What I have learned in working with men, and their partners, who are facing erectile challenges is that talking about it, with a partner or healthcare provider, can feel awkward, vulnerable, and embarrassing. Additionally, I have learned that without open, honest, and vulnerable conversation, both will likely get caught up in negative thought loops that can erode relational intimacy.
In the early phases of erectile changes, the man often tries to hide his struggle by avoiding sexual engagement, which often progresses into avoiding physical engagement like kissing, hugging, or cuddling due to negative thoughts like:
“I don’t want to get anything started I can’t finish”
“What if I can’t get an erection, or if I lose it too soon?”
“Remember last time? I was so embarrassed”
“What will my partner think of me?”
His partner may be wondering why he no longer is touching or reaching for physical and sexual connection. Those negative thought loops might sound like:
“He no longer finds me desirable”
“Has he fallen out of love with me?”
“Is he interested in someone else?”.
He is not avoiding these connections because he does not still long for them. He is avoiding them because he feels ashamed and he has intrusive thoughts about what the loss of erection means…as a man in this world, and to his partner.
Check back here tomorrow and let’s talk about how to get the conversation started..
If you have questions in the mean time, feel free to schedule a call, I’d love to help you with these conversations.