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The Value of Masturbation for Sexual Health
Erectile Problems 
An erectile problem or erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a man cannot obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. When that occurs it can be awkward and embarrassing for both partners. While men at any age can experience ED it becomes more common as men age.
Most men have little or no understanding of what is involved in obtaining and maintaining an erection. It is only after they have the experience that they begin to think about it. By age 50 over half of all men will have experienced some erectile problems and the percentage increases with age. Almost every man will experience an occasional erectile problem but with increasing age and the presence of some health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and prostate cancer among other health issues and their treatment, the incidence and severity increases. There can be both psychological AND physical factors associated with ED.
How a Man Can Tell if his ED is likely psychologically based, or more likely organic?
We include in our book a simple five question test…  
1. Do you have an erection at least once a week when you wake up in the morning?
If you have morning erections, your problem is most likely psychogenic in nature and will respond to therapy. If you don’t have morning (or nocturnal) erections very often, or not at all, or if those erections are very soft, more a swelling than an erection, you may have a physical impairment to erection. Further determination should be in consultation with a urologist and sex therapist.

2. Are you able to get an erection firm enough for intercourse under some circumstances, for example during masturbation or with a different partner?

There are “situational” and “global” erection disorders. A man with a situational disorder can get an erection in some circumstances but not in others, for example with one partner but not another, or during masturbation but not with a regular partner. If you are able to stimulate yourself to erection, you are capable of having an erection with your partner. Erection difficulties are likely psychogenic in origin in these cases. For the most part, physical conditions don’t discriminate. If you have a physical problem, you will probably be unable to get an erection in any situation. In medical terms, you have a global-erection disorder. In such cases seeing a urologist with experience in this area as well as sex therapist is suggested.

3. Did something in particular happen that seems to have triggered your erection difficulties?

Certain lifestyle issues and medical problems and their treatment can lead to ED. If your erection difficulties started with the beginning of a new job, moving, retirement, loss of a loved one, or any similar emotional upheaval, your difficulty  may be due to or complicated by stress. While attempting to regain your erectile capacity with EFT you’d be wise to take that into consideration. Should your difficulties persist several months beyond the event, you may be caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of erectile failure. Stress leads to erection failure. The episode of ED creates anxiety, which leads to another failure, and so on. Anxiety and the anticipation of failure interfere with sexual responsiveness.

4.  Do you get a firm erection but usually lose it when you attempt to penetrate for intercourse?

This is a classic indication of psychogenic, that is, psychologically based erection difficulties. However, while your erection difficulty is very likely emotionally driven, physical (organic) factors may also be present. Poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, heavy smoking or drinking, and other behaviors may be catching up with you. In addition, if you have had a medical intervention, such as treatment for prostate cancer, heart disease or diabetes, organic issues may also be compromising your erectile difficulties. Last, gradually losing your erection after several minutes of intercourse is not a cause for concern. You may be tired. Or you may need to vary the sexual routine.

5.  Can you feel mentally aroused even if you have trouble with erections?

Almost every man has had some period in his life when he didn’t feel his normal desire for sex. In most cases, this is temporary, and desire soon returns. When loss of desire persists, look for an underlying physical or psychological cause. If you suddenly realize that you have lost all interest in sex or that your frequency has dropped dramatically, there may well be something to consider further.  Certainly discouragement may be a factor, but so may depression. If, for example, you are a prostate cancer survivor, having a life threatening illness is easily enough to shake up your life. Treatment with an experienced therapist for depression is not only wise; it will help you get the most from EFT.

Consider your responses. In general, fairly regular erections point toward a psychologically-based issue. However, longer term, fairly consistent erectile failure, should be investigated further by a consultation with a sex therapist and urologist. Also, it is not uncommon for a compromised erectile capacity due to health issues to combine with and exacerbate the psychological factors that often accompany sexual performance concerns.
Help From a Self-Help Book
Both of us, Drs. Block and Dawley, have invested a great deal of time and effort in the authoring and use of self-help books for various problems. Bibliotherapy is the term used to describe such use of self-help material, generally books, to help people overcome psychological problems.
There are a number of good self-help books on various sexual problems. Such books involve the frank, explicit discussion of sex. We realize that the moral, religious beliefs of some people make it uncomfortable for them to read sexually explicit material particularly when it discusses the benefits of masturbation.
While we respect the right of those who find sexually explicit material offensive, we also believe that attitudes, beliefs, and values damning masturbation may be limiting and sometimes is associated with a number of sexual problems.
Staying Up – Erectile fitness Training for Good Sexual Health is our effort at providing a simple-to-read and easy-to-understand source of information for men and women to better understand erectile problems and what can be done to minimize their impact. While some men will need to see a sex therapist or a qualified physician, many others can be helped with the information we provide in our book.
Masturbation Is a Normal, Healthy Activity

Since we know that masturbation is a universally practiced behavior that is viewed negatively in many settings, we urge that it instead be viewed as a normal activity that can, in the absence of a partner, be helpful in men maintaining good erectile fitness and good sexual health.

Free Downloads of Staying Up – Erectile Fitness training for Good Sexual Health

Our book discusses erectile problems in detail and offers valuable suggestions on what men can do to minimize their impact. To make men more aware of how masturbation can help maintain their erectile fitness we are providing our book free of charge during the month of June 2013. Our book covers the psychological origins and physical origins of erectile problems and offers help by engaging in EFT and other recommendations such as seeing a sex therapist or physician when indicated. For those of you who are comfortable with such material, we hope you enjoy this book and that you find it helpful.

Click on the book to download it for free for a limited time
stayingup.pdf
About the Authors
Joel D. Block, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist–excellence in couple therapy–practicing couple and sex therapy on Long Island, New York. Board Certified in Couple therapy by the American Board of Professional Psychology, Dr. Block is a senior psychologist on the staff of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center and an Assistant Clinical Professor (Psychology/Psychiatry) at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Medical School. For twenty years he was the training supervisor of the Sexuality Center at Long Island-Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Block is the author of over 20 books on Love and Sex, his specialty.
Harold H. Dawley Jr., Ph.D., is a researcher, author, and publisher of self-help books. He served as a staff psychologist for 20 years at the New Orleans VA hospital where he also held clinical faculty appointments in Pathology at Louisiana State University Medical School and in the Department of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry and Neurology and at Tulane University School of Medicine and in the Department of Allied Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health. Recipient of the Outstanding Psychologist of the Year award from the Louisiana Psychological Association and the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Psychologists in Public Service of the American Psychological Association (APA), he is a Past President of the APA Division of Psychologists in Public Service and a Past President of the National Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologists.