So many things can cause erectile dysfunction. There’s your weight, your blood pressure, even your sleep levels. But one of the worst causes of it—by far—is good old-fashioned performance anxiety, which is when you start second-guessing yourself and your body begins to feel like it’s completely working against you. As so many men who have suffered through bouts of performance anxiety know all too well, when it strikes, it’s not good for you or your partner.
That’s why, after a recent experience in bed, I decided to seek out professional help, and I eventually found myself sitting in the Advanced Hypnotherapy Center of New York City, where a hypnotherapist named Jeffrey Rose assures me that he can help me restore my mojo, and I’m all too happy to surrender myself to his powers.
Now, if having the best sex of your life sounds like something you’re interested in, read on. But if don’t have the time to afford hypnotherapy, don’t worry. There are plenty more ways to strengthen your erection.
It’s not bogus.
You’d be forgiven for having some questions about the efficacy of hypnotherapy, particularly when it comes to the vanquishment of sexual performance anxiety. So let’s get something straight: Hypnotherapy has been demonstrated to work. Really well.
One recent study focused on 79 guys who had no detectable organic cause for their impotence and divided them into groups that were treated with testosterone, trazodone, and hypnosis. The success rates were, respectively, 60%, 67% and 80%,with the hypnotherapy being the only treatment that was significantly more effective than placebo. This was especially encouraging given that Rose charges $250 per hour for an initial 90-minute session. And for more advice on being a better lover, here’s how you can have better sex tonight.
It’s not a silver bullet.
Prior to our session, Rose had invited to fill out an extensive intake form detailing how and when I sleep and how long for, how much alcohol and coffee I consume, and the extent to which I exercise among other things. Rose has reviewed this information and he was, suffice it to say, aghast.
“I take a holistic approach to hypnotherapy,” he says. “And hypnotherapy is going to help you with your issue. But by looking at some of your lifestyle choices, we can get a feel for what else is going on and maybe that stuff is half of the problem, maybe more.”
Apparently I drink too much, stay out too late, and I’m drinking too much coffee in the morning. The one habit Rose does like is the hour of vigorous exercise I engage in daily and he tells me to keep it up if I want to keep it up. Also, if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you sleep more soundly at night.
It doesn’t require you to be gullible.
While this is not a notion that I hold, several people I spoke with before my session seemed to suggest that hypnotherapy wouldn’t work on them because they’re far too clever for it. Rose assures me that anyone can be hypnotized as long as they are willing to follow your instructions and that everyone is programmable.
“Those who [don’t think themselves suggestible] are usually people who are awake and alert and able to question their environment,” he explains. “These people are very good subjects for hypnosis, because with them you can talk about the intelligent structure of hypnosis. In fact, they are the best subjects.” And for a different way to fire up your libido, try eating these foods.
It feels amazing.
After discussing my terrible habits, we finally switch gears get into hypnosis. We begin by discussing another form I had filled out, which asked me whether I primarily rely on my sight, vision, or feeling to interpret the world around me. My answers suggested that I’m evenly split between being visual and kinesthetic.
“That information is going to help me better connect with you in just a moment,” he says, and then hands me a pair of headphones to put on. He picks up a microphone and starts talking over a very soothing backing track. I close my eyes as he talks me back from ten. With each number, my body gets heavier and by the time he’s at “one,” I’m just about as relaxed as one can be while fully conscious.
Rose asks me to visualize being on a tropical island and describes the sensory information I experience as I walk down a grassy hill, through a rainforest, and out onto a beach where I see a white, fluffy cloud representing my problems loom overhead, darken, then dissipate. I feel amazing.
It’s not overpowering.
What happens next is a little hard for me to recall with any accuracy. I was in a trance-like state in which I lost a sense of time—though I never felt that I was under anyone’s control. I remember Rose filling my head with positive affirmations about having and the “rock hard boner” at the ready anytime I need it, as well as the life-affirming adventures my trusty erection and I will have together. After 5, 10, or maybe 15 minutes of this—I can’t be sure—Rose counted me back to a wakeful state. When I opened my eyes, I still felt extremely relaxed and open to suggestion.
You could be hypnotized right now.
“You’re in what’s called a hypnagogic state,” Rose explains. “It’s the transitional phase that occurs between being asleep and awake. You go through it at night and again in the morning. It’s a great time to do some of the positive affirmations you’re going to use. I’ll email them to you now.” And, by the way, here are even more ways to transform yourself into a sex god.
It requires determination.
Rose makes it clear that for the best results, he wants me to carry on the work at home. In addition to a pair of BluBlockers he wants me to wear for an hour or two before bed, there’s an amber light bulb that, like the glasses, is going to prevent my melatonin levels being thrown out of whack; I also get brochures for wild Alaskan seafood—since Rose stresses the importance of Omega 3s—and caffeine-free tea and coffee substitutes. By the time I get ready to leave Rose’s office, I also have an inbox brimming with off-the-rack affirmations, rules for writing my own affirmations, self-hypnosis audio clips, at least a dozen articles on the detrimental effects of too much booze and caffeine and insufficient sleep.
I’ve always hated homework, but if it’ll get me my dirty mojo back, I’m in.
It’ll take persistence.
As I leave, Rose tells me it’s useful to have more than one session and that he recommends at least two. “If sessions are recorded and listened by a client for a few weeks, it is even better,” he says. “We are what we repeatedly do, and we do what we repeatedly think and believe. The more you repeat positive suggestions, they become part of your mindset, affecting your reality in a new better way.”
Over the next few days, I cancel a date to give myself some time to regroup, prioritize sleep, sharply curtail my drinking, and reduce my caffeine consumption to just two cups of coffee and one cup of tea, all before 2pm. (Surprisingly, I’m spared the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal—no headaches or lethargy.) Every day, when I wake and before I go to bed, I say the positive affirmations I’ve been given and have crafted myself. Things like: “I am confident in my ability to have a strong, hard erection when I need it.”
After a 72-hour respite, I have sex, and everything works perfectly.
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