“It’s never happened before!” he exclaimed, almost in a panic. He was 30 years old and looked like he’d just seen a ghost. “I lost my erection right in the middle of having sex!”
“It’s never happened before?” I asked. “Nope, never… I need to get checked out. I hope that I’m OK Doc.”
Woolly Mammoth Redux
I explained to him that this kind of thing is normal in a man’s life. In the setting of perfectly normal erections at other times, it is extremely unlikely that he is sick or ill, has terrible heart disease, that he no longer loves his partner, or that testosterone levels (or the sky) is falling.
“Then why did it fail?”
“I betcha it’s stress,” I said. Sure enough, he was putting in 20-hour work days that week, travelling constantly, eating fast food, and inhaling 5-hour energy drinks, all to keep his startup afloat. He was physically exhausted and running on pure adrenaline. Good luck with that.
So I pulled out the ole’ ‘running from a woolly mammoth’ analogy of stress and sex. Imagine yourself a caveman running from a woolly mammoth. Do you really want an erection at that time? No. you’re in “fight or flight” mode, and your sympathetic nervous system is in full throttle. So, say goodbye to sex drive and erections as long as you have the pedal to the metal.
But, once you are safe, say in a cave away from danger, and start to relax, guest what? The “rest and restore” nervous system kicks in and all kinds of sexy things are possible. Thank God for the parasympathetic nervous system! Build a cozy fire, sit on a fur rug, graze on some cooked bison, wink at the partner, and get those needs met. Trick is to figure out how to get to this place more often in our busy, anxious and constantly engaged lives. Exercise, yoga, acupuncture, meditation and massage are great ways to get our bodies to slow down and smell the roses.
“So I’m not ill or anything?”
“No…Welcome to the human race” I told him.