Guys who suffer erectile dysfunction usually make their situation worse by not fully understanding the process of their sexual experience, moment to moment.

Masters and Johnson (1966, 1970) revolutionized the human sexuality field by describing the physiological sexual response cycle, dividing it into excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Kaplan (1974) broadened the model to include a crucial initial stage, sexual desire.

So the complete sexual response cycle consists of five phases:

  1. Desire
  2. Excitement (arousal)
  3. Plateau
  4. Orgasm
  5. Satisfaction (resolution).


The desire phase involves sexual anticipation, fantasy, and yearning, as well as a sense of deserving sex that is good for you and your relationship, including both physical and emotional openness to sexuality.

[Note: A guy with erectile dysfunction more often not “shuts down” and finds it difficult to even talk about the problem with his partner, only making the problem worse.]


During the excitement phase, in addition to feeling a subjective sense of pleasure and being turned on, you experience an erection and may emit a few droplets of “pre-cum” from the tip of your penis.

[Note: It’s in this stage that is commonly, yet mistakenly, believed erectile dysfunction starts.]


The plateau phase is when your body’s arousal maintains a level of pleasure. If you are physically relaxed, you will maintain pleasurable arousal without quickly moving to orgasm.

During the plateau phase, your body “settles in”. Unless there is continual penile stimulation, it is normal for you erection to go down, to “take a break”.

[Note: It’s in this stage where middle-aged men initially freak out about possibly having erectile dysfunction becoming a part of their life.]

Not understanding this stage is actually normal and many men unnecessarily panic, thinking they have “lost” their erection and it will never come back. The panic and non-relaxation of this makes it difficult to regain an erection effortlessly.

If you were relaxed mentally, and knew where and how to physically relax, you would only need a gentle touch of your penis for it to come back from its “break”.


Sexual pleasure peaks here and is accompanied by rhythmic contractions of the pelvic muscles and the release of sexual tension.

[Note: The natural sensation of ejaculatory inevitability that normally precedes the contractions that result in ejaculation are compromised in a guy with erectile dysfunction. Because he is trying to “make it happen”, that is, trying to force it, he tenses muscles when he should be relaxing in an attempt to “maximise” his experience. Unwittingly, this makes the next time he wants to get hard for sex all the more difficult.]


During the satisfaction phase, your body gradually returns to the non-aroused state.

Unfortunately, for men with erectile dysfunction, this essentially doesn’t exist because they almost immediately start thinking about the next time they will try to get hard. And this is assuming they have gone through the human sexual response cycle this time.

In Conclusion

Clearly, if you are suffering erectile dysfunction then the above process will not be as flowing as it’s supposed to be. If this is the case then you’re probably “clutching at straws”, so to speak. You’ll be trying to jump to one stage while neglecting the previous one.

The best thing you can do to help your erectile dysfunction, wherever you are in the process, is to relax.

Now, when most guys hear this it can be quite frustrating and it even flares up unresolved anger. The trouble is when you’ve heard this in the past it has only referred to something vague. If you know precisely where to relax and how, both physically and mentally, it becomes the key to release erectile dysfunction.

To your sexual release,

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