Male sex troubles mega lead – information to deal with erectile dysfunction, penis size, premature ejaculation and more…

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We don’t know what’s to blame but there seems to be an exponential rise in the number of sex problems that men suffer from and we get to hear about it every single day on our Q&A section. Every single day we receive numerous sex-related queries from men. We thought we will make a mega-guide that’ll solve most of the problems that men face.

Erectile dysfunction

Impotency or erectile dysfunction seems to be the most serious problem afflicting Indian men. At least half of the sex-related questions deal with men who are suffering erection-related problems and it’s hard to pin down the exact reason for this epidemic. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, obesity-related diseases and stress are all taking a toll on our men. The problem is exacerbated by the prudish nature of our society. Most men wouldn’t dare go to a doctor to discuss the problem which leads to a lot of unhappiness and self-image issues among men.

How is an erection caused?

Technically speaking, an erection is caused due to the hydraulic effect of blood entering and being retained in spongy bodies within the penis. In most males, this happens when they’re sexually aroused thanks to signals transmitted from the brain to nerves in the penis. Both the brain (to send a signal) and the heart (to pump blood to the penis) must work properly to get and maintain an erection.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

The various causes of ED but they can be broadly categorized under two categories: Physiological  or physical (pertaining to the body) and psychological (pertaining to the mind)

Physiological Causes of ED

There are various things that we do to our body that can cause impotence:

  • Alcohol-consumption, smoking and drugs: The cliché sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll is actually very wrong. Substance abuse makes it hard for your heart to pump blood and it also robs your off your libido. Drinking and drugs can cause temporary and permanent ED. While temporary ED goes away when we aren’t under influence, research has shown that as many as 60-70% heavy alcohol consumers suffer from permanent erectile dysfunction. Smoking too is a big culprit; it’s the biggest cause of ED among men under 40. In the long term, all these activities constrict your blood vessels and prevent adequate blood flow to the penis.
  • Diabetes:  Around 50% men with diabetes suffer from ED. In fact ED is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes. The elevated blood glucose level and nerve damage leads to inadequate blood flow and nerve damage to the penis.
  • Obesity: Another big reason is your extra girth (not in the right places) and not just because of low self-esteem. Most fat men tend to have high cholesterol which causes clogged arteries and prevents efficient blood flow. They also tend to have heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, higher stress levels and other obesity related issues which don’t bode well for your penis.
  • Medicinal Side-effect: ED can be a side effect of many common medicines such as blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants.
  • Other diseases and conditions that might cause ED: Diseases like high blood pressure, nerve disease or nerve damage, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, and heart disease-account for the majority of ED cases. Spinal cord and brain injuries, nerve disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Sometimes surgery, especially radical prostate and bladder surgery for cancer causes ED.

Besides the aforementioned physical causes of ED there might be some psychological causes as well. Men who are suffering from depression, anxiety-related conditions and other mental health problems tend to suffer from the disease. Drugs used to treat these conditions like anti-depressants can also cause problems.

While sex is a great stress-buster, the opposite is also true – stress can lower your libido and cause ED. Actually, stress is often synonymous with physical conditions like obesity, heart disease, hypertension, etc. Some simple lifestyle changes, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, taking some time off and seeking professional help in extreme cases can help you get over stress-related ED.

Sometimes the problem can lie in your mind. Scores of porn viewings and urban myths give guys the idea that sex is supposed to be a certain way and when it doesn’t happen exactly like they saw onscreen it can affect them. It can lead to performance anxiety and snowball into a major self-esteem issue. The most important thing to remember is that sex is supposed to be simple and fun. Just be comfortable with what you’re doing, you don’t need to strut like a porn star.

