With potentially 1 in 4 men under 40 dealing with erectile dysfunction, the problem is common enough to start talking about it in the open. While it might seem like it’s increased in frequency, it could be that we’re comfortable talking about it for the first time in history. By talking about it, we can also talk about the kinds of therapy and treatment that can help to solve it.
Here are three tips when talking to your partner about erectile dysfunction.
1. Don’t Talk After Sex
When you want to deal with erectile dysfunction issues, the worst time to bring them up is right after sex. If you had a frustrating or difficult time making love, your partner could be feeling uncomfortable and want to deal with it on their own terms.
In all likelihood, this isn’t the first time you’ve dealt with sex interrupted by erectile dysfunction. While it’s a problem your partner will have to deal with, you should make sure to leave the door open to speaking.
Perhaps they may want to talk after sex. This is only tricky because the feeling might be fresh and emotions might be high. If you sense this is the case, ask to talk about it later, especially if you didn’t initiate the conversation.
2. Ask To Work Together
When you’re able to sit down with your partner to talk about their erectile dysfunction, you’re swimming in dangerous and murky waters. People are very sensitive about their ability for arousal because of its association with age, virility, or even their ego. If this could be an issue of identity, make sure your partner knows you’re listening.
Tell them you want to work together. In a relationship, every hurdle is your hurdle together, whether it’s buying a new car, picking out what’s for dinner, or issues in the bedroom. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t have to be the end of sex but could be the beginning of a new level of communication.
Read more here about how you can use therapy together.
3. Avoid Body Shaming
As we’ve learned in recent decades, body shaming cuts deep into an emotional place of a lot of people. Everyone of any gender has things they don’t like about their body or that they compare against some idealized version of. Since you might know what it’s like, be sensitive to body shaming.
If your partner has never experienced the feeling of body shame, this could be their first instance. Tread carefully, make sure you’re listening, and encourage them to be as honest as they need to be. Whether you choose a therapeutic, medical, or an intimate remedy, this is could be the beginning of something great.
Remind them of that.
Talking About Erectile Dysfunction is Good
Some people will bottle up their feelings instead of opening up about erectile dysfunction. This only serves to make the problem seem unsolvable and to frustrate both parties. Instead, talk with your partner in a loving environment to let them know you want to work on it together.
If your partner is working on rebuilding their confidence, check out our guide to working on self-confidence.