally aroused. Older men required direct stimulation to get and maintain an erection, a fact that can be disturbing to some men.

Aging introduces many challenges as bodies experience tests to health.  A healthy older man, into his 70’s or 80’s may experience full sexual functionality and sexual interest if he has good health. However, the opposite is also true, if a man is physically unhealthy he runs a high risk of losing sexual function. Heart problems and the associated medicine are an enemy to good erections. High blood pressure treated with high blood pressure medications are literally erection-killers. Physical pain can routinely interrupt arousal reducing the likelihood of a good erection.  Indirect to physical health is relationship health; most older are in older relationships, which have had longer than younger relationships to accumulate sources of resentment, that if not resolved may prevent arousal and erections when very close to the romantic partner.   Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

See article entitled: “Pipeline to Pleasure”

Delayed Ejaculation

Few men talk about this problem, which is the limited or inability to reach orgasm.  Men suffering from this grow frustrated by their inability, and may be troubled by their partner’s reaction, such as taking their lack of ejaculation personally, as an indication of undesirability and feelings of lack of love.  At its worst, sufferers are unable  to ejaculate ever when with their partner.  Delayed ejaculation may also result in negative effects to the sexual relationship between partners.  In their desire for orgasmic success, partners may make lengthy efforts mostly resulting in loss of arousal, soreness, disappointment and frustration. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

Sexual Compulsion and Addiction

Sex is a powerful force, though most men are able to sufficiently control their sexual desire from becoming unhealthy, unwanted or risky sexual behaviors.  Men with sexual compulsion or sexual addiction do not possess the necessary control to curb risky, self-destructive sexual behaviors, thus create problems for themselves, their partners and families. These men struggle with self-esteem, anxiety often due to past trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse.

     For men sex is deeply tied to their sense of their selves, thus when a man experiences deep inner pain or shame, he is likely to express it sexually. Men will seek to address their woundedness, experienced by him as incessant and unrelenting sexual desire, causing him to attempt relief through repetitive and frequent sexual experiences, such as compulsive masturbating to porn, demanding a high frequency of sex with the romantic partner, initiating frequent sexual hookups, and even sex in situations that are dangerous and highly unhealthy without regard to the effect on those who will be impacted, such as a romantic partner, family and friends. Sex and orgasm pump up a sense of self-worth and orgasm provides good feelings due to the release of brain chemicals that decease depression, increase pain threshold and provide a sense of well-being, a positive alternative to his daily feelings.

     The man who is sexually compelled will experience his sexual drive as controlling him; that he has no choice about it and cannot stop. Though externally the out-of-control sexual patterns look a lot like addiction, they are actually an expression of an emotional need for inner healing, self-love. 

     Men get caught in a cycle of intensifying sexual desire. His need for sexual gratification does not heal his inner pain, shame and self-hate. On the contrary, the more he pursues relief through sex, the more he hates himself which energizes his cycle of compulsion. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

High Sexual Desire

Some do not regard this as a problem but just a healthy sign of masculine virility. Not all sexual desire is related to emotional pain. The presence of high level of the hormone testosterone produces high levels of sexual desire. Many men are not sexually compulsive…they do not act out sexually and their sexual desire is not driven by a desire to heal shame. Some men just have high and unrelenting sexual desire. These men are the ones that are the prototype for female’s myth about men and sex; men whose desire cannot be quenched.

     High sexual desire is multi-faceted; men like feeling virile and like fitting into the high sexual model of great masculinity, certainly men like the pleasure of sex and being close to a woman and pleasing her, but the chronic sexual desire is uncomfortable, is present even when no sexual opportunity exists or at inappropriate times the result of which is that sexual desire is a distraction. Even after a sexual experience culminating in orgasm, within minutes the sexual desire is back. Though rarely does a man complain, but secretly many men wish their strong desire would go away sometimes. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

     See article about Sexual Desire and Men

      See article about Men and Their Eroticism

Discrepancy of Sexual Desire

When sexual partners differ on the preferred frequency of sexual activity, tension may build between partners and even be the source of arguments. Unresolved, discrepancy of sexual desire may result in significant damage to the relationship and connection between partners, well beyond the arena of sex. As relationships transition through developmental phases, differences in sexual interest will increase and decrease causing tension due to frequency or infrequency. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

See article: Sexual Desire and Men

See article on: Discrepancy of Sexual Desire

See article: Battling Desire Discrepancy

Discrepancy of Sexual Interest

What each one of us defines as good or great sex varies from person to person. When sexual needs or interests vary widely, problems with sex are sure to follow.  Couples who easily and openly talk about sex may be able to resolve such a discrepancy, but most couples are not comfortable with talk of sex and do not engage in this kind of communication.  Unsolved, discrepancy of sexual interest may result in tension between partners, but also an accumulation of frustration, resentment and loss of interest in sex and infrequent sex. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

See also article: Eroticism: What Turns Us On

See also article: Battling Bedroom Boredom

See article on: Curing the Sexless Marriage

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is an emotional trap. Once a man has experience of failed sexual performance and reacts with horror, a pattern becomes entrenched in which he worries about his performance in each subsequent sexual opportunity. Because a relaxed and positive attitude supports good sex and successful male sexual performance and fear, worry and negative feelings undermine good sexual performance, his worry contributes to a re-occurring self-fulfilling prophesy in which failed performance is worried about so failed performance occurs.

      For maintained arousal, manifested by an erection, a man must be relaxed and  undistracted to enjoy the pleasure of excited feelings in his body. If anxious, he is less likely to maintain arousal and be unaware or insensitive to physical sensations of excitement; he will lose his erection. The cycle is then repeated.  

     Men who have experienced failed sexual performance may be beset with painful feelings of inadequacy. Such men have a tendency to avoid sexual encounters. 

     Performance anxiety is an anxiety-based emotional trap that may snare anyone at anytime high pressure for high performance is in place. Whether it be a student regarding tests, an athlete regarding competitive success, a woman regarding sexual arousal, all are prone to vicious cycles of performance anxiety. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

Pornography 

The use of pornography is widespread. In many cases men and their partners incorporate sexual material into their sex play in creative and positive ways often times as an aid to arousal. Yet in other circumstances, pornography for some men is an expression of sexually compulsive behaviors.  For others, especially those in relationships where their partners are opposed to the presence of pornography, porn represents a destructive force to the relationship, a sense of infidelity, and the healthiness of a couple’s sex life.  Andrew Aaron, LICSW has helped many men and their partners negotiate the treacherous waters surrounding the issues of pornography. Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

See article entitled: “Coping With the Porn Factor”

Sexual Avoidance

For many emotional reasons, including those mentioned above, many men avoid sex, contrary to the prevailing myth that all men possess intense and incessant sexual desire. Some men have low desire or lack of desire which may be caused by low testosterone, depression or lack of confidence brought on by experiences of failed sexual performance. Others suffer from depression or due to relationship complications seek to avoid being sexual with their partners.  The effect of sexual avoidance can be negative and profound, from continuous hurt to the partner to causing the end to relationships.