One of the issues that scares men the most in the bedroom is going soft at an inconvenient time. Sometimes, you might even think he saw a ghost.
It can certainly be frightening. The way masculinity has been portrayed and taught in most Western thinking cultures suggests that men must always be in control.
There are many ideas in the culture that tell us sex must look a certain way, and that for it to be successful and enjoyable it must include traditional penetrative sex acts. Combine these and for many guys, going soft can feel very vulnerable and disempowering.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are some helpful things you can do when faced with temporary or ongoing erection problems.
1. Don’t pressure yourself to fix the problem quickly
From an early age, boys and men have been taught that when met with a problem, we should pull out all the stops to fix it.
Even if the issue has only one cause, Erectile Dysfunction (whether diagnosed or occurring at a lesser level) tends to have multiple contributing factors. Each factor can contribute to make the problem worse or more difficult to resolve.
The paradox here is that putting any pressure on yourself to resolve erection problems generally will make it harder to resolve the problem. Anxiety and pressure to perform can make the problem worse, and in some cases can be the root cause of erection problems.
Instead focus on self-compassion. Accept that this problem is common among men. Without going into “fix it mode” set an intention to seek and find answers, and believe that the path forward to resolution will be revealed.
2. Talk frankly with your doctor
If you have morning erections and can get hard in some situations but not others, there is a good chance the problem is not cause by physical or medical reasons.
Still, if the problem persists, it’s always a good idea to speak frankly with your doctor and have the issue checked thoroughly from a medical angle.
If you don’t have the sort of relationship with your physician where you can talk frankly about your sexual functioning, this would be a great time to make the changes needed so you can.
A blue pill won’t necessarily lead to better sex. For some men, medication can truly help them get or maintain erections. It can also indirectly ease anxiety. But, medication does not help everyone. And, it’s usually not sufficient to help you have a deeply satisfying sex life – something that is actually possible, with or without erection problems.
3. Expand your definition of sex
Going soft more often than you like is a good time to thoughtfully examine your definition of sex.
Since performance anxiety can be a big contributing factor, the more narrow your definition of what successful sex is the more challenging this will be for you.
Instead of defining success by penetration or some external action or goal, shift your measurement to be the amount of pleasure you and your partner feel.
If you let it, Erectile Dysfunction can be a wonderful opportunity to expand your sensual awareness, develop new lovemaking skills and become more creative in the bedroom.
4. Address what’s not working in your life and relationships
While it’s not always the case, erection problems often have their roots in other parts of life.
They can be a reflection of what’s not working in your life or relationships. If you’ve been ignoring those things, then maybe they will finally get your attention.
You may be settling for something you don’t like. You might not be asking for what you want. You might not be saying no when you need to.
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If you’re doing any of these things in intimate relationships, then don’t be surprised if one of the results is going soft when you don’t want to. (Sometimes even issues of settling and not going for what you want in career or other life areas can show up here, too.)
A man’s penis is a portal to his unconscious mind. If there are issues in your life and relationships that need to be addressed and which you’ve been ignoring or suppressing, they can show up in the bedroom at inconvenient times.
The good news here is that now that these things have your attention, you can address them and move forward.
How you respond to erection problems will greatly impact the ease or difficulty of resolving the issue
Having erection problems can indeed be stressful and worrisome. How you respond will have a big impact on how entrenched the problem becomes and your ability to resolve it.
Start with self-compassion rather than pushing yourself hard. Talk with your doctor. Expand your definition of sex.
Then, look at your whole life and address the things that are not working – especially those things you may have been ignoring or suppressing.