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SEX RUBRIK COUNSELLING ENGLISH ERECTION PROBLEMS AND THE PSYCHE Foto: Gerd Interview: Torsten Schwick Most men* have seen their penis refuse to work. And it doesn‘t have to be for medical reasons. When one is exposed to severe stress or one begins a new love relationship, such ”malfunctions“ are not that rare. Dr. Dirk Stemper knows both: medicine and psyche. For over 20 years he worked as a doctor of internal medicine and in management positions in various health organizations. As a psychotherapist and coach he currently runs a private practice for psychotherapeutic medicine. Hello Dr. Stemper. It is said that psychological factors are responsible for around 10–20% of all erectile dysfunction (ED) cases. Can you confirm that? Sexual dysfunctions are very different in their symptoms, their severity and their causes. They can occur due to psychological or physical causes at practically any age. Erection problems are just one form. In general practitioners‘ practice, 25-30% of patients have sexual dysfunction that lasts for over a month. This can be caused by emotional and physical experiences in childhood and adolescence, sex education, cultural norms and sexual morals, and also unfortunately sexual trauma. Around 70% of men with erectile dysfunction have physical causes, mostly illnesses, especially in the age group over 50. Otherwise, 22 CHECK WEST #1

SEX COUNSELLING RUBRIK emotional reasons are responsible for the impotence. Sometimes it is a combination of both and they can also cause one another: if you can’t get hard for a long period of time, you quickly no longer feel like a “real man” – this creates a vicious circle. Are there any problems that arise specifically with homosexual men*? Due to role models from the sex industry, especially among young gays, many problems revolve around self-perception and self-esteem. Your cock isn‘t big enough, you don‘t have sex long enough, not often enough. Almost every porn is filled with muscular guys who can persistently suck and fuck for a long time. Foreplay and cuddling afterwards do not occur or are secondary. “DUE TO A LACK OF SEXUAL EXPERIENCE, COMPLETELY UN- REALISTIC IDEAS ABOUT SEX AND INTIMACY CAN ARISE.“ According to scientific studies, excessive porn use can lead to a distorted image of sexuality. Boys come into contact with pornographic content on average at the age of 14. At this age, due to a lack of sexual experience, completely unrealistic ideas about sex and expectations of one‘s own and other people‘s bodies as well as intimacy can arise. Depending on how well the individual coming-out goes, there may also be a lack of opportunities to talk to people of the same age about sex. It‘s often more difficult in the countryside. In any case, only around 4% of porn users, regardless of their own sexual orientation, really want to talk about what they have seen. Over a half never do that. The consequences are obvious: a lack of emotional exchange, toxic notions of masculinity, sexism and an increasingly insecure relationship with one‘s own body. How do you deal with such problems? The procedure must of course be as varied as the psychological causes. First of all, we establish whether the erection problems occur in connection with other mental and psychosomatic disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders or personality disorders. If there are other psychological or psychosomatic disorders in addition to sexual dysfunction, these have priority over symptom-oriented sex therapy and psychotherapeutic measures are indicated. Further clarification is needed about the sexual history, previous urological diseases, childhood and sexually transmitted diseases, medication, psychosocial situation and partnership. It is important that by the end of the discussion those seeking advice receive sufficient information about the sexual dysfunction, the assessment of the disorder and other diagnostic and therapeutic options. My practice is about effective, long-term treatment options that are accepted by the affected person and their partner. The topic is not just erection, but sexual satisfaction or ”sexual health“. (ts,mb) Dr. Dirk Stemper, Psychologie Halensee Psychotherapy | Consultation | Coaching Wallotstraße 8, 14193 Berlin Phone 030 26323366 CHECK WEST #1 23

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.