Monday, November 2, 2009

Male Sexuality After 35

The media have frightened men. We're told, in no uncertain terms, that once we're into our late 30s, sex is downhill. We can't perform as well as younger men, we're not as attractive as younger men, and our potency will continue to decline until--when we reach our late fifties--we will be almost non-sexual.

What bunk--but powerful bunk it is. Like women and menopause, older men face dozens of unfounded fears--usually categorized by the dreaded "mid-life" crisis.

Yes, there are physical changes that occur as men age, but these changes do not adversely affect sexuality or the ability to have sex. But if you are silly enough to buy into the myth of the impotent middle aged male, then and only then will you have some problems.

In general, as men age it may take a little longer to achieve an erection. This slightly slowed response is meaningless-yet it frightens men because they see it as an indicator of declining sexual ability. It is nothing of the sort. This SLIGHTLY slowed response means nothing--it does not indicate the beginning of impotence nor does it mean that sexual desire is waning. It means only that you are aging naturally and gracefully. Instead of instant erection, it now takes a minute or two. That's meaningless in the grand scheme of things, unless you think sex is supposed to be completed in a matter of minutes. In fact, this slowed response means that men need foreplay, just as women do. This can be a blessing to your partner and to you. Enjoy the extra time--be creative, relax.

As men reach their late fifties and early sixties, it's possible that the erection may not be as hard or as large. But once fully excited, the erection will most likely be hard and steady. Many men find that manual stimulation by their partner is needed to gain a full erection. There's nothing wrong with that--both partners can enjoy the experience.

As men age, there's likely to be a reduction in the amount of seminal fluid, but this, too, is meaningless. And, in fact, it may be a bonus. Less seminal fluid usually means that men can delay ejaculation for a longer period of time. Again, this benefits both partners. It's common for the length of love making to increase as men age. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Some men worry that their orgasms become less powerful with age. In some cases this may be true, but less powerful does not mean less enjoyable. And men will notice that it takes longer to have another erection after orgasm. As teenagers, it may take a matter of minutes after orgasm; in their forties, many men find it takes a matter of hours. In your seventies it may take a few days. But this increase in time in no way reflects a loss of potency, a decline in sexuality, or a loss of sexual drive.

And here's an important point: lovemaking does not always have to involve ejaculation. As we age both men and women realize that there are other parts to making love other than orgasm. Don't limit your lovemaking only to those times when ejaculation is possible. Experiment, have fun, there's lots to do once the pressure of performance is lifted.

Many men have fallen victim to the myth of male menopause. There is no such thing.

As we know, the female body will begin producing less estrogen as menopause begins. The male body, however, continually produces testosterone--the male hormone--throughout a lifetime. Earlier studies showing a decrease in testosterone as men age were flawed. If there is a reduction it is usually caused by health problems--obesity, smoking, emotional problems. Men do not face a male menopause--it's as simple as that.

Impotence

Male sexual performance is fragile. If it depended only on physical abilities, sexuality would be an easy thing. But for the man, physiology must be combined with psychology. It's the delicate balance of brain and body which makes sexuality so intriguing, and for many men, so problematical.

Impotence is spreading in America. Some say the reason is the rise of the assertive female--the women's movement has frightened men, leaving them unsure of their role in today's sexual adventure, and thus unable to perform with any degree of regularity.

Others agree the women's movement has played a part, but argue that it's the female's fault that American males face impotence. The women's movement, so the argument goes, has emasculated men. In their rush to equality women have debased masculinity--transforming the positive qualities of men, attributes like passion, enthusiasm, drive, into negatives attributes. The argument goes that men no longer can be themselves, and in trying to affect a false persona men have lost their sexuality.

But to blame the rise of impotence either directly or indirectly on women is unfair. Just as serious illness is on the rise in America, so are hidden conditions like impotence and frigidity. Ours is a fast paced world. We work more hours than did our parents; competition for good jobs is tougher than ever; the pressure to make money, to be a success has never been greater. Now add to these pressures the problem of sexual relations in the 1990s--choosing the wrong partner might not only mean a broken heart, it could mean an agonizing death at the hands of the mutating AIDS virus. It's not hard to understand why impotence, which is so dependent on psychological calm and confidence, is plaguing American men.

Impotence--the inability to get or maintain an erection--threatens a man's self image. Needless to say, impotence strikes fear in the hearts and minds of most men. And it's this fear which makes the condition so insidious. If men would realize that impotence has little to do with sexuality and lots to do with a reduced body function, the problem would be a long way toward being solved. Unfortunately, men see impotence as a challenge to their manhood--to the very core of their nature. For this reason, one sudden bout of impotence--which is, by the way quite natural--is suddenly turned into a fearful event. This fear creates another episode, the fear grows, then another. Soon the once instance is turned into a seemingly permanent condition.

To fight impotence what's needed is knowledge--knowledge of the cause and information about possible solutions. In the vast majority of cases, impotence can be quickly corrected. Only those cases involving a physical disability or a serious mental condition will not respond to some common sense treatment.

