Despite affecting up to 52% of men, erectile dysfunction is something that is rarely talked about. Like many other challenges that we face in life, impotence and erectile dysfunction is something that is better dealt with when couples face it together. For those who haven’t heard of it, erectile dysfunction or impotence as it is […]
Why does erectile dysfunction occur?
Erectile dysfunction can occur for several reasons. It may be down to drinking alcohol, taking drugs, stress, anxiety or an underlying health condition. It has been estimated that in the UK 4.3 million men experience erection problems. Erectile dysfunction occurs when something affects the signals between the brain and the penis, so you are unable to achieve an erection. It certainly doesn’t occur because you aren’t turned on, nor is it your fault.
How to talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner
However, despite it being very common, lots of men explain that they feel very alone. Some men avoid sexual encounters altogether and others find themselves pushing their partners away to avoid the shame of the problem occurring again. However, when erectile dysfunction occurs, it is a problem that happens to a couple, not one person alone. If you deal with the problem together, finding proper treatment and boosting your partners confidence is much easier.
Find a stress-free environment
Before you have a conversation, prepare for the discussion by planning a good time to talk. Somewhere where you have a frank discussion and feel relaxed. Switch off your mobile phones, lock the door, have a nice glass of wine or go for a walk. Discuss your feelings and be prepared to listen to your partner. Focus on how you are going to approach a solution together. Reassure your partner that you love them and that you are committed to the relationship.
Don’t play the blame game
When having an open and honest discussion with your partner about your feelings, it is easy to feel defensive about things that are difficult to hear. If your partner is feeling stressed out and overburdened, they might be difficult to live with and that could be hard for them to hear too. Planning a discussion and being clear in your mind about what you want to say can help the conversation flow a lot smoother. Being focused on solutions rather than arguing will also help to move things forward.
Avoid getting frustrated
Intimacy is such an important part of a relationship, and it is easy to get frustrated at a lack of sex or an inability to get an erection. However, getting frustrated and upset is often counterproductive. Stress and anxiety are a very common cause of erectile dysfunction and can exacerbate the problem. Instead, just remember that this is a temporary, treatable condition and there are lots of exciting erections to look forward to in the future!
Try penetration free sex
Taking a break from penetration is a great way for couples to unshackle themselves from the burden of erectile dysfunction and rediscover all the exciting things that they love about each other. Go on dates without the expectation of sex at the end of the evening, watch that movie, talk to each other, laugh together! Removing the expectation of sex whilst you work together to find a solution helps to remove any pressure that you might be experiencing. Sometimes, the fear of failed intercourse increases the feelings of shame that one partner might be experiencing. Lowering the stakes by taking penetration off the menu and exploring other methods of intimacy can help to reduce stress. Enjoy nice warm baths together followed by sensual massage. Start to kiss, cuddle and hold hands again. Sometimes, just lying in bed with a good film and your partners arms around you is the perfect end to dinner out. Reconnect in different ways and sometimes, when the pressure is off, things just happen naturally….
Encouraging your partner to masturbate might seem like a strange thing to do, especially if they are struggling with erectile dysfunction. But, for someone who is struggling with sexual frustration, this helps to ease any struggles that they are experiencing. For those getting help with ED, masturbating whilst alone and feeling confident that you can achieve strong erections again is a huge confidence boost. If you’re using a Bathmate Hydro Pump to help you achieve an erection, using it alone at first helps you to get accustomed to the product and work out the correct levels of pressure you need to achieve a strong erection. For those who want to pump for sexual pleasure, the Bathmate Hydrovibe is perfect for pleasurable pumping.
Look at making lifestyle changes together
If you partners erectile dysfunction is health related, sometimes lifestyle changes can help to treat the issue. This could involve drinking less alcohol, avoiding recreational drugs, losing weight, quitting smoking or enjoying a healthier lifestyle. If your partner has spoken to their GP and feels ready to make these changes, they will find them much easier to stick to with your ongoing support. Who knows, you might enjoy a new, healthier lifestyle together?
Visit the doctor with your partner and offer support
Any symptoms of regular erectile dysfunction must be discussed with a doctor too rule out any underlying health conditions. If your partner is feeling too embarrassed to discuss his symptoms with the doctor, having you with him for support can help him to talk about the things that he is struggling to say.
Be patient and remember that ED is treatable
Whatever solutions are offered to you both, remember that ED is a treatable condition and doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life. Finding the right kind of treatment is something that takes time, patience and communication. Your support as a partner will be an invaluable tool in finding something that works for you both.