There are three things that men tend to think that defines them as a man.  They are his job (having a job), making babies, and his penis.  If anything disrupts any of these three, then a man may tend to feel like he is less than a man or at the very least feel embarrassed about the situation.  I would like to talk to you briefly about an issue that many men face, and that issue is erectile dysfunction.  In other words, there are times in a man’s life when he simply can’t get it up, so to speak. What do you do when that happens?  I’m going to share some very practical information from my own personal experience and research after I suffered from erectile dysfunction several years ago.

When it happens

When a man has sex with his wife and realizes that his penis will not become erect, then he becomes shocked, scared, and then embarrassed.  My wife was the one that noticed that I did not respond to things that she would do, which normally would get me erect immediately.  The emotions that can run through a man when this happens are simply overwhelming.  The prospects of not being able to have an erection to have sex is something that any man would greatly fear.

The first thing a man should do is to relax.  Don’t equate the one incidence as being like that in the future.  There are many things that could cause an erection to not happen.  Some of these things are what men face day in and day out.  So, don’t freak out, but instead, relax and start a journey to solve it, not despair about it.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

To my surprise, there were several things that I discovered that could cause a man to not have an erection when stimulated.

  1. Stress
  2. Anxiety
  3. Sexual performance anxiety
  4. Medical issues
  5. Not having enough sex with your wife
  6. Heart disease
  7. Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  8. High cholesterol
  9. High blood pressure
  10. Diabetes
  11. Obesity
  12. Depression
  13. Alcohol
  14. Medications

It may sound strange, but the fact that there are so many possible causes of ED gave me a lot of hope and encouragement.  A doctor told me during one of my visits, “Use it or lose it.”  In other words, if you don’t have enough sex, then it is possible that your body will adjust so that you don’t want sex.  If you don’t want sex, then it seems reasonable to assume that your body will adjust itself so that won’t become stimulated, i.e., erect.

Therefore, if a married couple does not have sufficient sex, it is possible that one or both libidos will diminish.  That made sense to me.  If you don’t keep your mind sharp, then your thinking can become foggy because you’re not used to thinking.  If you don’t use your muscles, then they too will diminish, i.e., atrophy.  So, having regular sex with your wife is one way to help prevent erectile dysfunction by keeping that area alive in your body and mind.

What To Do

From the above, we see that there are many reasons that a man may not be able to “get it up.”  The first thing is to not panic.  Like many things, it may just be a glitch, i.e., too much stress on the job, worrying about something big coming up, etc.  Try again later or the next day.  Keep trying.

Get your wife involved, especially since she already knows that you couldn’t have an erection.  She knows what normally sets you off and when she finds that those things don’t excite you, then she’ll already know something is awry.  Discuss this issue with your spouse, as you would any other issue.  Discover ways that you can still enjoy sex and increase stimulation.

Tell your doctor and get checked out.  If it is something going wrong in your body, then the sooner you deal with it, the better.  You will probably end up getting checked out for a heart condition, blood flow, etc.  For me, it was good news because I checked out.  My doctor told me that my plumbing was fine.  What a relief.

Reduce Stress.  We live in a fast-paced and chaotic world.  Do your best to relax when you can.  Do deep breathing exercises to get your body and mind to relax.  I recall my doctor telling me many times during checkups that I was too tense.  He suggested that I do deep breathing exercises regularly.  Find something that you like to do that reduces the stress in your mind.  You may not be able to avoid the stressors, at least not right away, but you can counter it by doing something that relaxes you.

Masturbate, but not too often.  This may seem strange and to some sacrilegious.  However, it was recommended by my doctor, not as a treatment, but as an indicator.  I thought that masturbation could cause ED, but there is no evidence to support this.  What masturbation can do is give you an indicator that you can still indeed have an erection.  It can also relieve stress through sexual release.  Furthermore, having an erection even while masturbating, will give you more confidence with your wife in bed.  Many times, ED is caused by stress or anxiety, which means that relieving the stress and relaxing will help reverse ED.

