IIt didn’t happen again: you’re about to hit it off with your partner who has penises when they suddenly go… limp. Rest assured, you are not alone in this situation. According to the American Urological Association, approximately 30 million people suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), which is a medical term for those with penises who find it difficult to get or keep an erection firm enough for penis play. pleasant penetration. And contrary to popular belief, it can affect people of all ages. But that still doesn’t mean fun is out of the question, if you’re dating someone with erectile dysfunction.

Of course, if you like penetrative play, it can be a real shame not to be able to have that kind of sex as often or for as long as you want. But, according to sex educators, there are a handful of workarounds for an equally healthy and fulfilling sex life.

However, first, make sure your partner with erectile dysfunction is medically safe. Erectile dysfunction can sometimes be linked to an underlying health condition, such as vascular disease or type 2 diabetes, or a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety, so encourage your partner to see a provider health care can be a big step for both. treat the problem and support their health. Alternatively, reframing your mindset and approach to sex can go a long way toward finding sexual satisfaction.

“It is 100% possible for people with erectile dysfunction and their partner(s) to enjoy a pleasurable sex life.” —Caitlin V. Neal, MPH, clinical sexologist

Below, sex educators share their top tips for maintaining a healthy sex life and meeting your sexual needs while dating someone with erectile dysfunction.

Here are 7 tips to experience more sexual pleasure when dating someone with erectile dysfunction

1. Believing that it is still possible to experience pleasure

If you want to have pleasant sex with someone who suffers from erectile dysfunction, you must believe, with your whole body, that it is quite possible. Otherwise, worrying about lack of pleasure might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“It is 100% possible for people with erectile dysfunction and their partner(s) to enjoy a pleasurable sex life, says Caitlin V. Neal, clinical sexologist for Royal, a vegan condom and lubricant company. However, for this to be true, you may need to remind your partner that his ability to get or keep an erection is not an indicator of his worth, and remember that it is not an indicator of your attraction, if that thought ever enters your life. spirit, she said.

2. Talk to your partner

Have you and your partner talked about their erectile dysfunction? If not, it’s time to discuss. And since sexual dysfunction can affect all parties to a relationship, you definitely don’t have to wait for your partner to talk about it, says Neal. In fact, if you do, you could be waiting quite a long time. “It might be very difficult for them to talk about it,” she says. “So pick a time when you haven’t just had sex, when they’re relaxed and able to process the conversation.” While you’re taking a walk or having a coffee, both would work fine, for two examples.

As for How? ‘Or’ What to mount it? In a word: with compassion. “Try to be gentle with your words and reassure your partner that what you’re trying to achieve by talking about it is a better sex life for both of you,” says sex educator Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed, a Chicago-based pleasure products company. “It is good to remember that although it may be inconvenient or difficult [in the moment]all partners will benefit from an open and honest conversation about your sex life or lack thereof,” she says.

To do this, Deysach recommends sandwiching your concern about your partner’s erectile dysfunction between compliments. Here is an example : I love the way you feel when you’re inside me. The last few times we had sex, we moved on to another sex act because you were having trouble staying hard. Is there anything we could try to help you maintain your erection? I would like to find a way to have a penetrating game with you that lasts longer. And here’s another one: You know how much I’m in love with you, and I want to have all kinds of sex with you. It doesn’t matter to me that you can’t stay hard for the duration of our sex. But I just wanted to see if we could find a way around this together.

3. Talk to a third party

If you and your partner have trouble talking about your sex life, Neal says a mental health professional can help. They can guide the discussion in a sensitive way, while validating both your needs and your feelings.

You could introduce the idea by saying: I really want to figure this out with you. Because we both have a hard time talking about it, I thought it might help to get a professional involved. What would you think of that?

“You can also choose to tell trusted friends about your feelings of frustration, disappointment or confusion,” adds Neal.

4. Reexamine your definition of sex

Many of us “place so much emphasis on erections that we mistakenly equate them with sex itself,” says Neal. But the sex is not a hard erection; nor is it exclusively a hard penis penetrating a vagina (or anus or mouth). “Thinking outside the P-in-V box can show you that anyone, regardless of their body abilities and configurations, can have sex,” says Neal.

According to psychotherapist and sex and relationship expert Rachel Wright, LMFT, sex can be defined as any act of meaningful pleasure. While broadening the definition of sex can benefit people in all relationship builds, it can be especially beneficial for people who are dating someone with erectile dysfunction.

To better understand what sex is like for you, and in the context of your personal relationship, consider making a common list of how sex feels you both. List all the adjectives that could describe the sex you have, then make a second list of activities that can evoke those same feelings. Don’t limit activities on the second list to things that involve the mouth, genitals, and buttocks. Instead, allow yourself to include things like: Snuggle up in a bath Where massage your feet, etc This will open the door for all sorts of non-penetrative, yet still very satisfying, sex acts to work their way into your sexual repertoire.

5. Find out why you love sex

Of course, “it feels good” can be one of the reasons why you enjoy having sex. But often there are also other reasons at play, says Deysach. For example, maybe sex helps you turn off Work Brain, or maybe physical touch is how you express your love, and sex is the prime example of touching in your relationship.

Once identified Why you enjoy having sex, you can supplement your life with additional acts that satisfy those reasons. If, for example, sex is usually what helps you reconnect with your partner at the end of the week, there may be other things that can facilitate that reconnection (think: weekly parties, bedtime without telephones and communal showers).

6. Bring fun products

PSA: Your partner’s penis isn’t the only thing that can penetrate you, and that’s essential to remember for anyone dating someone with erectile dysfunction. “There are many toys that can replace an erection,” says Neal. The most obvious choices are dildos and hollow dildos, sometimes called penis sleeves or penis extenders.

By wearing a harness like the Spareparts Deuce Harness, for example, your partner will have a hard phallus just below their pubic mound, allowing them to continue penetrating you long after they lose their erection, Deysach explains. There are also hollow-out dildos, like the Vixen Colossus Extender, that fit over a non-erect penis and allow for continued penetration regardless of a true erection, adds Deysach.

In addition to dildos, there are also G-spot vibrators, stainless steel wands, tentacle toys and bunny vibes that can be used for penetrative play with a partner – no erection, or often even a penis, is not necessary. “There’s also a new device called Balldo, which is a toy that fits over your testicles and turns them into a dildo,” says Deysach. (Yes, really.) And, again, if you’re open to expanding your definition of sex beyond vaginal penetration, there are also finger vibrators, butt plugs, suction toys, clamps, etc As Neal says, “When it comes to sex toys, the only limit is your creativity.”

7. Try not to stress

Arguably, this is easier said than done for all parties involved. But if you can, try to limit the stress around the erection, says Neal. “Stress and pressure can actually make erectile dysfunction worse,” she says.

Rather than worrying about whether the penis in question will get or stay hard, remember that a healthy perspective, creativity, and a relaxed approach will help you overcome this particular challenge, she says.

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