Erectile Dysfunction: Rebuilding Intimacy

Being intimate means being close as a couple, with sex as just one part of intimacy. A hug, a kind remark, or a gift can be very romantic, even if sex doesn’t follow. So, renew your intimacy along with your sex life. Learn to talk with, and listen to, your partner. And remember that your value as a man goes beyond what you do in bed.

Man and woman sitting together on couch, smiling.

Tips for intimacy

As you and your partner become closer to each other, you might find that you can enjoy sex more.

  • Show and tell your partner what you like. If you don’t, your partner might not know what you want.

  • Ask your partner to show you how they want to be touched.

  • Be patient. Take your time. Relax. Give yourselves a chance to become aroused.

  • Try being intimate without sex. Instead, exchange back rubs. Or try kissing, or just a soft touch.

  • Focus on what you and your partner like about each other. This could be a certain laugh or smile, or other joys you share together.

Tips for talking

It’s OK to be shy when you talk about sex with your partner. But talking gets easier with practice. Use these tips when you talk with each other:

  • Choose a time and place when you’re both relaxed and comfortable.

  • Listen to your partner. Try repeating back what you think the other has said. This will help show if you’ve understood each other.

  • Don’t judge what your partner says. Talking feels safer if you don’t criticize each other.

  • Don’t be defensive. You may not like something your partner says. But you can still thank your partner for being honest.

  • Think about meeting with a counselor. They’re trained to help couples who are being treated for erectile dysfunction.

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