Dear Dr. Love:I am 24 years old and have trouble getting erections. I am so afraid that I won’t be able to perform that many times I can’t. I am totally scared to approach women for dates because I have sure that they will dump me once they discover my problem. Is there any way I can cure this problem even though I don’t have much money? Thanks so much.
You are suffering from a very common problem–performance anxiety. In one study, fear of failure and fear of ridicule were the two fears most commonly associated with performance anxiety. And, this type of anxiety can directly interfere with a man’s ability to become aroused, obtain an erection and reach orgasm. Therapies such as ‘sensate-focus’ designed by Masters and Johnson are very effective in treating erection difficulties due to performance anxiety. With this technique, clients are taught to focus on the pleasurable sensations associated with lovemaking and the pressure to perform is removed.Therapy consists of homework assignments and they can be done without a partner. I would call your local mental health center or association and ask if they offer treatment for sexual performance anxiety. Most clinics offer sliding scale fees and some offer groups, which further lower the cost of treatment. If you are a veteran of the U. S. armed forces, check with the Veterans Administration. Many V. A. centers offer such therapy. And, a thought to keep in mind which will ease your performance anxiety.The vast majority of women cannot obtain orgasms from the thrusting of an erect penis. Most women need direct manual or oral clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. So, erect penises aren’t what float most women’s boats. Hang in there (joke). This is not a hard problem to solve (second joke). Laughing helps ease performance anxiety too!!