Anxiety, Men's Health, Mindfulness, Self Care, Sexual Therapy

10 Steps To be Your Best Self in Bed – for erectile issues

10 STEPS TO ENHANCE YOUR PSYCHOSEXUAL SKILLS

This technique is used to treat challenges such as erectile dysfunction (ED). You should tailor the number of steps to the severity of your problems. Some people will need only a few of them while others may benefit from going through all of them and retracing them later on. Steps need to be done in order.

To achieve a pleasurable erection two components are needed: psychological relaxation and physical stimulation of the penis.

Psychological relaxation decreases your performance anxiety and relaxes the body. A frequent issue for men with ED is the lack of muscle relaxation around the vein entry to the penis. It may surprise you, but erections are more about muscle relaxation rather than hard work. Blood often fails to get through tensed muscles into the main veins of the penis. On the internet Kegel exercises (pelvic floor exercises) may seem like an easy fix. But sometimes using the wrong exercises can cause more problems. If you have overly strong and tensed pelvic muscles this vain entry can be even more closed off for the blood flow. So please contact a physio before trying ‘Internet fixes’! 

Don’t push it, go slow, and keep in mind that it may take time to see the results. Most important thing is to make it a fun, relaxing activity which you can share with your partner. Set realistic expectations and acknowledge that sex is not all about intercourse and erections but about pleasure and connection to one’s body or partner. Resilience is the key to dealing with any mental and sexual health issues. Being able to laugh off and shrug off unsuccessful attempts is what you want to get to. If during the attempt erection is not sufficient you can always please your partner in other ways! Let’s get to it!

PHASE 1: DEVELOPIG RELAXATION AND COMFORT

Those exercises teach sexual self-esteem, fundamental body management skills, and enhance your sexual comfort by sharing your sexual feelings. This will help to counteract performance anxiety.

Step 1: Increasing Sexual Comfort (couple exercise)

Goal: Develop tranquility and assurance with your partner.

Share your feelings, thoughts, and experiences with your partner. Talk openly about your desires, needs, dislikes, concerns, and inhibitions. Be accepting and open-minded towards your partner. It will only work if both of you feel comfortable and accepted during the conversation. 

Questions:

What did you learn about sexuality and sex in your childhood and adolescence? (marriage, masturbation, petting, intercourse, oral sex, orgasm, how are men and women act during sex)

Who taught you this?

What did it mean to you at the time?

What does it mean to you now?

What are your attitudes and beliefs about sexuality?

What is ok and what is not ok during lovemaking?

What do you believe is ok but feels not ok? 

What do you believe about intercourse? Oral sex? Experimentation? Sharing sexual fantasies? 

What do you think about masturbating privately? Masturbating while your partner watches? Mutual stimulation or taking turns?

What do you really like about couple sex?

Tell each other what sexually you appreciate about one another.

Discuss any concerns that you may have. (Remember to do it with empathy, warmth, and respect)

Step 2: Relaxation of Mind and Body (individual exercises)

Goal: Training your body and mind for relaxation.

 

Deep breathing

Observe your body and how you breathe. Do you notice your chest or stomach moving? Many men breathe mostly with their chest, although using the diaphragm (stomach) is more natural, allowing for deeper and more relaxed breathing. Imagine your belly is a balloon that is filling up and letting out the air. You can also place your hand on your belly to make sure that it goes up and down. Exaggerate it. 

 

Physical Relaxation

Make yourself comfortable, loosen up uncomfortable clothing. Close your eyes and relax. Breathe deeply and slowly, gradually inhaling as you count to five, then exhaling on the count of five. Relax your toes and feet. Now let the tension in your calves disappear. Imagine a soothing feeling rising through your legs, knees to your tights. Let your legs feel completely relaxed and free of tension. Breathe calmly and deeply, feel the air moving in and out of your body.

Now focus on your pelvis. Let your muscles relax; let go of the tension. Let this soothing feeling move through your buttocks. Feel yourself breathing deeply as the tension in the lower half of your body disappears. Then let the tension in your back begin to disappear. Let this soothing feeling wrap around your chest, shoulders, neck, down your arms and hands. Let the relaxation move through your face, feeling your facial muscles relax as you breathe calmly. Feel the tension disappear from your forehead, eyebrows, jaws. Allow your body and mind to feel relaxed and comfortable. You and your partner can do it side by side if you want.

Step 3: Relax Your Pelvic Muscles (individual exercise)

Goal: Relaxing your pelvic muscles (PM).

