Erectile Dysfunction (ED): What Can You Do When It Impacts Your Sexual Relationship?

Image of man looking up sitting on bed with partner
If you have been having any issues with your penis getting or staying hard lately then you know the embarrassment, confusion, frustration, and anger that goes along with it. Your penis is your compadre, it should never let you down. It’s called erectile dysfunction (ED) and if you’ve ever experienced an episode, it can seriously stress you out and affect your self-confidence. And both of those can be super stressful the next time you want to get intimate.

Statistically, 90% of penis owners will have some issues with their erections in their lifetime. It can run the spectrum from “whiskey dick,” all the way to serious medically induced ED, or age-induced ED. So, when I say “it happens to all of you,” – I truly mean that it does. If you are looking for answers on what to do if your penis is not cooperating when you want it to – or if you have been formally diagnosed with ED – then read on, help is here for you and your partner.

Confirmation is Key

As I wrote above, most people with a penis will have instances of ED in their lifetimes, so the very first thing you need to do is to make sure that your issue is not a one time or situational thing. There are many things that can cause ED to happen once or a few times. Here are just a few reasons ED can happen:

• Medical Side Effects. Certain medications (anti-depressants for one) can cause ED issues.
• Alcohol or Drug Impairment. Yes, it is true, some men will experience ED if they are too drunk, stoned, or otherwise impaired
• Weight Gain. Some men will experience mild to moderate ED if they gain a substantial amount of weight. Usually the effects are reversed if they lose the weight.
• Stress or Emotional Conflict. Stress plays a major toll on the body and how it functions, so if you have been experiencing stress or conflict lately (either in your relationship or at work, etc.) this could be contributing to your ED.

If the ED does not improve with discontinuation of the medicine, when sober, when the weight is lost or if the conflict is resolved, it is imperative to have a diagnosis confirmed by a urologist or other medical doctor.

There are tests that they can do to find out just how severe your ED is, as well as offer you medicinal help (Cialis, Viagra) when appropriate to combat it.

What Comes After the Diagnosis?

If a doctor has diagnosed you with ED then they most likely told you how severe it is and if there is anything you can or should do to help. Some ED is caused by blood flow issues to the penis (meaning, the valve that keeps the blood IN the penis when you have an erection is not working properly). There are surgeries and medications that can help with this. There are many therapies (talk and sex therapy), along with other methods such as penis pumping or penis training that you can try.

However, you are most likely very embarrassed and upset that this is happening to you. The last thing you want to do is to share this with your partner or even think about having sex again. You may contemplate becoming a single hermit and just living a life of chastity. Don’t do this. Yes, you need to process this information and do some research (perhaps coming to this article), you need to allow yourself to come to some sort of understanding with yourself that this will impact your sex life, but it truly doesn’t have to end it. Yell, scream, cry or even laugh if you want, but get all those emotions out, and then move on to the next step: telling your partner.

When Should You Tell Your Partner?

If you are not married or do not have a steady partner you may be wondering if or when you should tell a future partner. Well, the answer to that depends on how severe your ED is. There is no reason to tell your partner that you have to take a little Cialis once in a while. Especially if it is the first time. However, if you have substantial issues with sex the first time with this new partner, then it may be time to have a talk.

Of course, if things get serious and steady between you, then having the conversation becomes more pressing. If it’s a serious relationship, being open and honest is key to figuring it out and moving through ED. Trust is key within an intimate relationship and trusting your partner enough to share this will help you both come to a solution.

How to Tell Your Partner

No matter how embarrassed you are, you MUST have an honest conversation with your partner about what is going on. The primary reason is that relationships need to be based on honesty. The next pressing issue is that if you are having ED issues, or if you have been avoiding sex, your partner may begin to think that it is her fault or that you no longer find her attractive. It is unfair to allow them to feel this way if it has nothing to do with them.

It is absolutely essential that you tell your partner. Sit them down and explain things, tell them what the doctor said and what was recommended. Keep in mind it may take some time for your partner to adjust too, so be comforting and explain what is happening. Together you should be able to find ways to enjoy your intimacy.