Check Your Meds.  Certain medications can cause erectile dysfunction, among other things.  Therefore, discuss your medications with your doctor and note anything that has changed recently, such as dosage, any supplements that you started taking, etc.

High blood pressure medications are notorious for causing erectile dysfunction.  I was on high blood pressure medication, but I was not too concerned.  I was on the same meds for years, so I couldn’t reason that they would all of a sudden cause ED.  A friend of mine told me that he started taking a different medication for hypertension, but that it caused him to have ED.  He got a different medication.

Pray.  As a Christian, I am reminded and remind myself frequently, that I have another course of action besides medical or healthcare.  I have the Lord to whom I can call out to.  What I have learned from the Bible and believe, is that God has provided all that we need, but it is up to us to receive it.  Receiving God’s blessings is something that we struggle with.  Prayer also helps one to relax!  So when ED happens, pray.  It may seem weird to pray to God about not being able to have normal sex with your wife.  However, do it anyway.  God isn’t embarrassed about the topic.

Keep having sex with your wife.  Whether you continue to have ED or not, don’t stop having sex with your wife.  Sure, it won’t be the same, but do it anyway.  Enjoy each other’s expression of love and intimacy.  A good wife, who is comfortable with sex play, will try new things to arouse you.  However, you should encourage her because she may start thinking that you can’t get it up because you’re really secretly not interested in her and therefore she doesn’t arouse you.  She may even start thinking that you can’t get it up because you got it up already for someone else.  It’s amazing what we humans will conjure up in our minds with little data or evidence.

Regardless of what happens, enjoy sex.  Couples can and do find various ways to enjoy sex together whether the husband has ED or not.  Be creative. Get out of the rut.  Perhaps boredom is contributing to erectile dysfunction or low libido. Spice things up a notch or two or three.  Use toys, different sexual positions, allow the wife to be dominating, get nuts (no pun intended).  Enjoy yourself, ED or not.

Work on your marriage. Consider how you really feel about your wife.  Consider the state of your marriage and sex life.  Do you feel good when you look at your wife or think about her?  Are you sexually aroused by your wife?  Is she pleasing to you?  A simple reason that you may not be able to have an erection with your wife is that you truly are not interested in her or not aroused by her.  Maybe your marriage is in such a condition that you don’t have good feelings about your wife and the thought of “that person” being a sex object is a turn-off.

What Not To Do

There are some things that you should avoid when you find that you have erectile dysfunction.  Keep in mind that the particular instance of ED does not mean that it is permanent.  Like I said previously, there are many things that could cause it that you can control or remedy.  Still, it does not mean in any way, the end of your sex life with your wife.

Don’t fall for the hype.  You may be tempted to respond to a magazine article or ad on a website that promises you a stiff erection 15” long or some crazy thing like that.  Don’t believe it.  I tried one of those pills and stopped after only one or two days.  Hey.  I was desperate, as any man might be.  I noticed that my heart rate was way up from what it normally would be.  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.  I told my doctor and he said it is the caffeine in those pills if I remember correctly.  I stopped taking them and my heart ceased from trying to escape from my chest.

Don’t allow yourself to panic or become depressed.  Depression and stress are possible causes of erectile dysfunction.  Therefore, becoming even more stressful or depressed will only make things worse.  Know in your heart that you will get to the bottom of it and that you will be able to have an erection.  You simply need to find out why and resolve it.  This is what worked really well for me as I was seeking answers.

Don’t blindly take meds or supplements to solve the problem.  Your doctor may prescribe medications to help with your ED or you may discover advertisements for supplements that promise to solve the problem.  However, know what the medications or supplements are and their side effects.  Don’t blindly do whatever your doctor says.  Some doctors are more drug pushers than others and to them, all problems can be solved by a pill.  Also, don’t believe the advertisements promising to do away with erectile dysfunction.  Stay objective and sane.

