Sex and intimacy are essential components of men's well-being, regardless of age, relationship status, or sexual orientation. Moreover, sexual, and mental health is inextricably intertwined - the benefits of sex for mental health are difficult to argue against.
It is a well-known truth that underlying medical issues have a significant impact on men's sexual lives. Nevertheless, mental and emotional difficulties are also significant. They can reduce libido and induce sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction, premature or delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia, and arousal issues.
Without mental and emotional well-being, having a good sex life is difficult. Self-esteem concerns, trauma, stress, interpersonal challenges, or mental diseases all become impediments to males feeling connected to others, engaging in intimacy, and completely enjoying their sexual experiences.
The effect of stress on men's sexual lives
Financial stress, employment stress, education stress, societal pressure, mid-life crisis, work/life imbalance, identity crisis, and relationship troubles can all weigh heavily on men's well-being, including sexual health.
It's no surprise: when faced with personal, professional, or social obstacles, it's common to have a diminished sex drive and fail to prioritize sex. Stress weariness, sleep issues, high blood pressure, headaches, poor energy, concerns, and anger can leave you too exhausted for any type of intimacy and disrupt how your brain signals your body's physical response.
Furthermore, men tend to hide their feelings, keep unpleasant situations hidden, or employ other maladaptive coping techniques as a result of stigmas arising from inflexible gender standards and toxic masculinity.
As a result, stress can build up and become overpowering, leading to chronic stress a constant "fight-or-flight" mode in which adrenaline and cortisol play a role. Long-term stress has been linked to the development of ED, although developing good stress management methods is a vital aspect of treatment.
The effects of depression
Men are more hesitant to discuss mental health issues and are less likely to seek proper care.
Furthermore, while men and women experience depression in many ways, men experience it differently. Aggression, impatience, and violent or hazardous behavior are all possible indicators. They are also more inclined to withdraw and isolate themselves.
These symptoms, as well as the more usual one's exhaustion, anhedonia, anxiety, humiliation, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and mood swings - contribute to a slew of male sexual problems:
- Decreased sentiments of attachment to loved ones
- Concerns regarding how to think, communicate, or initiate intimacy
- A low or absence of sex drive
- Sexual dysfunction
- Problems with sexual self-esteem
- Having difficulty having an orgasm
A person suffering from depression is trapped in the moment of their misery: As a result, it's difficult to be aware and intimate with a spouse. Men may feel even more concerned, frightened, and overwhelmed with guilt in this situation since they do not want to sexually and emotionally connect with others.
Depression, on the other hand, is very treatable and avoidable: Self-help, talk therapy, and pharmaceuticals are commonly used in treatment. It's worth noting that typical depression drugs can have negative effects like reduced libido or ejaculation delay.
Fortunately, healthcare providers have a solution for this. It's critical to discuss this side effect with your doctor so that they can devise the best treatment plan for you.
Anxiety and male sexual dysfunction
Sexual issues such as premature ejaculation, ED, and sex avoidance are particularly common among those suffering from anxiety disorders. Anxiety issues are reported by about 37% of men with ED.
Non-problematic anxiety as a reaction to regular stress, on the other hand, can produce erectile dysfunction and is a significant contributor to libido loss. Anxiety, like stress, disturbs physical processes crucial for sexual arousal and affects the sympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of initiating and maintaining an erection.
Aside from that, performance anxiety is the leading cause of ED, sexual insecurity, poor body image, anorgasmia, and dread of sex among young males aged 20 to 35.
Performance anxiety is very prevalent at the start of sex life. Previous "not-so-great" experiences, a lack of experience, or perfectionism make individuals more apprehensive about intimacy, transforming sex from a pleasurable experience into an anxiety-inducing event.
What should be your response when you are experiencing issues?
Whether you're in a relationship or single, fluctuations in sex drive and ability to achieve an erection can be distressing.
If you are in a relationship, attempt to communicate your feelings to your spouse. An issue that is shared is an issue solved halfway. Fostering communication between you and your spouse will be beneficial in resolving your sexual troubles.
If you are single, consider discussing changes in your sex drive or erectile function with someone you trust, such as your doctor or a friend. Discussing the source of your stress and anxiety may help you better determine the next best steps you may take.
Remember that feeling stressed or concerned during this time is normal. It's normal to not want to have sex all the time.
If your sexual desire stays low and you are experiencing erectile dysfunction for several weeks, you should see your doctor. Your doctor can perform a physical exam to assist you to discover the root cause of your erectile dysfunction and develop a treatment plan for the following stages.