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Understanding Erectile Dysfunction in Gay Men

by | Nov 10, 2021

Picture this. You and your boyfriend are going at it. You’re making out. Both of you are starting to get in the mood. You start undressing, ready for a night of passion, when you realize you can’t get it up. You, or your man, can’t seem to get it up. “It’s the alcohol,” one of you might say. Whatever the reason, it’s embarrassing, and you feel like the ground should swallow you up.

Does this sound like you? If so, know that you’re not alone. Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects 45% of all gay men. Gay men report more cases of it than heterosexual couples. Having HIV can make things more complicated because ED medicine can react negatively with HIV medication.

Understandably, talking about erectile dysfunction is difficult. People don’t casually talk about it with friends. So what can you do about it? Well, there are several different solutions.

Drooping flowers.

The Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction in Gay Men

Does this sound like you? If so, know that you’re not alone. Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects 45% of all gay men. Gay men report more cases of it than heterosexual couples. Having HIV can make things more complicated because ED medicine can react negatively with HIV medication. 

Addressing Erectile Dysfunction: Lifestyle Changes

Understandably. Talking about erectile dysfunction is difficult. People don’t casually talk about it with friends. So what can you do about it? Well, there are several different solutions.

Healthy Living as a Solution

The first and biggest is to live a healthier life. Cutting down on extra calories will keep you going in the bedroom. Put down that cigarette and find something else to pick up instead. Also, doing regular exercise to get your blood pumping will help you do some pumping later. 

Alcohol Consumption and Erectile Dysfunction

Here comes the hard part for us gays – drinking. If you want to avoid problems as a top or bottom, you need to reduce your drinking. Limiting yourself to less than 14 alcohol units per week will greatly increase your performance ability. Taking drugs can cause bedroom problems, so chem sex should be avoided. It should always be avoided because we don’t condone this, but if you’re having ED problems, it can reduce them when you avoid drugs.

Other Contributing Factors

Depression, feeling tired, and some cancer medication can cause performance issues. You should always speak to your doctor first if you’re having any problems in the bedroom. They might prescribe you some medications, like Sildenafil, to deal with this issue. Just remember that this won’t help you with STI/Ds. Don’t be silly. Wrap your willy. 

Addressing Mental Health and Erectile Dysfunction

You should remember that erectile dysfunction doesn’t make you any less of a man. Many gay men think they’re bottoms just because of some issues that they had before. News flash: it doesn’t mean you’re less of a guy (or even less masc)! Bottoming and ED aren’t even related.

Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction: Seeking Support

Erectile dysfunction is not permanent, and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It can feel embarrassing trying to talk about it. But there’s no shame in it. There are many other things you can do for pleasure instead that will bring you both enjoy. Just because you might be having some issues doesn’t mean it’s the end for both of you! 

Exploring Intimacy Beyond Physicality

For some couples, they’ve said having ED has helped to ‘desexify’ their relationship. Obviously, that isn’t for everyone, but it’s important to remember that having ED is not the end of the world. You can, and you will overcome these problems.

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1 Comment

  1. William Moore

    Sadly many men both gay and straight keep erectile dysfunction a secret and find it difficult to confide in their doctor. men find it hard to confide in their doctor. Granted drugs like Viagra and Cialis might help but in the long run, you need to get to the bottom of why .This article forgot to mention another possible reason for erectile dysfunction: circumcision. There is speculation that many circumcised men have erectile dysfunction due to the keratinization of the penile head. Over time the penile head becomes callused and dry and thus loses its sensitivity. As an UNCUT man, I got lucky at birth and wasn’t circumcised and have been lucky to keep my FORESKIN despite the suggestions to get cut, never. And to those naysayers, FORESKIN’s are dirty,( another load of BULLSHIT promoted by the medical and some religious communities to keep this unnecessary medical procedure alive. It’s like we don’t have soap and water and washing under your foreskin comes naturally when bathing) Make no mistake about it, post birth circumcisions are big money makers for the doctors involved

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Sean Kivi

Sean Kivi

Author

Sean Kivi holds a master's degree from the University of Nottingham in translation studies from Spanish to English. He specializes in writing about gay culture and its influence on discourse. Sean speaks Spanish fluently and focuses on translating gay-themed literature to English and analyzing the discourse to understand how our culture is universal yet distinct in countries worldwide. He has translated for authors in Mexico and completed case studies related to machismo and its influences on gay culture in Latin America.
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