Erectile dysfunction: Getting to the heart of the matter

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Erectile dysfunction: Getting to the heart of the matter

Erectile dysfunction is something experienced by many men at least once in their lives, possibly brushed off as the result of having too much alcohol or due to stress. However, for many men it is an ongoing issue that becomes a source of frustration for both themselves and their partners.

But according to recent medical research, when dealing with erectile dysfunction, we may be focusing on the wrong organ.

For older men erectile dysfunction is somewhat accepted as an inescapable eventuality, a consequence of age. However, for younger men not only is it weighed down with the heaviness of social stigma, but now doctors have discovered that it very often indicates a deeper and much more serious health problem.

According to Dr. Stephen Kopecky at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, erectile dysfunction has a direct relationship to the incidence of heart disease. He has found that in men over 70 who suffer from ED there is a 1-1.4 times greater chance of also having some form of coronary disease. However research showed that a 40-year-old man suffering from ED has a 40-50 times greater chance of developing heart disease.[i]

Imagine walking around all day, every day with your hands clenched into fists. Anything that you needed to do with your hands was accomplished by shoving with your knuckles or by punching. When a situation presented itself where you needed to actually use your fingers in a delicate action or gesture, say, bathing a baby or picking a bit of fluff off your lover’s face, how easy do you think it would be?

Now imagine it is your heart that is being kept clenched all day every day, holding back expressing who and what you are, keeping people away from yourself or simply not saying what needs to be said.

When it comes to expressing the most tender act that we share with another – making love – is it possible that there might be some difficulty?

The heart has been held as the organ of love for ages, but through Dr Kopecky’s research we have confirmation that there is a connection between a well functioning heart, and physically being able to participate in the act of making love.

If this is the case, where does making love begin?

As men we are fed an idea from the moment we even start thinking about sex that it is our job to always be ready for it . . .

No matter what else is going on in our lives, we need to be ready and raring to go at the drop of a hat.

The main source of sexual education and sexual inspiration that many if not most men receive these days, is through pornography, which depicts sex spontaneously happening all the time in random situations. It is something that is reinforced again and again in our cultural references and then between men all of the time: sex is what we are all about and we therefore have to be ready because it could happen at any time.

Do these ideas teach us how to truly make love with our partner, or just how to fit into a picture of what makes a man “manly”?

Are they reinforcing an idea that as a man, power resides between our legs, and the only way to demonstrate that power is by getting a quick and strong erection that never subsides “until the job is done”?

What if these ideas of manhood cause us to feel separated from our penis and just see it as an object of pleasure instead of a part of the whole of ourself: a man who is expressing love with our body?

  • Could it be that something like Erectile Dysfunction is our body’s way of telling us that something is not ok?
  • Something deeper than just not being able to perform sexually?

For many of us ED is an obvious, and sometimes urgent physical issue. So we look for a physical remedy, which is an understandable course of action and accounts for the wide popularity of drugs like Viagra. But given the research, it is clear that ignoring the reason why we need to take a drug to be able to make love – instead just going for physical results – can have much deeper consequences.

As men we have pressures on us like never before, and going hand in hand with those pressures are ways to cope with them, be they going to the pub, playing or watching sports, playing video games, pornography – the list is as infinite and as varied as every individual.

However, our coping strategies do not exist in a vacuum separated from the rest of our lives

If our body is showing us that something is wrong, it is an opportunity to stop and look at what we have been doing to get to where we are. It is an opportunity to stop and answer a few questions for ourselves as honestly as we can:

  • Is there something that I need to say to my lover, that I have not said?
  • Is there something that I am doing on a regular basis that I feel powerless to stop?
  • Am I trying to be something for someone else, but I don’t know what I want to be?
  • Do I have any physical symptoms that I have been putting off dealing with?
  • Do I feel that I am responsible for sex being ‘successful’, to look or be a certain way instead of being simply an expression of connection and love?

"You are never a lesser man by expressing how delicate you are, but always less when you do not"

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, Volume 1, p 553

For many men, talking about why they are suffering from erectile dysfunction can be difficult and embarrassing to discuss with someone, but the alternative may cause the fist around the heart to get even tighter. Discussing the problem with a medical professional to address not only the problems in the bedroom, but also how to maintain a healthy heart through exercise and diet, may help to solve the problem without the need to rely on drugs.

There is a saying that “the brain is the biggest erogenous zone”. It would appear that the heart is even bigger.

Reference:

  • [i]

    Gupta BP, Murad NH, Clifton MM, Prokop L, Nehra A, Kopecky SL. The effect of lifestyle modification and cardiovascular risk factor reduction on erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1797-1803.

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Health conditionsSexMen's health

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    By Naren Duffy