ED Support and Communicating With a Partner Who Has ED

Hi!

I'm Dr. Anne Truong, MD

Dr. Anne Truong is a highly respected physician, best-selling author and internationally sought-after speaker on the topics of regenerative cell medicine, pain management, and applications for aesthetics and sexuality.

Did you know that there are ways a woman can be just as responsible for erectile dysfunction as a man? Learn how to give your man ED support in this episode

Women want to help their partners but feel helpless. They don't know how to help and men find it difficult to ask for the help they need.

There are millions of couples out there who are suffering in silence because their relationship is strangled by an inability of either partner to communicate.

In this episode, I will discuss with Debbie Elzea, Intimacy Specialist, how women can help their partners with ED, and how men can best communicate if they have ED. We will cover what women and men want in a relationship and why the relationship breaks down.

ED Support Episode Contents

ED Support Episode Video

What Is ED Support

What Is ED Support
Photographer: Priscilla Du Preez

Anne: You ever wonder what a man and a woman want when in a relationship when a man has ED? Well, today I'm talking with Debbie Elzea. She is intimacy specialist working especially with women. And we're going to hear perspective what women perspective when she's in a relationship with a man with ED. So Debbie, how are you today?

Debbie: I'm excellent. Thank you, Dr. Anne. Thanks for having me here.

Anne: All right. Well, I want to ask you a question. So, when a woman is in a relationship with a man that has ED, what issues and how can she give ED Support and what challenge that they are facing?

Debbie: Yeah, of course it's a major challenge and it's a growing one. As you know, 40% of men in their forties will have ED. 50% in their fifties and so on. So it's a very common challenge that women should almost prepare themselves for as they're getting older. And one of the things that I would urge women to do is not to take this personally. It's kind of a biological part of life, right? It's part of the advantage of us now living until our eighties. It might happen to many of us, and it is not to be taken as a personal thing against your desirability, whether he finds you desirable or sexy or not. So I would first urge, don't take this personally.

Second, never shame your man over it. He's already embarrassed and frustrated and such. It doesn't do any good for you to pile on there. So we need to approach it with understanding, deep compassion and understanding. And if your relationship is Rocky anyways, or full of conflict, then he's probably not even going to be open to you to talk about his problems. He'll probably just shut down and not approach you for sex because he doesn't want to risk the embarrassment of it not working if your relationship doesn't feel safe and loving. That's just kind of an intro. Where would you like to go from there?

How To Initiate ED Support

How To Initiate ED Support
Photographer: Imam Muhaimin

Anne: Right. What I find when working with men with ED is oftentimes, he'll have ED for years before he even talked to his partner. The first thing he's going to do is try to go to internet and talk to Dr. Google and find out, what other ways to do, supplements, or just go on online dispensary and just order Viagra or Cialis and start taking that. And that becomes a crutch. I just feel that that is not the way to treat ED because it really a crutch way, manhood, because that taking Viagra, it essentially just relaxes your muscle. You can get an erection, but an erection really involved from the head going six step bone below the belt to create an erection.

When you take a medication like Viagra, it just goes to your penis, create an erection. So you are essentially giving up your manhood to a medication.

So I say, man, if you're taking Viagra, you're essentially giving away your manhood and your body's not going to know how to get an erection again, think about that.

What I'm trying to say is that he's not going to approach his partner to openly talk about. It's just an uncomfortable subject. And obviously she knows about it as well. So how can she open in a very nurturing way, in nonconfrontational way. But be able to open up conversation, what have.

Debbie: And I would say you have to set the groundwork in advance, like is the relationship good? There's a whole different ballgame if the relationship is full of conflict and resentment and things like that. Then I would say that's not really perhaps the time to even bring up that. Also you're not having sex with me. Also, your penis doesn't work, right? So what would you want to do for weeks and months on advance is to be really, really kind to each other. Pay your husband, gratitudes. Notice all the things he brings into the relationship. He is not just his hard penis, right? So appreciate share with him, things that you love, admire, respect about him, that you find handsome, sexy, or masculine about him. You've got to build a level of safety and trust and comfort. And let's say you have that, right?

