Erectile Dysfunction: Partners, Porn, and Pay
With erectile dysfunction (ED) affecting such a high percentage of men (over 40% of men over 40), and being caused by a mix of physical and emotional factors, it’s becoming more and more important to understand how these factors lead to men experiencing ED.
ED is not difficult to diagnose and there are a few different types of treatment available, like medication, talking therapy, and living a healthy lifestyle. These improve erection signalling and blood flow to the penis, which can help to prevent ED.
We asked 1,000 men across the UK about their views on ED and whether they think their work or lifestyles are affecting their performance in the bedroom.
Work Stress and Sexual Performance
Work-life balance is an important consideration in our lives. Consciously, or unconsciously, the stress we experience at work can have a big impact on our health, both mentally and physically.
With 22% of men saying that they prioritise work over their sex life, and a further 23% stating that they believe work stress affects their performance in the bedroom, it’s clear that for some men, more needs to be done to help with their work-life balance.
Work stress comes out as one of the leading work related causes of ED in our survey, so it’s no surprise that working life is affecting the sex lives of men, particularly those in higher managerial positions. Over a quarter (27%) of men in higher managerial positions said they regularly cannot get or keep erections.
Erectile Dysfunction and Earnings
For some men there is a link between earnings and how often men are having sex, with 15% of men saying that the more money they earn, the less sex they have.
There could also be a link between how much men earn and whether they get ED. As reported salaries increase from £50,000 to £70,000, so does the percentage of men who say they’re getting ED, with a jump from 47% up to 67%. Those who earn £70,000 to £80,000 report having ED most often, with 68% of men within this pay bracket saying they have experienced the condition.
Erectile Dysfunction Risk Factors and Triggers
Of those surveyed, 25% of men classified themselves as overweight, which is a known risk factor when it comes to ED.
Another trigger that can lead to ED is stress. 23% of men we surveyed in the UK said they live with stress, anxiety and/or depression, and as a result they’re at a greater risk of developing ED.
Those drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week are also more likely to develop ED. Our survey found that 2 in 10 men are drinking more than 14 units a week, so it’s important that men who are drinking more heavily are aware that this could increase their chances of getting ED.
Other triggers for ED include smoking, and taking illegal drugs, which if stopped could reduce the chances of developing ED.
Erectile Dysfunction and Porn
It’s not clear whether there’s a link between using porn and sexual performance or ED, although it might be a concern for a lot of men. Of the men we spoke to who have experienced ED, we found that 23% thought that watching porn made their ED worse.
Almost a third (26%) said they felt they were addicted to porn, but only 2 in 10 thought that their ED symptoms were caused by watching porn. Some recent small-scale studies have explored whether there is any link between watching porn and suffering from ED.
Similarly, 22% thought that watching porn had increased their anxiety about ED.
Erectile Dysfunction and Relationships
Our findings revealed that men with ED report the condition having a strong effect on their relationships, with over a third (39%) avoiding sex due to ED, and just under a third (27%) avoiding getting into relationships.
Of those who have developed ED, more than 1 in 4 were too embarrassed to speak to their partner about it.
Almost 1 in 5 turned to Viagra or similar medications in secret, without telling their partner, in order to try and reverse their ED.
Surprisingly, 18% of men said that their relationship broke down due to their ED, and 18% also felt that having ED caused their partner to cheat on them.