As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us can feel the pressure to make it a perfect for our partners. We buy flowers, boxes of chocolate, go out for a special dinner and write words full passion and love on cards decorated with red and gold hearts. However, for some couples it is not roses all the way. If the relationship is passing through a difficult time, February 14th can be another reminder that this relationship is not what you hoped it would be. On the other hand for those suffering from sexual difficulties Valentine’s Day can be a nightmare. Sex and intimacy are usually an important part of romance and pressure to perform on the 14th can increase anxiety levels and spoil a day that can be special. In this blog I will be focusing on surviving Valentine’s Day with erectile difficulties.
- Get yourself checked by a urologist: This will usually involve a physical examination, an ultrasound, blood and urine tests. This check-up will help you identify any underlying health problems including diabetes, heart disease and low testosterone levels.
- Ask for a prescription: The doctor can prescribe oral medication like Viagra or Cialis if this is safe for you. PDE5 inhibitors vary in dosage, in duration of effectiveness and side effects. Your doctor will consider your state of health and particular situation and determine which medication will work best for you. However it is important to know that PDE5 inhibitors are not aphrodisiacs and will not help with sexual desire. Moreover, if taken with a high fat content meal or too much alcohol its effectiveness can be compromised.
- Set yourself up for success: Performance anxiety can be a problem especially when you feel pressure to perform on a particular day at a particular time. If you agree with your partner focus on a sensual message or non-penetrative sex rather than intercourse. Maybe you can avoid the pressures of Valentine’s Day altogether and instead on focusing on flowers and cards move towards focusing on each other’s emotional needs and improving your relationship.
- Get talking: We are not telepathic. Talk to your partner about your expectations of the day. Plan it out together if necessary. This might help you feel more in control of how the day will turn out. Moreover, it is important to note that psychological causes of erectile dysfunction are not always directly related to sexuality and relationships. Problems at work, financial difficulties and overall fatigue can effect your cortisol and testosterone levels and cause sexual problems.
Valentine’s Day can be a time where we take a good look at our mental and physical health. Moreover, maybe we can use this occasion to take a good look at the health of our romantic relationships. Sexual difficulties can be solved by opting for a quick fix. However, long lasting solutions usually require more relational and psychological work.
Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.