Ask yourself: when was the last time that you really, truly explored what turned you on? If you’re someone (or know someone that is) dealing with erectile dysfunction, the answer to that question may be harder to come by than you may want to admit.
That’s because so many of us — regardless of gender — have never felt encouraged to dive into what personally turns us on and gets us excited about sex, for shame or fear or guilt or other complex emotions. But this question becomes even more important to answer when sexual dysfunctions like ED come into play because they force us to examine and readjust to healthier supportive patterns.
For many men, the issue with coping with ED isn’t actually rooted in the diagnosis itself but in understanding their own arousal patterns. What turns them on? What stimulates them sexually? Understanding our own desire patterns can make a big impact on adjusting and rediscovering your own arousal patterns.
What are arousal patterns?
So what exactly are arousal patterns? They’re the things that hit us individually at our core and shape the way that we see ourselves as sexual beings. What kind of stimulation gets us in the mood, and what kind of things are we drawn to in order to keep up with the mood?
Traditionally, men tend to be more visually stimulated. Images, pictures, video… these are the kinds of things that usually help to get men in the mood.
How is arousal impacted by ED?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of root causes (physical or emotional included), and they can certainly impact how we feel and navigate arousal.
Mental health can definitely have an impact on erectile dysfunction, and the correlation of arousal and blood flow can also be important to note. However, drugs like Viagra don’t cause spontaneous erections. There needs to be some kind of sexual stimulation, physical or otherwise, for them to work.
That’s why understanding our own individual arousal patterns are so important. As our bodies shift and change by health or age, we can note the ways that we experience pleasure differently. Knowing where we come from can help us bring a healthy foundation that can be built on later as these changes continue to evolve.
How can we understand our arousal patterns?
So how can we better understand what our individual arousal patterns look like?
Taking a note from the five senses is a good first step.
Even if visual stimulation is your go-to route to get aroused, it’s worth noting how the other four senses play a role in getting you turned on.
Along with sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell can all work together to create a cohesive experience. But how can that translate into sex? Incorporating them, one by one, into the experience itself can create a more layered experience.
Think about how you can bring in different elements to get in touch with the various senses to uncover or heighten your arousal patterns.
Understanding what arouses you can be easier than you think. But they go beyond the bedroom — they can also help us to cope with erectile dysfunction.
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