The point of this step is to identify and learn to consciously use your PM for physical relaxation. This is a ‘don’t be a thigh ass’ exercise. As I mentioned previously the more extension in your pelvis the less blood can flow in. our body tightens in response to the pressures, tensions, and burdens of life. This includes unconsciously tightening your PM. By learning to relax, you give your body the foundation for easy erections. If your PM relaxes, the rest of the body will follow. 

The easiest way to locate your PM is to imagine you are squeezing off urination or ‘twitching’ your penis. You will feel a mild sensation in one or more of the following areas: your penis, groin, the perineal area (between your testicles and anus), your butt muscles, or the anus. 

PM Basic Training:

Contract (tighten) your PM and hold for three seconds, then relax it for three seconds while you consciously focus on the sensations. Do this ten times at three different times during the day. At first, it might be difficult to tighten and hold the muscle for three seconds, but do what you can (one or two seconds) and build up your strength over time. 

The PM Continuum:

This exercise will increase your awareness of sensations and control over your PM. Visualise that your PM can be tightened in varying degrees of intensity. Imagine a continuum from 0 to 10, at first with three stops: 0 (relaxed), 5 (medium), and 10 (tight). Practice moving from one point to another, holding the PM at the level for three seconds, then relax. For example, tighten the PM to 10 and hold for three seconds, then return to 0 for three seconds, then tighten to 5 and hold for three seconds, and then relax to 0. Practice this until it becomes easy. Once you learn this, extend the continuum from three stopping points to five stopping points (10-0-5-0-7-0-3-0).

PHASE 2: ENHANCING YOUR AROUSAL AND EROTIC FLOW

In this phase, you will learn how to increase your pleasure with touch and provide sufficient physiological relaxation and physical stimulation for erections. Using self-entrancement arousal, you will have easy erections, an alternative to the typical impatient and zealous erections of partner interaction arousal. You’ll regain confidence. Enjoy working cooperatively with your partner, and learn how to build an erotic flow that is strong yet flexible

Step 4: Relaxed Couple Pleasuring (couple exercises)

Goal: Enjoy relaxed, nonerotic, sensual touch.

We literally NEED physical touch. It reduces anxiety, soothes and erases grief, and reduces frustration. In a healthy, intimate relationship, touch and sexuality are well-integrated. Expanding your awareness and increasing the variety and balance of the types of touch that you give and receive will enrich your sensual and sexual pleasure.

Touch Quality

Discuss the five types of touch below. Then estimate the percent that each type contributes to total touch in your relationship. Then rate the percent of each touch type you want to share in the future. Appreciate your different perspectives, and discuss how you can blend your desires. Discuss how you would like to alternate the amounts of each touch from time to time, from mood to mood. This helps to create different sensual and sexual scenarios.


Touch Type

         |Current % of Touch |% of Touch you want|

| You |   Your Partner |  You  |  Your Partner  |


Affectionate Touch: clothes on; warm, friendly, gentle; hugging; kissing; holding hands


Sensual Touch: cuddling, pleasant, cozy, relaxing, soothing; embracing;non-genital touching


Playful Touch: comfortable, secure – mix non-genital and genital touching


Erotic Touch: manual, oral, rubbing – erotic stimulation to orgasm                                           


Intercourse Touch: penis-vagina 


Relaxed Pleasuring

The goal of the exercise is to explore the sensations in your body, increase pleasure and overcome barriers to enjoy sensual touch. It will show you that touch can be pleasurable without being sexually arousing.

Set aside an hour and pick a private, softly lit, warm, and comfortable place. Undress and prepare yourself to be relaxed and focused. For 15 minutes, pleasure the entire back of your partner’s nude body; then for 15 minutes pleasure her/his front of the body with the exception of genitals and breasts. After that let your partner reciprocate in a similar manner avoiding nipples and genitals. 

To is not designed to be a massage that is loosening up muscles but gives sensual pleasure. You can tell your partner what you like the most. You can also guide their hand and give comets which will show your appreciation and encourage them. For example ‘Your touch is so soothing’ or ‘WHen you kiss me on the arm I feel very secure and nice’. If the touch is not to your liking, speak up about it but be gentle and appreciative. Let the rest of the time be quiet so that you can focus on the sensations.

Focus on the sensations in your body during this exercise. Feel your body when you are being touched or when you are touching your partner. Try not to excite your partner sexually, don’t go too close to genital or erogenous areas. If you do experience an erection just focus on the touch and it should subside. If you find it hard to stop your erections try not to look at your partner too much and not fantasise. Experiment with sensations: touch, kiss, lick, suck or caress your partner. You can explore other accessories such as massage oil, talcum powder, caressing with feathers, silk, fleece, or flannel.

