July 2, 2018


You might be familiar with the term ‘sapiosexual’. It refers to people who are sexually aroused by intelligence. Ordinarily, the size of a man’s brain doesn’t help him last longer in bed, though it can help him attract the type of partner that values intellect. That said, the brain is still the largest sexual organ in any man or woman’s body.

Your brain subconsciously determines what attracts you, and sexual attraction causes a response in your erogenous zones. While it’s true that physical stimulation can make your body react, these are often non-sexual responses. For example, nipples and penises can react when they are brushed by fabric, or they could be influenced by changes in temperature. However, for sex itself to happen, the brain needs to be engaged.

When your mind recognises arousal, it signals the heart to send extra blood to your genitals. In women, this engorges their vagina, labia, and clitoris. In men, it hardens and sometimes extends the penis, causing an erection. Skilled, well-timed friction between a stiff penis and an engorged vagina and/or clitoris can cause an orgasm in one or both partners.

Sit back and relax

However, the brain is a complex organ. If a man is tense, anxious, or distracted, his brain will signal blood from the heart to come back to the brain. It recognises that it needs additional energy to calm him down, figure out what the problem is, and fix it. Unfortunately, drawing blood to the brain pulls it away from his penis, ceasing his erection. That’s why early ejaculation treatment begins in the mind.

Over time, this failure to stay erect can almost become a learned response. After a man has one incidence of erectile dysfunction, he will often be afraid of it happening again. Urban legend suggests men think about sex every 7 seconds, though studies have put the statistics closer to 19 times a day. Anxious sexual thoughts frequently become self-fulfilled prophecies.

On the upside, thinking about sex or viewing a sexually attractive woman can make a man get instantly aroused and his penis can stiffen a little or a lot. However, to have sexual intercourse, a man needs more than a momentary twitch. Getting aroused might be effortless, but maintaining his erection long enough for complete intercourse requires concentration and conscious effort. The slightest loss of focus could make everything go soft.

Keep calm and stay aroused

Anxiety attacks can cause shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and sweaty palms, all of which draw blood away from the penis, so it helps to remain calm. Being worried about non-performance is natural. He may also be anxious about his body, his penis size, or stress factors unrelated to the bedroom, like family problems, work, or challenges in the relationship. Unfortunately, the more a man worries, the less likely he is to perform.

Consult a doctor about calming exercises like breathing and meditation. A man can also work with his partner to take the pressure off by engaging in prolonged foreplay, preferably outside the bedroom. This could calm and relax him, allowing him to become gradually aroused rather than pushing him to get erect ‘on-demand’. Talk therapy helps too. It can identify the root cause of his anxiety, calming him down and improving his sex life.

More insights on news

  • Looking After Your Mental Health in Isolation

    16 Apr 2020

    Looking After Your Mental Health in Isolation

    As people navigate these unprecedented times, many individuals are having to adjust their daily routines to fit within new governmental regulations regarding social distancing. The majority of the …

  • 12 Jan 2020

    SEX, INTIMACY, AND FRIENDSHIP: KEYS TO A HEALTHY ROMANCE

    We often use intimacy as a euphemism for sex, but it has its own definition. It can mean harmony, closeness, friendship, familiarity, trust, privacy, relaxation. For many people, …

  • 2 Jan 2020

    FREQUENT SEX MIGHT HAVE COGNITIVE BENEFITS

    A lot of us will be happy to know sex makes us smarter. This intellectual enhancement was tested in very specific ways. Scientists performed studies that tested participants’ …

  • 2 Oct 2019

    HOW LONG IS “TOO LONG” WITHOUT SEX?

    We all wonder how much sex other people are having, worrying whether our own frequency is below par. Unfortunately, this focus on quantity over quantity deflects from whether …

  • 2 Sep 2018

    HOW SEX HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER

    It’s hard to go against science, especially after studies have proven – definitively – that people who enjoy good, regular sex live longer, happier, more fulfilled lives. Sex …

  • Human-Sexuality

    2 Sep 2018

    HUMAN SEXUALITY

    A language is a powerful tool, and how we use it not only expresses deep-seated attitudes but also influences the behavior of others. The term sexuality, for example, …