Psychological Impotence: How to avoid it. How to fix it.

The “American Male” role is a narrow and well-defined set of behaviors that govern men of all ages. Starting in childhood, homophobic parents and teachers use behavior modification to maneuver male children with rewards and punishments designed to make a man out of a child. Unfortunately, the tough, unfeeling model of the fifties portrayed so successfully by Lee Marvin, Brando , Newman and John Wayne fails miserably in real life scenarios of business, home, women and children.

Given an impossible and painful strait-jacket definition of themselves, men find that they are angry, frustrated and off their game. Yet, there is a huge difference between physical impotency and psychological impotency. Check with your doctor first, but Masters and Johnson used a common at home test that can tell you lots. The simple test of a taping a flaccid penis before sleep and checking in the morning for a break in the tape is a good indicator of which type of impotency a man experiences. You may feel a bit ridiculous but if the tape is broken in your sleep then there is no problem with the equipment. We must then assume that the issue is a problem with attitude and thinking negatively. Here are a few steps to consider that may recover the right attitude, your desire and confidence once again.

1. Just Kidding Comments from your buddies can chip away at your self confidence. Male banter is competitive and invigorating for most guys. But the more inadequate your friend feels, the more likely he will take the critical barrage to a meaner level. At some point, the comments may cut deeply, especially about your physical appearance or ability with partners. Get tough on your low ego friends and shut them up. When a friend goes too far they become a destructive enemy and you need to draw the line. This is a good time to pull out the John Wayne stance (possibly the only good time for it.)

2. Back Off Lots of ladies have high needs for attention and low needs for intercourse. You know what that does to you. As you attempt to relieve your mental sexual nagging by nagging her, watch out she may bite! In order to get you to back off, she may say or do something vicious. Ever watch a female dog attack a too amorous male dog when she is not quite ready for him. She goes for the jugular. So might your little love-dove. What ever she says or does is meaningful only in sending a message to you that she is not ready for sex. Getting her ready is a minimum twenty minutes for most, weeks for others. This has nothing to do with loving you in the female mind.

3. Size Counts Only to You A wise man from Egypt once said chuckling, that only American men try to satisfy a woman with their penis. Other men use all the rest of themselves, he said with a lecherous wink. Women want to feel desired by their man and told they are the most beautiful and sexiest woman alive. Yes, they know you are lying, but still, she needs the fantasy about herself to feel sexy. When you ogle other women, she feels ugly. That will not help us right now. She needs you to respond to her in a caring way, but that could be just brushing her hair or slow dancing in the living room. Ask her how she wants you to show her you care. It will blow your mind how unique the answers can be.

4. She is Trying Women love men who notice the millions of little things they do to be attractive. They do want to talk about their new eyelash curler and feel clever for finding it after six hours at the mall. If you make fun of her or demean her, she will implode emotionally. If she does not feel good about herself, she will not feel like turning you on, either. Without her help, passion is difficult to do all on your own.

5. Not Always Great Your performance in the bedroom is not always dependable any more than a golf swing, a child’s reaction, the outcome of dinner or the rest of your life can be. However, your reaction is completely within your control. Try other pleasure methods, massage, love words, toys etc. and enjoy what you can. Some women never achieve an orgasm but enjoy lovemaking anyway. So can you.

6. Work on Your Waist Your physical shape can predispose you to more frequent problems, which in turn can lead to emotional panic and fear that it will happen again, thus virtually guaranteeing that it happens again. The pressure and stress you put on yourself is a disaster and unnecessary. A lose-lose, right? Check with your doctor about losing the gut because fat increases estrogen and reduces testosterone and starts an avalanche of health problems for men. Have your old resistant doctor test your hormone levels and prescribe some hormone drops if your body needs it.

7. Tell Her At first you may try to increase stimulation with pornography and risky behavior and that might even work- temporarily. But how far can you go on that road? Skip the diseases and divorce. Ask your partner to be happy when you can perform and supportive, not critical when you can not. Remember, she is overwhelmed with her own feeling of inadequacy. Her worst fear is that you are avoiding her because she is not desirable, never suspecting that it is your own anxiety that is creating distance between the two of you. You are a man, not a machine. You do cry, get scared and fail sometimes. Really, that is so much sexier than a wooden heart.

©2007, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Molly also has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers. See

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