After reaching 40 years of age, men might ask questions such as where do age-related changes in the body come from and why do they gradually manifest only after reaching this age threshold? Related questions men over 40 years old might ask may also include, for what reason does the need for ejaculation decrease with aging, does the need for penile stimulation increase, or why do erections lose strength with aging?
The answer to these types of questions and underlying causes of aforementioned phenomena are complex. Achieving an erection, which you may have always considered a simple consequence of seeing your girlfriend undressed, is actually a very complicated process. Proper erectile function requires clear interactions between different parts of the body. First, there is involvement of the brain where erotic thoughts and fantasies are born; and second, is the erectile reflex, consisting of the transmission of nerve impulses that arise during direct penis stimulation.
Nervous system involvement in erectile function, in turn, involves a third mechanism, which includes the concerted activity of a series of reactions in blood vessels. During this process, the arterial system is responsible for delivering the necessary amount of continuous blood flow toward and within the penis. With all of this increased penis blood flow, this produces an effect similar to inflating a long and thin balloon. The result is that the penis is engorged with blood, hardens, and is ready for sexual intercourse.
How does all of this happen?
Understanding all of the involved processes might take reading a full technical description. Nevertheless, it is worth reading such material in order to learn how to understand what problems you may have with erectile function and how to deal with them correctly.
Sexual stimulation, whether it comes from erotic thoughts, fantasies, and/or from direct physical stimulation, activates the flow of nerve impulses, which promote the release of a chemical called nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide, in turn, leads to the formation of another chemical causing relaxation of smooth muscle within special areas of the penis termed, cavernous bodies. These areas within the penis are able to fill with blood, just as long balloons are inflated. As blood accumulates within cavernous bodies, they begin to constrict veins responsible for diverting blood from the penis. This results in a delayed outflow of blood from the penis and, thus, lead to a sustained erection.
An erection can be maintained for as long as cavernous bodies are able to fill with blood. However, when the smooth muscle is no longer relaxed, blood is readily expelled from vessels within the penis and with it the loss of an erection.
The whole process described above is under the control of testosterone (i.e., male sex hormone), whose presence in blood in proper amounts ensures there can be activation of the erectile process. This hormone is also largely responsible for determining sexual desire and arousal.
What can go wrong?
Mechanism of an erectile function under ideal conditions works as previously described. However, the problem is that with aging, functionality of this complex system gradually deteriorates. With increased age, the reflex mechanism does not work as it once had during youth. Accordingly, there is a tendency to increase blood pressure and arteriosclerosis of blood vessels, including arteries that are responsible for providing blood supply to the penis. The result is less blood flow to the penis, which also contains less oxygen and, hence, leading to erectile dysfunction.
Smooth muscle is susceptible to the development of an atherosclerotic process and the formation of plaques and thickenings. As a result of such changes, smooth muscle can lose elasticity leading to the inability of cavernous bodies within the penis to fill with blood. The loss of the ability to fill the cavernous bodies with blood also leads to an inability to occlude venous outflow from the penis. In such cases, blood is able to readily leave the cavernous bodies.
Because of increased blood flow leaving the penis, this leads to the need for more and prolonged stimulation of the penis to achieve an erection. Moreover, even when an erection is achieved, it does not have the same hardness as before and also does not last a long. The overall process leading to an erection and sustaining one becomes less predictable and stable.
Another problem associated with erectile dysfunction may be related to anxiety. This may cause spasm of smooth muscles, allowing blood to flow freely out of the penis. Therefore, if you start worrying about your erection, this works against you as anxiety leads to a faster loss of erection.
In such cases of anxiety about an erectile function, you should be aware that you need to stop worrying. Nevertheless, it is hard to stop worrying about erectile dysfunction if you are already aware that your erectile function is unstable and fragile. This, in-turn, develops into anxiety, which turns a good erection into something lethargic and formless.
Finally, with every decade of increased age, testosterone levels within the body decrease. This can negatively impact sexual desire while leading to a lesser need for orgasm. There are other factors that can contribute to this negative sequence of events. For example, becoming bored with your partner, inability to change habits, or bringing nothing new to the relationship.
As the whole mechanism of erectile function loses strength, it is easy to begin to notice gradual changes described above such as prolonged timed to an erection, greater dependence on external stimulation, loss of erectile stability. Although the system responsible for the appearance of an erection becomes more fragile and increasingly needs outside help, remember that for the most part, your penis remains functional and workable even if you are over sixty, seventy, and so on.
In some men, however, the entire erectile function mechanism fails, and impotence develops. This is characterized by a persistent inability to achieve an erection.
Why does this happen?
With increasing age, there can be more serious impairment in the mechanisms involved in achieving an erection. Diseases such as diabetes mellitus often cause damage to nerve endings responsible for maintaining the erectile reflex mechanism. In addition, other conditions often cause decreases in blood supply to the penis. Such conditions can include hypertension and atherosclerosis.
For many men dealing with erectile dysfunction, there is an important role played by lack of testosterone. It is important to note that although testosterone levels decrease with age to some extent in every man, there are some men who develop serious deficits.
Other external factors that can negatively affect the already unstable erectile function of an aging man are excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and certain medications. There may also be a specific role played by the lack of intake of specific substances contained within a diet. As noted above, some diseases and equally important, anxiety and stress can each impair mechanisms responsible for erectile function.
Why is it that after forty sex can be better?
When you were young the dominant theme of your sex life was the need for ejaculation. Erections arose quickly, and it was not necessary to resort to physical stimulation. You were always ready to engage into intimacy without delay. Moreover, although in those days you were probably proud of your sexual abilities, a physical, sexual act with hasty ejaculation is still not what most women need. Unfortunately, when dealing with young people, women often have to face impatience and egocentrism of men who demonstrate an unwillingness to spend extra time on the arousal of women.
Ejaculation, from the female point of view, is only the end of the sexual act for a man; whereas the long-lasting sensual caresses are the main and most valuable part of sex for women. With increasing age, men typically find that they prefer the fullness of loving relationships, which bring great pleasure to both partners.
The latter years of life in many ways bring an excellent time for sexual relations. By this era, both partners will have considerable experience with sex. Additionally, you will have had ample time to explore and identify the needs of your partner. At this point, men no longer want to ejaculate at any cost. Men become less focused on their penis and become more attentive to the whole spectrum of emotional and bodily experiences associated with sex. Thus, both the soul and the body of a middle-aged man are better prepared for the sexual pleasure of both partners.
The love of a middle-aged man brings more trust and reciprocity to the relationship. Relations with a senior man gives a woman the opportunity to take a much more active position. She will be able to notice with pleasure how much she helped in allowing her man achieve an erection. Knowing that she caused the erection, literally with her own hands, gives a woman a sense of strength, compatibility, and complicity in your sexual relationships. These are things in which a young man deprives a woman of early in life.
Of course, a man may be embarrassed by such dependence on physical stimulation. However, men should not attribute this need to a reduction in male prowess. In fact, these are natural age-related changes, from which both partners can greatly benefit.
First, you will endure many wonderful minutes while your partner excites you in all available ways. Secondly, you will also have time and the opportunity to feel your partner without the feeling the need to rush toward ejaculation. Finally, your partner will also receive a lot of joy by touching and exciting you, which will help with achieving an erection and orgasm.