He's starting to have sex with you, he's aroused, he's ready… But he looks down and realizes he can't keep the erection going.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can take a toll on relationships, but I’m here to tell you that it's not the end of your sex life. I can also tell you that this problem is more common than you think. According to the World Health Organization, over 150 million men worldwide were estimated to have been affected by erectile dysfunction in 1995, and this is projected to rise to 320 million by 2025.
As those numbers sound alarming, again, ED does not mean it’s the end of your sex life. In fact, most cases can be treated with lifestyle changes, treatments, medication, or surgery.
Even if treating ED gives you a hard time, you can still enjoy physical intimacy with your partner. All you need to do is establish trust and work together on communicating and trying new things that can keep the fire and passion burning.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) holds a range of problems, and since it is a dysfunction, there can be a return of function.
Talk to your partner
Most men feel ashamed or embarrassed about erectile dysfunction, and they will choose to live in denial and try to cover up the issue rather than seeking help or talking to a partner.
What men fear is that you will look at them as less than a man when that's not the case at all. So, how do you get your partner to talk about such a sensitive subject?
Well, you can start by creating a safe space to let him vent.
Don’t talk about it during intimacy or around other people. Do it when you two are alone, and he has your full attention. He may show some resistance at first, but sometimes these conversations need to happen more than once so that he can become more comfortable talking about it with you.
It's a good idea to start with your desires and fears with one another; if you are suffering from ED, your partner will be concerned about you not finding them attractive.
Your partner might have thoughts of doing something wrong or not being desirable anymore; in that case, you must talk to them about ED while showing support. This way, you both can be on the same page if some nights there is difficulty getting things to work.
You must also remind your partner that you care about him and that if some nights, ED gets in the way, you guys can try other things rather than blowing out the candles completely.
Tip: Most guys take offense if you give up when he’s having trouble. Instead, suggest focusing on foreplay and then try again when he’s ready. Sometimes taking it slow and revving up the engines can get things going.
SEX is not the only way to be intimate
There are plenty of ways to be intimate without actually engaging in sex. The key is to focus more on being playful rather than rushing to penetrate.
For example, you can tell your partner that he can use his hands or tongue to help stimulate your erogenous zones.
You can also try to target some of his erogenous zones too! Did you know behind his neck and ears are erogenous zones? How about his nipples or the small part of his lower back.
A nice massage can be a good start to help him relax and get his mind off ED or the pressure to perform.
Help your partner relax
Anxiety is one of the most common causes of performance ED. In some cases, it’s not entirely physical ED, but psychological. If your mind keeps throwing you signals that you won't be able to perform in bed, then you're less likely to enjoy sex or be able to perform
If you know your partner has ED, it gives them anxiety when trying to be intimate with you. Try helping your partner relax with some deep breathing exercises. As mentioned before, you can try different massage techniques that can also bring you pleasure and relaxation.
The more relaxed you are, the chances are you will be less anxious and will be able to have stress-free sex.
Re-live each other
Do you remember how it felt when you first met your partner? How exciting it was to explore each other's likes and dislikes?
Try to relive those moments you've spent together. Go on dates, plan to cook together, shower together. Take your mind off of the sexual aspect of your relationship, and enjoy each other's presence.
You might discover a new way for you both to become more in tune with each other than before.
Make your partner quit unhealthy habits
Your partner might not realize it, but certain habits make ED worse. Things like:
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines
- Some medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and painkillers.
If you think that your partner's ED is connected to one of their medications, consult with their doctor about switching to another medication. But if your partner is experiencing ED because of one or more of these unhealthy habits listed above, then it’s time for an intervention.
Most guys will change their lifestyle in a blink of an eye if they realize that poor habits are causing their ED.
Start exercising together
Obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease are all examples of health conditions that may cause ED. Oftentimes this can be caused by poor habits. Exercising and eating a healthier diet can help him improve his sexual health.
Start exercising regularly with your partner; it improves cardiovascular health, muscular strength, and overall well-being. This can help support a healthy sex life, and you two can enjoy being intimate again.
Look at treatment options together
Take the time to research more about it together. ED can make a man feel very lonely about the situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It should not be all on him.
There’s always a cause for everything, and by looking at it together, you both will reflect on how to improve lifestyle choices, poor habits, or treat health-related issues.
And, if you need more information, have him schedule an appointment with a urologist that handles the male and female reproductive systems.
It’s best to get a proper diagnosis before trying treatment options. Your partner may not be uncomfortable with the idea of getting checked out by a doctor alone, so you should also go with him for moral support. You can then go over the diagnosis together and see what treatment options they have.
And, just so you know, there are new treatment options in 2020 that are effective for at-home use. Some guys aren’t able to take prescription pharmaceuticals because of their side effects. Acoustic wave therapy for ED is a new option that can help men reverse ED without side effects.
Never give up on each other
For a lot of couples, physical intimacy is important for a happy and satisfying relationship. My closing advice to couples is to never give up on your partner if they are experiencing ED.
Remember to take care of your overall health and maintain good communication with your partner.
Adjust to each other's sexual desires and discover creative ways to meet each other's sexual needs. Lastly, eliminate poor habits and be open to trying new options for treating ED.