Sex ad­vice with Mrs Sal­is­bury

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE - Robyn Sal­is­bury is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. Email ques­tions to MrsSal­is­bury@sex­ther­apy.co.nz.

I’ve been in a re­la­tion­ship with a gor­geous wo­man for 11 years now. We are good mates, ac­tive lovers and over those years we’ve learned a lot about each other and our­selves.

We each have grown child from pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships who used to live with us some of the time but are now off do­ing their own thing. We re­tain a good strong bond with both of them. We’re both em­ployed and our jobs, while de­mand­ing at times, are go­ing along OK at present.

All of which is by way of ex­plain­ing my sur­prise that I have started fail­ing to get an erec­tion some­times. We didn’t make a big deal of it the first time, just thought I must be too tired or maybe had too much to drink and I’m sure that I was not ner­vous about it the next time we tried mak­ing love – at 51, I have had enough years of se­cure erec­tile re­sponse to have built up con­fi­dence. Again, we knocked but no one was home. Oc­ca­sion­ally since then I get an erec­tion but not re­li­ably at all. Now I am get­ting a bit wor­ried, so thought I would seek your ad­vice.

Good on you for stay­ing calm, you’re right that pan­ick­ing and fear­ing a re­peat ex­pe­ri­ence is one of the fac­tors that can set men up for re­cur­ring ED. How­ever, as this doesn’t ap­ply to you and your story shows no signs of high stress lev­els, ex­haus­tion or anx­i­ety which could ex­plain the prob­lem, we can nar­row this down. You re­fer to al­co­hol; how much are you drink­ing and how often? Heavy drink­ing can play a role in ED, as can a smok­ing his­tory. I would strongly en­cour­age you to get a check-up with your GP.

ED that is not re­lated to anx­i­ety can be a valu­able warn­ing sign of car­dio­vas­cu­lar prob­lems.

Along­side at­tend­ing to your phys­i­cal health, there’s a lot you and your part­ner can do to main­tain the re­la­tion­ship health that you have achieved to­gether. First, be aware that as you age all gen­ders re­quire more stim­u­la­tion to achieve arousal than pre­vi­ously, so it may sim­ply be that the days of spon­ta­neous erec­tions are over – now di­rect hand or mouth stim­u­la­tion is re­quired.

Now is also a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to move be­yond your pe­nis to dis­cover all the won­der­ful eroge­nous zones you both have all over your body that can bring ut­ter de­light.

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