The Man, the Myth and His Penis

“It’s a foot long, hard as a rock and will knock your socks off”  – the myth of the penis.  Men and women have come to expect so much from this organ that when it does not “perform” up to its expected proficiency there is great weeping and gnashing of teeth. Well maybe not weeping and gnashing but some serious anxiety usually results.

As an adolescent the issue is not getting it up but rather keeping it down.  Erections pop up at the most inopportune and inappropriate times.  Ask any guy you know and he has an embarrassing story or three to tell you.  It is like an over eager pet that constantly wants to play always nudging up against your leg.  It always wants to come out and play.  And don’t get me wrong, fun it will have.  The orgasms are intense, the force is explosive and the pressure is immense. And then a few minutes later it wants to play again.  If you don’t want to play, guess what it waits till you are asleep and then plays by itself.  I remember always feeling cheated that I had to clean up the mess but didn’t get to enjoy the fun.

But from adolescence on, never again will it be so willing to come out and play.  There is a tapering off of hardness, orgasmic intensity and the insistent need.

Into midlife men often notice an increased need of physical stimulation for an erection to occur and that erection may be more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than the Eiffel Tower.  It may be easier to lose the hardness and once lost hardness may be more difficult to regain.  Ejaculation is less powerful and less copious.

So what does this mean?  It means that you are normal.  And when I say normal I mean “statistically normative” there will always be men who do not experience the above life cycle at the above rate or order.

The penis has been the center of man’s sexual universe since he was born.  What happens when it doesn’t respond the way it does.  For some men it feels like their universe is imploding and there is nothing that can be done.  However, just because the penis may become less efficient the penis and the rest of the body never lose their capacity to give and receive pleasure.  What you have now, or what you see in porn, may not be what you have forever.

So what is the solution? Learning, growing and understanding with your partner.  There may be a cause, certain medical conditions, alcohol, drugs and emotional factors can all impact the behaviour of the penis.  Do not make your man wrong.  I guarantee you he is going through enough internal turmoil himself.  Many people will turn to a pill to sort out their problems.  I would encourage you to explore the cause of the changes rather than treating the change itself.  Or ask the question what does his penis need or what is it not getting?

I have heard women talk about how sexy they are and how they take care of themselves and they don’t understand why their partner can’t get hard.  Please remember, it is not about you and as much as we try to pretend that we are sex machines we are really , frail and vulnerable, just like our penises.  And that’s the hard facts.

Remember when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way.  There is just your way and it’s ok.

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist and sexual communications coach. Stephen is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence they want.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit

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