Pay attention to here-and-now and to your pleasure. Your partner’s pleasure is also important but to have a great sex life both parties need to learn to experience individual pleasure.

This exercise should not be used as foreplay. It is best to avoid sex for the next 3 hours to protect the relaxing nature of this exercise. 

When you and your partner are comfortably relaxed, focused on sensual pleasure, limit mental distractions to less than 20% of the time, and do not experience erotic responses (erection), you are ready to move on to the next step.

Step 5: Your Cognitive Map for Erotic Flow (individual exercise)

Goal: Develop awareness of the range of your sexual arousal.

This exercise helps you to blend self-entrancement arousal and partner interaction arousal and ensure that you will maintain an erection during lovemaking. Each of us has different sexual arousal patterns or desired sequences that blend reality and imagination. By understanding this erotic flow evoked by specific images, behaviours, and feelings, you can consciously modify eroticism in order to slow down, hold steady, or intensify your arousal. This is a tool that can help you blend different arousal styles.

Developing Your Erotic Continuum

Create your map of arousal by making a detailed, specific list of images, feelings, behaviours, techniques, and scenarios that you find arousing. Using a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 equaling ejaculation (orgasm), assign an arousal level to each. Be sure to develop the 1-to-50 range of items instead of jumping to the highest items. 

When you experience ED, one of the several problems involving erotic flow usually occurs. It may be that your erotic flow is obstructed or derailed by distractions, fatigue, performance anxiety, or spectatoring. You may be outpacing your erotic flow by engaging in sex too frantically or passionately. We call this sexual drag racing. This occurs when you begin sex at the point of 50 or more and rush arousal. This can create ED through performance anxiety. Remember the guideline for functional erections: integrate your level of physical relaxation with the gradual level of physical and cognitive stimulation.

Step 6: Partner Genital Exploration and Comfort (couple exercises)

Goal: Learn more about your sensations and your partner’s; enjoy calm, relaxed touch and physical relaxation in an otherwise erotic stimulation.

This exercise sets the foundation for building your couple’s erotic flow. You will take turns leading each other in an exploration of your genitals. The purpose is to provide a sensual exploration of your body’s erotic parts, to practice sexual leadership with your own body, and to become more comfortable looking at and touching each other’s genitals in a relaxing, nonarousing way. This is a show-and-tell exercise. Focus on its exploratory and relaxational value rather than on arousal and sex.

Partner Genital Exploration:

This exercise will take around an hour. Begin with 30 min (15min for each of you to give and then receive) of non-genital pleasuring. It is a shortened version of the exercises which you have learned in Step 4.

Have your partner in a reclining position, popped up on her/his back with the pillows. Position yourself alongside her/him, facing her/him. For the next 15 min, have them lead you in the exploration of their erogenous parts. 

Do not pursue arousal. Discuss the sensations, what she/he prefers for relaxation, and what is uncomfortable. Discuss how you can enrich your partner’s pleasure. Ask questions of each other to learn or confirm what you experience. Use a scale of 1 to 10 to talk about how erotically sensitive a particular area is. 

Generally explore sensations in all of the parts of their body (Stomach, hips, genitals, even areas such as perineal parts which are located between the genitals and anus).

If your partner has a vagina you can explore all parts of the vulva, clitoris, and inside of the vagina. Let your partner guide you, many women can have inhibitions and may feel uncomfortable with insertion while keeping low arousal. Think of the vagina as a clock with the clitoris pointing to 12:00. Explore various finger positions. You can also position your index and middle fingers in a shape of a Y so she can show you how to please her outer areas with your mouth. 

If your partner is a man, start gently and operate with your fingers rather than grip the penis straight away. Explore all areas including testicles. You can also explore the anus and look for a prostate that can be pleasurable for them.

When it comes to your turn, take the lead beginning with your chest and nipples. Guide our partners’ fingers from the base of the penis up. Make sure that you discuss the feelings in your testicles as well. Everyone differs in levels of sensations of their genitals. That is why it is important to let your partner know how much stimulation you need in each part.

Do this exercise minimum of 3 times before moving on to the next step. 

 

Playful Nicknames for Your Special Sexual Parts:

Many couples have private nicknames for each other’s sexual parts. For example, his penis maybe ‘Big Ben’ or ‘Lollipop’. Her genitals could be ‘My Penis Warmer’ or ‘Powder Puff’. The important thing is that the nicknames are playful and endearing. Sarcasm is not a good idea in this exercise. Those nicknames should make your partner feel comfortable and confident.

