Beyond boys’ locker room: Let us talk about men’s sexual health

Recent studies state that 50% of men suffer from sexual dysfunction, i.e., ED (Erectile Dysfunction). The worldwide prevalence of ED is expected to increase to 322 million men by 2025. 1 in 10 men will experience ED at some point in their lives. According to the counsellor in VNA Hospital, Delhi, the prevalence is higher as most Indian men do not report or even talk about it, and more importantly, more than 50% of ED is not physiological but psychogenic.
Men’s sexual health has been ghosted from the public imagination and mind space.
Most conversations about men’s sexual health in India emanate from the boys’ locker room based on power, toxic masculinity, porn and not connectedness. 97% of all research on low sexual desire is done on women. Behind this is the presupposition that men do not have such issues as they are always ready. Male sexuality is defined as biological, and female sexuality is defined as psychological. Male sexuality is seen as biological, indiscriminate, and perpetually in search of an outlet, whereas female sexuality requires certain relational conditions to be met. Sexuality is multidimensional, involving anticipation, desire, love, and attachment. Sexuality is highly relational, not at all simplistic and just biological.
The most important sex organ is not between the legs but between the ears. The brain is an often-overlooked erogenous zone. Sexual excitement starts in your head and works its way down. Therefore, Erection and Erectile Dysfunction both originate from the same place—the mind.
Some of the psychological factors that lead to sexual problems in men are –
Stress and Anxiety: Life stressors are abundant. From work obligations, busy schedules, financial concerns, or relationship issues, stress can take your head out of the game quickly. Stress and anxiety can cause a spike in the sex drive or a dip. This happens because when you are stressed or anxious, you may crave feelings of care and safety that come with physical intimacy. When you are feeling stressed or anxious, you welcome a distraction, and this may cause a spike. When you have fears around mortality or the future, you may begin to forge a more intimate connection with your partner, and therefore you may feel that your sex drive is higher. However, if you are feeling upset and are consumed with worry, you may not want to get physical. You are experiencing a busy brain or brain fog and cannot relax, then it will be difficult to get aroused or reach orgasm.
Performance Anxiety: As a society, we have all internalised the myth of the masculine performing male. The many ‘Mard’ stereotypes have become deeply anchored in our psyches, and the emphasis is on ‘how often and how long’ and the subsequent anxiety related to performance. 
Low Self Esteem: When you feel and think poorly about yourself, especially in comparison to your partner, or when there are relationship problems, sex becomes a casualty.
Depression: Depression weighs you down in mind and body, affecting all aspects of your life.
Emotional and mental blocks: Very unpleasant feelings, barriers, that prevent us from moving forward and, at the same time, prevent us from thinking clearly, creatively, and experiencing pleasure. They also affect our daily actions, especially sex.
In the age of infinite genders, let us bring the focus to one gender that is at the receiving end but can be the harbinger of change: –Male Gender, let us talk about Men.
Dr Chavi Bhargava Sharma is the Founder and CEO-Indic Center for Psychological Wellness and Holistic Health and Conversationists—Talking Cures.  

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