Psychological factors comprise about 10% of erection problems and many times result from nervousness, performance anxiety or fear of failure while lovemaking. These factors manifest physically through a surge of adrenaline, which reduces blood flow to the penile area, resulting in erectile difficulty and may lead to psychological erectile dysfunction. Psychological erectile dysfunction can become self-perpetuating. After multiple episodes of failure, the body becomes attuned to releasing adrenaline simply at the thought of a sexual encounter. This can develop into a vicious cycle extremely difficult to stop without treatment and may lead to actual erectile dysfunction.
Other less common causes include low sexual drive, anxiety, guilt, depression, or sexual boredom.
Psychological erectile dysfunction characteristics include the following:
- Maintaining or achieving an erection with one partner but not with another
- Maintaining lasting and strong erections in the mornings and during masturbation but not while lovemaking.
- Propensity to affect younger men with unsettling past experiences or relationships which are not stable.