Tips to beat erectile dysfunction

  • Kick the butt

Smoking’s blood cool isn’t it? If only youngsters who start smoking knew the effect it will have on their sex lives, they’d never light up. It hardens your arteries and lessens blood flow to the penis.  According to men’s health Physician and Medical Sex Therapist Dr Vijayasarathi Ramanathan, ‘Smoking affects every system/organ of the body including sexual functioning. People need to understand that erection in men has a lot to do with a healthy heart, blood vessels. Smokers are twice as likely to get erectile dysfunction as non-smokers.’ (Read: Kick the butt for your sex life)

  • Control your drinking habit

All the fun that you have intoxicating yourself comes at a cost. Moderate to heavy drinking has long been known to cause ED. It’s far harder to get an erection when you’re drunk, than when you’re sober and long-term alcoholism is likely to cause kidney and nerve damage which will harm your sex life. (Read: 10 reasons why your sex life has fizzled out)

  • Stop worrying about your performance

It is important that you realise that the most important organ in your body is not your penis but your brain. A lot of people fail to get an erection just because they are too anxious or too nervous when the moment arrives, even if they are otherwise healthy. It can also be due to stress or the prospect of living up to the image of masculinity. Sex as it’s portrayed in movies or porn is rarely like the real thing. Just remember that you have been naturally designed to perform sexual functions. Why be scared about it? (Read: Can performance anxiety cause erectile dysfunction?)

  • Kegels exercise

Kegels exercises are meant for exercising the muscles of your pelvic region, and can help you gain better control of your bladder as well as improve your sex life. An example of a kegels exercise will be – ‘Imagine you are urinating and then try to stop the flow. Repeat this – squeeze, hold, release cycle 10 times, trying to hold for 10 seconds per squeeze.’ (Read: Improve your sex life with these exercises)

  • Eat healthy  

Eating the right foods is essential to have a healthy sexual life. A healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants can improve the quality of your erections by increasing the blood flow to your penis. Also, when it comes to avoiding food, most foods that are bad for your heart, are bad for your erections too because blood circulation is affected. Even if eating junk food won’t give you an erectile dysfunction straight away, it may leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Surely, not something you’d like to feel if you are about to indulge in some intense sexual activity. (Read more: A to Z of Healthy Eating)

  • Just move it

Exercise can improve the blood flow in your body which helps your erections, and leave you feeling fresh and active.  Additionally, it can make you appear more attractive to your partner and leave you feeling sexier.  Also it will improve your cardiovascular health, which will make your heart healthier and get it pumping more blood down there when you need it.  (Read: Supercharge your cardio workout) Also, studies have shown that exercise is a sure-fire way to beat ED.

  • Connect mentally

A good erection, like we said before, involves a variety of different factors. Of course, your heart plays a part but so does your brain. To be fully aroused, you need to be emotionally connected. So get in the mood, before you decide to bring your little friend into action.

  • Last longer lubricants 

According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, adding a lubricant to your condom can help you last longer in bed. What’s more, a study done on women found that they found sex to be more pleasurable, less painful and more satisfying when you use a lube. (Read: Try lubricants to give your woman that orgasm she deserves!)

  • Get more aroused, focus on foreplay

There’s an ancient learning which says that if you have an axe and 4 hours to cut a tree, you should spend 3 hours on just sharpening the axe. Likewise, in sexual intercourse it is important to not be obsessed about penetration and indulge in activities like kissing, mutual masturbation, among others. It is not just a great way to have fun, and better for erections – it can help your partner as well since many women fail to orgasm through regular vaginal intercourse. (Read: Sex without the penis – it’s possible!)

  • Switch off the porn

While it may be necessary to release your pent-up energy once in a while, and porn can help – being addicted to it is not good for your mental as well as physical well-being. Masturbating too often can affect your ability to be aroused when the time arrives, and that can keep a healthy erection at bay. (Read: Is porn giving me erectile dysfunction?)

  • Treatment for erectile dysfunction

Prescription medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra all treat the condition. All three of these medications work the same way, by helping increase blood flow to the penis. The medications are taken a half hour before sex and the effects can last from 4 to 5 hours. However these drugs all have serious side-effects and it is important to talk to your doctor and discuss your entire medical history before taking any of these drugs.

What is Viagra?

Viagra (Generic Name: Sildenafil citrate) is a drug that treats erectile dysfunction or impotence by increasing blood flow to the penis. The medications are taken a half hour before sex and the effects can last for four to five hours.

