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Erectile dysfunction: Maintaining intimacy

Erectile dysfunction means a man is not able to get or maintain an erection, which can cause problems in relationships.

The Sexual Advice Association says only about one in 10 men with ED get treatment.

Experts say many men find ways of avoiding the possibility of having sex or intimacy to avoid the pressure of 'having to perform'.

Dealing with erectile dysfunction can cause difficulties in a relationship, but sexual intercourse is not the only way to be intimate with your partner.

There are sexual and non-sexual ways to remain close. Here are some tips:

  • Talk about your feelings: Sharing the way you feel about each other can make the two of you closer. Frank discussion about each other’s needs and concerns will help to overcome barriers to a healthy relationship
  • Participate in common interests: Hobbies, sport or volunteer activities can bring couples closer together
  • Make time to be alone together: Try having a bath together, sharing a candlelight dinner, going for a walk or just holding each other in bed
  • Experiment with alternative sexual techniques: Learn new sexual techniques that can bring pleasure without intercourse. Many book shops carry books on alternative sexual practices
  • Talk to a sex counsellor: If ED is straining your relationship, consider seeking care from a professional counsellor
  • Finally: Have fun trying new and different techniques, positions and accessories. There is hope for ED, and you can have a fulfilling and satisfactory sex life. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on July 28, 2016

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