Getting Intimate: Talking Together About ED
Don’t Have Sex -- For a Little While
That’s right. Many sex therapists recommend taking a break from sex while you and your partner focus on emotional intimacy.
“Most of the couples who come to our clinic assume that we’re going to be talking a lot about sex,” says Zamboni. “In fact, we often talk a lot less about sex than they expected.” That’s because most erection problems have little to do with the mechanics of sex and a lot to do with stress, anxiety, anger, and other feelings that find their way into the bedroom.
“Talking intimately about work, about the marriage or relationship, about yourself, can be much more helpful than banging away and trying to have sex,” says Zamboni. He counsels couples who are having sexual problems to take walks together, go out for dinner at a favorite restaurant, or spend a quiet evening just talking. Once you and your partner feel more intimate on an emotional level, you may find that your sex drive and your erections perk up.
Find New Ways to Be Sexual Together
When you’re in the mood for having sex again, get creative. “In the routine of a long-term relationship, many couples get into a rut. They only use one or two positions. They rush through foreplay. Especially when people are very busy with the other aspects of their lives, there’s a tendency to rush to the finish line,” says Weston.
That kind of goal-directed sex, she says, puts a premium on getting an erection quickly -- adding to the pressure many men feel. Explore other ways of being physical that don’t depend on a firm erection and penetration, such as caressing or massaging each other.
Seek Outside Help
Talking to your doctor about erection problems is essential. Your doctor can rule out health problems associated with erection difficulties, such as heart disease or diabetes. Your doctor may also recommend an erectile dysfunction medication.
Some men depend on oral drugs (like Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra) to get an erection, says Zamboni. “But other men use them for a little while to regain their confidence and then no longer need them.” If ED drugs aren’t enough to address the problem, your doctor may refer you to a specialist who can discuss other options, including other medications, mechanical devices, or penile implants.