Men aren’t supposed to get erections in public for good reason. As young boys, erections cause embarrassment and even punishment. But the pattern of tension and shame this creates creeps into private sex lives and interrupts men’s ability to get aroused and feel pleasure. If you’ve ever experienced arousal panic, you are not alone!
On episode 197 we explored some of the ways we feel men’s sexuality is shut down or impaired by our cultural narratives about male sexuality. In this episode we hear from a listener from Switzerland who shares his experience with arousal panic – and what he is doing to liberate himself from this lifelong pattern. Here’s his email. Hit the “play” button above to listen to the complete podcast episode.
One more thought concerning men’s shame around their penis/groin that you didn’t mention in your recent overview and that I recently put under the microscope on myself while in a cabin up north for a few months: the clamping down of the first signs of arousal. The light but firm inner panic when the first feeling of pressure is sensed down there. I’m sure this is widespread. And in my case I’m positive it’s origins are quite simple: I have always been terrified of having a hardon in public. And boy are there enough occasions for that to happen as a youngen. Sitting in a car or bus, going to the pool, watching movies, etc.
I’m actually not sure how to best deal with this. I have a hard time imagining our society should accept seeing boys or men with big bulges in their shorts and the tips of penises peeking over the waistband of their trunks or trousers on occasion… I’m certainly not ready for that. So I find it hard to believe this will ever be prevented.
So what I tried to do in the cabin (where I could convince even my shame-shaken mind I really was absolutely secluded and alone) is to actively relax into it, let it all hang out, etc. giving myself arousing stimuli (mostly sounds) and actively feeling and noticing those areas of the body that clamp down and actively relaxing them, moving them playfully, relaxing them, telling myself a little mantra like “it’s ok!” etc. i.e. Trying to uncondition myself from this panic tension reaction, which is unnecessarily stressful and pleasure-diminishing. And usually totally unnoticed (except for erotic massagists, I’m convinced!)
I was quite surprised to notice this, as it’s so second-nature, so well conditioned that I didn’t even question it. Until I was really alone and went looking for impediments to freedom of expression and self-love. And when there’s no-one else to blame, no outside conditions to respect, it becomes very easy to pinpoint your own intrinsic complexes.
Anyhow. Had to share this. There’s more where this came from if you’re interested. I came across a few more things that were very illuminating and important to me during my little hermitage up there. Much having to do with male sexuality and it’s self-imposed boundaries… And some cool tricks to help get over it 🙂
Happy to share anytime.
On this episode we cover:
- Why we need an Erotic Olympics
- Why so many men suffer from Arousal Panic
- How Arousal Panic is learned as kids
- How Arousal Panic is experienced as adults
- How to change the Arousal Panic pattern so your arousal can be free
- How to talk to your partner about Arousal Panic
You can record a question or suggest a topic for the podcast by clicking here.