Who shouldn’t take Viagra?

  • Viagra isn’t an aphrodisiac. It is not meant for people who want to increase their libido.
  • Viagra doesn’t increase the length/size of the penis.
  • Viagra isn’t a recreational drug meant to show off one’s sexual prowess.
  • People suffering from cardiovascular problems, stroke victims, those who are taking nitrates for various ailments (like chest pain and/or hypertension), people who have been advised against sexual intercourse for various reasons should avoid the blue pill. Viagra shouldn’t be mixed with other medications that treat ED.

Side-effects of Viagra

Like most drugs Viagra too has numerous side-effects.

  • Viagra users have reported facial flushing, headaches, liver problems, heart attacks (rarely), blurred vision, bluish vision and sensitivity to light.
  • The most infamous side-effect though is the four hour or more erection. Sometimes these erections can be extremely painful as well. Anyone experiencing this is advised to call a physician or visit a hospital immediately.

As a last resort there is a surgical procedure which involves the implantation of a prosthetic device in the penis. A similar method is used in female-to-male sex change operations.

ED due to psychological reasons can be overcome by visiting a psychiatrist who can help us get to the root of the problem. We usually find the notion outrageous, that we discuss our sex life with strangers, but professional help is the best way to deal with the condition. And lastly the best solution is the simplest – talk to your partner about it. (Read: When should you see a sex therapist)

Premature ejaculation

Most men seem to think that they suffer one of the following ejaculation issues – premature, delayed or none at all. Premature ejaculation is a very common problem or at least the perception of it is. Most people have this notion that they are supposed to last in bed for forty minutes or something like they show on porn movies (which are unreal and fabricated) but the truth is that most men ejaculate within three or five minutes of penetration. Expecting to last 40 minutes like porn stars is akin to expecting to fly after watching Superman.  Delayed or no ejaculation is another problem that’s common to men. Some of these men have no trouble ejaculating while masturbating but fail to ejaculate while having sex. This can cause great discomfort to them if they lose their erection before ejaculating and it makes them feel that sex is incomplete.

How soon is too soon?

The timing of ejaculation is generally used as an objective measure of ejaculatory control. So, there is no fixed time for defining ‘too soon’ and it varies among the individuals or couples. Say for an example, if a man/couple wants to ejaculate after 40 minutes of sexual intercourse and if he ejaculates at 25 minutes that is still premature ejaculation for him /couple. On the other hand, if the man/couple wants to ejaculate in 3 minutes but actually ejaculated in 1 min, that is still premature ejaculation for him/them. For a heterosexual man, a commonly used definition of premature ejaculation is ejaculating between 1-2 minutes of his penis entering the woman’s vagina. Studies have shown that most men ejaculate within 3 to 5 minutes after penetration.

Causes of premature ejaculation

There can be various reasons for PE. Here are some of the most common reasons:

Anxiety: This can be triggered by a variety of reasons. Someone having sex for the very first time or with a new person or after a long interval will definitely feel a little nervous. It can also be triggered by a desire to play the part of the ‘perfect lover’.  Feelings of guilt due to masturbation or irrational beliefs about sexual ability, body appearance, etc. can all make a person more anxious.

Sexual partner: Another reason for PE could be because of one’s partner. A lot of partners put enormous pressure on their men by making sarcastic comments about coming too quickly which can play on  man’s mind for a very long time. Comments made in public can only make it worse.

Neurological:  Lifelong premature ejaculation can be caused by a chemical imbalance in important brain centres, which may result in a lower ejaculatory threshold. As these men need less stimulation before they ejaculate, ejaculation can happen sooner than desired.

Erectile dysfunction: Acquired premature ejaculation is most commonly caused by erectile dysfunction. It is thought that men with erectile problems begin to ejaculate quickly to compensate for not being able to keep an erection. This may be because of the need for intense stimulation to get and maintain an erection or from anxiety about difficulty in getting and keeping an erection. If a man has erectile problems and experiences premature ejaculation, treating the erectile problems first is important.

Other medical condition: It is rare for premature ejaculation to be caused by a physical disease or conditions.

