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Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction in a New Relationship

by Mara Sampson, Sponsored Post

“When it doesn't work you challenge all aspects of your ego, your self-worth.” - Dr. Irwin Goldstein on erectile dysfunction.


Did you know that 30 million men in the US suffer from erectile dysfunction at some stage or another? So, if your partner has been ‘man down’, he’s not alone. But he may feel like he is, and ED is something that can take a heavy toll on even the strongest relationship.


It’s completely normal for a man to lose his erection now and then, and the situation can be exacerbated by alcohol, stress, anxiety, a medical condition, and a myriad of other factors. Whatever causes it, there’s one common denominator. Erectile dysfunction does NOT have to spell the end of your relationship, nor does it have to kill intimacy. Here’s how you can tackle the subject of ED and get over the hurdle of a penis that refuses to rise to the occasion.


YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Eating healthily is good for everything, including promoting a healthy sex life. Take a look at your partner’s diet and see if there’s anything you can improve upon to make it healthier. You can do this together and come up with plans for a balanced diet that you can both benefit from. This reinforces the feeling of being a team that can tackle any challenge.


Certain foods can boost erections, such as watermelon, leafy greens, dark chocolate, salmon, almonds, oranges, and blueberries. Maybe it’s time to pack a sexy picnic and feast together on these delicious foods. Caffeine is another way to encourage better erections, so there’s a great excuse to enjoy a few cups of tea and coffee together.


EXERCISE CAN LEAD TO BETTER SEXERCISE

Exercise has so many proven benefits for mood and well-being, but it can also be a great help in managing erectile dysfunction. Any form of aerobic exercise can lead to improvement. You could even go for brisk walks together. Aim for 30 minutes a day, 3 to 4 times per week.


There are also specific exercises that can help to restore erectile function. Hip hinge exercises like pelvic curls and bridges target the pelvic floor, putting pressure on blood vessels in the penis and boosting the blood flow that leads to a sustained erection. That’s right, girls, those kegel exercises aren’t just good for us!


CATCH UP ON YOUR ZZZ’S

If your man isn’t sleeping well at night, this can lead to poor circulation and lower testosterone levels. It makes sense that if you’re tired, you’re not going to be in the mood for sex.


Sometimes, small things lead to a poor night’s sleep, and it may be a simple case of changing up uncomfortable pillows or swapping out a too-hot duvet to ensure your partner gets a good night’s rest.


You should also aim for earlier bedtimes and fewer distractions in the bedroom that might disrupt a good night’s rest. Ditch the TV and smartphone and cuddle up instead. Who knows, a cuddle may be all that’s needed to get things going, and you’ll both sleep even better afterward!


Some men also find that they are better able to perform sexually in the morning after some shut-eye. Not a bad way to start the day, right?


DON’T STRESS ABOUT IT

Stress is a mood killer and it’s an erection killer too. Unfortunately, stress is part of life, but trying to manage it through lifestyle factors will have many benefits for you both. Find ways to relax and unwind together and do things you enjoy. Try and plan at least one fun and stress-relieving activity together weekly. It will give you something to look forward to and is great for bonding.


Even if you’ve been together for years, you should never stop dating. Take turns planning special outings and moments for romance and forget about your day-to-day stress for a bit. Forgetting about ED for a while is also a good idea. Just let go and enjoy each other’s company, you never know what will rise to the occasion when you're not thinking about it!

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TALK IT OUT

Couples counseling or sex therapy can be a great way to unpack any underlying issues that may be affecting your sex life. This is a safe space to address any concerns or experiences that could be negatively impacting your relationship. Keeping the lines of communication open and sharing, whilst being supportive, is the best way to move forward.


Make sure your partner feels heard and supported. He might be embarrassed, angry, or emotional about the fact that he is struggling with erectile dysfunction. Take the time to reassure him that you’re on this journey together, and find other ways to promote intimacy.


EXPLORE YOUR MEDICAL OPTIONS

With so many men suffering from erectile dysfunction, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of safe prescription ED drugs available that treat the condition. Encourage your partner to talk to their doctor to explore the available options and see if there’s a treatment they can try.


They may feel shy about broaching the subject, so you can offer to go with them, or suggest they do an online consultation. Approaching the matter factually and from a medical perspective will also make them feel better about the situation, as they’ll see just how common it is.


DITCH THE DRINKS

You may think that alcohol turns up the heat and makes you feel less inhibited or sexy. However, a few drinks can also dial down your man’s erection and impact his performance.


Cutting back on or limiting alcohol consumption can have significant benefits for managing erectile dysfunction. It can also help men to last longer in bed. Alcohol affects the messengers in the brain, responsible for maintaining and sustaining an erection. Plus, alcohol can also reduce the production of testosterone. If you’re planning on a big night in, try to stick to a drink or two and choose drinks that are lighter in alcohol content.


TRY SOMETHING NEW

Perhaps you and your partner feel the need to spice things up in the bedroom department. If nothing else, you can have a bit of fun and experiment with things that might be enjoyable for both of you. Save the routine for life outside the bedroom. Again, sharing ideas and fantasies is an opportunity for bonding, and might just be the boost your man needs.


It might seem obvious or counterproductive, but don’t stop having sex or trying to have sex. It’s vital that your man still feels desired and that you haven’t lost interest in him. Just don’t force the issue or try too hard as this can add extra pressure to the situation. And pressure is the enemy. Go slow, take it easy and relax and have fun. Do you know the saying, practice makes perfect? It applies here too!


MOVING ON FROM ED

Whether it’s a short-term issue or one that may be around for good, erectile dysfunction is not the end. Open the lines of communication, help your partner in whatever way works for you, and don’t play the blame game. It’s important to support each other and avoid forcing your partner into doing things that can frustrate him further. ED can happen to anyone, even those couples with a healthy and active sex life. It’s how you deal with it together that counts.

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