Men’s Sexual Health – Fact & Fantasy

Men's Sexual Health

In the fantasy world of men’s sexual health most men would like to imaginethey’ve got a sex tool “two feet long, hard as steel, that will knock her socks off.”

In this same dream world:
  • Male and female orgasm are absolutely necessary
  • Intercourse is the only real sexual act
  • No man admits to questions, doubts or problems relating to his sexual health
However in real life most men have to unlearn a lot of rubbish they’ve learnt about men’s sexual health before they can become halfway decent lovers. (So says Bernie Zilbergeld in The New Male Sexuality (Bantam Books)

So perhaps it’s a good idea to demolish the argument about size right now:  Women consider penis size the ninth most important feature for a man, while men rate it in third place.

Myths About Men’s Sexual Health

Some of the biggest myths about men’s sexual health revolve around the idea that sex is not about love or caring or even lust but about proving you’re a man – it’s a performance. And what good is a performance if no one knows about it?

It’s like the old men’s sexual health joke:

Q - "Why do Aussie men cum so quickly?"
- "So they can race off to the pub and tell all their mates!"

As Bernie Zilbergeld notes in The New Male Sexuality, almost all fictional representations of sex depict male performance and female pleasure. He acts (rams, pounds, thrusts, bangs) and she feels (unbearable pleasure, overwhelming joy.)  What a man feels or experiences is rarely discussed.

Life Stages for Men’s Sexual Health

Different men’s sexual health worries arise at different ages and stages. And sex changes with age, not just from physical changes like:
  • Declining testosterone levels
  • Natural aging slows down response
  • Male menopause
  • Secondary premature ejaculation – develops later in life
But also because of relationship issues like:
  • Divorce
  • Partner’s low sex drive
  • Menopause changes make sex uncomfortable for partner
  • Boredom  - marriage becomes too predictable

Typical men’s sexual health scenarios:


Stress and Men’s Sexual Health

Men’s sexual health can be affected at any age by:
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sex drive
  • Emotional stress - divorce, bereavement, job loss, serious accidents, disappointment and disillusionment

Severe stress can age a man’s testosterone levels by ten years within a few months – and testosterone is the male hormone responsible for sex drive, energy, and male self confidence.
Adrenalin produced when a man is anxious cuts off blood flow to the penis, making erections difficult.

Depression can lead to low sex drive, and medications prescribed for depression also reduce libido.

Lifestyle Affects Men’s Sexual Health

And it’s also clear that life style factors like:
  • Obesity

  • Heavy alcohol or drug use
  • Smoking
  • Not exercising
Can all lead to men’s sexual health problems in later life, because of metabolic changes slowing nerve response and blood flow to the penis.

About 30 per cent of men in their 70s enjoy good sexual health with no erectile dysfunction problem; they are also likely to enjoy good general health, and to have maintained their physical fitness.

Men’s Sexual Health – Premature Ejaculation

According to Sydney sex experts Michael Lowy and Brett McCann in their book Too Fast – Learning to Last Longer –
  • About 20 to 30 per cent of men say they have premature ejaculation (PE)
  • Some are young men still learning to control ejaculation
  • Some have normal ejaculation times but unrealistic expectations
  • About 5 per cent have secondary PE – they had control when younger but develop PE as they age
  • And about 10 per cent have life-long PE

Premature ejaculation is defined by the time from penetration to ejaculation. Sometimes a couple is quite happy with “a steady diet of quickies” and so it is a subjective measure, but most men seeking help for premature ejaculation last less than a minute.

Porn and Men’s Sexual Health

Internet porn may initially help you get more excited during sex, but over time the endless variety and over stimulation has the opposite effect on men’s sexual health: porn can dull your ability to please, and be pleased by, your partner.

Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, in The Brain That Changes Itself noticed something unsettling among his porn-using patients: They reported increasing difficulty in being turned on by their “real life” partners even when they considered them attractive.

Changes in brain chemistry – particularly over-stimulation with dopamine - numbs the pleasure response of the brain, pumping up cravings for more novel stimuli. A familiar mate appears less and less enticing.