Sexuality – SKYN

Erectile dysfunction happens to the best of us. And while we’re used to seeing white-haired men in Viagra commercials, the truth is — that a significant number of men affected by ED are young, sexually active and otherwise healthy. Age is just one of so many other factors that determine your risk for developing erectile dysfunction. More often than not, lifestyle-induced stressors are to blame and (good news!), can oftentimes be reversed.

One in four men seeking help for erectile dysfunction is under 40, and according to New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder, M.D, the most common causes in young men are psychological barriers like anxiety, anger, or shame. Only about 5 percent of these men have complete erectile dysfunction. Thus, it’s important to recognize possible causes and to correct them early on, if possible.

Here’s a list of potential causes of ED, that have nothing to do with your age.

Tattooed couple kissing

1. Porn

Watching porn is a fact of life, but studies have shown that a compulsive use may lead to an increase in ED and a dissociation with real-life sexuality.

2. Psychological conditions

This one is huge. Any disturbance to mental health, including stress at work, hormone imbalance, seasonal depression, anxiety etc. can greatly impact your ability to perform sexually.

3. Unhealthy diet

Our modern diet is extremely high in refined sugars and processed carbs, which in addition to negatively affecting our overall health, has been shown to inhibit healthy vascular function necessary for getting and maintaining an erection. The chemicals and artificial additives found in processed foods may also affect your testosterone levels.

Boy carrying tattooed girl with red thong
Tattooed couple kissing

4. Obesity and inactivity

Research suggests that nearly 80% of men with erectile dysfunction have a BMI of 25 or higher. Inactivity only adds to this, contributing to poor cardiovascular health and potential symptoms of ED.

5. Medical problems and certain medications

Health issues that affect circulation, including diabetes, heart disease, etc. may increase your risk of ED. Additionally, prescription medications often come with a long list of potential side effects, including sexual dysfunction. Unlikely culprits include antihistamines and anti-depressants.

Tattooed couple kissing

6. Smoking

Smoking inhibits circulation necessary for getting and maintaining an erection, quitting may improve symptoms of ED.

7. Alcohol and drug use

Last, but certainly not least, recreational drugs and alcohol can dull physical sensations and heighten psychological problems, intensifying any issues that may already contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Let’s be honest, a lot of the things listed above are unavoidable and part of modern life as we know it. However, simply being aware of these factors may help you to make positive changes that could decrease your risk for developing ED down the line.

ED is something no man wants to experience, but the good news is — it’s incredibly common, easy to treat and medication is extremely effective in most cases. “Medications like SKYN arise can be lifesavers…often, these medications can help break the vicious cycle between ED and the negative emotions that ED produces”, says Dr. Snyder.

If some form of erectile dysfunction happens to you, don’t ignore the signs. If you’re interested in exploring treatment options for ED but don’t know which drug or treatment would work best, you can fill out our online medical questionnaire and a licensed physician will evaluate your needs and medical history to prescribe the most suitable option for you — no doctor’s visit required.

For so many reasons, the year 2020 is about embracing authenticity. It’s about being open in our sexual exploration and unapologetic in our actions. It is a collective rejection of whatever’s holding us back.

More than ever, we are less-defined by our age, gender or sexual orientation than ever before. Instead, we are defined by our state of mind: a common quest for truth, a desire for experience and a thirst for pleasure.

A naked girl laying in gray bedsheets
A naked girl laying in gray bedsheets

As a society, we are coming to terms with the idea that pleasure is an endless exploration. Intimacy is not a caricature — like porn, or movies, or brands would have us think. Real intimacy is poorly-timed, awkward, messy and imperfect… and it’s these imperfections that make it so incredibly exciting.

White sheets
Close up of the back a couple inside a bathroom

For the first time we are learning… without judgement, shame, or shyness — to become comfortable with the idea of embracing what we like and exploring it. And becoming less hesitant to say “no” to what we don’t.

One girl on top of another touching her face in bed
In 2020, I vow to

Be honest with myself.
Be honest with my partner.
Feel comfortable exploring porn.
Masturbate more.
Be open to trying new things.
Endlessly explore my sexuality.

Red-headed woman in her underwear standing in a powerful position

Don’t fall into the trap of performative sex
Erica Garza

Author Erica Garza perfectly sums it up: Get a vibrator, explore your body, see what you like, don’t be afraid of fantasy, explore your mind, be honest in the bedroom, and don’t fall into the trap of ‘performative sex.’ We might think sex looks a certain way, or a guy will like certain things, but it’s important to be real and honest and not be afraid of being vulnerable about your desires.”

Today, porn is one of earliest sexual educators around the world. The issue with this, is that the majority of porn tends to be centered exclusively around biased situations and offers young viewers a distorted perception of sex and intimacy, that could involve violent behavior, non-consensual relationships, and/or unrealistic reactions.

And the adult industry concurs. “Porn is not a how-to guide” urge porn stars Stoya and Dale Cooper. “All sex education can’t be thrown on porn…but at the same time, porn could play a bigger role — instead of just focusing on penetration” Cooper says.

Stoya adds, “[porn] is bluntly superficial entertainment that caters to one of the most basic human desires. Pornography exists and is not going to go away anytime in the near future. I see it as neither inherently empowering nor disempowering. Showing up on set and doing my job is not an act of feminism…my politics and I are feminist… But my job is not.”

All sex education cannot be thrown on porn, but at the same time, porn could play a bigger role
Dale Cooper

In her own words, Stoya states, “I use my body to make gender-binary-heterosexual-oriented pornography for a production company that aims to have as much mass appeal as possible”. In other words, porn is “just a job” for both Stoya and Cooper…however — it does make porn stars pretty much experts on the difference between sex and true intimacy.

Here are 5 pieces of advice from porn stars for increased intimacy.
White sheets
Close up of the back a couple inside a bathroom
1. Consent

“One of the most problematic things that porn doesn’t show, is what consent looks like and how important communicating is with your partner, before and during sex. It’s something that’s as important at-home, as it is while filming.

As performers, we’re usually handed a 20 page contract that says, ‘Here’s payment info. Here’s what you’re doing. Do you consent to this?’ many times. There are also constant check-ins between performers and directors, it’s really supposed to be an open dialogue.

Simply having a conversation about what sexual partners want and don’t want is the best way to increase desire and improve the scene. In my personal life, it’s the same case. There’s nothing that turns me on more than someone who asks me what I want.”

2. Don’t skip foreplay

“I’m a huge believer that foreplay can truly be better than sex. I also treat every interaction with my partner as foreplay.

From texting, to dinner, to how we speak and look at one another in public — every action forms a connection, and every action has the power to make the sex that much better.

Everything is foreplay — it’s really that simple. It’s also always a good idea to brush up on tips and techniques for mind-blowing foreplay — thank me later! :)”

White sheets
Close up of the back a couple inside a bathroom

“Most women can’t come from penetration alone, this is a myth. I repeat —

THIS. IS. A. MYTH.

Make sure to go down on your partner and get her off, she wants to cum as badly as you do. And if for some reason you bust too soon… come back and finish her off! No one likes to be blue-balled — especially not me! Try using a clitoral vibrator while you’re penetrating her too, I recommend the SKYN Vibes personal massager… I’m obsessed.”

4. Lube and wipes are your friends

“For anal, we usually use SKYN All Night Long Lubricant or organic coconut oil*…and intimate cleansing wipes are a game-changer”

5. Be safe, get tested!

“Using protection, getting tested and wearing condoms is essential for porn stars. It’s something the industry as a whole does amazingly well, and I think it’s something we could really educate more people about—it’s so important. Incredible sex is always safe sex.

*Using coconut oil as lubricant is damaging to condoms.