If you are facing erectile dysfunction alone, it’s much more difﬁcult to get through it than if you have the love and support of a regular partner who understands what you’re going through and with whom you can communicate openly about your hopes, fears and difficulties. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, and that is certainly true about erectile dysfunction.
Men don’t like to talk about it, even with other men — make that especially with other men — and they also ﬁnd it difficult opening up to their partners, but if you can take that first step, you’ll have an invaluable ally, and the experience of making this difﬁcult journey together will bring you closer than ever, both sexually and emotionally. Here are some ideas to get your partner onside and win her support.
Reassure her that you still ﬁnd her attractive
Love and attraction is a big part of sex for most women — they ﬁnd it difﬁcult to separate the two, and if you’ve been in a long term relationship and your erectile dysfunction is a recent development, she may think you are falling out of love with her. Even if it’s a new relationship, she may think you’re not really into her, so before you can communicate effectively, you need to get that out of the way first, to clear up any resentment on her part. The thing is, she may not even realize she’s feeling resentful until you actually talk about it, so this is the first step to take.
Compliment her on how she looks, tell her how much you love her, and make sure there‘s plenty of non-sexual contact to preserve intimacy. This can be difﬁcult, because it’s natural to avoid any sort of contact, because your brain is racing ahead of your heart and telling you that if you touch her, kiss her and hold hands, she’s sure to want sex, and then you’ll disappoint her and yourself all over again. It’s all tied in with thinking of your penis as something separate from the rest of you, and not seeing the bigger picture. It’s the participation versus performance argument again.
Don’t Ignore It
Remember, you’re part of a loving couple, and sex is just a part of your relationship. There‘s a lot more to the two of you than just the bedroom, in fact most of your life together is spent outside the bedroom, so you need to concentrate on that, and the ﬁrst thing to do is to show your partner how much she is loved and wanted. This will also give her the opportunity to reassure you too, but this particular dialog needs to be opened before you can proceed further with this.
If you or your partner ﬁnds it difficult to talk about intimacy, maybe some couples counseling will help to open the dialog. One thing is for sure, this thing is not going to go away if you ignore it, it’s something you need to face together and work through, so whether you get talking on your own or with professional help, make sure you do.
Experiment and enjoy each other without penetrative sex
The stuff we talked about in the previous article will work a lot better if you can talk about what you both like, and how you feel about mutual masturbation, oral sex, and even using sex toys on each other. In fact, just sitting down and talking about it over a glass of wine or a nice meal in a relaxed way may be a turn on in itself. If you ﬁnd it easier to talk about your desires openly than your partner does — and many men do — encourage her gently to tell you where she likes to be touched, or even suggest she shows you.
Overcome Your Fear
Get past that fear of initiating physical contact in case it leads to another failed attempt at sex, and show her that you’re willing to experiment on this.
You’ve assured her it’s not about her, but with experimentation, you can tell her and show her that because you love her so much, you want to give her pleasure in other ways. She’ll love you for that, and it’s a great chance for both of you to be more open about what you would like to happen between you when you are in bed. Often, extended foreplay can be even more satisfying than penetrative sex, because you can synchronize your orgasms, or even enjoy it without an orgasm.
Despite what the media and the porn films would have you believe, mutual orgasms at the same moment through penetrative sex are a rarity, not the norm. Many couples that have no sort of sexual problems at all never experience a mutual orgasm through intercourse alone.
Use this time as an opportunity to try new things, like using sex toys. A couples vibrator such as We—Vibe will give you both extra stimulation, and you can have fun together leaming how it works best for both of you. Be positive, and see your erectile dysfunction as an opportunity to connect with your own body and your partner on a new level, rather than the end of your sex life, because that can only happen if you allow it to.
Laugh a lot
Okay, erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter, but neither is it a killer of people or relationships unless you allow that to happen. Try not to take it so seriously, and keep your sense of humor through it all. If your ﬁrst experiments with sex toys are awkward rather than satisfying, try and laugh about it together.
Believe it or not, that will help you create a new level of shared intimacy, if you can laugh about things like that. And if one of you makes unintentional erection-related puns, laugh about that too, rather than trying to cover your embarrassment or taking offence. Hardly anything is so serious that there isn’t a lighter side to it, and erectile dysfunction is no exception.
If your partner is unable or unwilling to work with you and support you at this time, you need to face the fact that you may be with the wrong person, and make some difficult decisions, but that is not something we need to discuss here. The thing to hold on to is that erectile dysfunction does not mean the end of your sex life, whatever your age, and neither does it have to dominate your life.
There are ways to deal with it, whether you are single or in a relationship, and there is plenty of professional help out there for you if you need it and feel that it is appropriate in your case.
It may be a helpful experience to read blogs written by men who suffer or have suffered from erectile dysfunction. Mostly they are brutally honest but also positive and optimistic. Some men even state that they are pleased they had the problem, because it has helped them to get more in tune with their mind and body, experiment with different sexual techniques and become even closer to their partners as a result. Erectile dysfunction is not the end of your masculinity — it can be a whole new beginning.