A Leap of Faith

by | Dec 16, 2018

I am sharing these stories from two recent clients who I worked with on erection challenges (usually called ‘erectile dysfunction’ though this is not a term I agree with as it can make people feel as if they are broken when that is not the case) and another who was ejaculating sooner than he would like.

These sexual challenges were hugely affecting both the men in these stories, Jerry for decades. I share this as when you have a sexual problem you can feel alone and hopeless, usually with no one to talk to.  It took a lot of courage for both these men to contact me. Neither of them thought their situation could change yet a small spark inside drove them to give it a try. It truly was a leap of faith. Their lives have transformed beyond what they ever imagined and I share this to give you hope if you are feeling alone and stuck. Do reach out as there are people who can support you and there is always something you can do, if not to fully resolve a sexual challenge to manage it in a healthy and different way.  I’ll let Sam and Jerry tell you their stories.

Sam, 33, Occupational therapist, overcoming ‘erectile dysfunction’

Sam came to see me as he was having challenges getting and maintaining an erection. This had been going on a number of years and was affecting his relationship and the rest of his life. This is rarely an issue now and if doesn’t get an erection or loses it it doesn’t affect him like it used to. Him and his wife are now having the best sex and Sam is in the words of his wife a ‘different man’.  Here is Sam’s story. 

Specifically how did you feel before this programme? What were the challenges in your life and what was the final straw that inspired you to look for support?

“This had been a problem for years, I think about four years.  Sex had started to become part of my relationship that I was seeing as a chore.  I mean, the sex was enjoyable when we had it, but I was relieved when we had sex that I’d done it as I didn’t have to wait and put myself through this test of performance for another little while.  And I just kept living that way for years, and I was rarely initiating sex, it was normally down to my girlfriend, now wife, to initiate sex, and that was becoming more of an issue. The difficulties with maintaining an erection were becoming more frequent and interfering with the relationship.  There was one night especially and I woke up the next day and it had ended in disappointment and I knew that something had to change.  And so I suppose there was a sense of helplessness.  

I was pretty convinced that it was something to do with the way I was relating to sex, so I didn’t think it was a medical condition.  But I knew that it was something that I had to invest in, to throw myself in to.  And I just couldn’t be a passive recipient of help – it was something that I really had to address if I was going to throw myself into this and get anything out of it. The first session with you was a catalyst to me to address the issue. I didn’t know if it was something that I could change but this gave me hope. 

It feels like I’m finally addressing something that’s been an issue for a long time and that I’ve not had the strength and courage to deal with and so I think that I’ve enjoyed the fact that turning to face it and addressing some of the issues was not as scary as I thought, and there’s been some real practical things that can really make a difference, and in my case made a difference quite quickly.

I’ve sort of enjoyed throwing myself into a new area of learning that I supposed I didn’t know really existed, and for me, sex, for my whole life has been behind the curtain and it hasn’t been something that I’ve talked about. I’ve never spoke about it with friends, family. We never spoke about it in school or work, and so it feels nice that I can learn, and learn things that really make a difference in life, to make life better. I didn’t expect it to shift so quickly. The more I put into it the more I got out of it.”

And what do you feel that you’ve learnt that’s really made a difference?

“I’ve learnt that sex, for me, needed to be seen from a broad perspective to be able to pick apart some of the issues that might be contributing to it.  It was about understanding how I felt about sex, how I felt as a man, how experiences in my past have influenced my approach to sex today, but also how my daily experiences now can influence the way I feel about myself and how that can influence the way I feel about sex.  

One of the big things I learnt about myself was that I had a tendency to censor myself as so far as sexual expression.  I feel like I’ve rarely expressed any sort of sexual feelings other than when I was in my bedroom so paying attention to that and making an effort to even say a few words to my wife, to send a text, so that sex became a part of my life – a thread through my whole life rather than just an isolated thing that I come back to sort of every few nights or every time we had sex.

The frequency of sex has changed – we now have sex several times a week – not all the time, it still fluctuates like normal life – but the frequency of sex has changed.  Sex is a much more positive thing and is something that I look forward to.   That’s not saying that the anxieties have completely gone away, but they are vastly reduced and I feel that they are under my control rather than controlling me.  Sex is less ‘behind the curtains’, it’s more on top and I feel more comfortable talking about this with my wife. The censorship issue is a big realisation for me.  

The issue of sexual confidence was one and so by putting myself as a sort of recipient of sex rather than someone who took control and acted on my impulses and went with my desire in the moment I was timid and afraid and then I realised that if I throw myself in with confidence not only am I going to feel better about sex, my partner will feel more desired and that that’s going to be a catalyst for better sex.  

And so it was almost like to begin with I had to fake my own behaviour a little bit to sort of… just to get things moving but realising that it had a profound effect.  You know, if I pulled my partner towards me in this way, or turned her over in this way… and just taking a more dominant role than I had been in the past for me has made a difference.  

It took courage, it took an awareness of my behaviour to the point that there were times where we were lying in bed, and lying there for a long time before either of us would initiate sex – she was waiting for me to do it, I was wondering whether she was going to do it, and thinking well maybe she doesn’t want sex tonight and I’m happy with that – to realising that that’s not a productive way of doing things.  And so I thought – right, let’s do it – and it helped.”

What limiting beliefs have you let go of?

“I no longer believe that men should have, or normally do have, strong erections all the time… and so there’s a fluctuating level or arousal during sex and that a slight softening of my erection doesn’t mean that it’s going – it just means that it’s part of that moment during sex.  And that was a limiting belief as that would lead to a spiral of thoughts and feelings that would tend to make the matter worse and so realising now that I can nip that in the bud and natural arousal will make it come back up, and that there are certain things that I can do to bring arousal back and I’m aware of that now – I think that that’s one of the biggest realisations.”

