If you are mentally turned on but not physically, you are dealing with a phenomenon known as arousal non-concordance. Arousal non-concordance also happens when someone is physically but not mentally turned on.
Rest easy because arousal non-concordance is common and completely normal in men and women. Still, it can be embarrassing for you and hurtful for your partner if you want to have sex but can't get or stay erect.
Misaligned mental and physical arousal could be a sign of sexual dysfunction. Learn more about mental and physical arousal, arousal non-concordance, and what to do about it in this guide.
Mental arousal is what we mean when we say we are 'turned on.' Also known as subjective arousal, it happens when the brain's limbic system (the area that processes emotions) gets flooded with neurotransmitters.
These natural chemicals promote feelings of attachment, pleasure, and desire for sex in men and women.
When levels of these brain chemicals go out of wack, it can affect female and male libido or desire for sex. Fortunately, men are less likely to suffer from low subjective arousal than females.
Physical arousal refers to the bodily changes that occur to prime the genitals for sex. In other words, this type of arousal happens when women get wet and men get erections.
Men become physically aroused through touch or mental arousal. These stimuli lead blood to flow into the penis, causing an erection.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) happens when mental or physical stimulation does not result in an erection. There are many causes of ED, from low testosterone and other physical health issues to depression and stress.
The good news is that you don't have to live with arousal non-concordance forever. Men who are mentally horny but not turned on physically can treat the underlying issues causing ED.
Here are some of the best strategies for doing just that.
Cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and obesity are some of the top medical conditions that can cause ED. Similarly, having an untreated mental health disorder can increase the risk.
If you think your mental or physical health has something to do with your ED symptoms, talk to a doctor about treatment.
Using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs can increase your risk for ED. Quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol and drug use may resolve your symptoms.
Other lifestyle changes to try for ED include exercising regularly and practicing stress-reduction techniques. Improving your diet can also help men manage obesity, an ED risk factor.
Sometimes, getting mental and physical health conditions treated and making lifestyle changes are not enough to resolve ED symptoms. In that case, medication is the best way forward.
Arousal non-concordance is common in men and women. It occurs when physical and mental arousal don't align. In men, that usually looks like wanting to have sex but not being able to get or obtain an erection.
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