- Erectile dysfunction causes aren’t all physical; some have a psychological basis.
- Studies suggest psychological techniques such as mindfulness practice can help men improve their ED.
- Mindfulness is being aware of your mental state and focusing on the present moment.
- You can practice mindfulness alone or with a partner.
- Always consult with a doctor if you notice signs of erectile dysfunction.
Mindfulness: The term doesn’t exactly have a sexy ring to it. You probably don’t think of frolicking in bed at the sight of meditating Buddhist monks.
But mindfulness involves more than meditation. You can use it even if you’re not religious or spiritual. And learning a few basic exercises can help you overcome sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction.
Research on Mindfulness as an Erectile Dysfunction Cause
Scientists have studied the impact of mindfulness on our lives, including romantic relationships and intimacy. And they’ve made some interesting discoveries, including the following:
Insufficient Mindfulness Is Connected to Erectile Dysfunction
Researchers have identified the link between mindfulness and sexual dysfunction, including ED. Men who are not very mindful in the bedroom and everyday life have more problems with weak erections.
For some men, the causes of ED are hydraulic, and treatment with lifestyle medication like Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis is enough to get them going. But many others suffer from psychological ED. For them, their mind and emotions can get in the way of satisfying erections.
There are many possible reasons men can get this type of erectile dysfunction, including:
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship problems
Mindfulness can help with all of these issues. People who are sexually mindful have higher self-esteem and lower anxiety levels. They tend to be better at managing their feelings and recognizing mental states.
Mindfulness Skills for Better Sex
Results of a sexual mindfulness study suggest that mindfulness practice is linked to feelings of self-worth and relationship satisfaction. For women in particular, more mindfulness meant better sexual satisfaction.
Other research pointed out that mindfulness supported emotional regulation. These traits helped participants function better in bed. They also had fewer problems with excessive use of pornography.
What’s Mindfulness, Anyway?
Remember those Buddhist monks? Why do you think they are so calm during meditation? Mindfulness is all about the awareness that you are right here, right now. You focus completely on what you’re doing. You’re not thinking about bills to pay. And you’re not running a replay of yesterday’s argument with Jack from the sales department.
Why It’s Hard To Stay Mindful During Sex
Easier said than done, right? Yes, especially in sex. Lovemaking is not the same as sitting calmly on a yoga mat and listening to your breath. You do many things at once. Your body is in a heightened state of pleasure, but difficult feelings or nagging thoughts can spoil the fun.
Sooner than you realize, your mind spirals out of control. You may be thinking, “This girl is so hot. I have to show her I’m great in bed.” Or “What if I lose my erection? She’ll think I’m a loser.”
The more you focus on thoughts like these, the less you’re able to feel and enjoy that intimate connection.
Sexual Mindfulness Can Help
Sexual mindfulness teaches you to return to the present moment. You’re here, in this body, with this person (or alone), and you draw your attention to the sensations — that magical cocktail of excitement, curiosity, and pleasure. If an intrusive thought comes up, you are able to let go of it and come back to what you were doing.
What’s so great about sexual mindfulness is that you can practice even if you don’t have a partner. Mindful masturbation can help you learn yourself better and become an excellent lover.
Mindfulness for Men With ED
Experts recommend mindfulness-based programs to men with situational ED (when you can’t get an erection because you’re too stressed or worried). Even a short program can help you feel better.
- You’ll relax as you learn that ED is common and you’re not alone with your problem.
- You understand what triggers your erectile difficulties.
- You come to believe that you have the power to overcome your ED.
- You can include your partner in your treatment.
If you’re in a relationship with a woman, here’s more good news: Partners of women who learned mindfulness practices during a sexual therapy program had stronger erections! Can you think of a better reason to explore mindfulness as a couple?
Getting Started With Mindfulness for ED
Curious about mindfulness and ready to try it? Here are simple exercises that won’t take much time. The key is to practice regularly. Some of these techniques are so easy you can do them while walking in the park or sitting on the subway.
Three Minute Check-In
Take a moment in your busy day to check in with yourself. Take a few deep breaths. Then ask yourself these three questions, and take at least a minute to find the answers. Don’t overthink this; just observe what’s going on inside.
- How does my body feel?
- Which emotion is strongest right now?
- What thoughts are going through my head?
The Senses Game
If you find yourself drifting off in bed (or mindlessly masturbating while watching porn), focus on one of your senses. We have five of them:
For example, if you’re making love to someone, focus all your attention on their scent. Breathe and try to explore how different body parts smell. Pro tip: It’s good to take a shower together before jumping in bed.
This one can only be done with a female partner, but its surprising effect is stronger erections for you. In this 15-minute practice, you stroke your partner’s clitoris without sexual intention.
You get to bond with her on a deeper level. And you stop connecting sexual touch with the pressure to have a rock-hard erection.
Get a Doctor’s Opinion on Weak Erections
If you’re a guy who’s more used to gym workouts than mental fitness, mindfulness can feel weird at first. But give it a try! You’ll notice improvement in the bedroom and beyond.
But remember that mindfulness takes practice. If you need a little help until you get there, we offer all FDA-approved erection dysfunction medications. Take advantage of our complimentary medical consultation and fast, discreet delivery. You’ll be on your way to more satisfying sex before you know it!
Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy women and couples solve their intimate problems.