You’ve found a partner that checks all the boxes. They provide emotional support, they make you laugh, and your conversations are always exciting. You’ve made it past the casual dating phase and into something serious. But there’s just one thing missing…your ability to get an erection when it’s time for steamy activities.
While maybe this hasn’t been an issue for you in the past, your girlfriend likely isn’t the reason behind your inability to get hard unless there is some specific action that she is doing that turns you off or triggers some kind of anxiety or stress response.
Erectile dysfunction can happen to any man at any age and is the result of a number of different causes, both emotional and physical. Even if you haven’t had this issue with previous partners, chances are high that your girlfriend isn’t entirely to blame.
Regardless of age, ED can strike in men in otherwise healthy shape as a result of anxiety or stress. Unfortunately, once you’ve started to experience ED, you may have performance anxiety going forward specifically about being able to get hard, which only makes the situation worse.
This could explain why you may have no issues with ED when you masturbate or hadn’t experienced it with a previous partner.
Stress outside of the bedroom could also be a contributing factor to the inability to get hard. If you’re having a hard time at work or facing other stress in your life, you may be finding it hard to perform sexually. These stressors disrupt your body’s messaging system, making it hard for your brain to send the appropriate messages to your penis to allow the blood to flow.
Specific Performance Anxiety
That said, if your girlfriend is contributing to your stress or anxiety surrounding sexual performance, or even outside of the bedroom, this may be a reason why you’re having a hard time getting or staying hard. If you feel like she is adding pressure on you by joking about performance issues or adding shame to your experience, then it may not be helping you feel relaxed enough to be able to perform.
If you think this may be a specific issue with your partner, the best thing to do is have an open conversation with them about what you like and don’t like sexually, or open the channels of communication if you’ve been fighting.
If this continues to be an issue, suggest that you visit a sex therapist together or separately to try and ease some of the stress that you could be feeling in the bedroom.
Of the causes of ED, one of the most common causes is an underlying medical condition that you may or may not know about. Experiencing ED could be the result of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, alcoholism, tobacco use, or low testosterone.
If you have one of these underlying conditions that haven’t been diagnosed, because ED is a combination of physical and psychological processes, being with a new partner may be enough anxiety to trigger troubles with getting or maintaining an erection. The combination of the affected physical processes in tandem with psychological disruptions could be the perfect storm for your ED.
The only way to figure out the exact cause and proper treatment of your ED is to see a doctor or a specialist.
Medication & PTSD
Other causes of erectile dysfunction that aren’t directly related to your girlfriend are medication and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Many medications have side effects that can affect your ability to get hard. These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, high blood pressure medication, chemotherapy drugs, muscle relaxants, and many more. Simply by taking these medications for other health conditions, you increase your chances of developing or experiencing ED.
If you’ve experienced past traumatic experiences, unfortunately, this could also be causing or contributing to erectile dysfunction. PTSD ranges in severity, but by and large, it disrupts your ability to process and regulate hormones, so your body essentially confuses the hormones released from sexual stimulation and triggers a flight or fight response.
There are so many different factors that can cause or trigger ED, but if you feel like some action your girlfriend is doing isn’t helping you, make sure to communicate effectively and openly to address the issue and get back on track to her checking all the boxes, even the ones in the bedroom.
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