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How to Talk About Erectile Dysfunction

One of the most important things to realize if you’ve begun to experience erectile dysfunction (ED) is that it impacts both you and your sexual partner.

You are probably frustrated by what’s going on, but there are no golden statues given out in this category. That’s because no matter how well you think you’re acting as if it’s no big deal — it’s not just your deal. It’s time to talk about what’s going on.    

The blame game

It’s simple human nature to look for somebody to blame, but in this case, neither person bears responsibility. If you’re a man experiencing ED, you need to understand that this is not your fault. It’s usually not the result of something you did or did not do.
Likewise, your sexual partner needs to hear — from you — that this is not their fault, either. They might be thinking there’s a problem with the relationship, when the truth is that there’s a problem only with your penis — or the network of blood vessels and set of hormones that enable it to become erect). This problem, by the way, is experienced by approximately 52 percent of men, with symptoms growing more severe as you age.

It’s not fair to assume that your sexual partner will just figure it out. And, it’s quite possible that they may come to the wrong conclusion. That’s why it’s extremely important to talk about what’s going on.

What and when

There are so many euphemisms used for ED. Skip them. You’re better off describing exactly what’s going on. This is not the time to be misunderstood.

Speaking of what’s going on, the time to discuss it is not in bed, just after you’ve both experienced the results of ED. This is more of a health-related issue than a sex-related issue. Choose a time when you’re both relaxed and in a conversational mood. 

Don’t be afraid to talk about the details and share how you feel. You may discover this helps your partner a great deal — as they may have been wondering if they were the cause of your frustration. Remember that this is affecting your partner, too. 

After the talk

ED is not the end of the road, it’s just a change in direction. Discussing ED is certainly not going to solve the problem, but it paves the way for approaching it. And once you’ve gained the support of your partner, it’s a big relief.

You’ll also likely find that the pressure to perform doesn’t weigh so heavily on you after you have the talk with your sexual partner. Besides, there are plenty of ways to have fun and enjoy each other. You may discover that lowering the psychological pressure helps you put ED into perspective, and in, some cases, may effectively treat it. 

See a medical professional

Once you and your partner have come to psychological and emotional terms with what’s going on, make an appointment to see a doctor. It’s important for you to determine if your ED is age-related, or if it’s because of a specific, underlying medical condition.

Sometimes ED can be caused by medications you take for other health issues. Your doctor is going to ask you some probing questions. It’s in your best interests to answer them truthfully and in detail, in much the same way you had the talk with your sexual partner.

Questions about your alcohol intake, exercise regimen, or even the extra weight you’re carrying relate to your ED. You might want to consider bringing along your partner. Remember, this is affecting both of you.

Mark White, CEO, Vitality Connect, [email protected]

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