Don’t stop having sex.  This may seem contradictory because to a man, erectile dysfunction means that you can’t have sex.  However, that is not true.  It only means that you can’t have an erection, can’t maintain one, or can’t have a full erection.  If you still have a libido and are still sexually driven, then there is no reason why you should put off sex just because you are having issues with your penis.  Would you throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, with anything else?  If you had a problem moving your leg, would you give up walking?  If you had problems with your eyes, would you simply give up on seeing?  No.  So don’t give up on sex.

This, of course, assumes that you had a healthy sex life before the ED started.  If your sex life was lacking, then that may be part of the problem in the first place.  Otherwise, continuing sex is a moot point.  You would instead, have to work with your wife to start having sex regularly and shore up the relationship so that you really have feelings for your wife (we tend to resent our spouse and eventually feel ill about them if they continue to refuse sex).

How Can The Wife Help?

The wife can play a critical role in resolving and dealing with erectile dysfunction in her husband.  The first thing that I would recommend is that if you have been neglecting to have sex with your husband or otherwise withholding sex from him, then stop it!  Start reassuring your affection to your husband and desire for him by having sex with him. Create ways to have sex to work around the ED problem.  There are all kinds of ways that couples have sex and incorporate toys and devices in sex.

Always encourage your husband and make him feel that he is still your man.  Remember that to a guy, having a problem with his penis directly affects his feelings about his manhood.  Assure him that his manhood is not defined by erectile function or dysfunction.  Work with him through the process and keep an eye on him so that he doesn’t start doing crazy things in desperation.

Initiate sex with him and enjoy what you two decide to do together.  Of course, not having an erect penis causes a change in how you do things, but work around this to keep him encouraged and your sex life going (Again, if you don’t have a sex life then start it now).

Make him feel that it is temporary. Remember that a man is scared with ED shows up at the door so to speak.  However, if he can become convinced that he will get over it, then he will tend to stay positive and not cower into depression.  Show your interest in him sexually and pursue him sexually. Heck.  You should do that whether he has ED or not!

Don’t make it a big deal.  Of course, not having an erect penis will prevent your husband from entering you.  He knows that, and you know that.  However, don’t make it a big deal.  It is what it is, so work around it.  Find other ways to satisfy each other.  Tell your husband things that he can do that arouses you and pleases you and has nothing to do with his penis.  Start using sex toys if you both are ok with that.  Don’t make the ED a big deal in the same way you would hope he wouldn’t make a sexual issue with you a big deal.  Work with him to resolve the issue and enjoy each other in the meantime.

Keep loving him. Don’t stop showing your love for your husband. Continue to express that love sexually (if you haven’t been doing this then start now!).  Make him feel like he is wanted and desired still.  Love him in other ways too based on your knowledge of his love language (You do know his love language, right?).

Pray for him.  As a Christian, I know that prayer is extremely important in any situation.  God is not embarrassed by sexual topics, so feel free to pray about your husband’s condition and that he would be rid of it.  Pray with him.  Lay hands on him and practice what the Bible teaches (Lay hands on the sick and they will recover – Mark 16:18).


A man who develops erectile dysfunction may feel as though the world has stopped spinning and the moon is about to fall onto the earth and land straight on top of him.  It is devastating to have ED, but a lot of that devastation is only perceived.  Get your wife involved with the process of overcoming ED.  Have great sex or start having sex if you hadn’t been previously.  Work on your marriage. See your doctor but take control of your healthcare.  Pray about it and expect God to help you to resolve the issue.  Do all you can to resolve erectile dysfunction, but try with all your might not to allow it to define you or establish the course for your life.

I had it and overcame it.  It was indeed devastating and scary.  However, all of the worrying I did and fear I experienced were totally unfounded.  For me, the cause was stress and anxiety.  I learned the importance of rest and not allowing things to control your emotions.  Enjoy life and be as stress-free as possible.  It is possible to overcome ED, but even if it stays with you in some degree, don’t allow it to control you.  Stay confident and stay positive until you beat it.

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