Mixed causes: It is quite possible for many men to have more than one cause. In such case, a careful history is important to understand the sequence of all events leading to premature ejaculation.But don’t worry. Like other conditions premature ejaculation can easily be treated.

Tips to beat premature ejaculation

  • Squeeze technique (Masters and Johnson technique)

When you’re about to reach the point where you’re excited and are about to ejaculate use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the tip of the penis for 10-15 seconds or ask your partner to do it. For this technique to work you need to figure out the point when you’re about to ejaculate.

  • Stop-start technique – Seman’s manoeuvre

This technique involves stimulating your penis for a while and then stopping after some time. Then rest for 30 to 60 seconds and continue again. Continue this for five to six times until before actually ejaculating.

  • Masturbation

Normal masturbation has also proved successful for many people. It helps you appreciate your penis more and makes your penis less sensitive to touch. If you have a partner doing it with him/her can make it a very fun exercise (mutual masturbation).

Small penis

For some reason the modern man has become obsessed about his penis. He worries about its length, girth, inclination, colour and contour to an extent that borders on the psychotic. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Indian men don’t get to see a lot of penises. In other cultures like America or even parts of Asia, it’s normal for people to shower naked and for men to see other men and realise that their penis is perfectly normal but this doesn’t happen in India. Having seen only penises in porn, men start to believe that all of us should be endowed with penises that look big enough to kill people.

What is the average size of an erect penis?

According to Wikipedia, the average erect penis size is 5.1 to 5.9 inches. Erect is the important word here. The size of the penis in the flaccid state is immaterial. Like Alan Harper, from the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men always quipped, ‘I’m a grower not a show-er’. The only people who really need to worry are those suffering from the micro-penis condition (a condition where the penis measures less than 3 inches when erect).

Do women really care about it?

Again the issue is about access to information. It’s very easy to be misinformed. A woman who watches porn could get the false notion that only big and thick penises can give them sexual pleasure. On other hand, if a woman had no prior exposure to sexual experience and has never seen an erect penis, then whatever she sees first (and probably the last) is the best and there is an equal possibility that she will be able to enjoy or not enjoy sex with that person. Remember, there are so many factors that decide whether sex is enjoyable or not for a couple.  (Sex without the penis – it’s possible)

Do any of the penis enlargement techniques even work?

While researching for this article we did not come across one credible site or source which has information about or endorses safe methods for penis enlargement. Most of them have skewed data, fake testimonials, non-credible information about the product’s contents or procedure and dodgy expert comments. If there really was a safe penis enlargement product/procedure out there, we’re sure we would have heard about it by now. Take Viagra for example – the erectile dysfunction medicine is arguably the most popular and well-known drug on the planet.

That said, let’s see what the various male enhancement products and procedures are:

1. Topical applications:

  • Pills, creams, gels and lotions

How they claim to work: They are supposed to contain vitamins, minerals, herbs or hormones that can increase your penis size. None of the manufacturers want to tell the customers exactly what these ingredients are or how they work – we’re just supposed to believe their tall claims. Be very wary of these products – an analysis carried out the by the University of Maryland in the USA found traces of lead, pesticides, E.coli bacteria and animal faeces in the samples!

Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanathan – Many of the products available for penis enlargement are not proven to be safe and/or effective in long run. It is quite easy for experts and researchers to disprove them all.

2. Devices:

  • Vacuum Pump

How they claim to work: Basically you put your penis in a pressurised cylinder which sucks in all the air. This causes the blood to flow and stay in your penis. Repeating this procedure is supposed to increase the size.

Side-effects: The vacuum pump is sometimes used to treat people suffering from erectile dysfunction or Peyronie’s disease (abnormally angled penises). If used for too long, they can cause long term damage like ruptured blood vessels, tearing or erectile dysfunction.

Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanathan: It is non-invasive (meaning there is no need to put anything inside your body like a tablet or injection). This could be a safe first choice. But, remember not to use it for a long time.