If maybe you already had that and maybe the sex and love making is the only real problem. In which case let's have a conversation and how to have a difficult conversation with a man. There's a framework about it. And it's about first process, your own emotions about it and make sure that you are not going to take things personally, for instance. Be aware that there may be multiple causes for his erectile dysfunction, and it could be primarily physical, but it might be coming from his head, his heart. It might be stress that's keeping him from it. It might be that he doesn't feel safe and appreciated in the relationship, that he's felt rejected in the past, that the bedroom, the love making is really boring for instance, we haven't done anything new in years or he'd been rejected for instance, for years.

So in many ways it's either a performance issue or it's a relationship issue, but it's likely a combination, right? So when you have that conversation with him, first of all, it's always good to ask a man, when is a good time to talk with you about this? I'd like to talk to you about something important.

You're not in trouble. It'll take about 10 or 15 minutes. When's a good time for you? So set up the conversation to when it's a good time and then start with the discussion of, is it a lack of desire? Right? Or what is desire to you? What does love making mean to you, What is sex to you? What is intimacy to you? Because we've got to expand the love making pie beyond hard penis in vagina sex, right? And for most women, they don't even orgasm by that anyways.

So men need to realize that the penis is not the only thing that is essential for her in making love.

There are many more ways to make love and you don't always need a hard penis to have a great sex life.

Anne: A percentage women that actually orgasm with vaginal orgasm, probably around 10, 15%.

Debbie: Right. Right.

Anne: Yeah. Penetration, vaginal orgasm for women, it's actually very hard. And so it's about 10% of women with orgasm, with vaginal penetration that you can get a hundred percent orgasm through clitoral orgasm. So that in mind as well too, but I'm glad you brought that up. That point is that there are ways to pleasure a woman that besides just P and V.

Debbie: P and V sex. Yeah. And on top of it, what she's probably missing is the touch, the cuddling, the affection. Because often if a man is afraid that he won't be able to get erect, he's not going to approach her in a way that seems like he's seducing her. So she misses all the attention, right?

And the touch and such. And that is often sometimes just as important, if not more important to the woman that kind of closeness than actual intercourse. So don't cut that out of your life, right? So expand the pie of what is sex, what is intimacy for each of you? And he may find out some revelations that, wow, what his woman really loves is some things that he can do right now, right? You can get all turned on and such and have a great sex life together right now. And Anne, here's a good one just to prove that you don't need a hard penis to have a great sex life. I can prove that in one word. Lesbians.

Anne: Yeah. Yes, yes. That is true. Yes. That is true.

Women’s Orgasm Statistics

Anne: A percentage women that actually orgasm with vaginal orgasm, probably around 10, 15%.

Debbie: Right. Right.

Anne: Yeah. Penetration, vaginal orgasm for women, it's actually very hard. And so it's about 10% of women with orgasm, with vaginal penetration that you can get a hundred percent orgasm through clitoral orgasm. So that in mind as well too, but I'm glad you brought that up. That point is that there are ways to pleasure a woman that besides just P and V.

Debbie: P and V sex. Yeah. And on top of it, what she's probably missing is the touch, the cuddling, the affection. Because often if a man is afraid that he won't be able to get erect, he's not going to approach her in a way that seems like he's seducing her. So she misses all the attention, right? And the touch and such. And that is often sometimes just as important, if not more important to the woman that kind of closeness than actual intercourse. So don't cut that out of your life, right?

So expand the pie of what is sex, what is intimacy for each of you? And he may find out some revelations that, wow, what his woman really loves is some things that he can do right now, right? You can get all turned on and such and have a great sex life together right now. And Anne, here's a good one just to prove that you don't need a hard penis to have a great sex life. I can prove that in one word. Lesbians.

Anne: Yeah. Yes, yes. That is true. Yes. That is true.

Men’s Top Desire

Debbie: Yeah. And here's the other thing the partner can do. Is men, even if they're taking the pill, they still need arousal. They still need desire. And a lot of the erectile dysfunction in men could probably be either prevented or lessened through pouring on the desire.

The men's surveys show that men's top desire is that their woman desire him, right? She actually want to make love to him and she enjoy it. She really has a good time herself. So both of those things are under the woman's control. How do you get your desire up? And for most women, especially after a certain age, it's coming from our head and our heart, it's not coming from our genitals saying must have sex. Now it's because we are in the mood. It's because we feel loved. We need some kind of spark of intimacy to turn on our desire for our man.

