Whilst erectile dysfunction (ED) can be related to other health conditions, it is important to realise that you are not to blame. Many of the related health problems are associated with ageing, such as high blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes. In addition, there is very limited research that suggests a connection between ED and porn usage, however, this association is not yet confirmed and therefore, you would not have known this risk when you began using porn.
It is also possible for your ED to have a psychological origin, but you are no more responsible for a mental issue as you would be for a physical one. You may experience excessive stress or depression which leads to your ED. Or perhaps you suffer from performance anxiety. None of these things is totally under your control and there is help available if you need it.
Your partner is also not to blame for your ED. Your partner may worry that you are no longer attracted to them, or that they have put excess pressure on you. It may help to reassure them that that is not the case. Even if you did feel under pressure from them, they probably didn’t intend for you to experience ED.
Blame is unhelpful in almost all domestic situations and relationships. Blame only serves to set people against each other. But if you are suffering from ED, you need to be able to communicate with your partner and help each other understand what is going on.
There are also several treatments available for ED, such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Your decision to use a treatment or not, also does not pin any blame on you. Not everyone wishes to use ED medications, but there are other options available. For some people, psychological treatment can help a lot, or improving your lifestyle to reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and eat a balanced diet.
If you’re going to avoid blame, resentment and worry, communication is really important in any relationship, but especially one with ED. Communication is as much about listening as it is about talking. You and your partner need to make the effort to really understand each other, your worries and your needs.
It’s surprising how common it is for people to start thinking about their reply when the other person is talking. So make extra effort to really listen to each other. Maybe you could start off with one person explaining how they feel then switch over, so you each get a chance to express yourself. Active listening will really help you understand each other and why you respond and feel the way you do. If your partner says or does something you don’t understand, don’t just disagree, ask questions to understand their perspective and why they feel that way.
ED does not have to stop you from having a sexual relationship with your partner. Don’t forget that there are other ways to have a physical or sexual relationship that do not involve penetration. You should speak to your partner about this, as you may be able to enjoy oral sex with each other, using sex toys or just caressing and kissing each other. But it’s important that you communicate about what you think will work for you. You may be surprised at how exciting and sensual a non-penetrative sex life can be.