Therapists have agreed to call impotence "ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION” or "ED". It's defined as the inability to attain and maintain an erection firm enough and long enough for partner satisfaction. (For some females, that might be 10 hours!)

Young males have what we call an "ever-ready penis" They have erections, can masturbate or have sex ten times a day, no problem. But sometimes, because of too much to drink, some medications, diabetes, surgery or spinal cord injury, or simply because of ageing, there is a good possibility that most men will experience occasional impotence. Smoking contributes to inability to get an erection.

Some psychological reasons may be stress, fear of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, guilt or fear of discovery or performance anxiety. A bad relationship or a big argument might result in erectile difficulty. Also, it may simply happen because a male is getting older.

It happens once and he starts to panic: "What's going on here?" He will monitor his penis size, shape, firmness. When his penis does not respond to command, he starts "penis talk". Literally giving his penis instructions. O.K. so the penis has a head, but no brain, and the more anxious he gets, the problem becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. He has heard the old expression "never let your meat loaf", and "if you don't use it, you lose it." Now he is really upset.

The temptation is to get a prescription for Viagra from the doctor. Before you take that route, how about getting on an exercise program and a healthy diet to lose weight, give up smoking, and start working to improve your relationship. It is amazing how sex life improves once you start to get the love and intimacy back into the relationship. Cheaper and more effective than Viagra. Now, there are two more drugs added to the arsenal to help with erectile dysfunction – Cialis and Levitra. But please remember, if you are experiencing low sex drive, reduced libido, these drugs will not get you turned on. If you are sexually aroused but have an unreliable erection, these medications do help solve that problem.

And guys remember - most females reach orgasm not with penis in vagina thrusting. Most females reach orgasm with touching, petting, fondling, fingering, oral-genital stimulation and maybe a vibrator. Suddenly this takes all the pressure off having a humungous erection to be a good lover.

Do talk about this with your partner before embarking on a Viagra trip. If you have not had intercourse for a period of time, your partner may have accepted the fact that sex is over and done with. If the relationship is not great, your partner may be glad that's done with. If you were a lousy lover before, now you will still be a lousy lover with an erection.

Your partner may feel pressured to have sexual intercourse, fearing that if she does not, you will go out and find another receptive partner. She may also resort to faking pleasure - this may harm the trust level in the relationship. Talk about it.