Man with naked torso turning away in frustration
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Difficulties with sex: men

Sexual difficulties are very common for men of all ages. Common guy problems include premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation – either coming much sooner or much later than you’d like.

Difficulties in bed are quite common, and most people will face them at some point in their lives. Some difficulties are temporary; others require professional attention. Most are easily treated. Usually, the biggest challenge is to admit to having a problem.

You don't need to be embarrassed when you experience sexual difficulties. Many men think they would be considered by others to be less masculine. But having your issues seen to and treated is the best thing you can do for your sexual health and your relationships.

Some sexual difficulties are related to unhealthy lifestyle choices and can be prevented by leading a healthy life: eating a balanced diet, exercising, not smoking and minimizing alcohol consumption. Basically, anything that is good for your overall health is generally good for your sexual health. But of course living a healthy life does not mean you will be immune to having issues in bed – but it might reduce the risk.

When seeing a healthcare provider for issues, the doctor will likely ask you a lot of questions about your sexual, physical and emotional health. The diagnosis will be made a lot easier if you answer these questions as honestly and in-depth as you can – even though it might feel awkward. The doctor will also likely examine you. Don't be ashamed or afraid. Remember: it's very common to have problems and you are doing the right thing by getting treatment.

What you will have to do to resolve the problem depends on the sexual difficulty. Below we cover the most common conditions, their causes and their treatments.

Sexual difficulties affect both partners

There’s no doubt about it: sexual difficulties are bad news for your sex life. If a man is always worried about getting an erection or ejaculating too soon, it’s going to be difficult for him to relax and fully enjoy the experience.
But his partner will also be left unsatisfied, especially if the man is so focused on his fears that he ignores his partner’s sexual needs. As a result, both parties are left wanting. If this continues long enough the couple may begin to avoid lovemaking and even intimacy in general.
So it's good to address any issues as soon as they arise.

Premature ejaculation

One of the most common problems for men, premature ejaculation is when a man orgasms uncontrollably, either before or shortly after sexual stimulation begins. Sometimes it can even occur with little or no physical contact.

With premature ejaculation, the orgasm becomes unwanted, spoiling the sexual experience and leaving both partners unsatisfied. Premature ejaculation affects nearly every man at some point in his life.

It may result from both physical and psychological problems, though it is usually difficult to find the exact cause.

Other psychological factors that can cause premature ejaculation include a religious background in which sex is stigmatised, stress and anxiety, guilt, depression or past sexual trauma. Physical causes may include an oversensitive glans (the top part of the penis), hormonal problems, past injuries, drug side-effects or neurological disease. In some cases, it is simply caused by disinterest or lack of attraction for a sexual partner.

In many cases, it declines as a man gains sexual experience and learns to control his ejaculation. The best way to gain mastery over ejaculation is by identifying the sensations that signal an approaching orgasm and communicating with your partner to temporarily tone down stimulation.

Using a condom or numbing creams and gels, which reduce sensation, can be other options. You could also experiment with different positions, or speak to your doctor about medications that may help treat premature ejaculation. Masturbation, and understanding what excites you, can also help you learn how to control your arousal.

Delayed ejaculation and anorgasmia

The opposite of premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation means ejaculating way later than desired – or even not at all. Not having an orgasm is also called anorgasmia. The two conditions are not the same, but are often grouped together as 'disordered orgasms'.

Disordered orgasms mostly affect older men.

They can also be caused by psychological factors. This could be fear of sex, having been abused, or thinking that sex isn't good (that it’s, for example, dirty or a sin).

When you see a doctor about this, they will ask you questions about what could be causing the problem and treat you accordingly. This may mean seeing a psychologist to discuss any issues you may have.

Erectile dysfunction

Having erectile dysfunction means being unable to get or maintain an erection. It can also refer to the quality of an erection: that the erection is not hard enough to enter the vagina.

Erectile dysfunction gets more common as men get older, but it can affect men of all ages.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes make it more likely for a man to get erectile dysfunction. But also stress and fear of being unable to perform in bed can cause problems.

When looking for the cause of erectile dysfunction, doctors distinguish between three different types of erections: the ones men get in their sleep, the ones they get through mental stimulation (e.g. fantasising) and the ones brought on by touch.

To treat erectile dysfunction, it's very important to understand what causes it and then address that factor. This might involve lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet or stopping smoking. Sometimes, it's possible to treat erectile dysfunction with medication such as Viagra – but it's best to also get to the root cause of the problem. Also, not all varieties of erectile dysfunctions can be treated with medication. Sometimes, surgery or injections may be required.

It's important to discuss all options with your doctor.

Low libido

Having low libido means that you have no or almost no sexual desire.

Low libido is often caused by psychological factors or by the body not producing enough of the hormone testosterone.

Low libido is more common in older men, or in men who drink a lot of alcohol and who are malnourished. Smoking and drugs can also play a role, as well as some medications used to treat conditions such as prostate cancer.

Stress, depression and relationship problems can also play a factor when it comes to low desire.

Men with low desire will often shy away from initiating any kind of sexual contact, and avoid the topic of sex with their partner. If they try to have sex, they might be having trouble getting or keeping an erection.

In order to treat low libido, a healthcare provider will first need to figure out what causes the problem before developing a treatment plan.This can involve psychological care or a change in medication.

