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Not getting it up?

Is it an issue for the bear community?

In the health survey we undertook at the 2022 Bear Bash 36% of respondents ( 49 of 136) experienced Erectile disfunction. I thought a post might be helpful.

I'm not an expert and I've trawled around for info. I found a great Gay Men's site, MENRUS, it has lots of really useful health and wellbeing info us. Here's a link

They have a really good section on Impotence. Here's the basics from it.

Most men will experience impotence at some point. The inability to get an erection, or "get it up," is typically referred to as erectile dysfunction or impotence. While it's not uncommon, it can be frustrating and embarrassing for those who experience it. However, it's important to understand that impotence is often temporary and can be caused by a variety of factors.

Physical Impotence

Physical impotence is usually the result of exhaustion, stress, anxiety, recreational drugs, or too much alcohol. Certain prescription medications, such as sedatives and anti-depressants, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, faulty plumbing in the genital area, traumatic injury, surgery, smoking, and being overweight can all contribute to physical impotence.

Psychological Impotence

If you can get an erection, but not necessarily when you want to, the problem may be psychological. Reasons for psychological impotence may include a lack of sexual stimulation, fear of performance, low self-esteem, stress, and depression. High expectations placed on oneself and partners in terms of sex, performance, and physical perfection can create anxiety, which can affect the ability to get an erection. If one is uncomfortable with their body or the way they look, or if they don't feel good or relaxed about themselves, getting an erection can be a major problem. (Check out the body shaming v body envy blog post)

Steps to Solving Impotence

Embarrassment prevents many men from seeking help, but acknowledging that there is a problem is the first step. In the first instance, it can be helpful to talk through the issue with a friend or partner. However, it's important to visit a sexual health clinic or GP to determine the source of the problem.

Depending on the cause, treatment options may include changes to existing medication, additional medication, and/or counseling or therapy.

PDE5 Inhibitors

PDE5 inhibitors are medications that help the body's natural response to sexual stimulation by blocking an enzyme in the smooth muscle cells in the genital area. Brand names include Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), Stendra/Spedra (avanafil). It's important to note that poppers should not be used with PDE5 inhibitors, as the combination can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure, resulting in dizziness, fainting, heart problems, and potentially coma or death.


Vasodilators are a group of drugs that can increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the genital area, and giving an almost instant erection. The drug is identical to a naturally occurring substance found in the body that helps keep blood vessels open and increases blood flow. Brand names include Caverject® (a small injection in the side of the genital area) and Muse® (a pellet inserted into the end of the genital area).

Impotence is a common issue that can be caused by physical or psychological factors. Seeking help and understanding the potential treatment options can help those experiencing impotence to overcome it and improve their quality of life. Don't be embarrassed to seek help – it's important to prioritize your sexual health and wellbeing.

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