"There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance".
Sadly, those words still ring true today in many parts of the world.
Many of the male impotence myths and legends borne out of ignorance hundreds of years ago still influence our sexual culture today.
A number of primitive societies believed that male virility was intricately interwoven with power, wealth and domination.
So it's not surprising that beliefs still persist in a number of cultures that to lack virility, or worse still, to be impotent, is to lack the very essence of life. Manhood and the "ability to perform" are inextricably linked, so male impotence is viewed as a "lack of masculinity".
In fact, dictionary.com defines impotence as:
Lacking physical strength or vigor; weak. Lacking in power, as to act effectively; helpless
Despite the fact that the latter part of the twentieth century brought about radical changes in gender roles, on ethnic, economic, social and cultural levels, sexuality and male impotence are still shrouded in mystery and secrecy.
If we can help debunk some of the myths about male impotence and sexuality, perhaps we can help improve these statistics.
ALL men over the age of 30 experience impotence as least once in their lifetime. It's estimated that over 150 million men worldwide have male impotence; in fact, reports suggest this figure could be as high as 300 million or more.
Estimating the numbers is difficult because less than 2 men in 10 seek treatment for impotence problems.
Less than 20% of impotence cases have a primary psychological cause. The majority of men with impotence have an underlying physical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or prostate cancer and/or surgery. Stress, anxiety and loss of self-esteem are often secondary psychological factors that occur if impotence remains undiagnosed and untreated.
Although it's evident that the risk of experiencing impotence increases with age, this is largely due to the increased chances of having an underlying physical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. To compound this factor, a number of medications prescribed for these conditions can cause erectile dysfunction.
Aging on it's own does not cause impotence.
As yet medical science hasn't come up with a permanent "cure" for male impotence, but a number of very effective therapies are available. Oral medications such as Viagra® have revolutionized the treatment of male impotence, however impotence pills don't work for everyone. Other safe and effective treatments include vacuum pumps, impotence injections and penile implants.
Once ED is effectively treated, most men go on to lead active, satisfying sex lives.
Both partners in a relationship can experience problems when male impotence goes untreated. Often failure to communicate and denial of the problem lead to depression, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem for both partners. A tendency to avoid sexual contact can often leave one or both partners feeling unloved, unattractive and unwanted.
We've included helpful information and an Action Plan for both partners in a relationship at: A Comprehensive Guide to Impotence and Partners.
A number of men find it very difficult to discuss any problems they may be experiencing, particularly impotence. ED can often be the symptom of an underlying medical condition and won't simply "go away" if it remains untreated. So it's important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Once the condition is diagnosed, suitable treatment can begin immediately and the problem can usually be alleviated.
The general consensus of opinion appears to be that men instinctively know how to have sex. Unfortunately that's not always the case. Clinical studies confirm that male impotence can result from a lack of knowledge and ignorance about the "mechanics" of sex.
A common misconception is that sex is a simple and straightforward process for men. Not true. Often men find it difficult to discuss the subject, and asking questions would not only reveal their ignorance and lack of knowledge, but possibly threaten their masculinity.
Media images of the virile male in action only serve to further confuse and alienate those men who don't understand "the basics" of sexual intercourse.
Talking to a specialist counselor or therapist will quickly clear up any misconceptions and help overcome problems caused by lack of knowledge.
The myth that men are always "ready, willing and able" is simply not true. The commonly held misconceptions about the "dominant male" have been proven to damage the sexual, physical and psychological wellbeing of a number of men.
A recent Swedish study on sexuality and marriage carried out on 286 couples of varying ages found that men who perceived themselves the be the "dominant male" were more likely to experience temporary male impotence if sex was requested when they weren't in the mood.
Healthy relationships are about having an equal partnership, good communication and respect for the feelings of both partners. It's not uncommon for one partner to want more frequent sexual activity, and sexual desire can fluctuate between partners and at various times and stages in life.
Discussing these issues reasonably and rationally so that each partner understands the needs of the other helps maintain a happy and healthy sexual relationship.
So there you have 8 of the most popular myths surrounding impotence. Hopefully we've helped you understand the truth when it comes to erectile dysfunction.