So, your man’s having trouble getting it up? Venting frustration over your man’s inability to achieve or maintain an erection is the worst thing for this situation and can make any man feel like a total failure. No one wants to demoralise their partner, especially for something which is usually, beyond his control.
At some stage, most men will experience Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and it’s far more common than people realize. If it wasn’t, pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be cashing in on a little invention they call Viagra! In many cases, it can be attributed to the male ageing process. It’s far more common for men when they reach 40 and beyond.
When men experience ED it can affect their self esteem, identity, masculinity and, left untreated, eventually puts an enormous amount of pressure on their ability to perform sexually and their intimate relationship. Most men won’t discuss it and they will likely withdraw causing their partners to internalise the problem.
This is where women can take the lead. Discussing ED with your partner is imperative to overcoming it. If it’s a one-off event, laugh it off and relieve the pressure placed on your partner’s inability to perform sexually. This will reduce performance anxiety. How a partner responds to ED can make a significant difference to when and how it’s treated.
Most importantly, don’t take it personally. Your partner is not experiencing less attraction toward you and it’s not an indication of how much your partner wants or loves you. It’s a medical issue, plain and simple. Remembering this is key. It’s very easy for women to internalise a man’s inability to achieve or maintain an erection as an indicator of how attractive or desirable they are, especially as we get older.
If it’s not a regular thing, excessive alcohol consumption or extreme tiredness might be the reason. We all lead busy lives and just because you both might feel like having sex, his body may be in need of a good solid sleep. If it occurs more often, it may be something more serious like diseases that affect blood flow, chronic illness, psychological factors, including performance anxiety or a side effect of various medications.
Therefore, if ED is occurring more often it’s time to have a serious discussion about it. The longer you both wait to have the conversation, the worse it will get. In some cases, a man may take himself to the GP and seek treatment. Others will stick their head in the sand and need encouragement. That doesn’t mean nagging about it until he feels compelled to shut you up, either.
Encouragement should involve understanding and patience. If your man is avoiding the issue and opting to distance himself from you, sexually and emotionally, things can get tricky. No amount of sexy lingerie is going to fix it. Keep being affectionate and maybe try some sex toys, which assist ED. These include penis pumps and cock rings. These help achieve and maintain an erection.
If it’s beyond that, book an appointment at the GP for both of you. Take him by the hand and support him. The GP should investigate the cause of ED, rather than throw him a script for Viagra or other ED medication. Make sure this happens. It might be something simple but it may be an indicator of more serious health matters.
Lastly, love your partner and support him through it. Although men don’t go through menopause, like women do, their bodies still suffer the effects of ageing. Work through the issue together and use the opportunity to connect, rather than vent frustration, blame and distance yourselves. In most cases, treatment will be successful and you can both enjoy a healthy sex life for many years to come.
Image via independent.co.uk
Kim is a writer and SHESAID's resident psychologist. A self-proclaimed tomboy who understands more about relationships and men than she ever will about glitz and glamour. Follow Kim on Google+.