  • Stretchers, weights, rings and other devices

How they claim to work: You attach these devices to the penis and they are supposed to increase your size by stretching the muscle. They exploit people’s misconception that muscles of the penis are like other muscles of  the body and can be bulked up by repeated use (exercising).

Side-effects: Wear and tear of muscles, tissues, ruptured blood vessels, erectile dysfunction, decrease in sensation, etc. Also these devices require users to use it for a ridiculous amount of time without much benefit and a high amount of risk.

Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanathan: A study found devices such as this to be not useful.

3. Exercises:

How they claim to work: The most common form of exercise  is called Jelqing or ‘milking’. It comprises of rapidly and repeatedly pull your flaccid penis to increase the size.

Side-effects: There’s no evidence to suggest that this technique has ever worked. Over-enthusiasm might result in muscle or tissue wear and tear.

Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanathan: When done properly and not too vigorously, it does help a man relate better with his penis. Although the benefits are not obvious, it is less likely to cause problems. At the least, this technique makes a man feel that he is doing something to deal with his concern. But, it is important for him to be aware that he may not realize any size gain and be prepared not to get disappointed.

4. Surgery:

There are basically two types of penile surgeries – those that increase length (lengthening surgeries) and those that increase girth (widening surgeries). These cosmetic penile surgeries are only recommended for people who suffer from the micro-penis or other penis defects.

  • Lengthening surgeries

How they work: For surgeries to increase length, the most common technique is detaching the ligament that connects the penis to the pubic bone. This can increase the length of a flaccid penis by 1-2 cm but makes no difference in the length of an erect one.

Side effects: While there’s no difference in the length of the erect penis, there is a change of angle which makes sex harder and also causes less stable erections. Serious side-effects could result in erectile dysfunction. Also to prevent the ligament from attaching again, weights have to be used for six months! Many men regret getting it done because it really doesn’t add to the erect length.

  • Widening Surgeries

How they work: Widening surgeries are more complicated and require implantation of fats, tissues or silicone implants. Another method which is in its experimental stage involves pulling back the skin of the penis to wrap a tube-like biodegradable frame filled with tissue shells around it. Experts believe that this could prove to a better method that injecting fat into the penis.

Side effects: The implantation method didn’t work and often left the penis misshapen.

Expert Opinion: The problem with penis enlargement surgeries is two-fold. In penis widening surgeries, the body tends to re-absorb the fat and the penis returns to its normal size. In the case of lengthening, it seems to have no significant effect on the erect penis (increases length of flaccid penis) and actually causes the erection to be less stable.

Reviewing all these methods for penis enlargement just demonstrates that there are no safe methods to increase penis size. They are also very expensive and can leave you with disastrous consequences. Men should realize that the penis size is not proportional to a pleasurable sex life and that they’d be better off using their brains, hands and mouths for a better sex life.

Sex duration-

Along with ejaculation another sore issue seems to be the length of the act. And again we have the porn-induced illusions that vaginal intercourse is supposed to last for at least one hour. Most men don’t realise that porn is fabricated and expect similar situations. There’s also the inability to realise that there’s far more to sex than vaginal intercourse.

However, here are some things you can do to last longer in bed. You can start by exercising your groin, arms and abdominal muscles. Not only will they provide you with more energy while having sex, they will also improve blood flow in your body which is good for your cardiovascular health. Also even cutting down on the flab can help you last longer. Many-a-time premature ejaculation is caused due to erectile dysfunction, basically your body’s compensating for less sex time by ejaculating quickly.

Consuming alcohol and cigarettes could play spoilsport in a steamy night of passion. These products lead to fatigue and even affect your sex hormone levels causing poorer erections.

You can also try doing Kegel exercises which are meant to give you better erections. Kegels exercises are meant for exercising the muscles of your pelvic region, and can help you gain better control of your bladder as well as improve your sex life. An example of a kegels exercise will be – ‘Imagine you are urinating and then try to stop the flow. Repeat this – squeeze, hold, release cycle 10 times, trying to hold for 10 seconds per squeeze.’ (Read: Improve your sex life with these exercises)

Lastly, focus more on foreplay and don’t directly dive in vaginal intercourse. A woman has several erogenous zones over her body. Indulging in some kissing and fingering can give her an orgasm that she deserves. (Read: Non-Penetrative sex: Foreplay, mutual masturbation, oral sex and more!)

