The fact is that at some point in their lives, over 90% of men report a sexual concern or problem. Obviously, these problems can subvert sexual health. Contrary to the traditional cultural mandate that men are not supposed to have sexual questions, anxieties, or concerns, dealing with sexual problems is almost a universal experience for men. It is crucial to understand and accept this because a sexual problem need not be a shameful secret, create feelings of inadequacy, or seem hopeless.
We will briefly describe common sexual problems and how to address them. Appendixes A and B provide resources to help address and resolve problems (self-help books and Web sites, medical resources, and individual, couple, or sex therapy locators). You are responsible for addressing your sexual problems, and they can be successfully dealt with. Your partner can be a supportive, intimate ally but cannot do it for you. Knowledge is power. Having the understanding, motivation, and resources to deal with and resolve sexual problems will greatly enhance your sexual health and satisfaction.
Common Male Sexual Problems
The most common sexual dysfunctions (SDs) are premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, inhibited sexual desire, compulsive masturbation (often to porn Web sites), ejaculatory inhibition, and a sexual secret (variant arousal pattern, preferring masturbation over couple sex, history of sexual trauma, and sexual orientation conflicts). The major sexual health problems are sexually transmitted diseases, poor health habits subverting sexual function, medical illness and side effects of medications, infertility, and fears of aging. The most common relationship problems are dissatisfaction with the partner, affairs, unresolved couple conflicts, as well as not valuing the relationship, or not valuing couple sexuality.
Sexual Problems Are Multidimensional
Professionals debate whether sexual problems should be considered medical problems, psychological problems, or relationship problems. The reality is that sexual problems are multicausal and multidimensional. The biopsychosocial model of understanding, assessing, and treating sexual problems is optimal. In this way, you are cognizant of all the factors influencing male and couple sexuality and using all your resources to successfully address the problem. Unless you comprehensively address problems and devote time and energy to healthy sexuality, you are likely to regress to problematic sexual behavior. You cannot treat sex with benign neglect. A relapse prevention program is crucial; you owe it to yourself and your relationship to maintain sexual health.