Here is the answers questions for men and their partners about how to navigate erection problems and rediscover a healthy, happy sex life.
As men age, their erectile ability decreases. In fact, sexual function starts to decline at about age 40 — so, at some point in their lives, most men will grapple with ED. Whether it’s from psychological or physical causes or a combination of both, having a successful erection — something that was likely taken for granted — can turn into a challenge.
Q: What sexual position is best for you to maintain an erection?
A: Physically, having a successful erection depends on a good blood supply to the penis. While I don’t know of any medical studies that prove which positions facilitate blood flow, common sense dictates that a position that requires a lot of acrobatics will require more blood flow and could take away blood from your erection.
Q: What are other ways for you to satisfy your partner’s need for intimacy without you having an erection?
A: We often think of sex in very limited terms. There are lots of other ways that a man can have a satisfying sexual experience and give his partner an orgasm without using his penis. An approach I call VENIS, an acronym for very erotic non-insertive sex, beckons you to use your fingers, your mouth, and, most of all, your imagination.
Q: Your partner can get an erection when he masturbates. How can we incorporate this into a couple’s activity?
A: For many men with erectile dysfunction, a mutual form of masturbation may be easier and more pleasurable than traditional sexual intercourse. Even though you are each touching yourself, enjoy the sexual energy that you can create. If looking into each other’s eyes feels awkward, try watching your partner’s hands. Not only is it incredibly sexy to watch each other during this act of pleasure, it may help you understand which techniques work best on your partner.
Q: Why is it that your partner, who has ED, is sometimes able to get an erection — for example, when we are on vacation?
A: The medical reasons for erection problems shouldn’t be discounted, but once your doctor has ruled those out, try working on the sexual environment. Choose a time to have sex where you can both feel relaxed and unhurried. Don’t rush into sex or try to have sex if either one of you is overtired or anxious. Also, don’t forget your physical surroundings. If the room is too cold and he can’t get comfortable in bed, he will have a harder time sustaining good blood flow and maintaining an erection. Try taking a hot shower together before sex to get relaxed and get his blood flowing better.
Q: Will having a couple of drinks before sex loosen up your partner and help him have an erection?
A: While one drink may relax him (and you), too much alcohol can actually cause erectile dysfunction. He should also avoid caffeine and nicotine before sex, since both of these are stimulants and constrict blood vessels, which can add to erection difficulties.
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