Impotence via self-doubt

Perhaps someone else has experienced this problem…
I experienced impotence last night, apparently due entirely to self-doubt. This may be related to a lack of confidence in starting over after 15 years with the same woman, perhaps not.
I’ve never had any problems acheiving or sustaining an erection before, my level of desire always intact. The woman I met recently has attracted me completely during virtually all of our prior conversations. The parts didn’t work last night, though, when they needed to. I find myself unable to overcome the obsessive and irrational thought: “What if I can’t…?” This self-perpetuating and self-destructive condition continues, as much as I have tried to ignore it or rationalize it away. She is very understanding, which is nice; but I’m disappointed and concerned that things will only worsen, my desire now replaced more by paranoia.
Is this familiar to anyone?

Yes, and it can be a real sonofagun to work through. My no-medical-training suggestions: (A) Like it or not, it could be a medical thing, so see your doctor to cross that out, if possible. (B) You can give pleasure to your mate regardless - granted, this idea is not ideal for either of you. Still, she’ll still enjoy the backrubs - or whatever - because simple consideration is critical to a relationship. © This, too, shall pass. Sez I.

Thanks for the words of encourage, Civil Guy. My guess is that you’re a good friend to the people you know.
One thing I’m pretty certain of: the problem isn’t physical - that is, unless things can change so drastically literally overnight. Guess the only option is to ignore the pressure, take a step back and let things happen naturally. Immediacy may be the big issue here, you see, since this do-or-die occasion occurs (unfortunately or not) within a few hours of now.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, KerryD, we’re glad to have you with us.

You’ve put this in the forum devoted to commenting on Cecil’s Columns. You’ll get better response in the forum called MPSIMS, so I’m moving it there. You might want to read over the forum descriptions, and you’ll get used to our strange classificiations as you hang around more.

My Andonologist reports fifteen percent of his practice is Wedding Night impotence. That would indicate it is a fairly common affliction. Still, as other have said, impotence can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition involving the circulatory or endocrine systems.

Go see a GP and get a check of your ticker and T4 levels. If you can find an Ando, go see him. It is amusing to say the least.

what is an “Andonologist”…?