To begin, you must know that an occasional episode of impotence is perfectly normal. It happened to Don Juan as it will happen to almost all men. The reason is unknown. The situation could be ideal, the partner could be right, but somehow the body and/or the mind don't respond. Remember, an occasional episode means nothing--you're not losing your sexual drive. It's something that happens once, then goes away. Recognize it as that, and you'll have no problems. But begin fixating on the one failure, and you're on your way to a real problem.

Also know that a natural decrease in sexual drive will occur with ages. This, too, is normal. The decrease in libido--sexual drive--is slight, and really doesn't come into play until the late 50s or early 60s. Remember, this decrease in libido is a fact of aging, but it in no way diminishes a man's ability to have an erection. Older men can have erections at the same frequency and strength as younger men. So, don't let your decreased sexual drive frighten you into impotence. There's really no correlation.

And don't let age frighten you. So often both men and women assume they're losing sexuality because they're aging. The correlation between sexuality and age has not been made--at least until you enter your 70s or 80s. And even then, you can have a very fulfilling sex life.

Another fact: around age 40, men usually need more physical contact before achieving an erection. At one time it may have been possible to sustain an erection by looking at a beautiful women, once past 40 some contact is needed. Again, this in no way means that you're losing your ability to perform. It's nothing more than a natural change in your sexual appetite.

With this knowledge in hand, you can help increase and restore your sexual ability by trying proven home remedies.

Watch what prescription drugs you are taking: It's estimated that 30% of impotence cases are caused by prescription drugs. Often doctors don't warn their male patients about this possible side effect. If you're taking tranquilizers, even minor ones, your problem is likely drug related. Some prescription antihistamines and muscle relaxers can cause impotence, as can many drugs given to lower blood pressure. Vasodilators and diuretics can have an adverse effect, as well as MAO inhibitors and other anti-depressive drugs. If you're taking any of these kinds of drugs and experiencing impotence see your doctor at once. There's a good chance your problem can be easily corrected.

Quit using drugs: Alcohol, amphetamines, narcotics, even marijuana can cause impotence. The idea of a drink before sex is something best left to the movies, as is the idiotic notion that marijuana somehow makes sex better. It doesn't--in fact, marijuana could make sex impossible.

Lose some weight: If your obese, impotence could become a problem Excess weight strains your system--particularly your circulatory system. Especially in older men, the more weight you carry the more sluggish your circulation. Blood flow is reduced--including blood flow to the penis. The result? Impotence. But be careful: losing too much weight too quickly is harmful to your health, and can also affect sexual performance.

Relax, relax, relax: Tension is the number one killer of sexual desire. How can you perform sexually when your mind is filled with thoughts of work, bills, problems, the kids, you name it? To enjoy sex you must be there--physically and mentally. If tension has you tied in knots, it's a good bet that your sexual performance will be poor, at best. To beat impotence you must beat tension. If it takes meditation, a warm bath, a quick nap, self hypnosis, whatever, you must find a way to relax yourself so you can enjoy sex and life.

Stop blaming yourself: No one asks to become impotent. The condition has any number of causes, none of which is your fault. Nor is it the fault of your partner. Impotence can be solved, but adding blame on top of the guilt and embarrassment only makes things much worse.

Size doesn't count: Many times impotence is caused by embarrassment: men believe they are smaller than normal and this body image problem quickly leads to impotence. Two points to remember: most men are not smaller than average. First, when it comes to penis size the vast, vast majority of men are normal--that is, an erection of five to six inches. It's a good bet that you're average. Don't make the mistake of judging size by what you might see in sexy magazines or movies. Like the women, the men who pose are well above average. Compared to them, you may be small, but compared to most men, you're right on the mark. Second, size has little or no correlation with amount of pleasure a man can give a woman. When it comes to making love, technique and passion are they keys. Size is unimportant.

Analyze your problem: If you've suddenly been experiencing impotence, take a look at lifestyle changes, increases in stress, changes in prescription drugs, increased alcohol use, or anything else which has changed shortly before the problem began. If prescription drugs or alcohol aren't the problem, look to stress enhancers. Have you recently changed jobs? Has your financial situation changed for the worse? Are you long overdo for a vacation?

Exercise for your vital organs: Is there an exercise that can help impotence? Maybe. Something called the Kegel for Men is catching on as a natural way to strengthen erections. The Kegel is easy to do. Squeeze the muscle of your pelvic floor. Where are they? They're the muscles you use when you try to stop the flow of urine. The Kegel uses that same squeezing sensation to strengthen these muscle. Squeeze and hold for three to five seconds. Then release and do again. Try starting at 10 times, three times a day. Eventually work your way to approximately 200 squeezes a day.

Try an herbal solution: Yohimbe has shown particular promise as an herb that can make erections harder and firmer. Studies show that yohimbe, a tree bark extract, has been shown to increase blood flow to the penis. In clinical tests, the active ingredient in yohimbe was tested on a group of men who had been impotent for less than two years.

The study reported an improvement rate of 81% for those taking a moderate dosage of the active ingredient for one month.

More than 60% of men who experienced partial erections and had failed at normal intercourse at least half of the time reported fuller, more lasting erections.

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