Have you ever experienced an awareness of your body being in one place while your mind is in another?  At such times you will find yourself acting like a sort of spectator at your own event.  This is particularly common amongst men who have performance anxiety. You may be in bed with your partner but your mind is somewhere else completely; somewhere ‘out there’ looking down on yourself.

Such men are spectators at the humiliation of themselves.  They witness an agonising spectacle organised by their ‘disobedient penis’; an apparent punishment for simply being born.  Riddled with guilt and engulfed with negative or crowded thoughts rushing through their brain, they still try frantically to satisfy their partner, by any desperate means, hoping against hope to hear her moan with fulfilled gratitude; the sound that will herald the end of the ordeal.  Alas, the hoped-for ecstatic sighs do not materialise and as their frenetic attempts get more and more akin to drilling through the Channel Tunnel with bare hands, she thankfully calls a halt to further torture either by faking an orgasm or declaring the trial unsuccessful and finished for now.

This inability to focus and absorb moment by moment sensations, emotions and body feelings is the primary cause of the loss of an erection. Conscious awareness as distinct from analytical thinking, is as distinct as tasting food from commenting about food. To enjoy a meal, one has to enter into the experience; to focus on and savour the taste.  A meal or a fine wine may be enjoyed while wearing a blindfold. This is equally true of the awareness of sensations and feelings during intimacy.  Intimacy and sexuality can only be experienced, not judged.

Awareness has other very practical benefits.  For example, are you aware of the stage of your erection as it proceeds through the necessary stages before reaching a full erection? What builder or engineer would attempt to put the roof on a building that has not yet been erected fully?  Many men attempt intercourse as soon as their penis looks or feels stiff, only to find to their dismay that it loses stiffness upon moving their body position or when putting on a condom.  A blood-filled penis is not a full erection. It is only stiffening, and until the next stage of an erection has been reached, the blood can disappear from the penis almost as quickly as it has entered.

‘Rigidity’, or ‘hardness’, develops only when the levels of adrenalin generated by initial anxiety have lowered and when the nervous system has contained the blood in the shaft of the penis.  Even then, this is not a full erection. This stage may be an improvement on simply stiffening but developing to the next stage is the best bet.  After a while, enjoying the sensations and feelings generated through a gradual hardening, you’ll become aware that your penis is hot.  A full erection will soon occur – hot, hard and enlarged.  Now you can make love if your partner is ready and agreeable.

Learning how to eliminate anxiety, reduce adrenalin, to stay present and become aware of all that is going on during intimacy can be discovered and practised through the ten-step ICASA Sexual Recovery Programme.