And maybe he's that way too. A good percentage of men are not spontaneously experiencing desire, like going around, turned on, but it's responsive. Like most women's is, it's responsive to some kind of trigger, whether it be touch or romance, attention and such that triggers our desire. And about a significant percentage of men it's the same way. They are not walking around horny and turned on, but they need some kind of a spark, a trigger. And ideally that is their woman showing genuine desire for him and then enjoying whatever love making brings.

Anne: Right. And I always say, well, and it's not. It's from me. Is that the sexual response from research is that the brain is the largest sexual organ and it starts in the brain. So in order for you to get an erection or even a woman to get the arousal response for sexual response, it starts in the brain. Then the brain receive messages from the visual, your eyes, your smell, your taste, your hearing.

And then it sends messages to the brain to increase arousal and sends hormones and releases and neurotransmitters, and send the emotions and interaction through the brain cells. Then it goes to your nerve in your spinal cord, in the base of your neck, and then send down messages to your blood vessels. And then the blood vessel bring in more blood flow down to your genital area. And then the genital area start to get engorge and that's how the sexual response is. So it's all start in here.

And guess what? If man, for a woman, you got to be in a relaxed state. In the right mindset in order to start all that cascade. But if you're stressed and if you're distracted, you're thinking about the next day, thinking about the kids often time, you're not going to be able to get into that state. And I just read a recent study that with COVID, that sex is on the decline and that men with COVID infection are actually at risk for ED, because we know that COVID is an inflammatory disease and it affects blood vessels. So men, if you find that your performance are not what it used to be, make sure you take a… There is a questionnaire called the International Erectile Function Test.

IIEF or you can go on my website and there's the sexual assessment. Take the questionnaire and it can determine whether you have ED or not. And ED is just not, whether you cannot have an erection, it ranges from longer to get an erection to whether you have a firm erection or not as well, all the way to no erection at all. So is a myth that men think that they don't have ED if they still have an erection. That's not true at all. And like you mentioned earlier, that if you are in the age range of 40 to 70, 50% of men actually will have ED and 60% of them do not even know that they even have ED.

How Would Women Want To Be Treated In A Relationship

How Would Women Want To Be Treated In A Relationship
Photographer: Everton Vila

Anne: So having said that, what in the relationship, how does women like to be treated? What do women want in relationship? And then after that, what do men want in relationship? How would women like to be treated?

Debbie: Oh, well, that's actually a harder question to ask in many ways than how would men like to be treated because in my coaching for women, I emphasize your man has simple needs. Do these three things and he will be your king, right? You'll prince will turn into your king. So I do think that men have simpler needs. Not that they are simple, but that they're more direct, which is I say to my women, I help them. Here's what your man wants. He wants you to be happy. He wants you to show up relaxed and in a good mood. And when you do so, do you ever notice how magnetically drawn he is to you, right? So I help the women show up less stressed, in a good mood, using positive psychology techniques and such and take care of themselves, right?

It's often a woman feels like, "I'm not happy. It must be you." When truly, it's really, largely coming from within us. And we are the ones that have the big impact on changing how happy, how resilient we are, how stressed we are, how we show up.

So the second thing is to celebrate your differences. Your man is not you. He is not a big, hairy woman who is misbehaving. He views life, love and sexuality through a masculine lens. And we've got to respect that. We've got to build our man up. If we want to get the best from him, rather than kind of tear him down.

Masculine energy, merged with feminine energy, creates this great attraction. That will help you in your intimate life, if your man feels confident and loved and safe and respected by you and men love feeling respected. And what's disrespect, criticism, nagging, nitpicking, even showing up very frumpy looking, knowing that men are visual. So it's quite easy to shift in this area to become, I say it become your husband's girlfriend again. Even though you're married, there's an energy of being a girlfriend that is just irresistible to your man. And it makes him want to be your man and be your hero. Make sense?

What Does A Woman Want In A Relationship

Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Like to act as if you first dating. Tony Robbins used to say, "in relationship act as if you first started dating and the relationship will never end." Make it interesting. And make it like you were when you first started. What about a woman? What does a woman want in relationship?

Debbie: She wants a lot of safety, right? She wants to feel chosen, special, nurtured, desirable, beautiful, right? So if a man can make his wife feel that way, she's going to be loving on him regardless of what's happening in the bedroom. And it'll increase her desire for him. But so much of our desire, the sexual desire for a woman is not really coming from the man. It's coming from within her. I like to say what turns a man on? A woman, right? How simple is that? What turns a woman on? Feeling really sexy and desirable herself. That again is within the woman's purview more than it is the man.