And what do you now believe?

“So one of the beliefs is the opposite of the last question… another belief is that in a long-term relationship, good sex and a good sexual relationship requires a gentle effort, it requires frequent communication, openness and honesty and understanding of ourselves and our partners can help.  And it’s better to communicate in a constructive and loving way rather than to brush the issue under the carpet which is what I would have done in the past to the point. I think that makes the thing a whole lot easier and it’s probably important for maintaining a relationship.”

And how have these changes impacted the rest of your life?

“I think the thing I learnt about myself was… I mean I knew I was a  relatively shy individual – but I know that I’m not shy – I regularly do public speaking and meeting lots of people in work but when it came to sex I was quite reserved and that’s probably through my upbringing and my interactions with people through sex and lack of sex education. 

So there are certain things that I’ve learnt from these sessions that have changed the way I see myself and how I interact with other people in all areas of my life – in particular work.  I see myself as a much more influential person that I did before – influential in a positive way – that my ideas count and that I can speak up for myself and having this confidence to be open and honest in other areas in my life.  I value myself more. One of the things that we talked about was that I felt like changing the way I dress, changing the way I present myself and the way I look after myself has been a big shift and that seems to have made a difference.  I mean, my wife has noticed a difference in my personality in a good way, she described me as a ‘different man’.”

Anything else you would like to share about the programme?

“I suppose if anyone is thinking about doing it and they’re holding back for some reason, then if you feel that you’re in the right place, come and do it…. because it can make a big difference.”

Jerry, 53, Company Director, overcoming ‘premature ejaculation’

Jerry contacted me as he’d been experiencing ‘premature ejaculation’ all his adult life and this had greatly affected his sex life and his sense of self.  After his wife died, he was reviewing his life and decided he had to to try and resolve this. He didn’t feel it was possible and at the end of our first meeting he said “I feel one hundred times better.”

We worked together for four months and now premature ejaculation is a thing of the past and he is very happy in a new relationship. Here is Jerry’s story. 

Specifically how did you feel before this programme? What were the challenges in your life and what was the final straw that inspired you to look for support?

“Before I came, I would avoid an intimate relationship, I didn’t want to get into bed with anybody as I was scared stiff of not performing and being laughed out of court, so that affected my self-confidence, affected my relationships, made me quite a closed-down, sterile person, I think.  I was very functional, to avoid getting hurt.  So now, I feel a lot more open, a bit of a blank canvas, I’m on a journey… I don’t know where it’s going but I’m loving it.”

You mentioned it took you three years to make contact with me?

“Mainly becaus​e I lost my wife and I was on my own, I thought I was going to be on my own for the rest of my life.  And I thought there were so many other things that I was having to do, like washing and ironing and clothes shopping and stuff… and I thought why don’t you have a go at this, what have you got to lose?  And I started doing yoga, I started getting fit and I thought I have to try and address this problem.   And I did go searching and that’s how I found you and I read your site a few times. 

I’ve been having to go down this path on my own and I was lost.  It’s been great having someone to talk to and map things who’s already been on this journey, and that takes a lot of the fear out. And being able to talk about it – an example is, if you want to play tennis, you get a tennis coach.  We don’t know, and it’s having the guts to say ‘I don’t know, help me’, and that’s what you’ve done.”

What are the biggest thing or things that have changed so far or what has been your biggest realisation?

“I came with a premature ejaculation problem which has disappeared and I’m now in a full sexual relationship and I am on a journey with that, which I never thought in a million years I would ever achieve.

The biggest thing that has changed is that I thought I was stuck with a physical unsolvable problem and now I’ve solved with the ejaculation problem. My biggest realisation is that the status quo doesn’t have to be the status quo, there are so many techniques and options so just you’ve got to give it a go. 

I’d never really connected the breathing, the sound, the yoga… all that, with the sexual activity and experience.   It’s made yoga even more valuable, because it’s teaching me that way to relax, to breathe, to look at the world, to live in the now.  Because I’m a professional person I’ve always lived in the future – start to plan to manage people, I’ve always been a month, two months in advance maybe, a year in advance and I live much more, I try to live much more in the now, and I know I’ve just got to keep working on it.

It’s done my self-confidence a world of good. It kind of feels like I’m back in the human race, I’m not an outsider. I kind of really truly believe now that the only limitation I have is what I’m prepared to work on and do, whereas before I thought I had disabilities that prevented me from doing things.  So you know, the world is my oyster and I’ve got to be brave and to go for things, whatever that might be.”

Anything else about yourself that you’ve learnt that you haven’t mentioned yet?

“I’m kind of amazed that I’m sat here talking to you in intimate detail about my emotions and how I feel, which I have never done.  And yeah, you know, I was always very sceptical about what you would call counselling. I’ve had bereavement counselling and that was nothing that I thought it would be, and this is nothing like what I thought it would be.  This is a much more holistic thing – it is about changing your whole way of life because it’s a holistic thing – it’s everything – so if you eat rubbish, drink rubbish, don’t exercise, don’t open your mind and explore stuff you will narrow down.  And it’s not being afraid to fail and giving it a go.”

And how have these changes impacted on the rest of your life?

“I can concentrate much more on relationships, I’m much more confident around groups of people than I was before, because I was worried before that if I got too close to somebody then I’d have to cut it out.  And again it’s just living in the now and understanding that the small things are important and the financial things – the mortgage and the car, and this has broken down… just to let it go… it’s not important really.”

Anything that you would like to add or improve in the programme?

“It would be good to have it every month for a long time!”

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