One in three men aged 40 years and above suffer from some degree of ED, according to a study published in the Turkish Journal of Urology. While ED is one of the most common medical conditions in the world, it is also one of the least talked about, both by those who suffer from it and the society in general. Many men feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about ED with their partners and end up living in denial or trying to cover it up instead of facing it head-on. They fear that they may get judged by their partners or even end up losing them as a result, especially if the relationship is still new.
You need to talk about it as early as possible in your relationship to avoid complications later. Being able to talk openly about your condition is extremely important if you want to have a healthy, satisfying, and long-lasting relationship. Sex is not the only thing that matters in your relationship, but it plays a vital role in maintaining emotional intimacy. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you need to find a way to get past the initial awkwardness and embarrassment so that you can find a way forward together.
Choose the right time and place
Talking about ED with a new partner can be extremely uncomfortable for both of you, which is why you need to do it at the right time and place. Ideally, you should talk about the issue long before becoming sexually intimate. The last thing you want is your partner to find out about your condition after discovering a container full of blue pills in your medicine cabinet or, even worse, when it gets in your way as you are attempting to have sex. However, if it happens like that, it’s better to start the discussion immediately rather than let the disappointment and frustration grow. At the same time, you must not rush or force this conversation. If both of you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, there’s nothing wrong with waiting till the time feels right. This is a conversation that will require both of you to be present and active, so wait until the perfect opportunity arrives.
The place you choose to have the conversation also matters a lot. Noisy buses, public places, or dinner parties are definitely not ideal for such a conversation. Choose a private place where you and your partner feel comfortable, ideally far from the bedroom. Make sure you have enough time to talk about everything you both need to, and enough space for each to be alone if that’s necessary.
Go into the details
After choosing the perfect place and time to have the conversation, the next step is to explain to your partner what’s going on truthfully and clearly. If you are struggling to start the conversation, it may be helpful to start by acknowledging that the subject is embarrassing for you. If you don’t feel ready to dive right in, you can start by having a general conversation about your sex life and gradually work your way up to the ED topic. As you talk about it, make sure you are using words that your partner understands. Euphemisms can make the conversation less embarrassing, but avoid obscure phrases that your partner may not understand.
Don’t approach the conversation on the defensive; ED is not a sign of weakness, but a medical condition that can affect anyone. As such, be open about your feelings and share all the details you know. Try to explain what usually happens when you experience ED so that your partner can understand the challenges you’re facing and help you deal with them. Give them time to process the information and ask any questions they may have; ED is a difficult topic to understand especially for those who’ve never experienced it, so you can expect your partner to have a lot of questions about it. You can ask your doctor to give you literature on ED to share with your partner as well as use various online resources to help them better understand your condition.
As you are talking about your condition with your partner, you may find that they already knew about it and were unsure how to bring it up. You may even find out that your issues have taken a psychological toll on them as well; if you haven’t been honest about the cause of the problem, your partner may be thinking that it’s their fault – that maybe you no longer find them attractive. If that’s the case, you need to reassure them that it’s a medical condition that’s causing the problem and not them.
Find ways to deal with it together
Once your partner knows what you are dealing with and is willing to stick around, the next step is to find a way forward together. Just like many other medical conditions, ED can be treated with the right approach. Any man who has ED can go back to getting and maintaining erections; it’s just a matter of following the right treatment procedures. You can start by going to the doctor’s appointments together. Your partner will be a great source of moral support during your medical appointments, and they might learn a few things that might help you during the treatment process.
It might also be a good idea to take sex off the menu for a while. Without sex, there’s no pressure to perform, and this makes it easier to have fun with your partner and enjoy each other’s company. For now, you can focus on other things in bed, such as massage or just having deep conversations to help you build up your intimacy levels. During this period, you can also see a sex therapist together to learn alternative techniques of receiving sexual pleasure so that you can slowly get your sex life back on track.
As difficult as it is to admit your struggles with ED to a new partner, talking about it can be transformative for your relationship. By admitting your difficulties, you’ll be taking the psychological weight off your shoulders which may help you relieve the stress that may be contributing to your ED. You probably won’t experience a complete reversal of your ED after telling your partner about it, but the relief it gives you will make it easier for you to resolve your erectile issues and restore your sexual relationship with your partner.