Ok, so today’s comic is a smidge light – I know many of you will be shouting out ‘go deeper- explore the specific disorder I wanna learn about!’ We’ll for sure eventually get to the specific ones and explore them more thoroughly. We might have explored a few already in the health category. Thing is, for the next Drawn to Sex book, we needed a solid catch-all comic, something that introduces the subject and explains how anyone experiencing it is normal – it happens to us all. So that’s what we have today – a light comic that skims the surface!

If you’re feeling represented in this comic and see your own woes appearing, I’d really encourage you to go and have a frank conversation with your doctor. A good doc will listen and help and, honestly, they’ve heard it all before. You’ve nothing to be embarrassed or afraid of.

Next week, a review! First one in an age – we’re excited, it’s going to be half review and half autobio catchup.

↓ Comic Transcript
Page 1:
A person stands with a hoody on and pantless, so their flaccid penis is on display.
Person: Awww, c'mon! (They gesture at their junk, looking distressed)
Matt: What's up, my pantless pal?
Person: Matt! My willy ain't waggling, it's just a'dangling! My Peter's out of power. It's hardly getting hard! My dong is just... DONE.
Matt: Dang, I'm no doctor, but if that's a persistent issue, I'd say you're suffering a Sexual Dysfunction.
Person: A... what now?
Matt: Sexual Dysfunction! A catch-all title for pretty much any long term problem that gets in the way of you getting it on! More specifically, issues and disorders that stop your sexual response cycle from working normally.
IMAGE: A graph showing the stages of the Sexual Response Cycle, but with a brick wall blocking each stage. Stages: Excitement (desire and arousal). Plateau (doin' the deed). Orgasm. Resolution.
Matt: This includes all sorts of stuff such as:

Page 2:
- Desire Disorders (An unusual lack of interest or appetite for sex).
- Arousal Disorders (Difficulty in getting physically aroused or excited. Stuff like not being able to get hard, wet, or relaxed enough to allow for activity.)
- Orgasm Disorders (Inability to orgasm or difficulty controlling orgasms.
- Pain Disorders (Pain during sex)

Narration: Our ability to have or want sex is highly dependent on a lot of things going RIGHT. So it's not a surprise that these troubles are ULTRA common and happen to many of us, regardless of age, fitness or the genitals we've got.

Matt: In your case, it kinda sounds like you're getting wanged by some Erectile Dysfunction.
Person: But-but, why?!?!
Matt: Dang, well that's the question. There can be a whole lot of different reasons you're suffering a sexual dysfunction, soooo you're probably better off talking with your doc about the hos and whys of you issue.
Person: Aw, c'mon Matt, you can't leave me hanging like that. Gimme somethin' useful.
Matt: Ok ok, well, here's a bullet list of potential causes, to get you thinking:

Page 3:
- Psychological Causes: Stress and anxiety, Worry about 'performance', Relationship troubles, Depression, Guilty feelings, Body image concerns, Past sexual trauma.
-Physical Causes: Diabetes, Cardiovascular issues, Neurological disorders, hormone imbalances, kidney or liver trubs, alcoholism and drug abuse, Side effects from meds (including antridepressants).
Matt: I too have my share of ED issues... If I'm too stressed out or anxious, I just can't get hard. Especially when my partner's awaiting. That inability to get hard will burrow into my head and make it even more difficult for every other subsequent time. Like a dark, vicious no-boner loop that keeps compounding on itself the more I think about it...
Matt: Ahem. My point is that we all struggle with things like performance anxiety or our sexual bits not working the way we want them to. Our society and culture has made sex out as the BE ALL and END ALL of activities. We act like it's the ultimate holy AND impure act, the height of success AND failure, the definer of what KIND of person you ARE and how your community should TREAT you. Elevating this basic human function to such a high place has loaded it with so much pressure, so when any of us fail to enjoy and perform sex as to match our ideal, it can leave one feeling broken and distraught.
IMAGE: The person is carrying an enormous weight labeled SEX on their back, looking very stressed.

Page 4:
Person: ...So... Got any suggestions?
Matt: Oh! Right! (Matt gestures a a sign reading "How to Treat Sexual Dysfunction") Most sexual dysfunctions can be tackled by treating the root physical or psychological problem. This can include:
- Medication. Swap up meds, balance hormones, or, for penises, using pills to get erect.
- Behavior Treatment. Learn to treat negative behaviors or replace them with more positive ones.
- Sexual Therapy. Sex therapists work out the problem sources through talk.
IMAGE: The person's penis twitches and he says "! Well lookit that!" in surprise.
- Mechanical Aids. Objects to physically assist body parts, like vaginal dialators, penile implants, and vacuum devices.
- Communication. Honest talk between partners can take off pressure and enable cllaboration for finding other options.
- Education. Learning about your issue can help you understand it, circumvent it, find alternatives, or even overcome it.
- Physchotherapy. Addresses trauma, anxiety, fear, guilt and body image.

Matt gestures at his head with one hand and points towards his junk with the other while saying, "For me (and I'm not suggesting this will work for anyone else), talking things over with my doc and Erika, avoiding penis-focused sex, and taking some pressure off my shoulders worked wonders. Turns out, I'm hardest when I'm least worried about being hard!


Transcribed by Erika Moen September 2023