5 Myths & Facts: Male Sexual Well-Being

January 19, 2022
Myth Busters

Male sexual dysfunction or disorders are stigmatized. Due to the societal pressure and expectations put on men, there are various myths about male sexual disorders that float around the internet. While this may seem harmless, it can result in many men being hesitant to seek treatment, and some end up self-diagnosing and self-treating, which is always unadvisable.

There are different types of male sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE). Factors, both psychological and physiological need to be considered when the cause behind sexual disorders is determined. However, the many myths around the subject can cause negative effects — so let’s bust a few of them!

Myth: ED is common in older men, and does not affect younger men.
Fact: ED can affect men of any age — anytime after puberty. Aging is not the only contributing factor to ED.

Myth: ED can cause emotional or psychological turmoil, but it has nothing to do with overall health.
Fact: While ED isn’t considered to be dangerous, in some cases it can be an indication of serious health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes mellitus.

Myth: The treatment for a man’s sexual dysfunction has nothing to do with their partner.
Fact: Involving the partner (when necessary or possible) in the treatment process can not only help ease the fear and insecurity of the individual, but can help make the treatment more effective. Sexual dysfunction affects both partners and is often considered to be a “couples problem.”

Myth: Sexual dysfunction happens only because you’re not attracted to your partner.
Fact: Relationship issues can have an impact on sexual performance; however, most commonly there are underlying causes that result in sexual dysfunction. It is also prevalent in those without partners.

Causative factors such as medications, medical conditions, psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, OCD, stress (such as from work, or family concerns), and vices such as drinking and smoking have to be taken into consideration.

Myth: Medications such as penile supplements are the only treatment for ED.
Fact: Since there are both physiological and psychological factors that contribute to ED, lifestyle modifications can help a great deal. This includes maintaining a healthy BMI, quitting smoking and binge drinking, and seeking out help for any mental health conditions. Not to mention, while  penile supplements may work for some, it may not be an effective treatment for everyone with ED.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sandip Deshpande.

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Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.


Remember - the blood flow (BF), the nerve supply, and the balance of sex hormones - a concern in any of these can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by a physical (a ‘hardware’ problem) or psychological (mental health effects) - mental health can play a huge part.

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be an indication of cardiovascular concerns? Chronic health conditions affecting blood flow can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

If a man lasts less than 2 minutes after penetration (all or most of the time), and/or if it leads to frequent dissatisfaction for him or his partner, he may have Premature Ejaculation.


The causes of Premature Ejaculation include:
(1) Physical Factors: Medical conditions, chronic health conditions, or sexual disorders are some physical causes of Premature Ejaculation.
(2) Psychological Factors: Depression, Anxiety 

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be a cause of Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation can lead to other sexual dysfunctions, but that is not a wide-known fact.


Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina tighten up during penetration.


Vaginismus is commonly caused by psychological factors. Women don't have control over the tightening, and it can be uncomfortable. Due to the physical discomfort, the anxiety or fear response gets worse, and this can lead to a cycle of avoidance.

Fact Check

Did you know that there are four types of Vaginismus?

(1) Primary Vaginismus

(2) Secondary Vaginismus

(3) Situational Vaginismus

(4) Global Vaginismus

Low Sexual Desire
Low Sexual Desire

Low sexual desire, commonly referred to as low libido, is a decrease in sex drive.


Individuals that experience low sexual desire due to various causes are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally by the symptoms the condition can cause.

Fact Check

Like other most common sexual disorders, low sexual desire can be influenced by many aspects, such as hormonal imbalance, increased age, side effects of medications, chronic illnesses, and addictive or compulsive behavior.

Couple Sex Problems
Couple Sex Problems

This would include concerns with infertility and/or conception. Sexual disorders such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, and Vaginismus can lead to challenges with pregnancy attempts.


There could be various causes of infertility, such as sexual dysfunctions, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions leading to low sexual desire and a low sperm count. A sexual health professional should evaluate the causes of failed pregnancy attempts because there can be a variety of causes.

Fact Check
Porn Addiction
Porn Addiction

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming excessively dependent on pornography leading to a disruption in their everyday life. This could include their job, relationships and at times, their day-to-day lifestyle.


The causes behind porn addiction could be:

(1) Negative sexual experiences

(2) Incorrect understanding of porn and its uses

(3) Initially trying to learn about sexual experiences, resulted in dependency

(4) Experiencing mental health disorders such as OCD (an anxiety disorder) or depression

Fact Check

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be associated with any shame. However, compulsive porn watching can have negative effects on your sexual, physical and mental health.

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