While it is more of a common issue among young couples than media coverage might have you believe, erectile dysfunction is still an extremely difficult topic to discuss with a partner. Although the feelings of guilt and shame that accompany the condition are totally unmerited, they can still wreak havoc on our sense of well-being and hope for the future. The good news is that simply opening up a discussion with a partner about erectile dysfunction can do wonders for a person’s sexual performance; here are just a few ways to bridge the gap on what for many couples is an important and even necessary conversation about a little understood issue.
Discuss Possible Physical Causes
In many cases, erectile dysfunction tends to be a physical health issue centered around poor circulation throughout the body. (We’ll discuss the mental health aspect of ED later in this article.) A trusted physician can often help a couple find the source of sexual problems such as ED by examining a person’s daily habits, for example; common causes of erectile dysfunction in young men include cigarette smoking or other tobacco use, the use of medications such as SSRIs (antidepressants), a lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, or even untreated diabetes.
Treating Physical Causes
If the cause of your erectile dysfunction may be attributed to any of the issues listed above, a lifestyle change can be of great help in treating ED. Creating new habits isn’t always easy, but the results of lifestyle changes on sexual performance can tremendous for many couples. In the meantime, discussing sexual enhancement techniques can be a great way to liven up a dead bedroom while such changes are being put into practice.
When the Problem is Psychological
As anyone who has experienced anxiety or depression can attest, our psychological states can have a huge effect on our sex lives. Couples can address such issues by having conversations about feelings of anxiety around sex. For example, a partner may feel guilt or shame about intercourse due to religious or societal values instilled in them from a young age. Ironically, they may also worry so much about their ability to perform in bed that they are unable to complete the act. In cases such as these, addressing deeply held beliefs about sex is the first step towards a happier and more fulfilling sex life. When we understand the causes of our problems, in other words, we can begin to work towards their solution.
Go Easy on Yourself or Your Partner
While the condition is fairly common, ED is never an easy issue to experience for either person in a relationship. This is why it is so imperative to go easy on yourself or your partner when such issues arise. No one chooses to experience erectile dysfunction, and it is important to understand that guilt or shame have no place in a conversation about the condition. In fact, associating sexual performance with shame can often exacerbate symptoms of ED. For couples coping with a partner’s ED, the best way forward is to have an open, healthy, and validating conversation about the matter.
For these reasons, addressing the causes and issues surrounding erectile dysfunction can be a great step towards building a healthier and happier relationship. Like any topic centered around physical or mental health, acquiring information about an issue is a key step towards dealing with the issue. Above all else, remember to relax and think optimistically: with the right approach to ED, the future of a relationship can be very bright indeed.