Stress, anxiety, shame, insecurity … To address these psychological causes of erectile dysfunction , you can go to a sexologist. Today we are interviewing an anonymous sexologist associate therapist who has treated a lot of men who suffered from Erectile dysfunction.
When is therapy with a sexologist useful ?
Talking to a sexologist is effective if there are psychological factors in the erectile dysfunction . This can be, for example, uncertainty about the body or about the relationship. Or because a man has a fear of failure or is under stress .
Therapy with a sexologist can also be used as an addition to treatments for physical causes. Because psychological and physical factors can influence each other. For example, a single erection problem may be sufficient to provoke anxiety, which makes it more difficult to get an erection the next time.
In both cases, men best go to the doctor first. He can then refer to a specialist or a sexologist, depending on the cause of the erectile dysfunction .
Therapy with a sexologist is similar to psychotherapy ?
Just like psychotherapists, sexologists try to solve the problem through talk therapy. Because the sexologist asks questions and formulates hypotheses, the patient can come to new insights. So both physical examination or clinical tests aren’t not involved.
How does this counseling therapy take place in practice?
We discuss among other things the place of penetration within the sexual game. Or we explain why a man does not have to be ashamed if it fails sometime. In addition, we give exercises and assignments home with us. For example, to read a book about sexual techniques. Or we make a penetration ban. The focus is no longer on getting an erection, but on the feeling of caressing. In this way, the pressure of performance in sex can decrease.
You are in favor of the partner coming to the therapy ?
Indeed, the partner can help identify and solve the exact problem. Moreover, the erectile dysfunction is also partly the problem of the partner.
How long does a therapy with a sexologist take ?
Usually the patient comes by weekly or biweekly for an hour. The therapy can take several weeks to a year, for each patient the treatment looks different. It depends on the precise problems, but also on the patient’s efforts. He has to work himself to solve his problem. A sexologist mainly has a supporting role.
Your husband does not want to make love with you anymore. He does not even cuddle. At first you thought that there was someone else. But now you suspect that it is due to his erections. Sexologist Greta Bolle talks about how best to approach that.
Why is talking about a possible erection problem necessary ?
Men are vulnerable in their sexual functioning. A woman can still pretend to cum, but a man can no longer have any relations unless there is no more sexual excitement. An erection problem is therefore by definition a relationship problem: that means that the sex life of that couple is disturbed and that a new balance has to be found. The best and most efficient way is to talk about it . If a conversation is impossible, it often leads to the loss of sexual contact and also to loneliness and isolation.
How can the woman engage in such a conversation ?
Showing empathy is a good way to start over the problem. For example: “I have noticed that it has not been successful lately, that should not be easy for you.” This way you create an opening in which feelings can be expressed. You can respond to this yourself by saying how you experience this situation.
Blaming each other to the head, getting angry or provoking arguments do not help. The shoe often squeezes there. My experience is that people are often little empathetic and sympathetic. Partners then feel short-lived. They get angry with their husbands because they no longer get what is important to them, namely sexual satisfaction. This often has an opposite effect and leads to the avoidance of any physical contact.
What is your job in restoring communication between partners ?
I think I act as an intermediary, someone who starts the conversation. I create a kind of neutral context, which makes people less angry in my presence. They say things more often in a neutral tone. They also listen to each other, because if someone goes on the attack, the other partner does not listen anymore and immediately goes into the defense. I let the partners pronounce and repeat in their own words what they have understood from the other.
Do you also help in finding solutions or alternatives ?
Certainly. If an erectile pill is chosen, it is also important to find out how the man and the woman experience it. Others prefer self-injections. In addition, I discuss whether there should be so much emphasis on penetration. After all, what is sex about? It is about forging an intimate bond and giving pleasure to each other. For this the couple must form a team. The pressure to perform through penetration must be eliminated. So we are looking for alternatives: should both partners always get their money’s worth at the same time? Or can he give her sexual pleasure in another way, with his fingers or mouth for example. The ultimate goal is that there is a kind of connection between them. And that they do not shy away from sex.