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Erectile Dysfunction Radio Podcast
Today’s episode of the Erectile Dysfunction Radio Podcast is about three commonly overlooked categories of erectile dysfunction and why they matter.
The Erectile Dysfunction Radio Podcast is dedicated to educating and empowering men to address erectile dysfunction, improve confidence, and enhance the satisfaction in their relationships. This podcast is hosted by certified sex therapist, Mark Goldberg, LCMFT, CST.
Transcript of Episode 9 – Three Overlooked Erectile Dysfunction Categories
On this episode of the Erectile Dysfunction radio podcast we’re talking about three categories of erectile dysfunction that are often overlooked, that I believe can be very helpful in getting down to the root causes and drivers of your ED.
As we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, the discovery or the experience of erectile dysfunction can be startling, upsetting and distressing. The initial panic can cause you to miss some very important details of what is happening. There are three primary areas where erectile dysfunction can manifest itself.
These are outlined in the DSM-5 which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental health. That’s where mental health conditions are categorized and defined. The DSM-5 describes three situations.
A man can have trouble gaining an erection, a man can have trouble maintaining an erection and the man can experience a lack of rigidity or a lack of firmness in his erection.
In other words, not all erectile dysfunction is the same. What is happening to you makes a difference and may have different factors that are causing that particular manifestation. So let’s look a little bit closer at each of these categories, try to better understand them and see how they may be impacting you.
So if you are having trouble gaining an erection, is that happening when you’re on your own? Is that happening when you’re with a partner? Is it happening in both situations? Sometimes it’s a function of time and the trouble with gaining an erection is not an all or nothing question and it’s more a question of if a man is deviating from his known baseline.
If it used to take him 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes to be able to achieve an erection and now it’s taking double or triple the time, that too may be distressing and may be cause for alarm. That’s different than a man who simply cannot gain an erection regardless of what he tries.
In the second category of trouble maintaining an erection, it’s important to ask yourself are you struggling to maintain an erection prior to sexual activity or prior to sexual penetration or are you able to
maintain a firm erection until that point. It’s not uncommon that men struggle with maintaining an erection as they approach partnered sexual activity. Questions about duration, frequency are also going to apply to struggles of maintaining an erection.
The third category where erections can lose their firmness has similar questions. Are you noticing a decrease in firmness throughout the erection process? Is there a decrease in firmness while you’re trying to gain an erection? Does it become more firm over time? Does it become less firm over time? Do you notice a decrease in firmness during partnered sexual activity, during penetration?
All of these details can make a big difference. Some men will experience all of these components at the same time.
The struggle to gain an erection. When they do finally gain that erection, they may struggle to maintain the erection. They may notice decreased rigidity throughout the process. Many men will have some of these components at different times and other men may only experience one of these components consistently. Let me give you some examples so you can get a better feel of what I mean.
A 41-year-old male gains an erection without a problem but loses it with a partner right before penetration. A 25-year-old male can gain and maintain an erection on his own but loses his erection during penetrative sex. A 57-year-old male only experiences decreased rigidity.
At times, he struggles to maintain an erection on his own but he can consistently gain an erection. All three of these men have erectile dysfunction but do they sound the same to you? The question that needs to be asked is if these elements, these manifestations of erectile dysfunction, are they uniquely different or are they all part of the same process? In other words, are they all caused by the same singular set of drivers?
I don’t know if there’s a clear answer to this. Some men will have a specific set of factors that can cause all three types of erectile dysfunction simultaneously. If you are somebody however that experiences one of these manifestations alone, there may be unique factors that explain why you can gain but not maintain an erection or why you struggle to gain but are able to maintain an erection once you have it.
As an example, performance anxiety is likely to be more present at the gaining stage of erections in a partnered setting.
It makes sense that a man may worry about getting an erection and relax upon achieving it thereby allowing him to maintain that erection without problems. If a man can gain an erection but struggles to maintain it, perhaps there are issues pertaining to the stimulation, the excitement and those factors may be more present, more prevalent, more involved than issues of performance.
Yes, a man can get bored and distracted during sexual engagement and that can negatively impact his ability to maintain an erection. Rigidity of erections can be impacted at various stages as well and they may be driven by a number of unique factors.
The timing of when the rigidity happens in the erection process can be very informative as to which psychogenic factors may be involved. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it could be very helpful to identify the specifics of your situation. The details can make a big difference.
Medications can help mask some of those details because they can override all three of these areas at once. Medication helps you gain, maintain and it can help firm up an erection through one pill. I think that this contributes to these distinctions being overlooked.
If you want to get down to the root of what might be contributing to your ED, this may be a helpful part of your exploration. It takes a calm head, time and some personal reflection but your erection process can benefit greatly from this.
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