If you have been pulling back from your partner sexually, they may be confused, scared, and upset. Here is where research and finding out the important information becomes important. Give them the literature from the doctor, show them articles on the internet, and reassure them that this is not their “fault” or really doesn’t have anything to do with them at all. ED has nothing to do with not finding your partner desirable, it’s a medical issue that can have many solutions.

Remember, There is More to a Relationship Than Sex

Sex is not the only factor in a relationship, it’s fun, but it’s not the only fun to be had. Especially in long-term relationships – there is more to it than sex. Yes, sex is an important part of being a couple, but it is not all there is. Not only that but there are more options than just physical intercourse.

Intimacy takes many forms and includes a wide range of sexual actions – fingering, oral sex, cuddling, kissing, toys – all can be experimented with in order to keep the physical bond between you. What is most important is that you both figure out ways to keep this intimacy alive. If you refrain from having sex or stop the moment you start to have a physical issue, then the relationship will fall apart. Not based on lack of sex but based on lack of intimacy and trust. If you and your partner understand what is happening to your body and can find other ways to enjoy each other, then that will be the glue that keeps you together.

Find Sexual Aids That May Help

It goes without saying that you want to please your partner. There are many ways to accomplish this, and one of the best ways is to shop together for sexual aids that can be used on those occasions when things do not go the way you would like.

Penis Pumps and hollow strap ons are great things to try depending on the type of ED you have. Using a hollow strap on dildo is a wonderful solution to ED because it will allow you to place your penis – even if completely limp – into a hollow dildo. In this manner you can continue to pleasure your partner in the same way as intercourse, thereby maintaining that closeness.

Many couples who experience ED say that bringing sexual aids into the bedroom made things super exciting and that it took the pressure off of the man to “perform” which, in turn, sometimes made the episodes of ED less frequent. Not to mention what man wouldn’t like to see his partner getting off with a sex toy? The idea is to turn the negative into a positive, to think of ways to continue the intimacy, and to keep having fun in the bedroom. ED is not the death sentence of your sex life. Remember that there are medications, toys, and therapies that can really help you. You just have to be willing to try them and keep trust and intimacy alive in the relationship.

Do You Think You May Be Experiencing ED? Let Us Know Below With An Anonymous Comment.


  • Doug 🛡️

    I’m treated with injections and it is working fine

  • Susan James

    Recently erectile dysfunction has occasionally become an issue. This is most likely due to numerous issues
    such as hormonal changes and shrinkage due to being in a chastity cage. As my limp clitty is often unwilling to stiffen up for the task ahead we have taken advantage of this by increasing the use of toys to augment my short comings. Oral and anal play still allows us to orgasm while broadening our play time together.

  • Mark

    I have vascular issues, compounded by low T.
    My Dr. prescribed Androgel for the low T, and a referral to a urologist. He did a workup and had me do an ultrasound test to confirm the vein leakage. He offered to choices that were appropriate for my situation – either an implant or trimix injections. I went with the less invasive injection. Injecting a drug into my penis took some getting used to but the results were well worth the effort – I can have a great erection that lasts about 15 minutes – long enough for her, and a reasonable erect penis for about a half-hour, long enough for me to finish after her.
    Now, this may not sound like much but after 20 years of a mostly useless cock, this was wonderful. We did everything to work around this before (sleeves and dildos, vibrators, lots of alternate play) but having “normal” sex again has been wonderful.
    An implant is still an option but I will have to talk to people that have done this to see if it would be right for me. With the injection, the clock is ticking for every sexual encounter. The idea of a permanent hard-on and more leisurely sex sounds good.

  • Kell

    My husband has it. We didn’t have any kind of intimacy for probably 1.5 – 2 years?
    He was embarrassed, angry and didn’t want to get upset and, therefore hurt my feelings as well. Even though we talked about it in depth, he still wasn’t ok with even trying anything!
    So, finally a few weeks ago he says that he’s finally ready! Yaaaaaassssss! Omg is it my birthday? Lol 🥴
    Anyhow, we finally went and got a few different kinds of toys, arousal gels, and found a sheath with a sling for his balls! That’s what finally did the trick. Anyhow, thank goodness he stepped out of his uncomfortable zone! I was getting a lil cranky. And now we make love at least 3 xs a week again!

  • Arthur

    I’m looking for a “Hollow Strap on, where can I purchase one 🤷🏾‍♂️ .Help

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