Adventures in ED-u-cation

Erectile dysfunction affects up to a third of guys these days. My spouse(s) and I’ve read a lot into this topic. Turns out it’s also fun to write about. I’ve actually learned a fair deal about the science behind floppy half-boners. After all, women have a stake in their partner’s libido as well.

Where do I start? In the bedroom, of course. Imagine me in the sheets with a cute guy, kissing, his hand strumming my hair. He asks me to stroke him a little. My hand curls around him, my fingers massaging him to life. He rises a little, then falls, then rises. When my wrist starts to ache, I climb on top of him and he falls again. WTF?

We both grow frustrated, but not with each other. He feels embarrassed, and hates himself for disappointing me. He worries that I’ll misinterpret things, think he’s not into me. And me? I don’t feel unattractive, but my sex maven buzz withers. We spoon for a while, then watch a romantic comedy. We’ll try again tomorrow. Except tomorrow has the same result.

After a few weeks of inconsistent performance, he sees his doctor. His doctor asks if he’s interested in sex. My boyfriend scratches his head and says, “In theory, yes.” The doctor clarifies. “Do you have low libido, or do you have trouble with erections?” The wicked question puzzles him. Why? Because after a while, ED drains the pleasure from sex. The question becomes a chicken or egg issue. We all know where this is going: Cialis, Viagra, Levitra. Those three words, back to back, sound like a spell from Harry Potter. But the doctor says to hang on. Let’s test his testosterone levels.

So my boyfriend comes home. I expect him to waltz in and shake a bottle of pills in my face. I’ll straddle him on the couch, and we’ll fuck with the living room drapes wide open so the neighbors’ kids can see. Sorry, parents.

Nope. He has to wait a day for the testosterone test. It comes back with interesting results. He’s a little low. We wonder why. He’s fit, exercises 5 days a week. We do some research and find out what could lower testosterone levels and/or cause ED. We learn:

  1. Pesticides that contain atrazine and other chemicals can change male frogs into female ones. Studies show it has a not dissimilar effect on men in areas where agriculture booms.  So we install filters on our faucets, and he starts drinking from a Brita water bottle.
  2. Tofu and other meat substitutes can hurt men’s T-levels. Turns out all my “healthy cooking” had helped shrivel his dick. Sure, blame it on the girl. At least he has an excuse to eat meat again. White meat. Red meat will kill you.
  3. Too much porn? I ask him with a sideways smirk, bemused. He’s all like, “I don’t think so.” But the question makes him start wondering. He reads up on porn addiction and learns, slightly disappointed, that he probably doesn’t have that. What’s real porn addiction? Let me tell you! Some men spend upwards of 8 hours a day watching porn. When they’re not at work, it’s all they do. Sometimes, they also sneak porn at work. Ever see that movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarjo? That’s porn addiction. Still, my boyfriend learns that even moderate amounts of porn can change your brain chemistry and fuck with your expectations. So he tries to cut his porn consumption in half. Poor guy, he even tries to stop watching Victoria’s Secret ads. (He loves those things.) I understand the sacrifice he’s making.
  4. A poor/mediocre diet. We both eat healthy, but ED caused a revolution for him. He started eating Spinach every single day, working boiled eggs into his salads, started counting his vegetables, and taking hefty Vitamin D supplements. All of that helped a lot. More than anything, the Vitamin D seems to do the trick. The side benefit? He’s hotter than ever. I mean, he’s always been a 9.3 on my scale. But nowadays he looks even better than he did in college.
  5. Pressure to have sex. We found out that even one so-so performance in bed can make the next encounter less exciting. A downward spiral starts. It doesn’t help that Hollywood portrays sex with all kinds of bells and whistles. Listen, real sex doesn’t have money shots, cutaways, and video editing. I appreciate a hot sex scene as much as the next person, but nobody can ever live up to that. We don’t have to, either.
  6. Stress kills an erection like Raid kills bugs. Even when he’s been on a roll, a busy day or bad news at work can shrivel a man’s pecker quickly. So a good sex life depends on stress management. We both exercise every single day now, because a good workout seems to banish stress. My partners and I have always tended to be workacholics. Especially for guys, you have to learn to chill some. You can’t work all day and then go straight from that to sex. You have to unwind, watch some Netflix, meditate, play a game, whatever. All work and no play makes Jack a flaccid boy. So when my boyfriend says he needs to play a game for a while, I leave him alone and go for a run. We’re both much happier if we let the other person have some alone time when necessary.
  7. Mix things up. Try different positions. Do your research. Sometimes, watching a romantic sex scene together in bed helps. He likes it when I talk about how other girls turn me on. I know other couples who have all kinds of contraptions and toys. We have a few toys. We also cosplay & role-play a little. Wicked fun.

Here’s a final take way: Don’t bother with those GNC supplements. They might help a little, but they’re just garnish. Guys I know have tried everything from L-Arginine to Staminol to pure Yohimbe extract. Sometimes they worked, other times they just gave the guy a headache and made things worse. One time, a boyfriend was taking a supplement that he swore by. What happened? The FDA recalled it. Why? Because they were sneaking Viagra into the pills–the only reason it worked in the first place. When the company released their Viagra free “improved” formula, it stopped helping.

After a while, one boyfriend and I started watching ED infomercials for fun. Some of them are quite entertaining. Whatever you say about their products, the ads were racy. Some of them featured compelling stories about struggling marriages, lots of sex scenes, and plenty of eroticism. In one of them, a sexually frustrated woman starts masturbating and trashing around in her sleep while her impotent husband watches, transfixed. Seriously, sleep fucking? Hot. Hot. Hot. One of these sex gurus even wrote an essay about his struggles where he narrated his sexual exploits. Finally, after giving up porn for good and following some 6-step method, he describes how he meets a green-eyed brunette at a dancing class and they go home and fuck. Great sex scenes.

My partners and I have learned the hard way. If you don’t take care of the big six items listed above, no amount of Horny Goat Weed’s going to save your manhood. So with that, happy fucking!



8 thoughts on “Adventures in ED-u-cation

  1. Brett

    Thank you Jessica. I have had my fair share of ED. I blamednot on just not being into her. A recent gf said “All men get soft part way through!” That was all it took! I was revved up filled to the top every time we got it on after that. A sense of fitting in helped me. And many of the items you have listed here help me too. I appreciate this blog. I got directed here from a twitter post you did!



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