Stress and the special problems of men

Certain forms of secondary impotence in men (impotence developing in a man who has previously been able to perform sexually quite adequately) are stress-induced. Many of the classical forms of sex therapy, for instance those advocated by Masters and Johnson, really boil down to the male sex partner losing the various anxiety tags that have attached themselves to his sexual performance, during which he seems to observe, as a spectator might do, his sexual activities. The Masters and Johnson so-called sensate focusing is in many ways a modified touching and massage technique in which both partners relearn how to enjoy physical contact rather than looking upon it as a stressful exercise with a definite goal – i.e. sexual intercourse.

In many cases sexual anxiety can be very much diminished by following a ‘Relax with a friend’ type of programme (see Chapter 9).

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