Credit: The Milwaukee Record

Hello MKE SEX,

How do you bring up to a partner that he may have erectile dysfunction and you want him to do something about it because nobody is having fun? You know, taking into account a most fragile masculinity, a lot of insecurity, and that any sex talk is engaged in with a ton of difficulty often resulting in anger or hurt feelings? He’d rather just not talk about it. For what it’s worth, we’re a hetero couple, and we’ve been together for about 10 years.

Open to any suggestions!

Dear Open,

My heart goes out to the two of you. We all want trust, honesty, and compassion in our relationships, but a mutually fulfilling sex life is very important, too. When we discuss sexual dysfunction with our partners, there’s a very real risk that we’ll hurt their feelings, and the problem can spiral. Given the potential consequences of introducing the topic, it’s no wonder many people choose to just stay quiet. Often that does seem to solve the problem, at least temporarily.

But did you know that the World Health Organization calls sexual health a basic human right? In 2006, they defined sexual health as “…a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”

His desire to “just not talk about it” does not supersede your right to a sexually fulfilling relationship. You both have a responsibility to communicate your needs, and come up with solutions that respect those needs. We often approach these discussions feeling like we need to defend our own position, preventing us from really hearing our partner’s perspective.

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The doctor’s at American Male Medical are dedicated to assisting men with erectile dysfunction and premature issues. If you and/or your partner is suffering from either of these, call for an appointment and get help today.