More than one million Australian men live with erectile dysfunction (ED) and it is estimated that by 2025 the issue will affect 322 million men worldwide.
ED is when a man can’t develop or maintain an erection, and it can understandably have an enormous impact on a person’s sex life and relationship. What’s more, it also rings alarm bells that another health issue could be present.
It’s a topic that few like to discuss openly for fear of judgement, but it’s a common problem, with mild and moderate erectile dysfunction affecting approximately 50 per cent of men in their 50s, 60 per cent of men in their 60s, and nearly 70 per cent of men in their 70s. As the stats show, it’s most often associated with increasing age, but it’s also connected to depression, obesity, a lack of exercise, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
And it can have serious impacts on a person’s life. Erectile dysfunction can affect a man’s ability to urinate correctly, potentially leading to urinary incontinence issues and can cause the tissue of the penis to break down, causing scarring and a reduction in penis size.
But, on a personal level, it can have detrimental effects on a person’s sex life and, in turn, their mental health. In fact, men experiencing sexual dysfunction face up to a 210 per cent increased risk of developing depression, so speaking to a doctor as soon as the issue arises is essential. “Whether or not sexual relationships are important to the couple, the loss of ability to have an erection can lead to feelings of shame and inadequacy,” Bendigo-based urologist Dr Rohan Hall has explained.
If you or your partner are experiencing ED, there are ways to help, with the first step being a trip to your general practitioner (and potentially a specialist if there’s signs of other major health issues such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure). The penis isn’t typically examined during a GP consultation, but blood pressure, sugar control, cardiovascular health and cholesterol are checked. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test may also be requested, to ensure the prostate isn’t behind the erectile problems.
And, if required, a medication called PDE5 inhibitors may be provided to help increase blood flow to the penis. According to Hall, men should notice an erection almost instantly after taking it.
Meanwhile, when it comes to intimate time in the bedroom, don’t be afraid to bring toys into the mix (they’re not all designed for females!). The multi-award winning Guybrator is a pleasure device designed by men for men – with erectile dysfunction in mind. It can be enjoyed hands-free, without the need for stroking, making it much easier for the couple to enjoy themselves. Keep in mind though, it performs much better with the application of lubrication as well.
Speaking of which, the Sutil Coconut Body Glide is a great option. It acts like a silicone lube, is long lasting and easy to clean from your body and the bed sheets.
Another toy to consider is the Jett. It’s a powerful male vibrator that is also hands-free and promises to “provide pleasure sensation like you have never felt before”. The best part about this toy is that you don’t need to wait until the penis is erect to use it, so it’s perfect for those who experience ED.
And you can’t ignore the Vibrating Stroker, which is designed to deliver powerful sensations. It fits perfectly between bodies and its strong vibrations can help create ultimate pleasure for couples. On the Sassy Marketplace you’ll also find naughty games to play with your partner to help spice things up, massage oils and personal lubricants.
If you’re feeling a little nervous about going down the path of sex toys, Susan Jarvis, owner of website The Spicy Boudoir, which sells the above products, said she made sure the range is appropriate for seniors and “completely unlike the stereotypes of the sex industry”.
“There’s a common belief that once you … hit menopause (or man-o-pause) that your sexuality becomes redundant,” she said. “Another common misconception is that people with a disability do not desire sex. That is entirely untrue.”
She added, “My mission … [is] to create a brand experience completely unlike the stereotypes of the sex industry. I do not want my customers to be hit with neon colours, plastic genitalia or phallic devices as soon as they enter my store.”
You can browse The Spicy Boudoir products here.
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IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.