Erectile dysfunction and psyche?


Psyche can sometimes manifest itself in bed as well. The sexual part of our life is part of us and sexual needs are among the basic physiological needs. But what happens if it suddenly doesn't work in bed?

What is a healthy first reaction when an erection problem first occurs? And how can it be worked with at the given moment?

Defining a healthy first erection after failure is very individual. Sexual problems are a frequent and at the same time multifactorial process. From the point of view of psychology, we see this topic as a state where some sexual problems are often caused by dissociation, that is, as if disconnecting from one's own body or reality. We experience a state when we cannot stop our thoughts or we are unable to feel bodily sensations. Recommended techniques are relaxation exercises or so-called mindfulness. Practice the so-called grounding exercises that support increased use of the senses, especially during foreplay and setting the mood. Regular feedback from your partner also helps reduce tension. And so communication can be an opportunity to better understand the needs of the other party.

What should a partner who witnesses a "failure" do? Can we help in any way? Or what is the correct reaction?

The key is to realize that your partner is not like an ATM that is ready to issue or deposit banknotes 24/7 in any weather. Failure can occur for a number of reasons that are connected to completely normal life. Failure is often influenced by fatigue, alcohol, increased sensitivity to certain stimuli, fear of pregnancy, dislike, argument, pressure to perform or simply lack of time. Failure does not mean that the partner does not feel sufficient desire or affection and is therefore not a sign of rejection by the other person. And thus on both sides there can be an injury, which partners should communicate with each other and show understanding.

If the dysfunction is caused by the psyche, can it be cured even without therapy? Is it enough to limit pornography or reduce the number of sexual or stressful stimuli in a person's life?

Pornography can significantly affect failure, especially on a cognitive and neuropsychological level. By frequent and long-term use of pornographic content to satisfy needs, we teach our brain to change the visual tolerance of our partner, and that is why the other half may seem less attractive. Thanks to frequent gratification with pornography, we support the production of dopamine without any effort, which reduces the level of subjectively experienced satisfaction and happiness. Research shows that dysfunction is associated with increasing age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, alcohol, smoking, lack of physical exercise, and atherosclerosis or elevated cholesterol levels. And so a healthy lifestyle is definitely one of the important preventive factors, as well as enough vitamin D and mental balance. Many factors relate to a person's volitional abilities, so if we work on these elements and also on the support of mutual understanding and self-perception, it is possible to achieve success. Nevertheless, it is advisable to work with an expert and use his wider and deeper knowledge and experience in the given area. A psychologist can often help a client see a problem from a different perspective, which often helps him understand and improve his condition faster.

How can erectile dysfunction be dealt with psychologically so that it does not limit sexual life?

I recommend supporting imagination and creativity. These two things go hand in hand with the therapeutic process and getting to know the sources of psychological difficulties. Active imagination, relaxation, breathing or bioenergetic exercises help us focus on our senses and support mindfulness. Thanks to the recognition of failures, we can focus on creating new healthy images and a healthy relationship with ourselves and our own body. 

PhDr. Ivana Čergeťová, PhD., LL.M., MBA, PCIC

I am a psychologist, NLP coach, attachment-based therapist, career counselor, and academic staff. I have been dedicated to the attachment theory in personal and work settings for over 20 years. I work on this topic not only as a counselor but also as a researcher. Meeting with me can help you if you are seeking an expert in mental health specializing in relationships, communication, and personal development. For more information, follow my social networks @radipsychologicka #attachment #relationships #love #attachment #JoinMeForAdvice #relationshiptherapist #development