Step 7: Couple Arousal Training: Easy Erections (couples exercise)

Goal: Learn to enjoy your easy erection, then choose to let it go, then comfortably regain it.

 

This exercise will show you how easy it is to gain, control, subside and regain your erection when you are relaxed and focused on self-entrancement. You will need to practice this exercise a few times before you will be confident with your skills.

 

Wax and Wane

 

This exercise has three stages and you will need to practice each one a few times. Begin each session with 30 min of relaxed couple pleasuring.

 

Soothing Genital Touch

Rest on your back and ask your partner to gently and soothingly explore your testicles and penis with soft, slow touch for 15 min. Concentrate on the quiet, calm sensations. Relax your pelvic muscles. Your partner can give you featherlike touching or fingering to pleasure your penis but without producing an erection. Do this part at least twice.

 

Finding your Calm, Easy Erection

Have your partner touch your genitals in a relaxing way. Then ask her to very gradually increase the fingering of your penis. Do not work to obtain an erection, but very slowly allow an erection by continuing your relaxation, keeping your pelvic muscles relaxed, and focusing on the pleasure in your penis. The more relaxed and focused you are, the easier it will become erect. You are practicing getting an erection with self-entrancement arousal – maximum body relaxation, minimal touch, and focus on your sensations (without partner interaction focus or fantasy).

Be patient. Typically, it will take at least five to ten minutes before an erection begins. Do not press it, or you will become distracted by spectatoring and undermine your physical relaxation. After several minutes of calm touch, she/he can increase the stimulation just a little. You are waiting to find the minimum touch you require to get an erection. Be sure you are not rushing it, because you would conclude that you need more stimulation than necessary. Keep your pelvic muscles relaxed and let your partner gradually increase the penile touch. Your partner can also try using two hands.

If after three exercises you have not begun to find your calm erection, then you may begin to add mildly arousing partner interaction fantasy. Look at your partner, or choose an item in the less arousing range of your continuum. You are searching for the mildest physical (self-entrancement) and cognitive (partner involvement) arousals that you need for an easy erection. When your calm erection begins, enjoy it.

 

Choosing to Wax and Wane

This time, repeat stage two, and after you’ve had an erection for three to five minutes, choose to let it subside about 50% by stopping or changing penile touch. As you feel your erection subsiding, stay focused on your sensations. Then signal her to change the touch to gradually bring back a relaxed erection. Notice that when you are physically relaxed, it is easier to regain it easily.

 

If you are having difficulties with gaining an erection through this exercise try practicing it by yourself to gain confidence. When you enhance your skills, start practicing with your partner.

PHASE 3: ENOJOY FLEXIBLE AND CONFIDENT INTERCOURSE

Step 8: Progressive Intercourse (couples exercise)

Goal: Integrate the skills and become confident with erections during intercourse.

 

This exercise reinforces the idea that pleasuring, eroticism, arousal, and intercourse are parts of a continuous, flowing process. 

 

Initiating the Intercourse

 

Begin by doing a relaxed couple pleasuring exercise for 30 min. Then lie on your back and invite your partner to straddle you and gently pleasure your penis to bring about an easy erection. When you have an erection and if your partner wishes they can insert it in their vagina or anus.

You do nothing but relax and focus on the pleasure. Your partner can move up and down to maintain your erection. Do not proceed to orgasm. Enjoy this close and pleasurable intercourse for 10 to 15 min, then gradually slow down and stop, and enjoy cuddling as a way to end the session. Complete the exercise minimum of two times.

 

The Stuff-It Method

 

Begin with 30 min relaxed pleasuring. Then lie on your back as your partner straddles you. It may help if you place a pillow under your hips to raise up for your partner. If you get an erection, wait until it goes down so you can begin intercourse without an erection. Focusing on your sensations and keeping your pelvic muscles relaxed, allow your partner to insert (stuff) your flaccid penis into the vagina or the anus. This may seem strange at first, but if they adjust the position and open the vagina or anus with the other hand they can insert your penis. This will require cooperation – maneuvering, scrunching, and angling. 

Once inside, remain still and let your partner sit on you, and gently pleasure your penis inside. Enjoy the contact as they move slowly. Pay attention to the subtle pleasure, because if they move too much, you will plop out. If this happens, let your partner reinsert your penis. Have intercourse this way for 10 minutes. If you are sufficiently relaxed (remember to monitor your pelvic muscles), you will eventually start to get an erection. Allow it to occur and enjoy the special closeness, but do not go on to orgasm.

If after two exercises you have not gained an erection, make sure to include a sufficient partner interaction arousal by choosing an item from your erotic flow map such as watching your partner on top of you or touching them.

