Does Erectile Dysfunction Mean He is Not Into You?
Is it a sexual dysfunction or does it mean he’s not attracted to you?
This is one of the most common questions I get and misconceptions about erectile dysfunctions. ED can be caused by some physiological issues such a hormonal issues. More often than not, there is a long list of relevant underlying causes that contribute to the problem. It is true that a potential problem can be a lack of attraction. However, in my work with clients over the years, I have found that this is a lot less common than you might think.
It’s understandable to jump to this concern. Our culture tends to make it seem as though as long as a man is attracted to someone, erections naturally happen. So why wouldn’t we buy into the opposite? Erections are more complicated than attraction.
The cultural beliefs that surround us influence how we think about sex and sexual functioning. However, sexual functioning doesn’t only involve physiological functioning. Thoughts, beliefs, meaning, relationships, trauma, and emotions all play a role in erectile firmness. As you can see from that list, it actually can be quite complex to identify the root causes of this kind of a problem.
One of the most common myths that I have to debunk in sex therapy relates to erectile dysfunction and what it means. So many people think that erectile dysfunction represents a lack of attraction. Although this is sometimes true, the problem is usually much more complex. Even if ED was related to an attraction issue, it’s very rare that this is the whole story.
So what does ED mean? In short, it doesn’t usually mean much of anything at all. It’s logical to think that it has something to do with how he feels about you. Men get erections when they’re sexually aroused, right? So wouldn’t a lack of erections mean something? Think about it this way though, men don’t always get an erection every time they’re attracted to someone else. They can also get erections at random times that has nothing to do with attraction. So yes, erections are often an indicator of sexual arousal, they’re not the only indicator.
What about cheating and porn?
It’s important to address another misconception about erectile issues. Many assume that it is a sign of cheating. Erections also Do Not necessarily signal that there is an issue with cheating or overuse of porn. Although some men may have ED issues after repeatedly choosing porn over their partners, there are many situations when this isn’t the issue either. It’s essential to have open, honest discussions in your relationship to be able to discuss whether porn is a factor. It’s also important to have openness and honesty to identify whether there are desires or even interactions with someone else outside of the your relationship. If you talk with your partner and you don’t believe him, you’ve got a bigger issue to deal with that includes trust. Trust is a foundation to any solid relationship. If you can’t have conversations that build trust, I recommend you get in with a sex therapist or a couples therapist to open this dialogue.
What should you do about the issue?
First, it’s important to remember that some erectile failures are normal. All men experience these some of the time. Although they can cause a lot of anxiety, this is more about the myths that we have about men and sexuality than it is actually a problem. In other words, just because this happens a couple of times doesn’t mean there is a problem at all. So walk away from assumptions! They’re often misplaced and stress your relationship.
If your partner has a persistent issue with ED, he needs to identify the root cause of his problem. It’s always a good idea to rule out medical issues. These can include blood pressure issues and hormonal problems. Please don’t fall for a commonly overused treatment. Pumping a man full of more testosterone is rarely the answer to this problem. The real hormonal culprit to ED is often cortisol, yet there are plenty of pop up places out there who are willing to take you and your partners money for “T.”
There are also many emotional and mental issues that can be root causes as well. Relationship dynamics can play their role as well. However, there is usually a multifaceted picture of negative emotions, negative self-talk, and social pressures that can contribute to this problem. Your partner or husband can combine some sex education with examining potential causes of his problems. If he feels stuck, then talking with a sex therapist can help.
Sex, mind, body, and soul
I have found ED is best treated when people take a step back away from the importance of genitals and instead focus on experiencing the power of touch, play, fun, and connection. This can take some work for people when sexual penetration stops working. However, when people do step back and reassess their sexual horizon, they’re usually glad that they did. If you broaden how you view sex, you’re more likely to experience new elements that you help to make sex enjoyable with or without an erection. This isn’t to say that you can’t work on increasing the regularity of sex with a firmer erection. Instead, it means that you’ll decrease the stress around this one element of sexual connection. Then you and your partner can go off and enjoy your own little sacred place.
If you’re looking for help with rebuilding your sexual relationship, please feel free to contact us.