How are you showing up? What are you doing to take care of yourself? So you're not feeling run down and stressed out and all up in your head. What are you doing to make yourself look and feel good so that you can show up in a better mood. Are you able to get out of your head and into your senses? Have you processed any issues you have of negative past conditioning, body image issues, all these other things that might cause you to not show up sexy and wanting to be a playful, loving partner. Because your role, if your man has ED, is to create this atmosphere of safety, but also sexiness, playfulness.

And I think what happens is a lot of women, when their husband has ED, they're like, "Ooh, I'm not going to approach him. I'm not going to be affectionate. I'm not going to be flirty, because that'll just put pressure on him and I don't want to pressure him." So in the meantime he feels your lack of desire. He feels that is your lack of desire for him. And then that's not going to do anything to help you connect intimately in the bedroom.

And when the bedroom is dead, then it's not just like most couples are like, "Oh yeah, we never have sex anymore, but we're so loving and fun and playful together." No, it usually goes hand in hand if you lose that sexual connection, that sexual bond, which is so special, which is something you can only get with each other, right? Most things like companionship and partnership you can get in other ways, but you can only get this bond with each other. If you lose that, then you also frequently lose the affection and the romance and the quality time. So it's important to keep that up regardless of what life and aging and such is putting in our way.

Anne: It's surprising that you mentioned that, it's the woman that can actually be a part of treating the ED for the man in being presenting at being positive, being presenting herself to being arouse him because instead of being the opposite, right? Because instead of trying like, "Oh, I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to bring the uncomfortable issue to him and just avoid it." But to kind of bring a relationship to be more of a positive state in and try to…

Debbie: Bring the spark.

Anne: Bring the positive light and maybe perhaps arouse him because there's a study that shows that a partner can help treat ED by just positive reinforcement for the man with ED, you know?

Debbie: Yeah. And on top of it, she can allow him to please her. He can have the fun of giving her orgasms and pleasure and touch and holding her and stroking her and cuddling her. There's a wonderful book called She Comes First. That is about the importance of turning on your woman and pleasing your woman. That would also be bonding them together. And so give that the opportunity. Don't look at that as a defeat, look at that as something to celebrate.

Final Notes On ED Support

Debbie: sex is an opportunity for both of us to get what we need, because it's often the time, making love is when your man opens his heart and becomes more vulnerable and such.

And conversely, when you have a warm, loving, caring relationship, that's putting more of the woman in the mood to make love. So no matter what the circumstances don't let yourself not be lovers because you will also lose this kind of intimate connection. Oh, I digress. My website is moreintimacy.net. I have a Facebook group for women called More Intimacy in Marriage for women. And this is a regular topic in our group. And I help women get over the blocks to intimacy.

Again for ED, if you show up sexy and being able to be easily sexually pleased with a number of things that could turn you on or give you pleasure, then your man's going to get more excited and that's going to work on his head and his heart, which will drive his penis, which as you know, that is a large part of fixing the erectile dysfunction is getting a turn on going, getting genuine desire. And there's nothing more sexy than a turned on woman for a man. So the woman…

Anne: That's right. And I love it when you say that because, yeah. I love it when you say that. And in fact I've said this, like it's actually easier for me to treat ED, the physical part, what causes ED, which is mainly blood flow impairment.

It's actually harder to restore and readjust the brain and the emotional adjustment that need to be done in order to restore the pathway again, which I mentioned was the brain and the emotion. I can take care of the hormones and the blood flow restoration and the muscle restoration again. That part it's actually easy. I told the man, take care of yourself first with eating properly, sleeping, exercise and take care of your partner. Those are the main four things. Take care of that. I'll take care of the rest and your sexual function will be restored. He said, he looked at me. He goes, "Is that easy?" I go, "Yeah, it's that easy, but you got to put in the effort on that part that the first four component of that."

About Our Guest, Debbie Elzea

Debbie Elzea is a wife and mother, former attorney and Colorado psychotherapist. She help women create sexy and loving marriages via intimacy coaching. My specialties include positive psychology/self care, female sexuality and empowerment, sacred sexuality/Tantra, and understanding and celebrating our masculine/feminine differences.

Website : www.moreintimacy.net

Follow her Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RomanceRebootandBedroomBootcamp

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