Pain, bleeding, burning

Pain, bleeding, and burning are usually signs that something is wrong. It could be painful to get an erection, penetrate or ejaculate. You may notice blood around your penis, testicles or in your ejaculate. Burning most often happens after sex, when there has been too much friction.

The cause could be an STI or another infection, or a sign that you are allergic to something, such as lube or the condom. Burning can also be caused by a partner who was too dry or anal sex without sufficient lubrication.

If you experience any discomfort regularly, please have a healthcare professional rule out any serious problems. Find the cause of your problem and treat it.

Peyronie's disease

Peyronie's disease means that your penis is bent at an odd angle, making it painful to get an erection.

It can be the result of a previous injury. It is more common in men with certain medical conditions and seems to be hereditary.

Often, the condition goes away on its own after a couple of months to a few years without treatment. But sometimes injections, or even surgery, are required to take care of the symptoms.

Read more about Peyronie's disease here.

Retrograde ejaculation  

This means that, after a man ejaculates, the fluid will run into the bladder rather than leaving the penis.

This often affects men who have nerve damage due to diabetes. Sometimes, it's also caused by certain operations around the stomach.

Comments

Hi Jo, when you have an erection there is an increase of blood into the penis which causes the veins to expand and this may lead to some discomfort after ejaculation where blood exits the penis which causes one to loose their erection. Like you have mentioned, the discomfort is usually temporal.  

Hi Kyalo, first, most men are not happy with their penis size and unfortunately there is little you can do to increase your penis size. Also, having a larger penis does not make one a better lover. The only option that is likely to work is surgery and that also comes with the risk of serious complications. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/six-myths-about-increasing-penis-size

my erection was not not strong enough to break my girlfriends virginity what can I do next time bcz i dont want to fail again?

Hey Francis, first, it doesn't take a lot of force during first time sex to break ones virginity. It is important for your partner to be relaxed during intercourse and to also ensure the vagina is well lubricated before penetration. If your partner is aroused her vagina will self lubricate which makes penetration easier and pleasurable for both you and your partner. Remember if one is not well prepared and relaxed first time sex can be painful specifically to the girl. Have a look at the following articles for more information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/virginity/first-time-sex-what-to-expect

https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/virginity/busting-the-hymen-myth

Most of the time my husband complains that he is not in the mood for sex yet before he never complained. Does it mean that he might be cheating on me?

Hello Stacy, I am not able to tell if he could be cheating but have raised this concern with him? There are a number of reasons that can cause one to have a low sex drive including stress from work or home, physical exhaustion, anxiety among other reasons. It is however important to talk with your partner to get to know what could be going on and to also find a solution together. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/sex-problems-how-to-overcome-them/libido-differences-matching-sex-drives

Hey Aggie, this depends on person to person as well as the partners involved. Some people, particurlaly girls will enjoy an extended session of foreplay, some men will last longer in intercourse. Some girls may not like an extended session of intercourse. It helps to talk with ones partner to get to know what they like and enjoy and then find a balance that both partners will be happy with. Have a look at the following article for additional tips;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/orgasms/his-orgasms

https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/how-long-does-sex-normally-last

I had unprotected sex with a girl I am dating and from that I am not myself. I feel my joints are weak and sometimes I feel cold at night this not normal. I have a flu which I didn't have before. What do the signs mean?

Hi there, it is difficult to determine what could be going on. I suggest you visit a medical centre for a check up and appropriate treatment. Lastly, it is important always use protection when having sex especially when you are with a person you are not certain about their status. Using condom consistently and correctly all the time will ensure you prevent both Sexually Transmitted Infections and unplanned pregnancies. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/condom

Hi Collins, this can be frustrating to both partners. This could be a case of erectile dysfunction which is when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection. It can caused by medical issues including medicines one could be taking or psychological issues like stress. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/sex-problems-how-to-overcome-them/erectile-dysfunction-top-five-facts

Hey Bonnie, first, this is known as Monorchism which means having only one testicle. This is often because the missing testicle is hiding inside the body, and hasn’t or didn't drop down into the scrotum. Having one testicle may or may not affect ones fertility, in some cases one can still get a woman pregnant while in some cases it may be challenging. Check out this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/monorchism-top-facts-about-the-missing-ball

Hi Wale, the penis will have reached its full size by the time most boys get to the age of 15 years, which means it doesn't grow with age after that. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/puberty-in-boys-what-to-expect

If you ejaculate under one minute, it means you are experiencing premature ejaculation which is caused by a number of reasons including fear, anxiety or even stress. Anxiety that one will not perform can make him ejaculate much earlier or stress from home or work. In other cases, particularly in young men it could be the result of sexual inexperience, and so as the young man gets older he also gains more experience in controlling ejaculation. Check out this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/sex-problems-how-to-overcome-them/how-to-overcome-premature-ejaculation

Lastly, it is completely normal for men to have what is called a refractory period, where it cannot get hard after ejaculation. Honestly, your body is just telling you that it needs some time. There is no real way to change it or make it happen less, so just try to work with your body. If you are really hoping to have more sex, then take the time to recharge and focus on your partner. This is a good time to focus on them and give them pleasure. You will become hard again in no time and continue.  

Add new comment

Comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang>