Impotence is a term that has mostly fallen out of use, in favor of the more descriptive and clinical term erectile dysfunction, although it is still used at times in both in popular culture and by some physicians when talking about sexual dysfunction in males (for example, there is still a medical journal called The International Journal of Impotence Research).

What Is Impotence?

The way it's used today, impotence refers in general to a man's inability to perform sexually, and specifically to his inability to get an erection. Of course, impotence has many other meanings, including powerless, helplessness, weakness, etc... The inaccurate idea that if a man can't get an erection, he has no sexual power, is what makes impotence such a dangerous but also popular term. It's a word that strikes fear in the hearts of those who are worried it might happen to them, and causes pain when it's directed at someone as an insult.

Impotence isn't an accurate term because the truth is that men have sex all the time with and without erections, and a man's sexuality or power isn't related to just one part of his body. When we confuse ability to get erections with ability to give and receive sexual pleasure, we make worse a complicated and common sexual complaint -- an inability to get an erection that is satisfactory for sexual pleasure.

In order to understand why erections don't work, you need to understand the basics of how erections work. Getting an erection involves multiple parts of your body, including your brain, nerves, hormones, muscles, and heart. Anything that interrupts this any of these systems may result in what gets called impotence.

Causes of Impotence

Because erections involve multiple systems, there are often multiple causes of impotence, even for one man. Causes of impotence are often broken down into different categories. These include:

Physical Causes:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Heart disease
  • Conditions that affect thyroid function and/or interrupt hormones in the body
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Injuries to the groin (recent research also points to consistent but mild trauma related to cycling)
  • Colon surgery
  • Hemodialysis
  • Prostatectomy
  • Other treatments for prostate, penile, and rectal cancers, including some chemotherapy and hormone treatments
  • Medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some antidepressants
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Tobacco

Psychological Causes:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Relationship problems (which may or may not be related to sex)

Treatments for Impotence

Once you've determined the cause or causes, there are various treatment options, including:

What Should I Do If I Think I'm Impotent?

If you are experiencing difficulty with erections, the first step should be to speak with a doctor. Erectile difficulties may be an early warning sign of other potentially serious health problems -- your body's way of telling you that something else is going on. It's important to understand what might be causing the changes in your erections.

In addition to seeing a physician, you may want to consider speaking with a therapist or counselor, and perhaps a sex therapist. Sex therapists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions. If you see a sex therapist, you'll also need to get a medical exam, but a therapist will likely have more information than your regular doctor about the details of sexual dysfunction.

One of the most difficult aspects of erectile difficulties is the way that our thoughts and feelings can perpetuate our difficulties. We all have the right to use language we want to describe ourselves. But you may want to consider how describing this problem as impotence, or calling yourself impotent, is actually working against your goal of feeling positive about yourself and your ability to both give and receive sexual pleasure.

What Should We Call Impotence?

The term impotence is already in the process of disappearing from medical literature (although it's a slow process). Impotence is a problem in part because of the way it makes men feel, and also the message it explicitly sends about sexual power being only about erections. Impotence is also a problem because it isn't precise. This might be fine for literature, but if you're trying to isolate and solve a health problem, the more precise you can be, the better. So impotence should be called whatever it actually is. If it's erectile dysfunction, call it that. If it's premature ejaculation, call it that. If it's a bad relationship, or a bad year, call it that.


Sex and Aging for Men: Main Changes

Primarily due to a drop in testosterone, men will experience changes in their sexual function as they age. These changes include (see sex tips for the older man for tips on dealing with these changes):
  • Fewer sperm are produced
  • Erections take longer to occur
  • Erections may not be as hard
  • The ‘recovery time’ (time between erections) increases to 12 to 24 hours
  • The force of ejaculation decreases
  • Sexual desire decreases are due to emotional reasons or health problems

Decreased Testosterone

As a man ages, his testosterone levels decrease. Typically this decrease in testosterone stabilizes around age 60. Testosterone decrease is the primary reason for many of the conditions listed above. Testosterone replacement therapy is becoming popular for addressing concerns of aging men. This type of hormone treatment is controversial and should be approached with caution. Increasing muscle mass through exercise and proper nutrition can help maintain a healthy testosterone level.

Cardiovascular Disease, High Blood Pressure and Male Sexual Health

These health conditions alter how the blood flows in the body. When the arteries become narrower and harder, blood does not flow as freely. This can be troublesome for men trying to achieve an erection, as erections depend on the ability of blood to fill the penis. Controlling high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases through lifestyle change and medication can improve sexual performance.

Diabetes and Male Sexual Health

Many men with diabetes have normal sexual lives. However, diabetes can cause impotence, the inability to have sex. Men with diabetes are approximately three times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men without diabetes. They also experience this condition approximately 15 years earlier than men without diabetes. If you have diabetes and are having trouble maintaining an erection, talk to your doctor. Many medications can help.

Pain and Male Sexual Health

Many health conditions such as arthritis, back pain and shingles can interfere with sex by causing pain that may make sex uncomfortable. These conditions also can alter your mood, sleep habits and attitudes. Experimenting with different sexual positions and techniques can help. You can also talk with your doctor about managing pain.

Incontinence and Male Sexual Health

Incontinence is the loss of bladder control which can cause urine leakage. This condition becomes more common as people age. Often leakage occurs during exercise, laughing or coughing. During sex, extra pressure is placed on your bladder. Men with an incontinence condition may be afraid to have sex. By controlling incontinence through medical or behavioral approaches, the chance of leakage during sex can be greatly reduced.

Medications and Male Sexual Health

Some of the medications prescribed to treat common age-related health conditions can interfere with sex. Some blood pressure medicines, antidepressants and diabetes drugs can make it more difficult for men to maintain an erection. These medications can also reduce sexual desire. You may be able to use alternative medications if you experience these side effects. Talk to your doctor.

Prostatectomy: Prostate Surgery

A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure that removes some or all of a man’s prostate. This is often done to treat prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. A consequence of this surgery can be incontinence or impotence. Before undergoing a prostatectomy, be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your sex life.

The Bottom Line

If you are not satisfied with your sexual ability, talk to doctor. Changes in your medication, managing your health conditions and treatment of sexual problems may help.


National Institute on Aging. Bound For Your Good Health: Sexuality in Later Life. NIH Publication Number 05-7185.

One of the reasons that it's so difficult to find accurate global data on average penis size is that measuring penises is a lot more complicated than you might think.

Where do you start, literally? As it turns out everyone seems to measure differently, with different techniques from different staring points, which makes it difficult to compare data across studies. The media also seems to be endlessly fascinated with talking about penis size (I wonder why), and can sometimes take perfectly reasonable research and twist it into something both misleading and misguided.

Take this example:

I came across a Reuters headline on informing me that "condoms a big problem for men in India." In contemplating all the things that are wrong with the headline alone, I had to wonder: Are news editors just a bunch of men who giggle at the word "penis?" Are they so enamored by their juvenile distractions that they forget how to do math and uphold an unbiased view of different races?

The article is about a two-year study, conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, which set out to determine the average penis size of men in India. It is a gloss of a slightly longer, but still bewildering article published in the Times of India.

It reported that most study participants' penises measured 126 to 156 mm in length; 30% measured between 100 and 125 mm. According to the authors, these sizes are significantly smaller than average condom sizes and, therefore, condoms need to be smaller for Indian men. According to the Times of India piece, the council was to make recommendations regarding new condom sizes a few months later (although I doubted from the start that this was true.)

Now, I could be generous and consider the reason for such an absurd statement to be published in a legitimate news source to be the same old story -- when it comes to any sex content, the editorial gaze fogs over and any old rubbish will be printed.

In this case, I should write a letter to Reuters and the Times of India and explain the following:

  • Condom sizes are universally larger than average penis size. This is true in Europe, North America, and India. Condoms are significantly longer than the average penis length, and are designed to stretch and accommodate average penis width.

  • Measuring penis size is in fact a difficult and somewhat contentious subject. One of the reasons that it's so hard to arrive at accurate averages is that everyone measures differently.

  • That said, the reported penis size averages for the non-representational sample of 1,400 men in this study fall very much within the Western averages.

  • While ill-fitting condoms are indeed one reason for condom failure and failure to use condoms in the first place, making condoms smaller will not necessarily fix this problem.

But let's say, on the other hand, that I'm not feeling generous. I'm feeling cynical and bitter about mainstream media's treatment of sexuality. I think to myself: "This sure sounds familiar. Let me think. Who were the last people to seriously correlate genitalia with race?" In this case, I should write a letter to Reuters and the Times of India and remind them of the following:

  • The last group who carefully documented the relationship between genitalia and race were the colonial "scientists", not exactly the folks any of you want to emulate.

  • In all this reporting, there is confusion between biological origin and citizenship. Suggesting this study applies to all Indian men suggests that every male living in India is the same and has the same background. The generalization being made here is like saying that all American men are white.

  • I shouldn’t have to point this out to a group of educated news people, but penis size simply is not a salient characteristic from which we can extrapolate anything in regard to race. In fact, let’s not forget that the physical parameters of race are, to an extent, arbitrary. And the variety inside any group is just as likely to be robust as the variety between groups.

In the end, I prefer to think of these articles as another example of how -- when it comes to reporting on sex -- journalists and editors consistently phone it in (and not in a legitimate way.) I don’t know why I find it less depressing to consider them infantile instead of racist, but I do.


A major tenet in Tantric beliefs is the importance of ejaculation mastery. Many ancient gurus believed ejaculation was a waste of vital life energy, so men were taught to condition themselves to preserve their seminal fluid and to release it as infrequently as possible. This was because of the great drain on physical energy and vital force when a man ejaculates. It was also believed that men should instead use that energy as fuel for awakening the higher chakra centers and thus to move on to enlightenment.

As a result, traditional Tantric men became experts at controlling (and avoiding) ejaculation. Sometimes this involved considerable effort or complicated processes. One Tantric text describes a specific elaborate pattern of strokes of movements that, if the man followed them exactly, were said to prevent him from reaching a level of excitement that would allow ejaculation to occur. Other techniques were extremely simple, such as pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth.

Men would also delay orgasm in order to prolong the sexual union until they were certain they had pleased their goddess (satisfied their female partner). It was also commonly believed that keeping his penis inside the woman for as long as possible without ejaculating enabled the man to absorb some of the woman's vital life juices and powerful energy.

Today, there is some division on the importance of ejaculation (or avoidance of ejaculation). Some still believe it is important to completely avoid ejaculation, while others disagree. Men understand that they are not going to “run out” of seminal fluid. However, it is still considered important to delay the orgasm as long as possible, in order to allow for a long, satisfying sexual encounter.

The easiest and most common way to avoid ejaculation is simply the start-and-stop technique. Just like it sounds, with this technique the man participates in sex as usual, until he gets to the point where he feels he is about to ejaculate. He then stops completely, and perhaps even squeezes or puts pressure on his penis to help the urge to ejaculate subside a bit. Once the urge to ejaculate has receded somewhat, the man can then proceed with the lovemaking process. He can continue with this start/stop pattern until he is ready to ejaculate (or if it becomes uncomfortable), at which point he should allow himself the release.

Other techniques that are said to sometimes help in delaying a man's orgasm include pressing on the perineum (spot between scrotum and anus) or pulling gently on the testicle right before orgasm is about to occur. Both of these techniques should be performed carefully and gently, to avoid pain or injury.


Whether we are in a brand new relationship or have been married for forty years, when it comes to talking with our partners about sex, panic can often set in.

When we imagine the potential for rejection and drama, taking a risk like that with someone we love can often feel too great. This is probably the reason so few of us do try to share the really difficult stuff of our sexual lives. Here are ideas on raising those hard-to-raise issues.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: Allow as much time as possible.

Here's How:

  1. Clarify the Issue for Yourself
    Sex is complicated, your feelings may have as much to do with your own baggage and history as with your partner. If something is on your mind, sit with it for a while and clarify what doesn’t feel right. Some people find that writing a helpful way to do this; others will talk with close friends. The point of this is not to start complaining to others or placing blame. The exercise is all about you and how you feel.

  2. Try to Write it Down
    Don’t worry about floral language or grammar. Writing down what you want to talk about is a great step to clarify your issues for yourself and practice the way you might communicate it to your partner. Some people actually write their partner a letter, and end up giving it to them at a later point. Letter writing can be a powerful way to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and if done along with talking it can increase intimacy in a relationship in surprising ways.

  3. Practice the Talk
    This doesn't work for everyone, but if you’re nervous about talking it can help to do some practice talking. If you have a good friend you can do this with, great. If not, going through it on your own can help. Before every major “talk” I’ve ever had to do, I sit down in front of my computer screen and practice. If my monitor could talk, it would probably tell me to get a life, but it’s a great tool for me (and I’m pretty sure my monitor is too old a model to be talking).

  4. Consider Your Timing
    One of the most important considerations is when to talk. This will depend a lot on what you are talking about. If you want to raise the idea of trying something new in bed, then raising it just before you’re about to be intimate with your partner is probably not a good time. Ditto for raising your dissatisfaction with the frequency of your sex life minutes before your kids are due home (or your in-laws are coming over).

  5. Choose Your Location
    As with timing, location can make a difference. Bringing up sexual dissatisfactions in bed can be a bad move as it may create an association of negativity in your bed. Both you and your partner may also feel more vulnerable in bed than you would having the conversation fully clothed, out for a late-night walk.

  6. Allow Time for Processing
    Remember that your partner may be surprised by what you are saying. Give both of you the time and space to respond honestly without having to feel rushed or pressured. You may not be able to completely resolve the issue, or even talk about all the aspects of the issue in one sitting. Think about sexual communication as an ongoing process, not a one-shot deal.

  7. Be Generous
    No matter how hard it is for you to bring up your sexual concerns, if you are the only one raising them, consider that it may be even harder for your partner. If you can, try to be generous with your partner and try not to place the blame too heavily on either of you. There are two of you in the relationship, and ultimately both of you need to take responsibility for what is happening.

  8. Check In Afterwards
    Sometimes we can make ourselves so anxious about bringing something up with a partner, and then it goes not quite as bad as we thought, and we’re relieved, so we want to just move on. Give yourself permission to bring the topic up again. Don’t do it in a nagging way, but make it clear that your partner that you care about how they feel and you want to check in with them about how the conversation went.


  1. Keep in mind that every situation is different. These are general tips and your situation may call for many additional considerations.

  2. Remember that your imagination can be your worst enemy when it comes to taking risks like this. The reality is that the response is almost never as bad as you think it will be, and talking openly about your sexual feelings, desires, likes and dislikes, can not only improve your sex life with your partner, it can improve other aspects of the relationship.


What is Peyronie's Disease?

Peyronie's disease is a condition where the penis bends. The bend is most apparent during an erection. This condition can be painful and can be difficult to treat. Peyronie's disease is thought to occur in about one per cent of the male population and although it is most common between the ages of 45 to 60 it can happen in the young and the elderly. Because men, in general, tend not to seek medical attention unless the condition is severe, it is a condition that is probably under reported.

Signs and Symptoms of Peyronie's Disease

The onset of signs of the Peyronie's disease can be sudden or slow and can vary in severity.

Curvature of the penis is often associated with accompanying pain as the penis becomes increasingly distorted. A bend in the penis, usually at the top of the shaft causes an upward bend. Curvatures can also appear at the bottom of the penis shaft causing a downward bend. Most angulations are up or down.

In rare cases hardening of tissue can occur on the top and the bottom and if this happens the penis may shorten. The hardening of the tissue is in an area called the tunica albuinea, the sheath surrounding the erectile tissue. Unfortunately in some men this condition can cause impotence or an incomplete erection.

Causes of Peyronie's Disease

The cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown but there are a number of factors that are important.

  • Injury. Peyronie's disease can develop following trauma or injury to the penis. Injury may happen during very vigorous sexual intercourse, forceful bending of the penis can cause tissue tearing and scarring. The injury may be as a result of a medical procedure, e.g. catheterization in which a tube (the catheter) is passed into the bladder to pass urine, or cystoscopy, when the surgeon looks into the bladder following a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland).

  • Inherited abnormality. It is thought that there is a genetic component to this condition. Peyronie's disease is more common in men with family members who also have the condition or who have a disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (a connective tissue disorder). Thirty per cent of men with Peyronie's disease also develop a condition called Dupuytren's contracture where hardened tissue develops in the hands.

  • Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with the Peyronie's disease.

  • Peyronie's disease is a rare side effect of an antihypertensive drug called Inderal (propanolol).

  • Diabetes. Diabetes-related damage to the blood vessels in the penis has been associated with Peyronie's disease.

  • Infection. Inflammation in cases of severe vasculitis further suggests a vascular (blood vessels) cause for Peyronie's disease.


Many men think their penis is small, often too small. Research confirms that heterosexual men worry about penis size more than women do, and are more dissatisfied with the size of their own penis than women are with their partners’ penis size. Changing your feelings about penis size won't happen over night. But a good place to start is understanding why it is that you think your penis is so small. Here are some of the common reasons.

Early Penis Sightings

For some men the first time they see penises as adolescents will be seeing a male parent or caregiver naked. The difference in genital size between adults and children, plus the angle that most kids will see an adult penis from seeing something from below can make it look bigger) can influence and skew our first understandings of penis size.

Locker Room Syndrome

Most heterosexual boys and men don’t see too many penises outside of the change room or locker room, and possibly home if there are male siblings or parents in the house. Checking out other men’s penises in a locker room situation carries many pitfalls. For one, you rarely get a chance to take a really good look. As well, the size of a flaccid penis may vary greatly from man to man, but the size of an erect penis doesn’t vary as much (a phenomenon referred to as showers vs. growers). In locker rooms (well most of them) the penises you see are usually flaccid.

In a study of men who sought medical help for concerns about having a small penis, 62% of men said their concerns began in childhood as a result of comparing penis size to that of their friends.

Porn Comparisons

A lot of men will get sex information from watching pornography, which is a terrible way to learn anything about sex (except perhaps that sex is fun). Male porn stars have larger penises and there are lighting and pubic hair styling tricks that make them look even bigger. Remember, the camera puts on ten pounds. In the same study cited above, just over 37% of men say their concern about penis size began after seeing porn.

Visual Orientation

When you look at your own penis you are probably most often looking at it from above. This is an angle that makes your penis look smaller. If you stand naked in front of a full length mirror both facing the mirror and in profile, you’ll get a better idea of what your penis looks like to others (if this is your concern). Just as looking from below can impact our earliest ideas of penis size, always looking from above can make you think your penis is smaller than it is.

What’s Average?

Finally, men who think their penis is too small are probably unaware of what average penis size is thought to be in the first place. According to some reviews, average erect penis length is between 5.1 and 5.7 inches.(other reviews put it slightly higher at 5.5 to 6.3). In either case somewhere around five and a half inches is an average penis length. It’s not that there aren’t men who live with very small penises (known as a micropenis) but statistically speaking, most men will be somewhere in the middle.


Mondaini N, Gontero P. “Idiopathic Short Penis: Myth or Reality?” BJU International Volume 95 (2005): 8-9.

Question: Do Penis Pumps Permanently Enlarge Your Penis?


Thankfully, this question, which is one I received 43 times in my first year as a guide (not from the same person) is one of the easier sex questions to answer. And of course the answer is yes...and no.

Penis pumps will absolutely make your penis bigger, temporarily. Penis pumps create a vacuum effect that draws blood into the penis, which in most cases will result in an erection. Given that an erection is bigger than a flaccid penis, it’s true that penis pumps “make” the penis bigger. But only while they are on over the penis. And this can get in the way of things.

The only published study that has examined the effectiveness of penis pumps at permanent enlargement found the claims of thousands of ads, websites, and "real" guys who promise permanent size gains to be puffed up, just a lot of hot air.

The study was published in the British Journal of Urology International in 2006. In the study the researchers followed a group of men with small penises who were willing to use penis pumps three times a week, for twenty minutes each session, over a period of six months. The device that was used was not a sex shop style penis pump, it was a clinically tested vacuum erection device.

At the end of the study there was an average increase of 0.3 centimeters, which is not statistically significant. But interestingly, even though this average increase is minor, 30% of the men who participated said they were satisfied with the “treatment”.

Despite the fact that the actual gain was not significant, and for some participants presumably there was no actual increase, many of the participants felt satisfied, which makes one wonder what it was that they were satisfied with. Was it the permission to spend an hour each week focused on an activity that some men find pleasurable? Was there a placebo effect?

With only one published study, we would need much more to go on before concluding anything. Even so, I have always been wary of the penis pump sales pitch. In the end, as long as you use your penis pump safely there is no reason not to try it if you like, and there is no question that some guys say it makes a difference. But as far as the research is concerned, the difference is largely in their heads.


Aghamir, M. K., Hosseini, R., & Alizadeh, F. “A Vacuum Device for Penile Elongation: Fact or Fiction?” British Journal of Urology International. Vol. 97, Issue 4 (2006): 777-778.

Pain During Intercourse

Experiencing pain during intercourse affects sexual performance as well as pleasure. It can even have lasting psychological effects such as fear of penetration leading to impotence. Not surprisingly, equating pain with intercourse can put a strain on relationships, so in this article I look at some of the physical causes of pain during intercourse.

Pain can arise because of infections such as herpes or sexually transmitted diseases such as untreated gonorrhea.

Foreskin Problems
An overtight foreskin (phimosis) or damage to the foreskin resulting from tearing, friction or inflammation can all lead to pain.

Deformities of the Penis
Conditions such as hypospadias or scar tissue from previous traumas or infections.

This is a condition where a non-sexual and often painful and sustained erection occurs.

Allergy to the penis by vaginal fluids or contraception chemicals.

Hypersensitivity of the penis
This can occur post orgasm and ejaculation. Growths (benign or cancerous), urinary tract stones or penile deformities.

Pain during intercourse is not normal and should be checked out by a medical practitioner. Do not continue attempting intercourse until you have recieved treatment. This is especially important if the cause of pain is due to infection.


Penis size is determined entirely by factors out of our control. Yet penis size may be the single greatest cause of anxiety for men young and old. Questions about penis size abound; What’s the average penis size? Can I increase my penis size? Does penis size matter as much as I think it does? Some of these questions have easy answers, most of them don’t.

What can safely be said is that concern about penis size is almost always misguided. Great sex is much more than the sum (or length) of its parts. Hopefully learning more about what researchers and regular folks have to say about penis size may help more men understand that.

What Is an Average Penis Size?

Data on what the average penis size is, both in terms of length and girth, as well as an explanation of the problems with measuring penis size and determining global statistics on average penis size.

Who Cares More About Penis Size, Women or Men?

Is bigger always better? Does penis size matter to the general public? Here’s what research tells us about the importance of penis size.

Do Penis Pumps Work?

They’re marketed as permanent penis enlargers, and you get emails every day praising their effectiveness. But do any of them really enlarge the penis?

Am I Too Small for Sex?

There are some very simple reasons why most men think their penis is too small, here they are.

Can I Trust Research on Penis Size?

One of the reasons that it’s so difficult to find accurate global data on average penis size is that measuring penises is a lot more complicated than you might think. As a result there is a lot of bad research out there on penis size.

How Do I Measure Up?

There is a tendency to compare yourself to others, and if most of your sex education has been from pornography, comparing your penis size to the images you see on your computer screen or TV may not be a good thing. Here’s the real story on how you measure up, and the trouble with comparing penis size.

Are We Genitally Compatible?

Is there such a thing as your "genital soul mate"? Does penis size play a role in how well you and a partner are matched sexually?

What Is a Micropenis?

Learn more about what does, and does not, qualify clinically as a very small penis. Most men who think they have one don’t.

What Is Small Penis Syndrome

A new proposed diagnosis for men who are anxious about their penis size despite being shown that they do not have an unusually small penis.

Why Is Everyone Obsessed with Penis Size?

There are those who say penis size does matter. What’s important about penis size for them, and why do they care about it?


Question: How Much Masturbation is Too Much Masturbation?

I need help. On your site it says that masturbation is great and healthy and everything, but then it also says that you can do it too much. But no one tells me how much masturbation is too much. Basically I do it at least once a day, mostly in bed, and sometimes more. I don’t have a girlfriend right now, and I don’t want to damage anything down there. Can you just tell me yes or no, is masturbating once a day too much?


I wish I could answer your question easily, but masturbation isn’t like eating right, the FDA doesn’t offer us a "daily allowance" for masturbation (which is a good thing too, because I’m sure they’d give us some low ball number). Masturbation, like all of sex, is related to many things, physical, emotional, psychological, social, spiritual…the list goes on. So there’s never one answer to the question how much masturbation is too much masturbation or what qualifies as over masturbation.

This isn’t to say that you won’t find people who will give you a simple answer to your complicated question. The question of how much masturbation is too much has been the focus of some people’s life’s work, dozens of books, and countless religious tracts and sermons. Some say masturbation is terrible, some say masturbation is okay, but only when you’re young and single, and some tell you the truth, which is that masturbation is perfectly healthy and an important part of sexual health. With all these conflicting messages what is most important is that you do exactly what you’re doing right now; ask the question for yourself.

Too much masturbation can’t be determined only from the number of times you’re masturbating in a day or week. You need to dig deeper, and you can start by asking yourself some other questions about your masturbation habits:

  • Is your masturbation causing you distress?
  • Is your masturbation causing (unwanted) physical pain or damage?
  • Is your masturbation getting in the way of your life in unwanted ways?
  • Do you find yourself literally unable to stop masturbating?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I would say it’s possible (but still not definite) that you are masturbating too much right now. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other times in your life when masturbating everyday would be perfectly fine. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who masturbate everyday (or more) and who are completely healthy and have no reason to masturbate less. Remember, there isn’t a magic number, and we all use sex differently.

If you do think you’re masturbating too much (that is if your masturbation is causing you distress, or pain, or it feels compulsive, or it’s getting in the way of your daily life) it may be something you want to talk to a professional about. Be sure it’s someone who is comfortable talking about sex and isn’t going to make you feel bad for your healthy sexual expression.


Sexually transmitted infections often cause symptoms affecting the penis or groin. This article includes a list of symptoms that may indicate a sexually transmitted infection.

Discharge from the penis
A thick white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis may be a sign of gonorrhea, especially if you also experience pain in the urethra or pain with urination.

Single sore on the penis
In primary syphilis, a hard, painless dime-sized sore (sometimes compared to a button) appears on the penis. This is usually accompanied by swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin.

Penile pain or discomfort
Pain or discomfort – often associated with urination – may be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection. You may also experience a discharge from your urethra.

Painful blisters or scabs on the penis
A cluster of painful or itchy red spots and small blisters on the penis may be a sign of genital herpes. Typically, the pain or itching comes first, followed a day or two later by the appearance of blisters. Herpes sores may also appear on the scrotum, thighs and buttocks.

Brown flecks on the hair around the penis
Tiny grey-brown eggs on the shafts of your pubic hair may be a sign of infestation by pubic lice (also called "crabs").

Red bumps on the penis and scrotum
A scabies infestation causes red itchy bumps and nodules, typically appearing in lines. Usually, similar lesions will be present elsewhere on your body if you have a scabies infestation.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, go see a doctor right away for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Behrman AJ, Shoff WH. "Gonorrhea.",. Accessed 11 May 2010.

Diaz MM, Sinert RH. "Syphilis.", Accessed 11 May 2010.

McCroskey AL, Rosh AJ. "Scabies.", Accessed 11 May 2010.

Ejaculate is 90% water. Semen is a milky opalescence, and opaque. Opalescence increases when the ejaculate has a higher concentration of sperm. Ejaculate consists mainly of semen:

  • 65% of the semen arises from the seminal vesicles

  • 35% of the semen comes from the prostate. It is the semen from the prostate that gives semen its characteristic smell.

  • 5% is of other fluids
  • When a man orgasms he ejaculates between 1 and 5 millilitres of semen. The average is 2 to 3 millilitres (a small teaspoon) which of course is nothing when compared to an adult wild male boar which produces 0.5 litres per ejaculate!

    An ejaculation can travel up to 3 feet or more. However an average distance is about 7 to 10 inches (17to 25cms). Ejacuation is preceded by an emission of 1-2 drops of alkaline fluid from the Cowper's glands (two small glands beneath the prostate). Its alkalinity neutralizes the acidity that remains in the urethra from recent urination. Repeated Ejaculation Facts:

    The ability to have repeated ejaculation varies considerably from man to man. The ability to have repeated ejaculation begins to decline almost immediately once puberty is complete. Within the period of one to two hours most men can have one ejaculation, some can have a second and a few men can have three or four. Kinsey, a well known researcher into sex, recorded one man who was able to ejaculate six to eight times in a single session, but this is very rare.


    Men who smoke marijuana frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely, a new study in reproductive physiology at the University at Buffalo has shown.

    This study is the first to assess marijuana's effects on specific swimming behavior of sperm from marijuana smokers and to compare the results with sperm from men with confirmed fertility. Marijuana contains the cannabinoid drug THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is its primary psychoactive chemical, as well as other cannabinoids.

    Marijuana Affects Male Sperm

    Results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in San Antonio.

    "The bottom line is, the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm, and the numbers are in the direction toward infertility," said Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., lead author on the study. Burkman is assistant professor of gynecology/obstetrics and urology and head of the Section on Andrology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UB's andrology laboratory also carries out sophisticated diagnosis for infertile couples.

    Sperm Swimming Too Fast, Too Early

    "We don't know exactly what is happening to change sperm functioning," said Burkman, "but we think it is one of two things: THC may be causing improper timing of sperm function by direct stimulation, or it may be bypassing natural inhibition mechanisms. Whatever the cause, the sperm are swimming too fast too early." This aberrant pattern has been connected to infertility in other studies, she noted.

    Further research in the andrology laboratory showed that human sperm exposed to high levels of THC displayed abnormal changes in the sperm enzyme cap, called the acrosome. When researchers tested synthetic anandamide equivalents on human sperm, the normal vigorous swimming patterns were changed and the sperm showed reduced ability to attach to the egg before fertilization. Only about 10 laboratories in the U.S. perform this array of sperm function tests.

    Testing for Sperm Count

    In the current study, Burkman received seminal fluid from 22 confirmed marijuana smokers and subjected the samples to a variety of tests. The volunteers reported smoking marijuana approximately 14 times a week, and for an average of 5.1 years.

    Control numbers were obtained from 59 fertile men who had produced a pregnancy. All men abstained from sexual activity for two days before the lab analysis.

    The samples from both groups were tested for volume, sperm-count-per-unit of seminal fluid, total sperm count, percent of sperm that was moving, velocity and sperm shape.

    Smokers Had Less Sperm

    Results showed that both the volume of seminal fluid and the total number of sperm from marijuana smokers were significantly less than for fertile control men. Significant differences also appeared when HA and velocity, both before and after washing, were assessed, the study found.

    "The sperm from marijuana smokers were moving too fast too early," said Burkman. "The timing was all wrong. These sperm will experience burnout before they reach the egg and would not be capable of fertilization."

    Risky for Borderline Fertility Men

    Burkman noted that many men who smoke marijuana have fathered children. "The men who are most affected likely have naturally occurring borderline fertility potential, and THC from marijuana may push them over the edge into infertility," she said.

    As to the question of whether fertility potential returns when smokers stop using marijuana: Burkman said the issue hasn't been studied well enough to provide a definitive answer.

    "THC remains stored in fat for a long period, so the process may be quite slow. We can't say that everything will go back to normal. Most men who have borderline fertility are unaware of that fact. It's difficult to know who is at risk. I definitely would advise anyone trying to conceive not to smoke marijuana, and that would include women as well as men.


    For years, sex therapists, researchers, and physicians have debated what should be the medical definition of premature ejaculation. There is still no worldwide agreement on one definition of what premature means in the context of ejaculation. Having one might help one day. But in the meantime, if you’re trying to figure out what premature means to you or to your partner, you can start by coming up with your own definition of premature.

    Premature for What?

    Most of us don’t talk about sex enough with our partners or healthcare providers. If we think there is a problem, we often want to skip the part where we talk about it, try to describe it, and work on it ourselves. It can seem much easier (and less anxiety provoking) to wait for a pill and hope our doctor will be as uncomfortable as we are and just write a prescription. One of the many problems with this approach is that we never define the problem for ourselves.

    In the case of premature ejaculation, the question becomes, "Premature for what? What is it that you’re missing by ejaculating when you do?" Another way to ask this question is, "What is the goal of the sex you’re having?" If the goal is for everyone involved to have an orgasm, this can be accomplished even if one of you ejaculates first (when you think about it, someone almost always comes first). If the goal is to have a female orgasm from intercourse, then you need to know that a) most women don’t orgasm from intercourse, and b) you can do other things to increase the chances of having an orgasm through intercourse. The point is that most people assume they know the goal of every sexual encounter without ever asking themselves what they want from it. For example, is it possible that your ejaculation is “premature” because you have nothing else to look forward to?

    What Is Premature for You?

    You need to start by deciding how you are comfortable defining premature. Is it based on time (such as it’s premature if you ejaculate before 5 to 10 minutes of intercourse)? Is it based on satisfaction (such as it’s premature if you ejaculate before your partner has an orgasm)? Is it a problem if it happens once in a while versus happening all the time? It’s hard not to feel pressure from partners and the culture around us which says that a man should have complete control over his penis and be able to ejaculate when and where he wants. But it’s worth trying to think about how you feel and what you desire, as opposed to what you think others expect and want from your ejaculation abilities.

    Does a Partner Have a Right to Define Premature?

    If you’re in a committed relationship with someone you care about, consider and account for how your partner experiences your sexual activities. But if one of you thinks you’re premature and the other doesn’t, it’s a sign that there is a problem with communication and expectations, not ejaculation. So if you’re happy with when you ejaculate but your partner considers it premature, it is worth asking him why. Does he take your ejaculation timing as a sign of something? Is he comparing you to previous sexual experiences (this is a hard one to hear, but the bottom line is that if he can’t have sex with you in the present, without comparing the sex to previous experiences, something probably needs to be worked out on his end)? Having your partner define your ejaculation as premature can be painful, and it can feel like he doesn’t have a right to do it. Whether it’s his place to label the ejaculation as premature or not, once it’s out there, you’ve got to deal with it.

    Times Change, So Can a Definition of Premature

    If you’re struggling with premature ejaculation, one of the first things a doctor or therapist will ask is how long it’s been going on. He’ll also want to know how often it happens and if there have been other times in your life when you’ve felt you were premature ejaculating. For some men, premature ejaculation is constant. For many others, it comes and goes. I’d like to suggest that how you define premature can also change over time. What is premature in one sexual encounter might actually be way too long in another. This doesn’t make it any better. But the idea of premature ejaculation can seem so scary and monolithic that it’s important to remember that, in fact, it can be highly dependent on context.


    Research has shown that the sexual effects of alcohol are different for men and women. This is likely the result of both physical and social differences in the way women’s bodies and men’s bodies react to alcohol and respond sexually.

    Not surprisingly, the amount of alcohol consumed, and how often a man drinks, has an impact on whether there will be negative sexual effects of alcohol for men. Most of the research in this area has been with men who are, or were, alcoholics. Sexual effects in these studies include:

    • Difficulty getting and maintaining erections
    • Difficulty ejaculating/delayed ejaculation
    • Reduced sexual desire
    • Increased sexual aggression
    • Infertility

    As with women and alcohol, men may find that small amounts of alcohol increase sex desire and sociability. But positive quickly turns to negative as the amount of alcohol consumed increases. One of the differences researchers often point out is that most men consider an erection necessary for sex, and consuming high amounts of alcohol usually has a negative effect on erectile function.

    How common are sexual effects of alcohol for men?

    Because most of the research relies on men recalling past sexual experience and performance, and because research studies differ wildly in their methodology, narrowing down prevalence isn’t easy.

    Estimates for men having difficulty with ejaculation range from 5-25% in some studies. Some researchers estimate that as many as 54% of alcoholic men have difficulties getting and maintaining erections, and decreased sexual desire has been found in between 31-58% of men across several studies.

    The impact on men who are not alcoholics, and men who are drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol is likely much less than this. And while drinking enough alcohol to become intoxicated may very well result in not being able to get an erection, if the man isn’t a chronic drinker, the erection difficulties should not persist.

    Alcohol’s impact on testosterone in men

    Researchers debate the impact of alcohol on testosterone in men. Whether they are definitive or not, there are several studies that show a decrease in testosterone both in alcoholic men and in non alcoholic men who drink enough to become intoxicated. Alcoholism can result in hypogonadism. However, with men who drink occasionally, testosterone levels return to normal, and moderate amounts of alcohol are not associated with reduced testosterone.

    Can sexual effects of alcohol be reversed?

    We don’t know the point at which sexual effects of alcohol such as erectile and orgasm difficulties become irreversible. We also don’t know exactly how long after a man stops drinking that his normal sexual functioning may resume.

    One study of over 17,000 alcoholic men found that after several years of no alcohol 50% returned to normal erectile functioning, and the other 50% were either partially or completely unable to get an erection, even when sexual desire returned.

    Sexual dysfunction due to alcohol abuse may also be caused by the kinds of diseases made worse by chronic alcohol consumption (for example diabetes and heart disease).


    1. Crenshaw, T.L. & Goldberg, J.P. Sexual Pharmacology: Drugs that Affect Sexual Function. New York: Norton, 1996.
    2. Muthusami, K.R. and Chinnaswamy, P. “Effect of Chronic Alcoholism on Male Fertility Hormones and Semen Quality.” Fertility and Sterility. Volume 84, Issue 4 (2005): 919-924.
    3. Seagraves, R.T. & Balon, R. Sexual Pharmacology: Fast Facts. New York : Norton, 2003.

    Does becoming a father mean less sex, less sleep, less attention? It's great to be a dad, but it can also be quite a period of adjustment, especially if the baby is your first. One aspect of your relationship that remains important is the sexual side of your life together. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about men's sex life after the birth of your baby

    When can we have sex again?

    How quickly you return to having sexual intercourse depends on circumstances. It is generally advisable that you wait about six weeks after the birth. This allows the woman's body time to begin to return to back to normal and allows healing from any surgical intervention during the birth. Your doctor should advise you if this period of time needs to be any longer.

    Will My Partner Want Sex?

    You will probably find that your partner is less interested in sex than you are at first. The demands of being a mother can leave her feeling preoccupied and more tired. It's a time when men can feel a bit left out and a little isolated. Remember that this is a common feeling. You both need time to adjust to the new demands of parenthood. Try not to rush things. You should find that your partner's sex drive will soon return. You have to respect each other's feelings. Communication, as always, is the most important thing in your relationship. Less pressure and more support and love will all help the process along.

    Birth Control after a Baby

    When do you need to think birth control? The answer is straight away. For men condoms and a spermicide are the best and safest form of contraception. Although breast feeding does delay a woman's fertility you do not know at exactly what stage that changes and her periods return. Because internal organs of the woman are stretched (the vaginal walls & the uterus) a diaphragm will not act as an efficient form of birth control. A woman has to be fitted for a new diaphragm two to three months after childbirth.

    The only oral contraceptive pill that is safe for breast feeding mothers is the progesterone mini-pill that her doctor needs to prescribe. The Dr will be able to make that medical judgement about the safety of this from of birth control. The mini-pill does have a small failure rate of 1%-3%. Depo-Provera or other forms of injectable contraceptive may be helpful for some women. It provides a reliable form of birth control to those who find it difficult to take contraceptives orally and their effect lasts from 1 to 3 months.

    Encountering Problems?

    If you and your partner are having problems with your sex life after the birth of your baby you may need to ask for advice and support. Contact your doctor, midwife, health visitor, or a therapist. The on-line forum can be very helpful and knowing you are not alone in encountering problems and is very supportive.


    Sexual Addiction

    Posted by Max Priestley | 8:15 AM

    Most common among men, sexual addiction is an overwhelming desire to have sex. Sexual behavior becomes a problem and is considered an addiction when it is repeated often enough to interfere with normal daily living. Addictive sexual behavior interferes with relationships, work, friendships, and lifestyle.

    There is a line between being enjoying sex, its peripheral pleasures and sexual addiction. In sexual addiction long periods of time are given over to sex-related activities. Sex addicts feel unable to control sexual behavior or even reduce its incidence. People with sexual addiction behavior often use sex as an escape from other problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and social isolation.

    Other names for sexual addiction

    Nymphomania, hypersexuality, erotomania, perversion, sexual obsession, sexual addiction.

    Signs and symptoms of compulsive sexual behavior

  • Having multiple sexual partners or extramarital affairs.

  • Engaging in sex with many anonymous partners or prostitutes. Sex addicts treat sexual partners as objects rather than social intimates that are only used for sex.

  • Engaging in excessive masturbation, as often as 10 to 20 times a day.

  • Using pornographic materials a lot. Using chat rooms or on line pornography or sex chat phone lines excessively.

  • Engaging in types of sexual behavior that you would not have considered acceptable before. Examples are masochistic or sadistic sex. Sometimes more extreme forms of sexual behavior are engaged in, for example pedophilia, bestiality, rape.

  • Exposure in public.
  • Causes of sexual addiction

    There are a number of theories on why sexual addiction occurs. For example, psychological and emotional difficulties, personality disorder, as a form of coping mechanism, a result of childhood trauma. In some forms of mental illness sexual addiction can be a feature, in depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    Some neurological disorders can, rarely, result in sexual addictions. These include epilepsy, head injury and dementia.

    Some drugs have been found to cause hypersexuality. Examples are apomorphine and dopamine replacement therapy.

    Problematic effects of compulsive sexual behavior

    Sexual addiction can cause a vicious circle of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Although excessive sex can bring short term relief, the harm to the psychological well-being of the individual and to their relationships means intervention is required to bring the problem back into their control.

    Someone with a sexual addiction often puts their physical health at risk because of their behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and other drug addictions as well as placing themselves at greater risk of violence.

    Getting help for addictive sexual behavior

    An intense preoccupation with sex that results in unacceptable or highly deviant sexual behavior requires treatment from an expert in the field. An evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or sex therapist can be done on an out-patient basis. Treatment may depend on the cause. Behavioral treatments have been found to be helpful. A doctor may be able to treat depressional aspects of sexual addiction with medication.

    The first point of contact can be your family doctor or local psychiatric services who offer specialists in sexual behavior disorder. Marital therapy may also be helpful.


    Does Penis Size Matter?

    Penis size matters mainly because we think it does. The famous sexuality researchers, Masters and Johnson, say that penis size has no physical effect on female sexual satisfaction.

    Women & Sexual Satisfaction

    Russell Eisenman's research into women's perceptions of sexual satisfaction considered penis size and width. Fifty sexually active women aged between 18 and 25 years old were asked, "In having sex, which feels better, length of penis or width of penis?" No consideration was given to issues like love, physical attractiveness or romantic feelings. The survey found:

    • Most of the 50 women said that width was more important than length.

    • Only 5 women reported length felt better than width. In fact, a long penis can cause discomfort.

    • None of the women said that size and width were equally important.

    • None of the women said they did not know.

    Penis width and penis length

    There are a number of reasons why penis width could be described as more sexually satisfying by women. First, the width of the penis at the base may be more stimulating to the clitoris. The researchers also suggest that a wide penis gives a woman a 'greater feeling of fullness' and is therefore physically and psychologically more satisfying.

    Male anxiety about penis size

    Men tend to misjudge the size of their penis, due to viewing it from above. Research shows that many men believe that their penis is smaller than normal when they actually have a normal-sized penis.


    Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington, IN: Indiana U. Press.

    N Mondaini, R Ponchietti, P Gontero, G H Muir, A Natali, E Caldarera, S Biscioni M Rizzo. (2002) Penile length is normal in most men seeking penile lengthening procedures. International Journal of impotence Research. August 2002, Volume 14, Number 4, Pages 283-286.

    Smith A. M A; Jolley D.; Hocking J.; Benton K.; Gerofi J. (1998) Does penis size influence condom slippage and breakage? International Journal of STD & AIDS, Volume 9, Number 8, 1 August 1998, pp. 444-447.

    Morning Erections

    Posted by Max Priestley | 10:14 AM

    Many young men, and even some older ones who haven’t found the right people to ask, are curious about morning erections. Most men have the experience, with some regularity, of waking up in the morning with an erection.

    What Is A Morning Erection?

    Morning erections, colloquially referred to as "morning wood" and scientifically defined as nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) are a healthy and normal physiological response that most men experience. Morning erections would be better described as the tail end of a series of nighttime erections, as they are just the last erection in a series.

    On average a healthy male will have between three and five erections in a full night sleep, with each erection lasting between 25 -35 minutes.

    Causes of Morning Erections

    It is a common myth that morning erections are caused by a full bladder. This is untrue. While the reason for morning erections is unknown, we do know that the erections are closely associated with REM sleep (the time in the night when you dream and brain activity changes). These erections are also associated with an increase in heart rate. It isn’t known for sure if the erections are a result of the other physiological changes, more research is required. Some suggest that morning erections are a way for your body to make sure everything is in working order.

    Lack of Morning Erections

    Early research on morning erections did not find a difference in the morning erections of older men when compared to those of younger men. More recent research has shown a gradual decline in morning erections (some show just a decrease in the rigidity and length of time of an erection and not the frequency of getting erections).

    One of the reason morning erections attracted the interest of researchers was as a tool to rule out physical causes of erectile dysfunction. If a man cannot get an erection to his satisfaction during sexual activities one of the first things a doctor will determine is whether or not he is getting full erections during the night and in the morning.

    If a lack of morning erections is accompanied by a lack of overall erections it suggests a physical over a psychological cause. If you are concerned about a noticeable change in your morning erections it's something you may want to talk about with your doctor. However there are a variety of other factors that influence morning erections (including length and quality of sleep) and a change in morning erections doesn't always indicate a serious problem.

    Erectile Dysfunction Medications and Morning Erections

    Medications used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) including sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis), can have an impact on morning erections. Both medications, if taken the night before prior to sexual activities, can result in morning erections, although morning erections occur more often when tadalafil is used.

    Of course there is no reason to take a medication simply to get a morning erection, as morning erections, while they may be related to overall erectile function are not necessarily a total indicator of function or dysfunction.


    1. Gordon, C.M. and Carey, M.P. “Penile Tumescence Monitoring During Morning Naps to Assess Male Erectile Functioning.” Archives of Sexual Behavior Volume 24, No. 3 (1995): 291-307.
    2. Rosen, R.C., Goldstein, L., Scoles, V., et. al “Psychophysiologic Correlates of Nocturnal Penile Tumescence in Normal Males.” Psychosomatic Medicine Volume 48, No. 6 (1986): 423-429.
    3. Sae-Chul, K. “Regaining of Morning Erection and Sexual Confidence in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction.” Asian Journal of Andrology Volume 8, No. 6 ( 2006): 703-708

    Question: Why does he ejaculate too quickly?

    “I’m a 37 year old woman who has just started a relationship with a much younger guy. He’s super hot, and I love his body, and most of the sex is good, but he cums way too quickly. He knows it, and we’ve finally talked about it, but I don’t know how to help him with it. Most of my boyfriends haven’t had this problem, but some have. How can he learn to last longer, and how come guys don’t just learn to control ejaculation?


    Even though premature ejaculation is considered the most common sexual dysfunction for men, the fact is we still don’t know what causes premature ejaculation. It is likely the result of many factors. And many people are misinformed as to what premature ejaculation actually is. The good news is that there are several ways to learn to control ejaculation.

    In terms of the why guys don’t just “naturally” learn to control ejaculation, there’s probably several reasons.

    Evolutionary psychologists would say that the goal of sex is procreation and therefore there’s no reason to prolong it. And it's true that we may be the first animals to want to prolong erections to prolong penetrative sex play (even though we aren’t the only animals to like having sex, or to make it a creative act). Not that I'm suggesting we listen to the evolutionary psychologists on this one.