 

How does it feel to start intercourse this way? Strange? Warm? Embracing? Intimate? How does it feel for your partner? When might you want to begin intercourse this way?

Step 9: Intimate and Flexible Intercourse (couple exercises)

Goal: Enjoy intercourse, encourage your partner’s, and develop alternative (nonintercourse) scenarios.

Enjoying Intercourse

Begin with the usual 30 min of couple pleasuring. Have your partner help you obtain an erection. Then share mutual pleasuring, including manual and oral stimulation, blending self-entrancement with partner interaction focus. Allow pleasuring to be slow, tender, caring, and rhythmic. Then lie on your back with your partner straddling you.

Let the transition to intercourse be unhurried and flowing, allowing your partner to guide you. Then your partner can continue the thrusting in a way that they find arousing – slow, up and down, circular, rhythmic, in and out. You can utilise your greater freedom to caress, stroke, fondle and kiss their body. Multiple stimulations can facilitate arousal for both of you. This can include gentle clitorial or penis stimulation, whether by your hands, your partner’s, or indirect stimulation from the movement. 

Be aware of what is the most arousing for you and stay with your erotic flow. Experiment, cooperate and give feedback to find ways to establish mutually enjoyable intercourse. Enjoy the entire pleasuring, arousal, and intercourse process for about an hour, and complete the exercise at least twice. 

It is advised for the arousal to be 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 before the intercourse begins. Avoid switching to intercourse as soon as you are erect. Continue multiple stimulations throughout the exercise. You can scratch your backs, fondle breasts, caress tights, testicles, etc. Balancing arousal styles between self-entrancement and partner interaction is also very important especially if your ED is accompanied by premature ejaculation. Feel free to utilise fantasies and change positions. 

Step 10: Different Scenerios

Come up with three new scenarios which you could include in your sexual play. Be creative and do not judge your partner for their ideas!

 

Goal: Create fun and enjoyment with sex

Sexually satisfied couples enjoy a certain amount of adult playfulness, whether humor, lightheartedness, affectionate teasing, sexual nicknames or intellectual bantering. Mature playfulness also has a deeper intimacy-building side, including sharing memories of unique times, traditions, special moments, private meanings, even spirituality. The way you play together makes you special as a couple. 

Sex is a form of healthy, adult playfulness. For sex to be playful, it must be kind and caring, respectful and accepting, face and secure.

Intimacy deepens when you know your partner well enough to understand in what ways they are comfortable experimenting with your bodies and sexual scenarios. On an intimate level, playfulness signals that the feelings of closeness are more important than anything else (for example performance) and that your relationship is special. Play brings us full circle to our primary goal: relationship intimacy.

Alternative Scenarios

Expand your comfort with an innovative sexual scenario. This exercise will help you decide on an activity that you want to cultivate and ensure a sense of trust within your erotic scenario. This means talking with your partner about what you will do and deciding on a signal to pause or stop if the activity will be beyond your comfort level. Approach this activity gradually. With repetition, you will find that your emotional comfort and pleasure will be increased.

Choose from the following list that you may occasionally want to incorporate into your lovemaking, or create your own. There are no right or wrong desires, only individual preferences. Talk about those scenarios. Do not present your desire as a demand. Remember that everyone has areas of shyness and discomfort. You have a right to say no to a sexual scenario. Using a scale of 1 to 10, rate your respective levels of interest and then your levels of comfort. Evaluate your comfort by the three criteria for intimate play: caring, respect, and security. Then decide what you’ll try. Use this exercise as an opportunity to think boldly of yourself as a sexual person who has the right to pleasure and joy. Read through some of the ideas for fun sex scenarios/scripts and rate them from 1-10 where 1=not interested and 10=very interested. Ask your partner to also rate those suggestions.

  • Playing strong or aggressive, shy or hard-to-get
  • Wearing sexy lingerie or briefs
  • Talking dirty during sex
  • Playful bondage (eg. hands tied with crepe paper)
  • Sex in special places (next to fire place, in the car, at the beach)
  • Holding hands while you have intercourse
  • Acting naughty or wild
  • Using toys like oils, dildo, feathers, or vibrator
  • Pretend that you are virgins having sex for the first time
  • Take turns performing a striptease for each other
  • Have phone sex
  • Take turns with ‘your night’ and ‘your partner’s night’ when each of you can request a special erotic scenario
  • Watch an X rated DVD/video as the foreplay to your lovemaking
  • Gaze into each other’s eyes during intercourse

REMEMBER !

If those exercises do not help you do not get discouraged, there are many more techniques and approaches to try.
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