Author: Austin

What To Do When He Can’t: Erectile Dysfunction in Marriage

In the interest of full-disclosure (read: don’t hate me if I’m wrong) I have to say that I’ve not personally experienced this problem chronic erectile dysfunction. I’ve had one instance. So, admittedly I’m coming at this from a position of relative ignorance. However, being a man, and drawing from my limited experience I can try to imagine what goes through a guy’s head when this is happening. This is going to have info and suggestions for both husband and wife, so it might be worth sharing with your spouse.

I offer my thoughts humbly and with an open mind for your input. As I always say, this is a community and we highly value your input.

Causes

First off, we have to recognize that there are SO many factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction. One of the recurring themes in the list of factors I’ve linked to is blood pressure. This makes sense because erections are caused by blood flow to the penis. Low blood pressure can be caused by medications like antidepressants, blood pressure medication (obviously), and even antihistamines. It can also be complicated by heart conditions, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, age, and even bicycling!

Uncapped amber medication bottle and tablets

There are other physiological causes like surgery, trauma to the pelvic region, fatigue, radiation therapy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. These can result in short-term or chronic erectile dysfunction.

ED can also be caused by psychological issues. Depression, pornography, sleep disorders, anxiety, stress, conflict and insecurity can combine with physical factors, or even cause ED on their own.

Wives, I list all these many reasons to get to one basic point: it’s not necessarily you. I know that as a wife it’s hard not to assume that he’s lost interest. “Maybe he doesn’t find me attractive anymore because I am older/had a baby/am pregnant/cut my hair/had surgery/a million other concerns.” Husbands, remember that this is affecting her, too. Give her time, and assure her of your love and desire for her.

If your husband tells you that he still loves you, finds you attractive, and wants to have sex with you, give him the benefit of the doubt. Don’t let self-doubt become a wedge between you and your husband. Accept his assurances. Move forward in trying to understand what he’s going through.

Manhood

Let me begin here by saying that ED does NOT mean you aren’t a man. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a real man. It means you have a symptom of some underlying issue, whether bodily or mentally. That being said, it doesn’t feel like it.

Ladies, I want you to remember how important a man’s sexuality, sexual performance, and penis are to his identity and sense of self-worth. There’s a reason the penis is sometimes referred to as our “manhood.” It is so closely tied to exactly that, our manhood, our masculinity.

When a man’s penis is not functioning properly, it feels like a failure. It means he cannot sexually perform, which also feels like a failure. He can feel like he’s letting you down, like he’s not really a man.

The Erectile Dysfunction Spiral

Erectile Dysfunction Spiral

As mentioned above; stress, anxiety, and depression can cause ED. Combine that with the feelings of failure, and you can imagine the spiral that can happen here. An onset of depression that causes ED, which causes performance issues, which causes anxiety and depression, which worsens the ED, which causes more anxiety…

If your erectile dysfunction is primarily caused by psychological factors, it’s important to try to halt this spiral. Guys, remind yourself and ladies remind your man that it doesn’t make him less of a man. Wives, remind him of your love, admiration, and respect for him. Call attention to those other aspects of his masculinity that make him the man you want to be with.

Get Creative

If you’re having ongoing problems with ED, you should definitely see your doctor. If it’s determined that the issues are likely psychological, it may be time to get creative. As always, decide at the outset to tackle this situation as a team.

If there are possible relationship issues in the marriage, address those. Try to reduce stress and anxiety in appropriate ways. If porn is a problem, address it. Consider seeing a counselor.

You may also want to get creative in the bedroom. Take things slowly. Change up the routine. Explore more foreplay. Celebrate small victories along the way, and don’t place expectations too high right away. If things don’t change immediately, don’t get discouraged.

 

The important thing in the case of ED, like any other situation you face in marriage, is to face it head on as a team. Give each other grace, patience, and compassion. Assure each other of your love, desire, and commitment to one another. You will get through this.

How many times will you have sex with your spouse?

Life is frequently a numbers game. You have 742 Facebook friends, 39 IRL acquaintances, and 3 really good friends. You advertise your product to a million people, 25% pay attention, 5% try it, and you gain 100 new actual customers. You have 5 kids, and actually like 1 of them. KIDDING!

Believe it or not, this can be true in your sex life as well. How so? Head over to our article at Love Hope Adventure to find out.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

The Importance of Talking After Sex

This week, Keelie did a scope about talking after sex. We’ve written before about talking during sex, but what about afterwards? Are you a snuggler? A sleeper? Do you just get up right away? Do you ever talk?

Never Assume

Communication is just as important in your sex life as it is in any other area of your marriage. One area that can get couples into trouble is assuming that things are ok. It’s easy to think that if you’re satisfied your spouse must be satisfied as well. It may not occur to you that even though you had an orgasm, your spouse didn’t. That new position that blew your mind may have been really bad for them. If these assumptions go unchecked, you may find yourself hitting a roadblock, or worse, in your sex life. Talking is the solution to this problem.

Talk before, during, and after sex

It’s important to talk before sex to communicate expectations. It may help to discuss some details about tonight’s upcoming love making. Are you looking for hot and heavy, or slow and relaxed? Talking about this in advance can prevent a lot of hurt feelings and frustration. You can talk over new things that you would like to try. Break out the Sexy Truth or Dare cards you got when you signed up for this newsletter and ask some detailed questions.

Talking during sex has all kinds of benefits. It can get your head back in the game when your mind starts wandering. The simple act of talking and making noise can get your blood and adrenaline flowing and help your physical arousal.

