Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common presenting issue I see with my clients. It ranges from occasional to permanent, and affects millions of men and male bodied people in this country. As far as I know, all men have had the experience at some point in their life of wanting to have, and not being able to, get an erection.
What causes ED?
Some physical causes of ED include lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. These can contribute to such diseases as diabetes, a well known cause of ED. Certain drugs and prescription medications can also interfere with erectile function.
Psychologically, stress is one of the most common causes of ED. Feeling exhausted and having things to worry about can be a passion killer. Worrying about performance and not being able to get an erection can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Porn and Hollywood actors can sometimes project unrealistic expectations when it comes to getting, and maintaining, erections, and men may feel inadequate in comparison. In addition, ED can sometimes cause, or contribute to another common issue of premature ejaculation. Men can also experience ED as a result of having been sexually abused or assaulted.
Did you know? Erections aren’t necessary for ejaculation to happen
How can tantric therapy help?
Talk about it – Although this is changing, there is still much stigma around talking about ED. There can be a lot of guilt and shame about not being able to get, or maintain, an erection. Many of my clients share that they no longer feel ‘like a man’. Talking about the issue can help to start to let go of some of these negative feelings and beliefs. I do not judge you and opening up about those things you don’t normally share with others can be therapeutic it itself.
Improve blood flow to the area – Physical massage of abdominal and pelvic areas can help to increase the amount of blood that can enter the lingam.
Strengthen and release pelvic floor muscles – Weak and tight muscles can both make it more difficult to get an erection, and to feel pleasure in the area. In order to re-sensitise the pelvic area, it is important to work on improving the muscle tone. This is done through massage and recommending exercises you can do outside of sessions.
Prostate massage – The prostate gland is an important part of the reproductive system. Receiving gentle massage to this part of the body can help with erectile function. Read more about the benefits of prostate massage.
Lingam massage – Receiving a lingam massage can help to remove any physical blocks, improve blood flow and re-sensitise the area. Learning the practice of separating orgasm from ejaculation can also help to keep sexual energy in the body.
Sensitise the body and raise sexual energy – Waking up and sensitising the whole body can help to build arousal and sexual energy in the body. This can help to get, and maintain, an erection. Breath is an important part of this work – read more about the power of breath in tantric therapy.
Address underlying beliefs – Psychological beliefs are often blocks which stop erections from happening, and lower the amount of pleasure we are able to feel. Tantric therapy sessions allow clients to mindfully witness these beliefs, and choose to change them. Read about the role of mindfulness in tantric therapy.
Did you know? Popular ED medications such as Viagra can exacerbate the problem in the long-run
Drop goals and expectations – This is a difficult one for most people, and in some ways counter-intuitive. However, often by focusing on the goal of ‘getting an erection’, this can make this less likely to happen. Learning to be in the present moment, and enjoying whatever is happening, tends to be a more successful strategy.
Tantric education – Learning to move energy through the body, expanding the amount of pleasure that can be felt, and prolonging love-making can all help to take the focus off getting, and maintaining, an erection. Allowing it to come and go as the energy moves through the body can take the pressure off. I can help you to become comfortable with talking about ED to existing and prospective partners, taking much of the social shame and stigma out of it.
What if it’s permanent?
In some cases the ED can be permanent, such as, for example, after a prostatectomy operation. This should in no way, however, signal an end to intimacy or a satisfying sex life. Not being able to have an erection does not mean an end to feeling pleasure or arousal in the body. If this is the case for you, tantric therapy can help you to discover new ways of relating intimately with self and others.
I offer tantric therapy sessions in Teesside/ North Yorkshire and London. Read more about tantric therapy.