5 of your erectile dysfunction facts and myths busted: part 1

Written by Mojo, medically reviewed
by Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Three guys sit around a table laughing and drinking beer

We sort the ED facts from the downstairs fiction 

Do you remember when you first discovered what sex was? Now, how long did it take before questions and rumors about what can, can’t, should, and shouldn’t happen between the sheets started swirling around your head? 

These don’t go away after we leave high school. In fact, a lot of myths about sex and erectile dysfunction have been doing the rounds for centuries. This is despite their outdated (and often unbelievable) claims being dispelled by science and common sense. 

Perhaps that’s because there’s still so much shame and secrecy surrounding our erections and what goes on in the bedroom; the facts and the myths seem to remain blurred.  

So when we see myths about ED wash up on the warm shores of the Mojo community, we like to hold them up to the light to find out which aspects of them are true and which parts don’t deserve your attention. 

So here goes, a fresh batch of 5 just back from busting. And if you have more, don’t forget to keep them cumming. We’ll be adding more to this series soon!

ED myth #1: “Blokes are always 100% ready to go, and emotion plays no part in whether they’re up for a bangalang” – MK, UK, 30

Mojo’s verdict: Fiction 

MK, we love the phrase “up for a bangalang” so much, but it’s our duty to mark this one down as false. 

Our psychological (emotional) state plays a huge role in both wanting sex and being able to have it.

Many guys find their sex drive (libido) can dip naturally for short periods and return to normal soon after, and frankly, it’s no big deal to have some downtime (literally).  

Longer periods of lowered libido are also not uncommon and can be due to a wide range of reasons. 

Here are just a few: 

  • experiencing erectile dysfunction, whether it’s caused by something physical or psychological
  • stress, anxiety, depression, or tiredness
  • relationship problems 
  • low levels of testosterone
  • getting older
  • trying for a baby 
  • or just too much pressure to bangalang (have sex) 

So, guys, if your sex drive has taken a dip, you should know you’re totally normal. 

But if you’re worried that something has been off with your libido and erections for some time, it’s usually a good idea to check in with your doctor

ED myth #2: Only old blokes get erectile dysfunction” – SW, Canada, 19

Mojo’s verdict: Fiction  

Although erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, guys of any age can have it. 

Today in the UK, nearly half (43%) of all guys aged 18-60 are struggling with ED, according to research. We’re talking millions of penises — ranging from late teens to old age in just one (pretty tiny) country alone. 

Wondering why?

Well, there are so many different factors that impact our erections, and lots of them have absolutely nothing to do with age.

We know the causes of ED can include medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. But they also span lifestyle influences, like smoking, as well as psychological reasons, such as any ups-and-downs in our mental health and relationships.

So, yeah, ED isn’t as ageist as you might think, and help is out there for everyone. 

If you think you’re struggling with ED, it’s a good idea to carry out a few tests so that you can get a proper diagnosis. This is the first step to help you get your erections back on track. 

ED myth #3: “Pills like Viagra are the only treatment for ED” – YH, USA, 44

Mojo’s verdict: Fiction 

This is a myth we love to bust. That’s because it’s scary to think the only way you can enjoy sex is with the help of some little blue pills (​​officially known as PDE5 inhibitors). 

The truth is, there are many ways to treat ED. The most effective treatments are those that respond to the specific causes that are impacting your erections. 

If you’re not sure if your erectile dysfunction is something physical or psychological, your doctor is the best person to initially help you get to the bottom of what’s going on and talk about next steps. 

If you’re experiencing psychological ED, there are many other treatment options that can be more effective and have fewer side effects than using pills like Viagra (Sildenafil).

These could include psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, diet, exercise, and couples counseling — helping you to revive your erections naturally. 

So don’t think that when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction, there’s just one pill to rule them all. 

ED myth #4: “Cocaine makes it harder for men to get their dick up. Is that true?” – LM, USA, 24

Mojo’s verdict: Fact  

Sex and drugs might seem like a match made in heaven, but this isn’t strictly true. If you want to keep your erections healthy and dependable, it’s best not to enter a long-term relationship with cocaine.

So, why is this erection enemy so often mistaken for the ultimate wingman?

When cocaine first enters the bloodstream it releases a lot of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that’s responsible for pleasure (including sexual pleasure). 

A big shot of dopamine feels great, which is why people often report positive side effects when they first combine stimulating drugs like cocaine with sex.

However, those sexual benefits get weaker if the drug is taken more frequently, and the body’s natural processes also get harmed by continued use. 

A healthy erection depends on good blood flow, relaxed penis muscles, and a good level of nerve sensation downstairs. 

Over time cocaine disrupts these processes by: 

  • restricting the blood vessels causing them to narrow and cut off blood to the penis 
  • tightening the muscles within and around the penis that have to relax for an erection to form 
  • blunting your ability to experience sensation from physical stimulation, due to the overwhelming influence of sky-high dopamine levels

That’s why the long-term consequences of cocaine use can include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, loss of control in sex, and loss of sexual pleasure. Wow, what a comedown!

You can read more about alcohol, recreational drugs, and ED here.

ED myth #5: “Women can’t enjoy sex or cum if the guy can’t get it up” – SS, UK, 61

Mojo’s verdict: Fiction 

Only 18% of women say they orgasm from penetrative sex alone

What does that tell us? 

There’s a whole lot of women out there who actually can’t get their rocks off just from an erection, no matter how impressive it might be. 

So if you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, maybe a good way to make a woman cum (and take some pressure off your penis), is to shift focus from your erection to her body.

More specifically, we’re talking about her clitoris — the nub within the vulva which is home to a lot of nerve endings, all primed for endless satisfaction. 

Not sure how to get it going? Using your fingers or tongue is a great place to start. Just ask her what she likes.

The Mojo philosophy: sex education is a life long journey

Our bodies and our brains change all the time, and so do our relationships and sex lives. So, it’s no surprise you’ll have new questions about sex and your erections all the time.

Mojo is built to give you the tools, info, and support your teachers might have missed about how to get better erections.

It’s packed with courses led by world-leading sex experts, and our Community brings together real guys who want to learn how to keep it up for the long run. 

If you’d like to see what Mojo has to offer, we’re here any time.

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Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.