Masturbation-

Masturbation seems to have many, many myths attached to it. We’ve been told among other things that it can make one infertile, impotent, go blind, grow hair on the back of your palm, cause pimples, make you weak and leads to mental problems!

Does masturbation cause any problems?

Masturbation (the behaviour) itself doesn’t cause any health problem. However, the guilt and fear – both social constructs – can make a person feel nervous, anxious, worried and stressed. All associated health problems are most probably caused due these mental conditions.  There is no evidence whatsoever to prove that masturbation could result in general or sexual health problems. But there is enough evidence to show that underling anxiety and stress could lead to various health problems.

Health benefits of masturbation

1. Refreshes the semen

Various researches have suggested that ejaculation helps sperm count and motility. You’re replacing old sperm with fresh ones and this is good for fertility.

2. Reduces stress

Masturbation is nothing but simulated sex and is a great stress-buster. Masturbation releases hormones like dopamine and oxytocin, which helps us feel elated. There is no better  way to let off some steam and it actually helps people sleep as well.

3. Prevents sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

The one positive aspect where masturbation scores over sex is the fact that the chances of catching STDs is zero. It’s the safest sexual practice possible.

4. Reduces chances of prostate cancer

A 2003 Australian study observed that men who ejaculated more than five times a week were less likely to develop prostate cancer. Masturbating flushes your system and prevents cancerous cells from building up.

5. Ups your game

For long masturbating has been linked to people who don’t have or can’t get sex partners. This is a gross misconception. Turns out people who masturbate more are likelier to last longer in bed. Think of it as net practice, the more you practice the better you get.

STDs

The term STDs or Sexually transmitted diseases refer to diseases that are transmitted by some form of sexual contact or another including kissing, oral, anal or vaginal sex. Most of these diseases aren’t just spread exclusively by sexual acts and can follow other routes like touching, mother to infant, intravenous needle use, blood transfusion, etc.  Some of the common ones include syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, genital warts and of course HIV/AIDS.

What are they? How can I get them?

The term STDs or Sexually transmitted diseases refer to diseases that are transmitted by some form of sexual contact or another including kissing, oral, anal or vaginal sex. Most of these diseases aren’t just spread exclusively by sexual acts and can follow other routes like touching, mother to infant, intravenous needle use, blood transfusion, etc.  Some of the common ones include syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, genital warts and of course HIV/AIDS.

How do I know if I have an STD?

Different kinds of STDs have different symptoms but some of the more common ones include –

  • Itching and redness in the genital area
  • Rashes, pimples, ulcers and lesions usually in the genital area or other areas like hands or mouth
  • Pain during intercourse and urination
  • Abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina

The dangerous thing about STDs is that they can be asymptomatic. That is you could be carrying an infection without knowing and might unknowingly pass it down to a sexual partner.

The symptoms of HIV/AIDS too are remarkably similar to flu like fever, headache, cold and fatigue. The other graver symptoms don’t appear for years in which time the disease progresses to a very advanced stage and can be spread to other individuals. If you see any of the aforementioned symptoms or think you might have an STD it’s imperative to visit a doctor and go for some standard tests to be figure out further course of treatment.

How do I get tested for an STD?

There are various kinds of STD tests – depending upon the disease you have it can be a blood test, oral swab, test of vaginal or penile discharge or a simple physical exam.  Most STDs take some time to register and the tests might show negative results. A negative result is therefore never 100% effective to predict your STD status.

What do I do if I am diagnosed with an STD? What is the treatment?

There are various treatments for STDs. While some can be treated with antibiotics and anti-retroviral treatments, others like HIV/AIDS needs lifelong anti-retroviral therapy. Some like Hepatitis have vaccines. If diagnosed with an STD one should avoid any form of sexual activity for a while and ideally inform all the partners they’ve had.

How do I prevent them? Do they have any vaccinations for these?

The best method to prevent STDs is complete sexual abstinence. When this is not feasible the next best option is condoms. However, condoms aren’t always 100% effective because they may not cover some of the infected areas. If one is affected by an STD, it’s the patient’s duty to inform their sexual partners. To keep STDs at bay one should avoid risky sexual behaviour like sex with prostitutes or strangers. Additional ways to reduce your risk include avoiding having sex during a woman’s menstrual period and to use condoms for anal sex as well. Some STDs like Hepatitis B and C have vaccines which can help prevent their spread. The human papillomavirus virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women also has some vaccines which are given to girls before they hit puberty but there’s some controversy involved as the vaccine doesn’t protect against all forms of cervical cancer. In some countries these vaccines are given to males and older women as well. Most of these vaccines are usually administered during childhood.

Sexual anxiety

Your genitals are not the only organs involved in sexual intercourse, your brain is involved too. Being anxious or nervous can wreak havoc on your sex life.

Performance anxiety is a major problem faced by many men who are having sex for the first time, newlyweds waiting for their first night or even with people who are having sex with a different partner.

Tips to beat performance anxiety

  • Start with setting aside some alone time to tackle this issue head-on. Ignoring it or pretending that it is not important will not make it go away.
  • Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself what exactly is making you anxious. Is it the idea of sex or the act in itself? Is it your inhibitions and shyness? Is it self-doubt? Is it that you are afraid of it? Or do you feel it is an act establishing approval or accomplishment?
  • Talk to your friend or close ones. Tell them about what is making you anxious. You may get their perspective as well as suggestions on how to handle the anxiety.
  • Get proper information about what to expect, especially if you haven’t been involved in a sexual relationship before. Clear your doubts and become aware of what you can expect.
  • Try not to get bogged down by expectations – internal or external. Remember that sex is not about proving yourself. Especially for men. This has nothing to do with proving your manhood. Don’t get trapped in that cycle.

Understanding women

A lot of male psychological problems related to sex, can be solved by understanding women better.

  • It’s too early

If you’ve started dating each other and she says ‘no’ to a plunge straight to bed, she perhaps wants you to know that it’s too early. She wants to know you more. She certainly doesn’t want to strip before a perfect stranger for the sake of sex only. For women sex is an active physical and emotional involvement with a man.

  • She is menstruating

Hormones can dampen her sex drive if she is menstruating. So, while she is on her period, she will be a lot more irritable and tired. You should know that if she says no to sex, she just wants to curl up, relax and sleep. Don’t punish her by groping or seducing her because she doesn’t want you down there. All you can do to make her feel better is to offer a massage or may be just play good music and be with her.

  • She wants safe sex

While you might be craving to be playful under the sheets, she has every right to put her foot down and say no to sex if you aren’t carrying condoms. In fact you should consider this: safe sex is the best because it reduces the chances of unwanted pregnancy and of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, bedroom is not a space for sexual negotiations. You should play your cards safe and make it a point to carry condoms if you have a night planned with your partner.

  • She has body image issues

Most men like women with confident body language and when women lose confidence and have a dipping self-esteem they tend to secretly show it by saying no to sex. This could be either because she has lost or gained too much weight or if she thinks she is unattractive. This makes her hesitate in being naked before her partner or have sex with lights switched on. Just be on a lookout for cues and talk to her at the right time.

  • Too many things on her mind

Women have too much on their plate (always!) to deal with, whether it is workplace or home. So, if she is stressed out, she is bound to refuse sex and sexual advances you make. For her emotions, love making is not a solution and hence she wants to deal or sort unresolved issues in her head than make a leap for a love making session.

  • You are too loud

If night after night, she tells you to not make noise when making love, she has every right to make you starve for sex. Moaning is certainly a turn on but imagine croaking and making noise like an injured hyena! Would you like it if your partner screams like one? We’d say, calm down and don’t fake it. Just restrict to seductive moans and groans and make way for some bedroom pleasure

  • It’s messy down there

Not having waxed the private areas might be making her forbid you from entering her territory. So, it is always better to talk about each other’s preferences without creating discomfort. Not all of us want to see the mess!

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