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Q: My partner has ED and I’m scared that we’ll never have sex again! Is there anything I can do to help? Are there ways to treat ED without medication?

The best way to help your partner is by providing a safe and nonjudgmental space.

If your partner is having trouble obtaining or maintaining an erection, the last thing they need is to take on more stress or upset.

It’s OK to be frustrated at the situation, but it’s best to save this for your journal or a vent session with a close friend.

You may also find it helpful to expand your definition of sex.

If you want to try something different in the bedroom

If you and your partner define satisfying sex as having penetrative sex with an erect penis, it’s worth exploring other forms of pleasurable sexual activity.

Sex play with a soft penis, for example, may allow for a different and gentler type of intimacy, one that your relationship might appreciate.

Once safety and acceptance are in place, you and your partner can begin to explore different types of touch that create arousal and pleasure.

If you want to recommend a few treatment options

And if you’re passing along information to your partner, be sure to share that it is possible to treat erectile dysfunction without medication — especially if you adopt an antioxidant-rich diet.

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet, in particular, can help ease erectile dysfunction by improving overall cardiovascular health.

You may also consider talking to your partner about adopting a mindfulness-based practice (remaining open, curious, and nonjudgmental). By doing so, they’re more likely to be able to focus on learning what feels pleasurable instead of focusing on performance.


Dr. Janet Brito is a nationally certified Latinx sex therapist, supervisor, speaker, trainer, and author. Dr. Brito is the founder and owner of the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health, a group practice that specializes in relationship and sex therapy, out of control sexual behavior, and gender and sexually diverse populations, and The Sexual Health School, an online training program for healthcare professionals seeking human sexuality training.

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago, BS
  • Columbia University in the City of New York, MS
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute, PhD

Certifications

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • AASECT Certified Sex Supervisor
  • AASECT Certified Sex Therapist

Professional Accomplishments

Affiliations

Headshot of Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
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