We need to talk about sexual dysfunction | Conversation starters for your partner

6 min

Sexual dysfunction is defined as any physical or psychological (emotional) problem that prevents you or your partner from getting sexual satisfaction.

Some of the most common types of sexual dysfunction in men include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed or inhibited ejaculation and low sex drive.

There are lots of different factors that may cause sexual dysfunction in men, and they can be really tricky things to speak about, especially if you’re unsure of what exactly the sexual function issue is or what’s causing it.

It’s Not Your Fault: The Prevalence of Sexual Issues

Many men may feel that their sexual dysfunction is a personal problem, that it’s their fault, or that they are alone in their condition. Other men may feel that they need to ‘man up’ or get their issue ‘fixed’.

Sexual issues, whether they are temporary or longer-term, are a lot more common than many men might think.

Sexual dysfunction issues are different to most other health conditions because they don’t just specifically affect you, they also affect your sexual partners — with partners of men with erectile dysfunction reporting being just as affected as the men themselves.

In some cases, the partners of men with erectile dysfunction know that there’s something going on before the men even mention it and may feel as though they are responsible for their partner’s reduced interest in sex and intimacy.

By recognizing the effect on their partners of erectile dysfunction and including them, men can improve the success of treatment.

Take the First Step: Talk About Sexual Dysfunction

Speaking with any sexual partner honestly about how you’re feeling about sex will help you to break down barriers and help you to find a groove that works for both you and your partner.

Conversations about erectile dysfunction can be difficult, even for doctors, but they’re critical conversations to have.

Feeling Awkward Talking About Sex? Consider MensLine Australia’s Chat Service

MensLine Australia offer a service that lets you chat to them over the phone, which could be a good first step in the right direction to feeling more comfortable in speaking about sex with your partner.

Once you have spoken with your partner, you might feel that a weight has been taken off your shoulders. Remember, when it comes to sexual dysfunction, it’s not as easy to put a band-aid on the issue and move on.

Having an open conversation and acknowledging what is happening is the best way you can get onto your road to recovery. If it helps to keep the conversation open with your partner, bring them to your doctor’s appointment so you can both learn more about your condition. A problem shared is a problem halved.

For helpful information on male sexual and reproductive health, visit our resource library.


Low sex drive
Sexual health
Sexual performance
Social connection

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