May 14

Erectile dysfunction (ED, or the formerly called ‘Impotence’) is defined by the inability of a man to maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse in more than two-thirds of the attempts during half a year. So if it only ‘doesn’t work’ now and then, it isn’t a disorder requiring treatment. But with age, more men have to deal with ED: only one in ten 40- to 49-year-old men is affected, but among 60- to 69-year-olds it is at least one in three.

Especially in older men, physical conditions often cause or at least contribute to Erectile Dysfunction, while in men under 55, there are almost always mental triggers. ‘Magic bullets’ like Viagra or Cialis are therefore not really advisable for this younger group of men, not only out of the possible adverse consequences of long-term use, but also for the risk of a psychological dependency on the ‘power pill’.

As an Erectile Dysfunction can be indicative of heart-, cardiovascular and other serious diseases, a medical checkup is the first thing to do. If no physical causes can be found, however, a few counseling sessions with a sex therapist can often set a new pace. ‘I feel incredibly liberated,’ a client once said at the end of our sessions. Indeed, trying to improve their ‘sexual fitness’, many men can give new and more positive impetus to their own sexuality. For what could be more fair in sex than Men’s Lib? 😉

If you are interested, feel free to do the Self Test on Male Erectile Dysfunction (click here for the German version) offered on these pages.

(This short article is part of a weekly series dealing with psychological expat problems and general mental health issues and was published in various newspapers and magazines in Thailand, 2010)