Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.
First, let me say I can imagine this is very frustrating for you. From your question it seems that nothing else is prominent as a problem either physiologically or psychologically. So, let's deal with this problem on its own.
That you can get an erection in your sleep is not evidence that there are no physiological reasons at play here. However, you are correct that most likely there is a psychological aspect to this; while it may not be the 100% cause, it is likely a big part of the problem.
Still, the first recommendation I should make is a PDE-5 inhibitor like Viagra or Cialis. A lot of men really like the Cialis daily pill because you don't have to plan an hour or more in advance. The point here is that as we age there can be some nerve damage and damage to small blood vessels that have accumulated. Erections are based on blood flowing to the penis and thus hardening it. Nerve weakness can cause that to no longer be activated as well. Thus, you might find that these medications are helpful to you. You would need to talk to your doctor to make sure you have no problems that would rule out these medications.
That said, the psychological problems are what you are sensing might be most prevalent here. If so, then we are referring to a type of performance anxiety. Again, given that as we age our ability to produce an "instant" erection diminishes, many men can begin to get phobic about this and this worry makes the erection problem grow into a mental block.
Okay. Mental block is a bit of a layman's term but that's the problem most often. So I'd like to make three suggestions to you with directions for you to follow. First is a technique called paradoxical intention. Second is hypnotherapy. And third is relaxing about it. You choose the order you want to apply them, okay?
One: They did a fascinating study on professional golfers and choking a few years ago. They wanted to know what caused choking, which is when the athlete is perfectly capable of winning but plays awfully in the big game. Why does this happen?
They found that the cause was not the athlete LOST concentration and focus. It was the opposite! The athlete was SO focused, was concentrating so hard, that he did not let his natural abilities come through and guide his body to do what he should do. Choking is actually caused by hyperfocus.
Performance anxiety in sex is a similar idea: so, I'm going to give you to try first a quick technique that the great psychiatrist Viktor Frankl came up with for this problem in his practice: it is called paradoxical intention.
But let's read what Frankl himself said: “A young physician consulted me because of his fear of perspiring. Whenever he expected an outbreak of perspiration, this anticipatory anxiety was enough to precipitate excessive sweating. In order to cut this circle formation I advised the patient, in the event that sweating should recur, to resolve deliberately to show people how much he could sweat. A week later he returned to report that whenever he met anyone who triggered his anticipatory anxiety, he said to himself, “I only sweated out a quart before, but now I’m going to pour at least ten quarts!” The result was that, after suffering from his phobia for four years, he was able, after a single session, to free himself permanently of it within one week.”
The way it works is: when you are going to have sex, that is, from when you first know that you are going to have sex, you tell yourself: "Okay[your name] , I dare you to be more nervous and shakier and limper and more flaccid than you have ever been before!!!! Go ahead penis, you are going to be that weakling you're so afraid of!!!"
Do you get the idea? It seems kind of silly, but you will be surprised how many people this simple psychological technique has helped!! The idea is that you have to challenge your performance anxiety. You have to be bold and dare it. You have to make fun of it and you have to trash talk to it. Serious!
Two: hypnotherapy. Please note I am talking about only hypnotherapy, which is a recognized form of psychotherapy used by psychologists and psychotherapists. So I'm not talking about people who put in ads in newspapers for hypnosis. Maybe those are useful or maybe not, I can't say. But a psychologist trained in hypnotherapy is a real licensed therapist. Even so, here's the important statement about hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy can help with a specific problem and that's why I'm thinking of it. HOWEVER, there are good and honest hypnotherapists and there are other types. Your only way of assessing is two ways: first, make sure he or she is a licensed psychologist. Don't let anyone tell you they are a licensed hypnotherapist. There is no licensure in most states that I know of. It's all a "self-licensing" which is not good enough. So you want to know his or her license number as a psychologist and call the state licensing board to make sure there have been no complaints filed. Please do not skip this step.
Three: Okay, this one is the one that most people try first because it's easiest and has a track record of good results. The key to this approach:
Do not make it SUCH a big deal out of it. This requires trusting your sexual partner. But most men find that women are very happy to use this approach and are not nearly so uptight or judgmental as the man himself. You have to accept, okay, you may not have an orgasm this time. This is not the end of the world. Why? Because the self-help I'm trying to teach you is that the key to sex you have to work on is: pleasure and not orgasm. I need you to instead of identifying how you can have an erection that then leads to an orgasm instead reorient your view to how can you and she have pleasure. She's having pleasure through orgasms, great. One day you will too. But that doesn't mean that you touching her, intercourse, and oral sex can't be pleasurable. And she touching you and stroking your back and your thighs, etc. can't be pleasurable.
So, the key: when it stops being pleasurable; when you're tired of it, that's when you've had enough. If it means just her coming and you can relax while she strokes your back, fine. Do you both see the picture? You're too focused on the erection and you need to get out of that box right now because you're not there. So let her touch your penis, your balls, whatever. For pleasure though, right?
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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