Jun 2, 2018

6 Ways To Help Your Partner with Erectile Dysfunction

If you went looking for this article on how to help your partner with erectile dysfunction, your man suffers with erectile dysfunction (ED), and you want to know how to best support him.

First of all, I want you to know that this is a very common issue in relationship. ED is something the majority of men over the age of 25 struggle with, at least intermittently.

Second, thank you.

This shit isn’t easy for guys. Having a partner who responds with love, support, and seeking out positive strategies is sincerely a remarkable gift.

How the partner handles it makes a huge difference. I’ve heard countless stories from gun-shy, nervous men who have been shamed, blamed, and made fun of by past and present partners for not being able to get it up. And it’s not something they’ll ever forget. Because all that response does is build tension and fear in him, which only makes him spiral into his mind, avoid sex, and ultimately makes the problem much worse. 

So, how can you do things differently? What steps can you take to support him?

Without further ado, here are six tips for helping your man through erectile dysfunction.

1. Don’t take it personally

It’s not about you. Don’t go on a head-trip worrying about what you did wrong, or whether or not you turn him on. The voices might be saying something like:

“He’s not attracted/in to me…”

“He’s bored with me…”

“I’m not sexy enough for him…”

“He thinks my (whatever you judge most about yourself) is gross and he’s just not willing to say it…”

In reality, this is rarely ever the case. If he’s with you, he’s with you for a reason. In fact, it’s more often the case that he so badly wants to get it up/is so attracted to you, that this intention overshadows his ability to relax and be in his body.

Simply put, if your partner is between the ages of 20-60, intermittent erectile dysfunction usually comes down to high stress levels.

Indulging in your own insecurities, while he’s neck deep in his, creates two triggered people who are (at best) silently caught up in their stories, and (at worst) lashing out at each other and making each other wrong to mask their pain. This sets up an incredibly volatile situation where neither person is able to hold space for the other, or truly listen, usually resulting in mutually hurt feelings and disconnection.

Whether it’s the right thing to do or not, men invest so much personal stock in their ability to please their partner and perform in the bedroom. We’re raised to believe that our worth comes from what we do, rather than who we are. Not being able to get it up makes us feel inadequate, like we’ve failed at the one thing we should be able to do – help make you happy. 

Since sexuality is the most vulnerable and intimate arena of our lives, erectile issues can trip our deepest core wounds around self-worth and lovability. As you’ve probably noticed, we can get very sensitive, melancholy, or even defensive when this comes up (or, rather, when it doesn’t come up). 

Do your best to remember this in the moment. Set your story aside and get curious about his thoughts and feelings. Men aren’t exactly notorious for their emotional literacy, so it may take him some time. Stay relaxed, and…

2. Be supportive and loving

Empathy is the most crucial tool you can deploy here.

If he can’t get hard, respond with affection, patience, and understanding. Deep down, in that moment, he’s secretly worrying about upsetting you and negatively affecting what you think of him. 

In truth, he might fear that you resent him. That you are dissatisfied with him. That you’re thinking of leaving him for someone who can get it up flawlessly, 100% of the time.

You can combat that knee-jerk emotional reflex by gently expressing unconditional love. 

“That’s okay baby, I don’t care, I just like being naked with you…”

“I don’t know what your busy mind is conjuring up for you right now, but I want you to know that I’m not upset with you in the slightest, and I love you so much.”

In this situation, very few guys are ever met with such total acceptance and positivity. And even when they are, they may have trouble actually receiving it and feeling it. Our most vulnerable and sensitive moments are opportunities for deep healing. This would definitely be one of them. So being loved through his erectile issues may even help solve the problem.

The value of being able to swap out the fear based internal dialogue of, “Wow, I must really be a worthless piece of shit if I can’t do the only thing that my partner expects of me,” with the real-time, auditory feedback of, “I love you… you’re safe… there’s nothing to do or fix right now. I just want to be here with you,” can not be overstated.

So at the very least, it will massively diminish any sense of insecurity and concern around the issue. 

Be kind. Be present with him. Chill out for a minute. Then switch it up from a place of love and exploration, rather than trying to fix or repair something.

(Side note: if you really want to love men in the way that they deeply crave to be loved, I can’t recommend checking this out strongly enough)

3. Find other ways to connect

Sex is a primary way men connect emotionally with their partner. Feeling like that means of connection has been undermined or sabotaged can be incredibly frustrating. This can bring up sadness and/or anger for the ED sufferer. 

An erection is part of sex, but it’s definitely not everything. Find other ways to be with him in the moment. For example:

– Lay on him and softly caress his arms and chest

– Cuddle

– Kiss

– Do oral anyways. Not in an attempt to make it hard, just to let him feel some pleasure and receive your energy (he may be a little too sensitive and stuck in his head to enjoy this, but encourage him to breathe and simply receive whatever pleasure he feels)

– Ask him to go down on you for a while

– Do some of the tips/techniques/exercises laid out in this article

– or…

4. Talk about it

It’s nice to take initiative and try creative solutions, but it’s usually best for both of you if you don’t play any guessing games.

Ask him if he needs anything from you, or how you can help him relax. He may just want to voice what’s on his mind, cuddle, or distract himself from sex a little altogether. 

