Despite evolving views on masculinity, men still feel societal pressure to perform sexually. A new survey commissioned by Viagra Connect® shows for the 1 in 3 men who suffer from erection problems this greatly impacts their lives…


Erection problems are common conditions that can affect adult men of any age. General awareness about erection problems has grown in recent years, and men’s partners and society at-large generally view it as a common condition. Indeed, 75% of men and their partners agree that they are a normal part of life for a man.

But despite progress to normalize the condition, the research points to the fact that men still feel responsible for erection problems.

 The survey’s key findings underscore the multi-faceted social pressure men feel to perform socially, professionally, emotionally, and sexually. 90% of men feel expected to provide financial support, 80%+ feel they should be in control of their feelings, and 92% think it is expected of them to perform in bed.

Despite erection problems being commonplace, expectations about sexual performance complicate the situation and make a major impact on the lives of those it affects. When men are confronted with erection problems, 60% expressed feeling disappointed. This disappointment, combined with the difficulty that 1 in 3 men have spoken about it, has a strong impact on well-being. 36% of men feel their mental health has been impacted by erection problems and leads to a feeling of guilt, and 74% of men feel responsible for difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection.

Rob Elliott, Marketing Lead for Viatris comments, “Despite increased awareness and being a condition that affects many men at some point in their lives, the subject of erection problems still carries stigma and is rarely talked about. We want to help breakdown the taboo and normalize the conversation to help sufferers feel comfortable in seeking treatment and achieve sexual wellness and fulfilment for themselves and their partners.

There is a need to raise awareness and destigmatize erection problems

The survey results highlight a large gap between people thinking erection problems are commonplace and men accepting to speak openly about it. Indeed, only 1 in 3 men openly discuss. Nevertheless, when men do talk about their erection problems, 64% turn to their partner to discuss solutions. This desire for help and more information about the condition is also shared by the men’s partners: 66% of them want to actively look for solutions to their partner’s erection problems.

But before some men will seek help, some things must change. Erection problems deserve more widespread awareness. Only through more education will men be able to address their feelings of shame, disappointment, and embarrassment about erection problems and ultimately build a more fulfilling sexual life: a belief widely shared by 90%+ of men and their partners.

By engaging in further discussion, men will learn that solutions exist. Today, there is still a long way to go as 48% of men and 45% of partners think that erection problems are complicated to treat.

Could the way we think about sex be a part of the solution?

Conversations about sex and its definition have evolved and are no longer limited to penetration and performance. Sex has become about intimacy, fun, and finding any and all ways to lean into pleasure and connection with partners. While there is a strong link between a fulfilling sex life and achieving or maintaining an erection, sexual activity is above all perceived as an intimate moment between partners that means more than penetration.

For both men and their partners, sharing a moment of intimacy is the most important criteria for a fulfilling sex life (95%+) followed by achieving or maintaining an erection. Furthermore, when asked to define sexual activity, 95% or more agree that there are many ways to have sex: more than 94% of men and their partners see it as a moment of pleasure and sharing with their partner, associated more highly with intimacy and foreplay than with penetration.

Now is the time to take pressure off performance and encourage a more inclusive vision of sex and normalize conversation about erection problems.


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