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A Simple Guide To Discussing Erectile Dysfunction With Your Partner

His Clinic · February 14, 2019

Your parents giving you the “birds and the bees” talk, asking your boss for a pay rise, breaking up with someone… There are a lot of awkward discussions we will have to have throughout our lives, and it’s easy to imagine discussing erectile dysfunction with your partner would be at the top of this list, but this doesn’t have to be the case. 

While it can be disheartening to be in the mood for some loving and have your night end in an anticlimax, rather than a climax, erectile dysfunction is more a speed bump than a stop sign in your relationship. So how do you overcome this hurdle and confidently discuss erectile issues with your partner?

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction

Be vocal


Erectile dysfunction can seem like an incredibly daunting thing to discuss with your partner, but try to keep in mind that problems in the bedroom are problems faced by a couple, not an individual, so you’re not in this alone. Don’t forget that your body isn’t a variety of parts functioning independently, but rather a highly evolved unit, so keeping issues with getting and maintaining an erection to yourself, and subsequently stressing about it, can exacerbate the problem. Instead, keep the lines of communication with your partner open and clear, and have a frank discussion about the trouble you may be having. Have a chat about external stressors in your life, things that may have changed since last time you had sex and how you feel about what’s happening. Making jokes about your problem can bring levity to the situation, as long as your discussion is anchored in how you are both feeling and how you can overcome the issue.

Be loving


Reassure your partner that you are still attracted to them and your issue is nothing to do with them. There are a myriad reasons you could be experiencing erectile dysfunction so it can be helpful to relay this to your partner, along with reaffirming that you are still turned on by them. Remind them as well that this is just a temporary situation as there are various treatments for erectile dysfunction and the solution could be as simple as making some small lifestyle changes.

Be pragmatic


One in four men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, so you are not alone in your issues. It can be helpful to remind your partner of this and again, reassure them that erectile dysfunction is a treatable disorder. Once you’re both on the same page you can tackle the issue as a united front.

If your partner is experiencing erectile dysfunction

Be empathetic


A man’s erection can be intimately tied to his self image, keep this in mind and be as loving and comforting as you can when discussing erectile dysfunction. Don’t make jokes at his expense, but instead maintain eye contact and incorporate physical touch into your conversation to be as reassuring and loving as possible. It is unlikely that your partner’s erection is the primary reason you are together. Remind them of all the reasons you are together such as your shared hobbies, common interests and your favourite parts of their personality.

Be informed


Do your research. Gain a good understanding of all the emotional, physical and lifestyle factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction and also have a look at what sort of treatments are available. This will both reassure you that erectile dysfunction isn’t the end of the world and will also give you the tools to comfort your partner when they feel particularly down about it.

Be clothed


Naked in bed is neither the time nor place to be discussing any issues your partner may be having with erectile dysfunction as you will be too close to the problem. Either get dressed and relocate to a more appropriate room in the house, or reassure them that you are understanding of the situation and then wait until the next day to open up a proper discussion.

Erectile dysfunction can definitely put a damper on an evening, but it doesn’t have to cause damage to your relationship, long term. Ensuring that you can speak openly to your partner about erectile issues, being clear in your communication and reaffirming how much you care about one another can be the simple first steps towards seeking treatment and getting back on track with your sex life.


Learn more about E.D.

Studies have highlighted a link between Erectile Dysfunction and Depression, read more about the causes, risk factors and diagnosing depression. 


Reasonable care has been taken to provide accurate information at the time of creation but this is for informational purposes only.

This information is not intended to substitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to manage or diagnose a medical condition.

This information is not intended for use in an emergency. If you are suffering an acute illness, overdose, or emergency condition, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance

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