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Men's Health Sex & Relationships

How to Talk about Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

For many men, suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) is not something you want to admit to yourself – let alone a partner. But it doesn’t, and shouldn’t have to be that way. Discussing erectile issues shouldn’t be a topic you need to shy away from, feel ashamed of or feel embarrassed by.

It’s incredibly common for many men to feel embarrassed by their erectile issues, especially when ED is often considered a problem for older men. However, research suggests that it’s not just a problem experienced by older age groups, with as many as 40% of men having experienced ED issues before they hit 40. So that blew that one out of the water!

Realising that you’re not alone with any type of erectile issue will help you to better understand it – especially when you have the loving support of your partner. So before you jump right for that little blue pill, let’s first discuss how talking about ED can help you to overcome any sexual performance anxiety or erection denial.

How to talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner

An honest and open conversation with your partner can mean everything when you feel as though you’re carrying around the worry of your erection issues. With many men preferring to keep their ED worries to themselves, what may feel like a personal problem can quickly become a shared one when it impacts your sex life.

But first thing’s first, how do you even find the right words to broach the topic?

It doesn’t have to be a scary sit-down conversation. But at the same time, it might not be one for while you’re doing the weekly shop, either.

We’ve got some quick tips for talking to your partner about ED.

It’s totally natural to feel nervous. Sure, they’re your partner, but discussing a topic that feels very personal can kick up some nervous feelings. If you don’t want to dive right into the topic of erectile dysfunction, simply start talking about your sex life. Work your way up to what you’ve been feeling – the chances are, your partner will have already noticed you haven’t been yourself in (and out of) the bedroom.

Try not to start on the defensive. Instead, try to be as honest and open about your erectile issues as you can. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t occur because you’re no longer turned on by your partner. This leads us to our next point…

Don’t blame yourself. Erectile dysfunction isn’t your fault, nor is it your partner’s. While sex certainly isn’t the sole driver of a relationship, physical intimacy and emotional intimacy can go hand in hand to equal a healthy relationship. ED is a medical condition and is no reflection on your male status (despite what you may think!).

Share the details. Trust us, it’ll help! There’s no need to be embarrassed about what you’ve been experiencing, and there’s no point being in denial about your erection. Your partner can’t help without knowing what has been going on, so don’t hold back.

Wondering how to help your partner with erectile dysfunction?

If your boyfriend or husband has ED and you’re wondering how to help them, we’ve also got some tips for your side of the discussion, too.

Let your partner speak. It takes a lot of courage to even start a conversation about erectile worries, so give them the chance to explain at their own pace.

Ask questions. While we don’t encourage a quick-fire round (this isn’t a quiz!), be patient with your partner and ask questions. Uncovering how they are feeling about their erectile issues is half the battle for overcoming it as a couple.

Don’t encourage blame-taking. While you may be inwardly panicking a little that your boyfriend or husband has ED, it isn’t anyone’s fault. ED doesn’t occur because they are not turned on enough. So although a sex toy shopping spree may sound fun, it won’t fix the problem.

Remember, ED is treatable. Consider erectile dysfunction a mere speed bump, rather than a total relationship crisis.

Tips to take away regarding ED

Whether you’re suffering from erectile issues yourself or you’re worried your husband has ED and how to cope, there are several lessons to be learned here.

Firstly, and most importantly – ED is treatable. So, no, it isn’t the end of the world.

Erectile dysfunction is far more common than you think. Just because your male friends aren’t talking about it, doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced it too. The stigma surrounding ED is one that should very much be left in the past. There’s just no room for it!

Remember, talking to your partner about ED doesn’t have to feel daunting. Reassurance and support can go a long way to helping you seek treatment. While there may not be a template or script to follow for how to talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner, just remember, take your time. The best advice we can give is to be open and honest with your partner, without assigning blame or making excuses.

While the topic of ED may feel like a horrible one to broach, you’re going to feel ten times better afterwards!

So, how can you treat erectile dysfunction?

Whether you’ve been suffering from ED long term or have recently noticed a change, the first step is opening up to your partner. A problem halved and all that…

But in all seriousness, talking to your partner about ED will make you realise you’re not alone. If you’ve recently changed or started a new medication, it may be worth speaking to your GP as it could be a common side effect.

Sexual performance anxiety can often be a deep-rooted problem, so it could be worth speaking to a therapist to discuss any concerns you may have. Don’t jump back in the sack right away. Instead, focus on other stuff in the bedroom, such as massage, and ramp it up gradually.