Relax that's not ED

When a group of guy friends gets together any time of the year, they’ll often talk about politics, sports, work, and even the weather.

One subject we wish guys could discuss with their friends is erectile dysfunction, but in our experience, most men don’t want to talk about it.

We’re not going to discuss erectile dysfunction right now, either!

We have covered the physical symptoms of ED and the psychological issues in many in-depth OHN articles. This information is fully available to you online.

At OHN, we offer many beneficial treatment options for ED that we can tailor individually to a person’s needs.

Sign up for a healthier you!

Today, our subject is unrealistic expectations.

Like those times when you want an erection, but it doesn’t happen because you think you’re not attracted or attractive to someone.

Here are six situations you may have been through before.

Relax! Here are six reasons that are not a sign that you have ED.

You’re Not Attracted

Many people think ED happens because they are not attracted or attractive to another person. It might seem that way to you, but the issue is far more complex.

Most men have gotten erections at random times in their lives, and the erection has nothing to do with attraction or sexual arousal.

Looking at it that way makes it easier to understand how attraction isn’t always essential to getting an erection.

You’re Not in the Mood

You're not in the mood for sex

It’s a myth that men are always in the mood for sex and that you’ll always be “into it” when the opportunity presents itself. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t true either!

The brain plays a significant role in sexual arousal, and when you’re not in the mood, the penis may receive signals discouraging an erection. 

But it doesn’t mean you have ED!

An Expert’s Advice

Sarah Hunter Murray is a therapist specializing in personal relationships, and Sarah’s extensive research into male sexual desire located many stereotypes.

Over ten years, Sarah followed 237 men of different ages and backgrounds. She did this to study if men were always in the mood for sex, and this is what she found:

  • Some men panicked about not desiring sex as much in midlife and worried about having ED.
  • There are numerous reasons why men’s sex drives weren’t as high as in their youth.
  • Men have more financial responsibilities later in life, many have kids, and sometimes they don’t get enough sleep.

Sexual desire naturally changes and even decreases throughout our lives. Likewise, our close relationships with our partners can change from sexual desire to companionship, and that’s normal too.

Sarah found that not all men are always prepared for sex. Still, they don’t want to hurt their partners by refusing sex.

This issue can put relationships and intimacy at risk.

You Want to Be Desired

Sarah’s research also found that some people have higher sex drives than their partners. This lack of compatibility occurs about ⅓ of the time in committed relationships.

The study also showed that male sexual desire could be positively influenced by receiving compliments from their partners.

The more a partner tells them they’re sexy, the freer some men feel to be sexy and give and receive affection.

You’ve Been Drinking Too Much

Erections and drinking alcohol

Medical studies repeatedly prove this—consuming too much alcohol depresses the central nervous system.

When a person drinks enough alcohol to dull their senses, it takes longer for the brain to send messages of desire to the penis.

This may lead to decreased sensitivity and potentially a weaker erection. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have ED.

Don’t Forget: Alcohol Is Also a Diuretic

Drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you get filled up with liquids.

Alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates the body because it increases the need to urinate. 

When the body gets dehydrated from alcohol, it can increase levels of the angiotensin hormone. This hormone narrows the blood vessels, which might limit blood flow to the penis.

Alcohol Might Decrease Testosterone 

More recent studies also indicate that too much alcohol might lead to testosterone levels dropping in the body.

This testosterone deficiency can limit the production of nitric oxide in the body, and that causes the vessels around the penis to restrict blood flow and weaken an erection.

You’re Exhausted

On many days, we get pulled in too many directions. When we leave the opportunity for sex until too late in the day, our bodies have already shut down. 

We may not want to hurt our partners by refusing intimacy when we’re just too tired, but the truth is, our bodies might not be able to respond to sexual signals when we’re exhausted.

Being unwell or exhausted makes you avoid intimacy

You’re Unwell

As medical professionals, we know that certain illnesses interfere with the human sex drive. In addition, other conditions affect our nerve functions and blood flow throughout the body.

If you are affected by an illness or medical condition, you may have experienced problems with getting and maintaining an erection.

Sometimes, a common illness or infection can decrease your comfort levels and make you avoid intimacy and sex.

The flu is an example of a respiratory illness that occurs yearly and can affect millions. Typical symptoms of influenza include tiredness, fever, soreness, and headaches, which make you less likely to become intimate.

Get Your Mojo Back with OHN

So now you know—six common reasons your body may have difficulties getting or maintaining a satisfactory erection. 

These issues cannot be attributed to erectile dysfunction. Remember that these six reasons are usually temporary problems for your sex life or sexual desire.

But it’s equally important to be aware of other problems that can lead to erectile dysfunction!

ED is a complex health issue that affects many people differently and with different symptoms. Any time you want to learn more or are concerned about your sexual health, OHN is here for you. Feel free to arrange a complimentary consultation with us!

Brennan, M. (2019) Not Tonight: Why men are not always in the mood for sex, Irish Examiner. Irish Examiner. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022).

Davis, V. (ed.) (2022) Can being sick cause erectile dysfunction?, hims. hims. Available at: (Accessed: December 13, 2022).

Klein, M. (2015) Ten erection disappointments that are not “ed”, Psychology Today. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). Sussex Publishers.

Lee, S. (ed.) (2022) Does ed mean he’s no longer attracted to you?, HealthMatch. HealthMatch. Available at: (Accessed: December 9, 2022).

Oremosu, A.A. and Akang, E.N. (2014) “Impact of alcohol on male reproductive hormones, oxidative stress and semen parameters in Sprague–dawley rats,” Middle East Fertility Society Journal, 20(2), pp. 114–118. Available at:

Prabhakaran, Deepak Koyilerian; Nisha, A.; Varghese, P. Joseph. Prevalence and correlates of sexual dysfunction in male patients with alcohol dependence syndrome: A cross-sectional study. Indian Journal of Psychiatry 60(1):p 71-77, Jan–Mar 2018. | DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_42_17

Salas, M. (2018) Does erectile dysfunction mean he is not into you?, Vantage Point Counseling Services. Vantage Point Counseling Services. Available at: (Accessed: December 9, 2022).

Warner, J.N. (2022) 8 common erectile dysfunction myths, Mayo Clinic Health System. Mayo Clinic Health System. Available at: (Accessed: December 9, 2022).

Yetman, D. (2022) Can Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022).