Erectile Dysfunction - How do you talk about this without causing upset?

Ok, I feel awful for even bringing this up - but as you are such a kind and friendly forum, I hope someone can lend a sympathetic ear and give me some advice.

Things in the bedroom between me and the Mr has become sparse. The reason being (mainly) is that with the house move and work worries, the enthusiasm has not always been there. But i'm beginning to see the problem goes way beyond that.

In the 9 and a half years we've been together, i've begun to notice that he sometimes has problems maintaining an erection - even when things would appear to be 'normal'. Whenever we were 'getting down' to it, and he lost it, I always just told him to not worry about it - it happens. For a long time, I thought it was because I just wasn't doing it for him anymore - but I always put it to the back of my mind. But now it's becoming quite frequent. I still didn't quite put 2 + 2 together until just last week.

He gave me his phone to look at some web pages he'd saved - we were looking at some decorative pieces for the place and as I was scrolling through, I noticed there was one page open that was talking about viagra and other erectile dysfunction treatments. I didn't say anything as he has the habit of getting a bit flustered if we talk about anything personal.

I have no idea how to bring this up with him. I want him to know that I will do anything for him, and make him see that it's not something to be ashamed of. I completely sympathise with him, but at the same time, I feel frustrated, and recently, when i've tried to initiate, he now just tells me he's too tired.

I really don't know what to do. Am I monster for feeling frustrated? I know it's not his fault.

Help! Please.. x

You're not a monster (assuming that's fancy dress for your wedding and you're not like that all the time).

We've been through this and it almost certainly is resolvable. The problem is that there are many causes and probably more than one is having an effect.

The first thing to rule out is physical and this requires a visit to the doctors. If there's no physical cause from the docs it doesn't mean that it's not physical, it just means that it's not diabetes, blood pressure, prostate cancer etc.

The next thing is pelvic floor. This gets weaker as you get older and needs regular exercise. There's lots of guides online for this and there are electrical devices very similar to the machine on the sex toy testers at the moment (, but with an anal rather than vaginal probe.

Then we've got psychological. This is almost a certainty. Whatever the root cause is, as soon as there's a problem, you worry about it and this causes a problem. Viagra can help with this. Take one, it all works, you know that your body works. Move down to three quarters, then a half, then a quarter, then realise you can do it without Viagra. For cheap, regulated Viagra, have a look at the list of outlets here

Then there's drugs and alcohol. I gave up everything at first (caffeine, alcohol, the lot). For me, this didn't do much, but for some this is the cause. I've stayed off alcohol though, just because I prefer not drinking.

Then there's porn. I think this affected me and I gave it up. There's a video here and lots of info here

All of these (except Viagra) take time. It could be six months before you get results and so it takes a lot of commitment. Then there's the problem of how you talk about it. I was the one who started talking, so not really coming from the same point of view, but you do need to bring this up because it will need commitment from both of you

Your not awefull at all your human and you have not had chance to asuure him, give him your oppionion or just talk to him about it.

Having said that I can understand why he feels he wants to keep it to himself. For a bloke we can feel extreemly self concoius of the fact that we may have trouble performing.

I dont fully understand the situation but I would mention that you saw the web pages on his phone. He may be flusterd and not talk straight away but once you get over that hurdle he will hopefully want to talk to you.

There are lots of ways to still have fun even if it doesnt involve penetration and you will need to reassure him in almost every aspect of your love making that he is still capable of satifying you.

Once he feels better about himself get to the doctor and get some help.

Your not alone in this and a friend of mine has had this issue for a long time.

Good luck and I hope this post helps.

Just to add that after all this it is better, but now that I know things can be improved I'm carrying on with exercises to try to get back to 18 year old me. Also the occasional half a Sildenafil (Viagra) is great for a marathon session. Overrall, I've come out the other side of this problem better than I went into it, so there is hope.

Some great tips and advice in there - much appreciated.

I was hoping that it would be something he would feel comfortable talking to me about, I mean I helped him be a bit more vocal about being intimate and getting him to open up more about what he likes etc - he wasn't 'prudish' as such, but he never liked 'talking' about sex as much as we enjoyed just having sex - but before that point, every session was the same. So as I said, I hoped that I might have made it easier for him to talk about things, but this is one issue that I guess is perhaps just a bit too embarassing for him to discuss, even though I am completely aware of what's going on.

I guess I will just have to pick a moment where he's not feeling stressed about work or something and just gently try and approach the subject. I genuinely believe that he's not suffering from a 'physical' problem because it's not all the time. I agree that he should at least maybe speak to the doctor about it, just to rule out anything - if it turns out it is psychological, then at least it gives me some guidance and will allow us to look and talk about what's going on in our lives that could be causing him undue stress and try to help him deal.

Thanks guys, really appreciate it.

And as an aside, Yes St.Hubbins - that costume was for our wedding day only :P

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and say what is on your mind. My wife and I both had fairly 'Victorian' upbringings so it took a long time for us to be able to have really frank discussions about sex. Our experience is that the straightforward talking, while sometimes hard to initiate, leads to a much better situation afterwards and, as far as I can remember no regrets.

As for the ED, its something I have had intermittent issues with for about 5 years though it is thankfully far less frequent than it has been. Work-related stress, or even some minor distraction like an unidentified noise outside has been enough to trigger the problem and once it occurs it has been almost impossible to get an erection back.

Although I now believe most of my issues have been psychological I have found pelvic floor exercises to be very helpful because they have greatly improved the firmness of my erections (which of course makes me more confident that it will last).

Having been into pegging for years we have recently also added a strapon for me to wear to our toys. Having this as a back-up (and one we both find really hot) has also helped as I no longer feel the performance pressure the way I used to. I know that if my erection fails I can still satisfy my wife which is the important thing. We have noticed that, should I be distracted and loose my erection, it now comes back quite readily which, before we adopted the strapon back-up, it almost never did.

Right, I'm never commenting on someones profile pic again. Every time I do, the pic gets changed and my comments seem either bizarre or rude.

Great new pic BTW David

LOL I didn't change it because of that ;)

It happens. Try viagra, it does help [but get the proper stuff from a doctor or chemist, not on-line]

You have been together 9-years so communication should not be a problem. Or just buy it for him?

Best of luck x

I can relate to the being able to have but not being able to talk about sex. In my case its just stupid male pride and it infuriates my wife when I wont talk or ask for help.

Sthubbins has first hand experience and his advice is worth more because of it.

David, my guy also suffers with this, on and off. At the moment I would say it is arounf 5-10% of the time and I feel the same as you, that it can be frustrating (Especially if it happens a lot) I don't think we are monsters for feeling that way. We just want to connect and love with our partner and it isn't happening. With my guy it is all psychological and when it happens once, I can almost guarantee it will happen for the next week or so as he works himself into such a stress and upset about it and I just feel upset and embarrassed for him. To be fair, he knows I understand because I suffer from, what we like to call, the female equivilent....sometimes he just cannot make me orgasm no matter how hard he tries and the more it is on my mind the harder it is and then I go through a period of time not being able to orgasm and we both get frustrated about that too! We go through these little blips of time, sometimes a few days, sometimes months and oh it is so frustrating for both partners. He feels like it is his fault when he cannot please me (Which puts more pressure on me) and I get upset when it has been weeks and he is still suffering with his issue and we can't play together. We talk about it a lot and it often resolves when we just take a step back, forget about sex for a while and just concentrate on connection, touching, kissing and not pressuring ourselves. I would not be without him and I do not see him as a failure but I know I think that of myself and he of himself as we beat ourselves up.

Stu gave the advice I would have given. As for approaching him, have you tried maybe writing him a letter or email, to give him time to think about a reply, rather than a face to face convo that might make him close up in shame or fear of his issue? This way, you can also vocalise what you need to say clearly and with much more time to think about how to word things.

I can't say I know much about it due to limited experience and being female, but StHubbins advice seemed very well thought through.

As for speaking to him, I'd say do it when you can have physical closeness with each other, when you're sat next to each other or lying in bed, rather than from across the kitchen or table etc. It can help conversations seems less intimidating. Try not to be hurt by the fact he hasn't told you - he may be having just as much a dilemma about how to bring it up as you are, and as with most difficult conversations the more you stew on it the harder it gets. Pre plan what to say, and bite the bullet, and I wish you both the best of luck :)


This is why I am so proud to call myself a member of the LH community. No judgement, Just solid, friendly sound advice.

I'm not going to jump on him straight away, i'm going to give it a few days (as we've still got a lot going on this week) but I will definitely initiate a conversation in a gentle and tactile way.

Once again, thanks for all the great advice xx

Janny wrote:

It happens. Try viagra, it does help [but get the proper stuff from a doctor or chemist, not on-line]

You have been together 9-years so communication should not be a problem. Or just buy it for him?

Best of luck x

Viagra's patent ran out in June. I paid £26 for four Viagra tablets when I initially got them prescribed. Now I can use a prescription from my doctor (he's happy to prescribe as long as I'm still healthy) and use an online pharmacy that's registered with and approved by the General Medical Council to get 16 tablets of Sildenafil for £25. Sildenafil is Viagra - the prescription from the GP even says Sildenafil. If you're unsure then ask your GP.

Certainly don't use an unregistered online pharmacy, but I've tried Viagra and I've tried Sildenafil from Dr Fox and actually prefer the Sildenafil because it's created to split into four (I typically take a quarter) whereas Viagra is very difficult to split into two and impossible to split into four.

As I said, if your worried then ask your GP. Mine says that what I'm doing is perfectly safe and sensible.

Some great advice here David - I agree with Fluffbags and NaughtyMK - writing a letter is a great idea - but if you do talk then do it when you are physically close so he doesn't feel alone. You are a lovely chap and with your support and love I am sure you will be able to work through this together - good luck Hun :) xxx