If you’re having feelings of unworthiness or frustration come up in response to him not getting it up, it might be best to save that conversation for another time – outside the bedroom (and by another time I don’t mean let it silently simmer for several days… but rather, mention it to him an hour later and just reality check your fears with him. “I know this probably isn’t true, but I’m having a hard time not making what happened mean something about me. You still find me attractive right? I’m just making sure”).

The primary thing most guys will be feeling in this situation is shame. It’s a very sensitive place to be. This is the time to help him work his way out of it, not risk pushing him further into it.

In such a delicate place, he might tend to make your message mean that he’s a burden, or wrong in some way, for having this issue. If he’s preoccupied with that, he won’t have the capacity to fully hear you out and give the conversation the attention it deserves.

Use some non-sexual leisure time to broach the subject and voice your feelings. Don’t point the finger, simply state your inner dialogue and ask for support. Maybe you need him to assure you he loves you, or perhaps you want him to consider a mutual solution (like 69’ing, mutual masturbation, or him going down on you).

5. Encourage him to be proactive with his health

Due to rampant cortisol levels, erectile dysfunction can be exacerbated by unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, eating high amounts of processed foods, or lack of exercise.

So if your partner smokes or drinks, encourage him to break these habits. If he rarely/never exercises, start making date nights around sharing physical exercise together.

Ultimately, what is good for his heart health is good for his penile health. And what is good for his health is good for your shared sex life.

Besides, if he is carrying excess stress in his body, regular exercise will not only make his overall cardiovascular health better, it will also make his mind healthier.

In other words, he’ll be less prone to getting anxious about performing in the first place, and when his penis doesn’t rise to the occasion, he’ll be less likely to get down on himself about it since his mind will be more relaxed to begin with.

6. Formulate a plan

Ask him what he wants if it happens again in the future. What would make him feel good and at ease about the situation?

Some guys might want to talk, while others might want to just focus on pleasuring you. Another may want to exchange massages for a while.

Because anything to do with sexuality is such a layered issue, everyone will be different. But only they can know and speak for themselves. It’s possible he won’t have any ideas, and feel a bit lost. Just lay with him, or ask if you can experiment a little bit. 

Let him know that you’re always open to trying something, and it would make you happy to know if there’s anything you can do. 

In the end, know that you’re an amazing partner, and you are not alone. Millions of couples around the world deal with ED every single day.

In conclusion, stay open and be patient. The solutions will fall into place in time.

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

Ps. If you enjoyed this article on how to help your partner with erectile dysfunction, you will also love checking out:

Inside The Male Mind (video series for women)

Supercharge Your Sex Life (a video series for men that specifically helps them overcome erectile dysfunction and sexual performance anxiety)

33 Ways For Men To Have Amazing Sex Without An Erection

5 Questions To Ask Your Partner For Better Sex

10 Questions To Ask To Go Deep In Your Relationship

Blog

Related

See All
The 3 Biggest Things I Learned From My First Sex Party
Jun 13, 2015
Jordan Gray
The 3 Biggest Things I Learned From My First Sex Party
Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and seeing dozens of people having sex with each other? Well, until last year, I hadn’t. My heart was pounding on the way to the venue. My girlfriend (at the time) and I made small talk with our cab driver to take our minds off of the fact...
Continue Reading
7 Things To Do If You Have A Higher Sex Drive Than Your Partner
Feb 16, 2020
Jordan Gray
7 Things To Do If You Have A Higher Sex Drive Than Your Partner
Many couples struggle with reconciling large imbalances in their sex drives. Often the man is stereotyped with having a much higher libido. But sometimes it can be the woman. And it’s also not a static thing where each person just stays “that way” forever. It’s common for the sexual energy to ebb and...
Continue Reading
How To Get Your Partner To Be More Adventurous In Bed
Oct 26, 2014
Jordan Gray
How To Get Your Partner To Be More Adventurous In Bed
This question has been asked of me nearly ten times in the past week, so I’m taking it as a sign. “My partner is excruciatingly vanilla in the bedroom… how do I change that? “She talked a big game before we ever slept together, but she’s really tame when it comes down to it. Any way to steer...
Continue Reading
7 Things You Can Do To Make Him Blissfully Happy In Bed
Apr 23, 2020
Jordan Gray
7 Things You Can Do To Make Him Blissfully Happy In Bed
Newsflash: men are not the simple neanderthals that most mainstream media would try and have you believe they are. Men are complex. They have unique fears, desires, and cravings. In this article, I'm going to go into the top seven things that you can do to make him feel deeply satisfied with your...
Continue Reading
Ejaculating Too Frequently Is Wasting Your Potential In Life
Jul 4, 2019
Jordan Gray
Ejaculating Too Frequently Is Wasting Your Potential In Life
Ejaculating isn't bad. Engaging in regular self-pleasure isn't bad. At all. Anyone who has read my writing long enough will know that I’m a shout-from-the-mountaintops kind of champion for engaging in a regular self-pleasure practice. But. Particularly for men, there are healthy and unhealthy limits....
Continue Reading
Kinky Sex: 5 Reasons You Should Try It
Aug 12, 2014
Jordan Gray
Kinky Sex: 5 Reasons You Should Try It
While there is a deep sense of comfort and companionship in the day to day habits of a long-term relationship’s sexual routine, sometimes a predictable sex life needs to be shaken up. While purists may roll their eyes at the unexceptional writing quality and repetitive dialogue in the literature, the...
Continue Reading