Research conducted by the University of Chicago and Cornell University revealed that there may be a link between a man’s poor performance in bed and how close his partner is to his friends.
While this may seem to be an abstract causation, the researchers discovered that when a girlfriend or wife became more of a confidant for friends than a man, forging stronger relationships, then there was a higher risk for erectile dysfunction (ED).
“Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex,” write sociologists Benjamin Cornwell at Cornell and Edward Laumann at UChicago.
The survey was focused on older men, aged 57 to 85, and was published in the American Journal of Sociology. About one-third of the 3,005 participants suffered from ED. “Partner betweenness is a significant predictor of ED,” Cornwell said. “A man whose female partner has greater contact with some of his confidants than he does is about 92 percent more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection than a man who has greater access than his partner does to all of his confidants.”
The real issue may be underlying notions of masculinity. Researchers noted that the correlation between ED and “partner betweenness” later in life was lower than younger peers. This seems to indicate that older men adjust their idea of what it means to be male, while participants in their 50s and 60s felt socially dominated by a partner.