Counselling – Talking About Erectile Dysfunction?

aussie men reluctant to talk - ed counselling

Talking about their sex life – or more specifically their lack of a sex life – is something Aussie men are even more reluctant than Kiwis or Yanks to do… so just getting into erectile dysfunction counselling is a big challenge for most Aussies.

While the Kiwis recently made a movie about a guy struggling to get it up, recent research shows over a third of Aussie men feel uncomfortable talking about impotence to their doctor, with 63% saying embarrassment was the major reason they kept silent.

The study concluded that nearly 80% of Aussie men had some sort of medical problem, but most keep quiet and don’t confide in anyone. This is despite the ready availability of erectile dysfunction counselling in Australia. You have to ask, how dumb is that?

Brett McCann, CEO of Impotence Australia, says Aussie men usually wait two whole years before seeking help for ED, hoping it will just go away. By the time they do see a doctor they’re usually “dealing with a relationship problem as well as a medical crisis”! In other words, when men do resort to erectile dysfunction counselling, it’s often only after much needless damage has already been done.

Erectile Dysfunction is Progressive

use it or lose it - erectile dysfunction counsellingLike many other health problems, erectile dysfunction is progressive. Left untreated it worsens over time, with science increasingly showing it’s a case of “use it or lose it.”

As with any part of the body, sexual function withers away if left unused. If the penis doesn’t get a regular supply of oxygenated blood (i.e. via erection) the muscle tissue will eventually stop functioning completely. So if you’re amongst those affected, it’s well worth biting the bullet! Book a consultation with your doctor or men’s health specialist soon. Not matter how averse you may be to talking about sexual health, erectile dysfunction counselling is definitely the lesser of two evils!

Erectile dysfunction is now understood to be mainly due to physical causes (over 85%) and is common in men over 50. For many men it’s easily treated with erectile dysfunction drugs, like Viagra or Cialis, but these don’t treat sex drive. They won’t make you want sex if you’re not already feeling like it.

Plus they won’t make sex great if your relationship is floundering. Even Viagra’s own research has shown how quality of sex depends on quality of relationship – in and outside the bedroom! Interestingly, the same research suggest that when men do get treatment for ED, their partners report also enjoying better sex – more orgasms, more arousal, more satisfaction, and less pain.

Sex More than Just Mechanics

Even for men, sex is always more than just mere mechanical functioning. Emotional and mental sex more than just mechanics - ed counsellinghealth issues like stress, relationship problems or depression all play a major part in reducing sex drive and causing erectile dysfunction.

This is where erectile dysfunction counselling comes in. Sometimes there is a lot to be gained through talking about what’s getting you down with an experienced sex therapist, such as Sydney sex expert Dr Rosie King, author of Good Loving, Great Sex.

Psychotherapy and counselling are particularly helpful when psychological factors are contributing to erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction counselling can also really benefit men whose erectile dysfunction is largely physical in cause, but have lost sexual confidence.  The counselling may be provided by your doctor, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and partners may also get involved.

Erectile Dysfunction Counselling Can Help To:

  • Reduce performance anxiety
  • Create understanding about the different things that turn men and women on
  • Dispel sexual ignorance and overcome unrealistic expectations
  • Talk about issues of trust and sexual arousal in a safe setting
  • Learn more about increasing sexual stimulation in older men (and women)

It’s like rugged Police Rescue actor and Logie winner Gary Sweet says, when a

gary sweet - ed counsellingfew years back he urged Aussie men to start talking about erectile dysfunction – whether through counselling or just whoever. In a campaign sponsored by Levitra manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline – though advertising rules prevented him mentioned the brand name – he suggested it wasn’t too difficult really:

“I would say simply this—look, mate, if you’ve got a problem in this department it’s no big deal.

What Erectile Dysfunction Counselling Involves

So. What does erectile dysfunction counselling involve, exactly? Sexual therapy for erectile dysfunction may involve some or all of the following:

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Desensitization
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Communication enhancement training
  • Interpersonal / Systemic interventions
  • Biofeedback
  • Behavioural assignments / homework exercises
  • Education

The specific combination of treatment options will naturally depend on the individual, and your erectile dysfunction counsellor or medical specialist can walk you through the specific advantages for you and what your options are. Don’t worry! They won’t force you into anything you’re not comfortable with! They’re trained specialists who have gone through the ins and outs of erectile dysfunction counselling with hundreds of men before you.

Erectile Dysfunction Counselling – Where to Start?

Feel that erectile dysfunction counselling is something you could really benefit from, but aren’t sure where to start?

Andrology Australia says that for most men not only is a GP the best first point of contact, but in many cases may also conduct themselves all clinical assessment, counselling, referral and follow up. So a visit to your doctor is probably a good place to start. There are also local doctors who specialise in men’s sexual health, such as Sydney-based Dr Michael Lowy. Erectile dysfunction counsellors and medical specialists are accessible in most major cities.

Whatever else you do though, don’t give up! There’s definitely something you can do to get over that slump.

Jenny Wheeler