The kind of society we live in makes discussing anything even remotely associated with sex a taboo. There is a world of shame, stigma, myths, and a horde of social constructs related to this important biological process. That said, we only have our parochial mindset to blame for this.
Sex education is not paid much attention to in school. More often than not, the entire chapter on Sex and Reproduction in Biology is rushed by teachers. Most people cannot even say the term out loud. As such, they can’t even take an active part in dispelling rumors. They can’t even impart sex education or destigmatize the taboos related to sexual dysfunction. But babies are not carved out of clay. Coitus is a process that has more functions than that of reproducing.
Breaking The Taboo Of Sexual Dysfunction in Men
Sexual intercourse is supposed to be a pleasurable experience. It is important that we understand our bodies. In doing so, we can demystify the myths related to sex. We can speak to experts on experiencing any dysfunction or discomfort.
In this article, we shall attempt to talk about a few sexual dysfunctions. We also hope to destigmatize the taboos related to the same. Premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction is neither a sign of weakness nor something to be ashamed of. This and many other sexual dysfunctions are signs that men need to seek the right treatment. In doing so, they will take a step towards sexual wellbeing and pleasure. That said, let us now destigmatize a few of these dysfunctions that people can suffer from.
Inhibited Sexual Libido
It is important to learn and acknowledge that men are not hardwired to always want to have sex. This very idea is a social construct that stems from the patriarchal setup of our society. In fact, men and women have equal libido (and we are not talking about asexuals here) and can equally suffer from an inhibited sexual drive.
Several studies have been made to find the reason behind this condition. In a recent study, researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research investigated the enzyme aromatase and unearthed some details about what it does to adults.
Aromatase is known to convert testosterone into estradiol, a type of estrogen. And scientists say that estrogens are critical for reproductive functions in males and females. It was further studied that testosterone needs to be converted to estrogen to drive sexual desires in males.
Dr. Serdar Bulun at the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine says, “[F]or the first time, we demonstrated conclusively that the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the brain is critical to maintaining full sexual activity or desire in males. Aromatase drives that.”
However, studies also show that other factors can also lead to a lower sexual drive. These include being overweight, taking anti-depressants, or suffering from psychological disorders.
There is a lot of shame and stigma associated with erectile dysfunction. It is a condition where men fail to get an erection on being sexually aroused. Several reasons can cause erectile dysfunction, like fatigue, stress, or intake of too much alcohol.
More often than not, the condition can abate by making slight lifestyle changes. However, it is a problem only when the condition is persistent. Larry Lipshultz is a urologist. He says, “If you’re failing 50% of the time or more, you could have ED and should see a doctor.” The stigma related to this sexual dysfunction often prohibits men from seeking the right line of treatment.
Can it be treated?
However, it is important to remember that erectile dysfunction can be treated with the right medication and therapy, and one can check this out to find more options for the same. Men often feel like their ‘manhood’ shall be under threat if they acknowledge that they have erectile dysfunction.
However, it is vital that we rise above such false notions of manhood. We need to help our men be more vocal about their sexual dysfunction. This is so that they can seek treatment and have a more pleasurable sexual experience. Sexologists might advise therapy or prescribe oral medication and urethral pellets to treat the disorder.
There is yet another way to treat erectile dysfunction at home. This is in case you want more options before heading to a doctor. Including food items in your diet that increase blood flow to the penis could help manage the condition. Though this might not suffice to treat the dysfunction, it could serve as an alternative that could be considered.
For instance, leafy and green vegetables could help increase the blood circulation to the organ. This could help it function as required during intercourse. These vegetables contain nitrates, and these are used to make the drugs that treat erectile dysfunction. You could also try dark chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These factors are known to cause erectile dysfunction in some cases.
Premature Ejaculation, Delayed Ejaculation, and Anejaculation
There are three problems with ejaculation that many men might face in their lifetime: premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and anejaculation. Anejaculation is quite a rare phenomenon and is a condition where men fail to ejaculate. The other two conditions are quite common and can be treated easily.
Premature ejaculation is a condition where men cannot control their ejaculation and sometimes ejaculate even before penetration. Most experts believe that rapid ejaculation is the condition when the individual ejaculates in under 2 minutes. This is a common condition in young men, mostly because they suffer from performance anxiety or have minimal sexual experience. More often than not, the condition does not even require treatment. However, underlying hormonal issues might also be a factor, and therefore, a diagnosis might be required.
Delayed ejaculation is when men take more time than what is expected to reach the climax. This can result from being on anti-depressants or other medications or due to neurological and psychological conditions. Most experts suggest psychosexual therapy to treat this condition.
The final type of ejaculation-related dysfunction that men face is that of anejaculation. However, as mentioned earlier, this is quite a rare condition. Anejaculation might require a longer diagnosis and treatment procedure than the rest of the dysfunctions mentioned on the list. However, it is crucial that people understand that there is no shame in the condition. Treatment is very much an available option.
Society has been unkind to men in more ways than one. Patriarchy wants its men to be men, people who are above and beyond disorders of any sort. This is what makes it incredibly difficult for them to seek treatment upon noticing any potential sexual dysfunction.
It is time that we became more vocal about sex and the various disorders related to it. We need to do away with the taboos to make every sexual experience consensual and pleasurable.
Brooks, D. C., Coon V, J. S., Ercan, C. M., Xu, X., Dong, H., Levine, J. E., Bulun, S. E., & Zhao, H. (2020). Brain Aromatase and the Regulation of Sexual Activity in Male Mice. Endocrinology, 161(10), bqaa137. https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa137
Who Is The Author?
The terms sex, gender, and sexual dysfunction have mostly been brushed under the rug, and talking about them has always received flak from society. That is why Nicole Jones writes and speaks about sex, sexual dysfunction, and everything in between to challenge the redundant and toxic myths perpetuated about the same. A research scholar by the day, Nicole attempts to change the world with the way she words. She is on a mission to make every sexual encounter consensual and pleasurable and shatter notions of toxic masculinity and gender binaries that have existed for centuries.