Talking after sex is a little different. Talking afterwards is more like a review – a “debrief” as Keelie called it on her scope. It’s an opportunity to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Ask your spouse the simple, cliche, cheesy old line – “Was it good for you, baby?”

Ask Specific Questions

If you’ve tried something new, ask how it went. Ask if your spouse got everything they were hoping for. Did she orgasm? Did she orgasm enough times? Did he enjoy everything? Do you want to try doing things differently next time? The same?

It may be tough to start these conversations if you aren’t already talking about sex. It’s worth the effort, however, to push through the awkwardness. If you can get comfortable talking to one another about sex, you will unlock the ability to really grow in your physical intimacy.

Two Tips to Get Started

The first things that you have to do if you’re trying to get comfortable talking about sex in specifics is to develop a bedroom language. If you don’t have a vocabulary, it will be difficult to have any meaningful conversations. Once you have that established, you need to find a way to get started. One fun and easy way to get some of these conversations going is with our Sexy Truth or Dare ebook.

Sexy Truth or Dare

The Different Flavors of Sex

*This post contains affiliate links.

I was talking with a friend the other day and I made a comment about funny sex.

“Funny sex?” he replied.

“Yeah, you know, when you’re cracking up about something during sex.”

“Is that a thing?”

A Variety of Flavors

I realized that there are different kinds of sex that you can enjoy with your spouse. You don’t always have the same mood in the bedroom. You don’t always come to intimate times with the same attitude or frame of mind. As a result, there are different flavors of sex. Now, every marriage is different, so there’s a virtual Baskin Robbins of varieties out there! I’m just going to cover some that we’ve discovered.

Vanilla

vanilla sex

The first, most obvious flavor is the ol’ standby – vanilla. Vanilla’s gotten a bad rap, y’all. I hear/read people all the time (especially in movies and tv) talking about how boring their sex life is.

It’s just so… vanilla.

What’s wrong with vanilla? It’s a perfectly serviceable ice cream flavor. For that matter, maybe you’ve never had the right vanilla. Have you ever done a side by side taste test of generic Walmart brand, $2 for a gallon vanilla compared to Bryer’s premium vanilla bean? There’s no comparison!

Vanilla sex is your basic love-making session. Whatever your go-to positions and procedures are. You know that if you do A, B, and C, you’re both coming away satisfied. This, to me, is wonderful sex.

It’s predictable, it’s reliable, it’s consistent. Satisfaction guaranteed!

If you haven’t yet figured out what vanilla sex is for you and your spouse, I’d recommend doing so. Figure out what the easiest way for each of you to be satisfied is, and remember it. Don’t be afraid to fall back on something reliable on a regular basis.

Rocky Road

We all know that variety is the spice of life. This includes your sex life. As such, there are more flavors to explore. Rocky Road is passionate sex.  It’s the loud, raucous, curl your toes and clutch the bed sheets sex. Every now and then, you’re going to have an intimate time that is a little more aggressive, active, or passionate.

Scratch that – this isn’t “intimate time,” this is SEX. Yes, it’s intimate. Yes, it’s emotional. But mainly, it’s physical. This can be that big release you need after a period of stress or conflict, or maybe after a prolonged time apart. Make sure that you indulge in a little rocky road here and there. Just let go and have at it!

Tutti-frutti

This brings us to the flavor that started the whole thing. Tutti-frutti is silly sex. This is the kind of sex you laugh during.

Yes, funny sex is a thing.

smiling-series-2-1506272-1279x1705To some, this may sound odd, maybe even insulting. “I don’t think I want my spouse laughing at me during sex.” Two points here. First, I don’t necessarily mean laughing AT you, but WITH you. So, you’re moving around and her head bangs into yours. That’s funny! Laugh about it. You’re in the groove when all of sudden, your bellies make that poot sound that happens sometimes (that’s not just us, right?). That’s funny! Laugh about it.

Second, maybe your spouse IS laughing at you. You say something goofy, make a weird face, slip and roll off the bed. That’s funny! Your spouse SHOULD laugh at you. Well, as long as you’re both cool with it.

You should be laughing together as a couple often. If you are, and you remember that you’re on the same team and not out to get each other, then laughing in the bedroom should be totally cool. And it’s fun!

Ben & Jerry’s “Everything but the…”

Ben & Jerry’s is the best. And if you’re ever in the mood for a different flavor of ice cream, try their “Everything but the…”. It’s packed with stuff. Lots of new things.

Your sex life needs new things, too!  This flavor is adventurous sex. It’s those times when you try something new – a new position, new location, new toy, new lingerie/whatever-the-word-for-male-lingerie-is.

Now remember, you’re gonna have vanilla most of the time. But make sure you treat yourself to some gourmet Ben & Jerry’s occasionally. And I mean that literally, special occasions are the perfect time for something new! Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays, National Donut Day, whatever!

Dark Chocolate

eating-chocolate-1-1316272-639x275This last one wasn’t even on my list until this week. I don’t know about you, but I love dark chocolate. Do you remember those Dove chocolate commercials where eating a small piece of their dark chocolate was like taking a quick vacation right in the middle of the work day? Yeah, that’s me.

Dark chocolate is emotional, comforting sex. It’s slow, it’s tender, it’s heart-felt. Not long ago, Keelie and I had several very heart-wrenching things happening in our life all at once. One night when we came together, there was just this outpouring of emotion that I don’t think we’ve ever experienced.

Sex can be a huge comfort to a hurting spouse. It can even be a way of bonding over a mutual heartache. This dark chocolate sex can be a wonderful way of serving your spouse.  

On a side note: Jay Dee had some interesting words of caution about leaning too heavily on sex for comfort.

What about you? What flavors have you discovered? Share some with us in the comments.