    A more simple answer is that no one teaches young men to control ejaculation. Children are taught to learn the signs of other reflexes. We teach them how to control urination for example. But when it comes to teaching young men ejaculatory control, I don’t think you’ll find it in even the most progressive sexual health curriculums.

    Another possibility is that most men’s earliest sexual experiences are with masturbation (or even partner sex) done secretly and quickly, for fear of discovery. It is thought that these early experiences may condition some men’s sexual response to a pattern of rapid ejaculation.


    Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is defined as a man’s inability to get an erection or maintain it long enough to have sex with a partner. For some men, impotence means they are unable to ejaculate during sex.

    Erectile dysfunction or impotence happens to most men at one time or another, but studies indicate that erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, so it is often associated with the aging process in men.

    Occasional impotence is often not seen as a problem, but when impotence continues for awhile, it can bring on great emotional distress for both the man and his partner.

    Common Causes of Impotence or Erectile Dysfunction

    Erectile dysfunction can be caused by emotional problems:

    • Worry
    • Fear
    • Stress
    • Anger
    • Depression
    • Lack of interest in sex, or in the sexual partner

    Erectile dysfunction can also have physical causes:

    • Reduced testosterone level, which can be treated with hormone therapy
    • A side-effect from some medications, including meds for depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and epilepsy
    • An injury to the groin, or nerve damage
    • Illnesses including kidney or heart disease, or diabetes, can cause erectile dysfunction
    • A reduction in blood flow to the penis, common in men who have hardening of the arteries
    • Overuse or abuse of drugs including alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs
    • A possible side-effect of some medical procedures, including prostate or urinary tract surgery


    Question: What's the Deal with Penis Size?

    What’s the deal with penis size? Guys seem obsessed with it, I know some women friends who are definite size queens, but here’s my problem. I’ve been with guys of a lot of different sizes, but there doesn’t seem an obvious link for me between size and pleasure. I have this feeling that there’s probably a right size out there for me, and when I find it that’s the man I should marry (or at least test drive!) Do you think that there’s such a thing as your genital soul mate?

    There are many questions in this one. Does penis size matter? Do we actually fit together? And what makes a good lover?

    The short answer to the question about size is kind of like that famous presidential quote: it matters to some of the people, some of the time... There has been surprisingly little research in this area, but you’ll find information on that research through the link below.

    For the most part people’s size interests take a back seat to other considerations। Aside from your friends who are size queens, the same person might be happy driving a Toyota Tercel one day, and an SUV the next. And as folks on the discussion board are pointing out, small can sometimes be better, depending one what you want to do with it.


    Male factors account for about 50% of all infertility problems. Male factors for infertility can include:

    • Lack of Sperm
    • Abnormal Sperm
    • Problems with Sperm Delivery
    • Natural Fertility Decline

    A semen analysis may be the first step in fertility testing for couples that have been actively trying to achieve a pregnancy for over a year without success. This test consists of testing the semen, the white fluid discharge or ejaculate from the male penis at orgasm, which contains sperm, within 2 hours of collection. A semen analysis, or sperm testing, is done first because it is non-invasive and much usually less expensive, costing less than $50 for most people.

    The sample is collected by masturbation either alone or with a partner. Sometimes it is done in a medical office or in your home. You will be given instructions on how long to abstain from ejaculation prior to the testing. Usually this period of time is about 2-3 days.

    They are looking for the volume of the semen sample, the number of sperm and if they are adequately mobile and normally shaped and the contents of the seminal fluid.

    Fertility can be affected when the ranges are outside of the normal limits. The test can be influenced by drugs or medications, including alcohol, tobacco, hormones, and marijuana.

    The treatment would depend on what was found to be wrong with the sample. Many problems can be treated and addressed. If no problems are found testing of the female partner, which may be more invasive and costly, is begun. For more information talk to your health care provider about your specific case.

    Semen Analysis
    Normal Volume 1.5 - 5.0 milliliters per ejaculation
    Sperm Count 20-150 Million sperm per milliliter
    Movement/Shape 60+% should be normal shape and motile (moves forward)


    A healthy male discharges 50 million sperm in a single ejaculation. During sexual intercourse, of all those millions of sperm, only a couple hundred will make it to a mature egg that is ready to be fertilized.

    Factors That May Affect Sperm Health

    It is important to remember that there is still a lot to learn about male fertility. We do know that a lot of the things that make sperm healthy are the things that are healthy for men anyway. Keep in mind, though, that the following tips are merely considerations for men with potential fertility problems. Many men have no problem with their sperm count, no matter their lifestyles.

    Remember, you should discuss any fertility problems with your doctor to evaluate an underlying cause.

    • Tight trousers and underwear, synthetic material and heat: It has been suggested that all these adversely affect fertility, so get out those baggy cotton boxers! Keep the family jewels cool. It is known that the testes function most effectively (including the production of sperm) at slightly cooler than core body temperature.

    • Geography: One study showed that geographic location influenced average sperm count. Men in New York City had higher sperm counts than men in Los Angeles. (Whether a man's sperm count will increase should he move from L.A. to the Big Apple is not clear, however.)

    • Hot tubs and saunas: Frequent use of hot tubs and saunas may lower sperm counts, as heat may decrease sperm production.

    • Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can damage sperm production in a couple of ways. First, it may increase the production of estrogen by the liver, which can lower sperm count. Also, alcohol can directly poison the sperm-producing cells of the testicle. Limit your alcohol intake when you are trying to improve your fertility.

    • Drugs: There are a number of drugs that affect male fertility, including steroids, cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatments, and opiates. Contact your family doctor if you are on any long-term medication that you are worried may affect your fertility. Doctors should always inform you of any side effects, but it is always easy to check if you have forgotten.

    • Environmental toxins: There is quite a lot of conflicting evidence about environmental substances that may cause damage to sperm. It is known that radiation causes damage and birth defects. Other substances thought to have a detrimental effect on sperm are some perfumes containing phthalates, some types of pesticides, organic mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and estrogens in water supply. Many of these substances are still the subject of ongoing research.

    • Smoking: Smokers have been shown to have diminished fertility compared to non-smokers. Smoking may adversely affect the sperm's movement, as well as the health of the sperm.

    • Time of day: Sperm counts are higher in the morning.

    • Excessive ejaculation and prolonged abstinence: Both are known to affect the number and quality of sperm. Intercourse every 2 to 3 days helps ensure optimal sperm count and health.

    • Diet: A healthy balanced diet is important. Foods rich in antioxidants may promote optimal sperm health.

    • Supplements: Folic acid, selenium, and zinc sulfate have been shown to improve sperm counts and sperm function.

    Seek Advice

    If you are concerned about your fertility and think your sperm may not be fit and healthy, contact your family doctor। Some simple tests on your semen and a look at your general fitness could provide some answers.


    Mayo Clinic. "Healthy sperm: Improving your fertility." Accessed 5-5-10.

    Swan, SH; et al. "Geographic differences in semen quality of fertile U.S. males." Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Apr; 111 (4):414-20.