2 Steps to End Erectile Dysfunction without Viagra
There are so many crazy ideas out there about who we as men are supposed to be and even more distorted ideas about how we are supposed to be sexually.
At the same time, there is an amazing number of us that are really suffering when it comes to having sex. We are suffering because we cannot get it up or we come too soon or we simply don’t find pleasure in sex. The list goes on.
We think there is something wrong with us that we are having these issues. We see ourselves as less of a man. And often we think, perhaps we need to take Viagra to compensate. But the reality is that there is usually emotional issues that are happening for a man that are causing these complications. If you can address those emotional realities, things can change and you can return to really enjoying sex, without having to rely on medications or even alcohol.
If you are like me, you were taught that:
Real men want to have sex most all the time.
Real men can get hard and stay hard whenever we need to.
Real men can have intercourse for long periods of time.
Most Importantly: Real men don’t have emotional needs & insecurities when it comes to sex.
And woman learn that if a man loses his erection it is because he is not attracted to you.
All of these things are not true and they lead to a lot of suffering for all of us. So I want to give you two things that you can do to turn things around and get you to enjoying sex more than ever.
Step 1: Know Thy Self
You need to come to know what it is that is happening for you that is the underlying problem. Take the space to think about why you are getting triggered. What is happening in that moment that you are not getting an erection. Really imagine yourself in that moment with your lover and notice what is occuring for you in your thoughts and feelings. Are you feeling a bit insecure, scared, or perhaps emotionally disconnected from your partner? Are you worried she isn’t enjoying herself enough? Or that you have too much of a belly? Perhaps that your penis is a little too small? Maybe your partner coming on too strong and not giving you space to get in touch with your own sexual desire? Do you feel inadequate in any way at all? Perhaps you feel like your partner has all the strength in the relationship. Think about the variety of things that might be causing you to feel emotionally unsafe in that moment and thus not feeling like a powerful man that wants to make love to his adoring partner.
If you need help with this process you can start with a journal. Just writing it down often really helps the thoughts flow out. If you have a friend with whom you feel safe, go and talk to them. Find out what their experience is like. This takes courage, but it helps so much for us to explore what is happening for ourselves with another person and I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a man that doesn’t share similar concerns.
This is where a therapist really comes in handy. A good therapist has a lot of experience about what comes up for men in those moments and thus can help follow the path to what’s really going on for you. Ideally, you can use your partner for this exploration, but usually the insecurities that are preventing us from getting an erection at that moment or coming too soon will also prevent us from being honest with our partner. Whatever the secret is, we have to start by telling it to ourself. Once we know it, we can go to the much harder step of sharing it with our partner.
Step 2: Optimizing your Team
Google recently did a multi-year study into what makes some of their teams effective while others fail. They confirmed that the single factor that distinguishes these teams is the level of psychological or emotional safety that people feel within in the group. When everyone feels this safety, they are free to take risks and communicate around problems. Impasses are easily overcome due to the ease of the collaboration.
Typically a man who can’t get an erection or comes quickly lacks this “psych safety.” The first step in creating a more optimum team is the aforementioned process of coming to know what emotional factors are at play for you. The second is working on them within the team. If you are feeling insecure or emotionally unsafe with your partner, there is very little chance of creating safety without talking to your partner.
I have guided many men and couples through this process, and it is scary for every one of them. It is really terrifying to bring our insecurities to our partners when it is their disappointment that is concerning us. We think as men that our partners want us to be emotionally confident and that they find our insecure shakey sides pathetic, but the reality is that most women actually really want to know our inner world and be there for us in our insecurities. We as men reject our own weaknesses so much of the time and we think that women do too, but the reality is, if you share it with your partner, the vast majority of women are going to love you more. We all have a part of us that feels insecure and little and worried that we are not good enough. It takes real strength to share our vulnerabilties and it is that true strength that is deeply attractive.
If we have the power and the courage in our self to share these truths with our partner, it creates a deep sense of intimacy. With that comes a sense of trust. Then, when you are in bed making love to your partner, you are not scared about that insecurity coming up. You can even share it in the moment by saying, “Oh, I am starting to get scared and worried I am not going to be able to get it up for you again.” You can feel her love and reassurance there with you in a way that can allow you to feel much more comfortable.
When you see a person who is doing a public speaking appearance and they are scared and trembling, their efforts to try to not be scared just make it worse and their discomfort becomes more and more obvious. That person is denying their insecurity and nervousness and thus it gets stronger.
And perhaps you have seen other public speakers who are obviously nervous, but they say it. They say, “Wow, I am really nervous. This is a scary thing talking to all of you.” They acknowledge their fear and they quickly move past it. They quickly move into what they are doing and forget about that nervousness because they didn’t have to spend lots of energy and attention trying to suppress it.
When we try not to feel scared, we feel really scared. When we try not to lose our erection, we lose our erection. When we do not worry so much about whether or not we have an erection then it will come, but we have to presence that emotional insecurity that is happening for us.
Perhaps the emotional knot that you need to share with your partner is not just about your insecurities. Maybe it is also something about what they are doing that you feel scared to tell them. This is a hard situation, so I want to give you one thing that you can do in this moment to share with your partner.
How to Actually Do This
If you are like most of us and feel scared to share whatever is going on for you, start by going to them and simply ask to be listened to. Ask them for the space. Ask them if they are willing to just listen to you. Tell them you have something you want to work out and you would like their attention. Ask them look at you while you get it out. If they are not able to be present for you at that time you can arrange another time when they will be available. By enlisting their attention and their support in this way, they will be able to hear you in a different way than had you just caught them at the dinner table.
Once they are listening, go ahead and share what is going on for you. It is terrifying, obviously, to share these kinds of things. Whether or not it is your insecurity about being enough of a man for them or whether or not it is something about them you are not attracted to, but the reality is that they probably feel it already and by talking about it, it will be relieving to both of you.
It still shocks me how profoundly relieving it is just to be able to talk about some previously unspoken feeling. When it can become something that can be discussed, it can be worked through and ultimately even laughed about. The heaviness of the issue gets lost and it is no longer such a fixture within the relationship.
Give yourself the space to really talk. You may be inclined to stop yourself after a couple of sentences, but let yourself be quiet for even a minute and think what else you could share. Feel how terrifying it is and even speak to your fear of sharing openly. Tell them what you are worried will happen if you are honest. What takes real strength in life is not being a big tough guy, it is showing our vulnerability and weakness. The other option is to live behind a veil, never really telling the person with whom you are closest what is happening for you and living a life that is something of a lie.
Real honesty leads to profound love making. When you can really be comfortable in yourself and your partner knows everything about you and you know everything about them, there is a sense of safety and connection that leads to fabulous sex and a deep sense of satisfaction, but it takes facing our fears and engaging our partners with our deepest insecurities and doubts.
Sexual dysfunctions are a horrific experience that obviously take one of life’s greatest joys out of the mix. Yes, Viagra and even alcohol and other drugs can help you bypass some of your emotional needs, but sex simply isn’t nearly as enjoyable when you are having to mask your feelings with drugs.
Fortunately you don’t have to suffer. Get in touch with what is happening for you emotionally and muster the courage to share it with your partner. Come to deeply know that part of yourself and let your lover in on the secret. It really works and will enable you to experience profound sex.
Thank you for joining me for another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood. I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Please join the conversation below. I will see you next time for another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood.
Julian Redwood, MFT