Online dating community for gay men with erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction or performance anxiety? The truth behind a modern malaise

After we speak, Toby texts me, begging me to delete his number and never contact him again. Others will only speak to me in euphemisms. Many men find support in anonymous online communities: While psychotherapy can help with anxiety-related ED, in many cases there is, in fact, a physiological cause. If the ED is hormone-related, testosterone therapy is an option, and recent research has indicated there is a genetic component to some cases, raising the prospect of new, gene-based therapies in the future. One complaint is that the cut-off point for diagnosing testosterone deficiency is too low.

There is evidence to support this: Alex is one of them.


He feels it was a necessary cost, as ED had ruined his life: He became tormented by the thought that this was his life now: My girlfriend was miserable. I just felt like I was letting everyone down. I was in a bad, bad place. As Luke points out, ED can be distressing for the partners, too. Before I began researching this article, I expected it to be a story about sex — or the lack of it.

But shame is the word that actually came up most often. For men, it seems that not being able to get an erection can feel like the most shameful thing that could happen to them. Recently, at a wedding, a friend drunkenly cornered him at 5am. The use of a cookie with a UID is necessary because the data should be written in the appropriate record as different participants simultaneously are entering data online.

Date and time are not strictly necessary for the analysis of the data, but provide extra information on the evolution of the number of registrations. No IP address or other personal data from the computer of the registered participants were recorded. All of the data were stored in a MySQL database.

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The data can only be consulted through a secure web page with an Apache security login and password. The databases were stored on a central secure server at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Several control measures ensured data quality and limited missing data by repeating some multiple choice questions with the possible answers in a different order. Data cleaning was performed in two steps: The data cleaning software looked for missing data, typing errors on data entry, coding errors, systematic repetitive answers, discordant answers, and errors related to misinterpretation of questions.

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The GAy MEn Sex StudieS: erectile dysfunction among Belgian gay men Keywords: homosexuality, internet, sexual behavior, erectile dysfunction .. of different patterns and expectations of relationships in the gay community. of social networking and dating and they are early adaptors of new gadgets. All men struggle to get an erection at some point in their lives, but more That was in November , but even after Toby started dating someone else, the problem persisted. founder of Frank Talk, an online support group for men with ED. . “ED is not spoken about at all in the gay community,” he says.

Errors were detected by using descriptive statistics, scatter plots, and histograms. Presence of systematic repetitive answers was considered when the same option was entered systematically in consecutive questions. Overall and age-specific prevalence estimates were calculated. Both bivariate and multivariate backwards stepwise logistic regression analyses were performed, with ED as the dependent variable. The following parameters were examined for their influence on the odds of having ED: The average age of their first sexual experience with a same-sex partner was 19 years.

The first partner was usually 4 years older. Table 2 shows the characteristics of the study population.

Erectile dysfunction or performance anxiety? This is not about sex, it is about shame

The mean frequency of sexual intercourse among Belgian MSM in our study population was times a year. MSM younger than 26 years indicated that they masturbate nearly every day. Older men, over the age of 55, masturbated every three days. Table 3 shows the results of bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify independent predisposing factors for developing ED, with ED as the dependent variable.

When comparing subjects with or without ED, the bivariate analysis showed that the odds of having ED were influenced by the variables age, number of sex partners, age of first sexual experience with a same-sex partner, frequency of masturbation, frequency of sex with their partner, steady relationship, versatile sex role, passive sex role, problems with libido, ejaculation problems, and anodyspareunia.

In the multivariate analysis, age, frequency of sex with their partner, steady relationship, versatile sex role, passive sex role, problems with libido, ejaculation problems, and anodyspareunia remained as independent predictors for having ED. Ghent and Charleroi.

The prevalence of ED in our survey is similar to what Hirshfield et al found. Sandfort and de Keizer speculated that MSM, as compared to heterosexual men, might find sexual problems more embarrassing and difficult to admit to, and are more vulnerable to performance anxiety because of a need to assert their masculinity. The stress and anxiety of finding a new sex partner can cause a blockage of the ability to have an erection. Not knowing straight away the sexual preference of the new partner, being active, passive, or versatile can put pressure on erectile function.

MSM who are in a steady relationship have a variety of sexual techniques to please one another, not only by penetration. There were a remarkable number of street drugs used to treat ED. Usually, these drugs were purchased anonymously over the internet and without a medical prescription. These drugs are not approved for the treatment of ED.

Little is known about the quality, the effectiveness, the side effects, and the dangers of these products. Features that attract the counterfeit market of these drugs are the high costs of the original PDE5 inhibitors and a specialized demand for such products by those willing to pay anonymously in order to avoid exposure or embarrassment. Physicians who treat patients with ED need to inform them about the true dangers of fake drugs. The counterfeiting of medications is a growing global problem that needs to be combated on all fronts. Furthermore, by not consulting a doctor, they miss useful medical information on ED and underlying diseases related to ED.

More epidemiological work is required to generate solid assumptions of the prevalence rates in such subgroups of the population as the MSM population. Because there are limited studies of ED in the MSM population, cross-study comparisons are difficult to make.

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This study was designed as an exploratory, hypothesis-generating investigation. In the past, there usually was a representation problem for gay studies. Not all groups based on age, gender, and education within the gay population were equally represented. Older MSM and less educated people were less represented. Medical disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, autonomic nervous disorders, neuropathy, and the use of medication for instance antihypertensive therapy are associated with ED.


There were no questions about the medical history of the participants, except the knowledge of their HIV status and the use of PDE5 inhibitors. We can only generalize findings to Belgian MSM, who used the online website from which participants were recruited. Mainly for MSM, the internet has become an important source of social networking and dating and they are early adaptors of new gadgets.

In Western post-industrialized countries, asking people about their sexual preference is becoming more and more acceptable. In computer-assisted interviews, anonymous respondents are more willing to answer sensitive questions, such as on sexual preferences, than in person-to-person interviews. A disadvantage of e-research is that men without access to the internet could not participate. Because older people have less access to the internet, older MSM were likely to be underrepresented. Among the strengths of our population-based study are its large size and the coverage of different sexual dysfunctions.

Not only ED, but also problems of libido, ejaculation, and pain during sexual activity were questioned. These other sexual dysfunctions will be reported later.

What causes erection problems?

To our knowledge, this is the first study on the prevalence of ED and the use of medication to improve the erection among MSM in Belgium. Further investigation of sexual dysfunctions is needed to improve the care for sexual problems in the MSM population. The authors thank all participating men for the registration and David Proot for the language editing. The study was not funded by an external organization. The condoms for the promotion of the questionnaire were provided by LSE Holland.

Ethical approval. The study protocol was approved by the ethical committee of the university hospital of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. For an analytic description of how various dangers associated with this scene materialize, including increased drug dependence, see Race, Chapter 7 and Race, b. Within this milieu, distinctions between sexual practice and pornography are undergo- ing significant transformation, blurring and convergence. Each of these devices may in turn become a resource for use; part of the experimental infrastructure of future sexual encounters.

The contribution of erotic chatting via the internet to sexual risk-taking in gay and other men who have sex with men. Health Education Research 26 3: Berlant L and Warner M Sex in public. Critical Inquiry 24 2: Bech H When Men Meet: Homosexuality and Modernity. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. New Media in Queer Asia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Callon M The Laws of the Markets. Harrington Park Press.

Chisolm D Queer Constellations: Subcultural Space in the Wake of the City. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Connolly WE Method, problem, faith.

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