Can Smoking Really Cause Erection Problems?

So, you succeeded in pulling off that perfect date with your dream girl, who finally agreed to sleep with you, only to find that you couldn't perform... Is there anything in this world quite so frustrating? And could your smoking habit possibly have contributed to this dismal failure?

The answers to these questions are 'no' and 'yes'! And unfortunately, no matter how understanding and sympathetic your partner might seem, part of you is sure to wonder what's really going through her mind.

Despite all her reassurances to the contrary, you're bound to worry whether she's not doubting how attractive you really find her. Or worse still, could she secretly be questioning your sexuality? Such inevitable misgivings are sure to affect you, even though they've most probably never crossed her mind, and they can only result in further psychological stress, leading to an even greater erosion of your confidence and self-esteem that's sure to impact negatively on your performance next time round.

And yet the cause of your embarrassing failure might be extremely simple to remedy, because there are now plenty of scientifically validated studies linking cigarette smoking to erectile dysfunction (ED).

Smoking affects the circulation by causing arteries to harden, and when this occurs in the pelvic region, blood flow to the penis is substantially reduced, making it really difficult to obtain a satisfactory erection.

And while this should mostly be a problem for older guys who've been smoking for several years, lighting up at any age causes an immediate increase in blood pressure, which frequently shows up as a major factor in cases of acute impotence.

So maybe that preparatory cigarette wasn't such a great idea after all! Because while mixing sex and smoking can look oh, so cool in the movies, real life can be radically different.

Just like nicotine, stress impacts on male sexual performance by increasing blood pressure. So the stressed-out smoker who's lighting up right after he failed to perform is jumping straight from the frying pan into the fire.

Most smokers harbour the misconception that cigarettes can somehow calm them down. This is caused by confusing the sense of relief they feel, when their withdrawal cravings are satisfied, for relaxation.

And while there are many situations where this cruel delusion might not be an actual game changer, impotence certainly isn't one of them. Because lighting up will immediately increase hypertension, helping to prolong stress levels and thus exacerbate the problem. In fact, if you want to recover from an unwelcome and unexpected bout of ED in time to save your romantic interlude, then lighting a cigarette is just about the dumbest thing you can do.

The best chance of salvaging your evening is to chuck away those cigarettes, lay off alcohol and work hard to engage with your partner in any way that you can. Stay positive, make sure you express your feelings openly, and hopefully you'll manage to reassure her that your underwhelming physical performance is totally at odds with your emotional desire for her.

With any luck, you'll regain your confidence just as your body's natural rhythms normalise, and your night of passion might still go ahead. But whether or not this happens, please keep in mind that, without any positive changes in your behaviour, this kind of humiliating episode is likely to repeat.

So perhaps the time has come to get really serious about quitting smoking?

Paul R Mather is a certified hypnotherapist, and the owner of Cerulean Therapies, a company helping people to quit smoking. For more information about his services, please visit

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