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What is Sexual Intelligence, and Can It Help Men with ED?

Key Points:

  • Sexual intelligence = Information + Emotional Skills + Body Awareness.
  • Sexual intelligence is a concept developed by renowned therapist Dr. Marty Klein.
  • Dr. Klein wrote the book “Sexual Intelligence” using the stories of his patients collected in over 30 years of clinical practice.
  • Our sexual function changes over time and we need to adapt our perspective to enjoy intimacy later in life.
  • Low libido is common in long-term relationships, especially among women.
  • To overcome erectile dysfunction, men need to combine medication with emotional work.

Why is sex still taboo to many people? And why do so many individuals struggle with sexual dysfunction? Sex therapist Dr. Marty Klein has answers to these questions and more. In his bestselling book “Sexual Intelligence,” he shares insights from over 30 years of clinical practice. We can all learn a thing or two from the experiences of his patients.

What is Sexual Intelligence?

“Sex isn’t just an activity — it’s an idea.” Behind this simple sentence hides a multitude of bedroom concerns and anxieties.

If sex were a mere physical act, we could train hard and get it right at some point, like athletes do. But there’s more to it than bodies touching one another. It’s about emotions, thoughts, and belief systems. To make sense of this complex tapestry, we need sexual intelligence.

Dr. Klein explains the concept using the following equation:

Sexual Intelligence = Information + Emotional Skills + Body Awareness

His goal is to provide “sexual education” for grown-ups — the missing piece of the puzzle. Some of us learned the basics at school — we received information on puberty, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections. Others had to rely on friends and adult films for education.

Whatever your story, this is not enough knowledge to build a happy, long-lasting intimate relationship with another person.

To get better at sex, we need a different perspective. It may sound complicated at first, but sexual intelligence can help you feel more at ease in the bedroom.

Sexual intelligence is sex education for grown-ups
Sexual intelligence is sex education for grown-ups

How Sex Changes with Age

According to Dr. Klein, as far as our sexuality is concerned, most of us are stuck in the period of early adulthood. We want our bodies and desire to function the same as when we were roughly 18-25 years old. Letting go of that assumption is the first step towards sexual intelligence.

Research shows that some aspects of our sexual function change over time, for both women and men.

Modern medicine and cosmetic surgery can slow down some aspects of aging, but changes are inevitable. The sooner we accept that as a fact and learn to adapt our intimate habits, the more pleasure we will have as we get older.

“Aging isn’t some thief that steals your sexuality; it steals one version of your sexuality—function-based sexuality.” – Dr. Marty Klein

Desire Can Wane in Long-Term Relationships

Having a satisfying sex life is typically not a problem when you are with a new partner. Hormones kick in. You’re falling in love and may have sexual marathons until the wee hours of the morning. As reality kicks in — you move in together, maybe get married and have kids — your desire begins to wane.

Studies confirm that libido drops in long-term relationships (especially for women, but for men, too). Is there a way to get your desire back? According to Dr. Klein, there is. And it’s not what you think.

Low desire is common among women in long-term relationships
Low desire is common among women in long-term relationships, but men experience it, too

The concept of sexual intelligence assumes that to maintain a healthy sex drive after years together, we need to make adjustments, such as:

  • Not having sex when we’re tired
  • Planning for spontaneity
  • Shortening our long list of expectations

“My patients want sex to be ‘natural’ and ‘spontaneous,’ to ‘just happen,” Dr. Klein explains in his book. He then moves on to explain that this belief is a desire killer for committed couples.

Our lives are complex and busy, and we cannot wait for intimacy to happen. Desire has to become a decision.

Start by Reviewing Your Sexual Habits 

If you always make love in the evening, after a long day of work, don’t be surprised if you don’t get as much pleasure out of it as you or your partner would like.

Give planning a chance. Putting intimacy on the agenda is a clear message that this part of your life is important. Rearrange your week to make enough time and space for lovemaking. Get a babysitter, switch to morning sex, or plan it for lunchtime (thank you, home office!). If there is a will, there is a way.

Check Your Expectations

Another important step to take to get your desire back is reviewing your expectations. Yes, having a long bath, preparing a candlelight dinner, doing a sensual massage, and enjoying slow hours of erotic delights may have been possible when you were younger but may not work as adulthood hands you more responsibilities. Do a reality check of what is feasible today.

This is not to say you must give up on romantic sex altogether. Save it for special moments and prepare accordingly. In the meantime, be honest with yourself and with your partner. What is your minimum to get in the mood? Make a shortlist and see what happens.

If you suspect low libido may be holding you back, check out this article on our blog for tips on getting your mojo back.

Putting intimacy on the agenda can help bring desire back
Putting intimacy on the agenda can help bring desire back

An Intelligent Approach to Erectile Dysfunction

Hollywood movies get it all wrong about sex. It’s rarely perfect. With time, sexual dysfunction may develop, making the whole endeavor even more challenging. Learning the principles of sexual intelligence can help you overcome difficulties, such as erectile dysfunction or difficulty reaching orgasm.

To get started, say goodbye to a limited vision of sexual success. There’s so much more to intimate satisfaction than intercourse, erections on demand, and simultaneous orgasms. It’s time to get creative and look for ways to feel and give pleasure — even if your penis refuses to cooperate.

Throughout his career, Dr. Klein has worked with multiple men suffering from erectile dysfunction. While he believes modern medicine like Viagra to be useful, he noticed some couples struggled to have enjoyable sex even with erectile function restored.

Why so? In many cases, the mechanical problem may have been solved, but the initial anxiety remained. Men focused so much on their penises that they forgot to have fun.

“Focusing on how your penis or vulva is working is an enormous distraction from pursuing pleasure or intimacy.” – Dr. Marty Klein

The perception of manliness is to blame here. If you are convinced you can be a real man only if you get a hard-on anytime you want, you will miss the important parts of a happy sex life: feeling the pleasurable sensations and satisfying your partner.

Men who have sexual intelligence go beyond that. They don’t shy away from the gains of modern medicine; they ask their doctors for ED medication if they need it. But they take it a step further. They work out the emotional aspects of their sexual dysfunctions and talk openly to their partners.

How eDrugstore Can Help

If you would like to learn more about maintaining a healthy sex life, check out the eDrugstore blog. If you’re interested in what ED medication could do for you, we offer a free and confidential medical consultation with a U.S.-licensed physician who can help you make the best choice. Call our toll-free line at 1-800-467-5146 or order here from eDrugstore.com, a safe and reliable online pharmacy.

If you need support with the emotional aspects of your love life, find a sex therapist or coach to help you embrace your own sexual intelligence.

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