How to manage your Valentine’s Day ‘Sexpectations’
For some people, Valentine’s Day is a date in the calendar to look forward to, a chance to rekindle the romance in your relationship and demonstrate how much your partner means to you.
For others, February 14th approaches with a pressure to exceed expectations and be the ‘perfect partner’. This typically involves buying expensive red roses and chocolates, exchanging cards with deep and meaningful messages of love, having a romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant and last but not least….hot, steamy, passionate, mind-blowing SEX!
Such pressure to perform on the day might increase your anxiety levels, which can spoil your enjoyment and lead to sexual difficulties like erectile dysfunction (ED).
So it’s no wonder that prescriptions for PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra and Cialis, increase in the run up to Valentine’s Day. They are a popular medical treatment for ED and work by increasing blood flow to the penis. Anxiety and stress can cause ED or can make it worse, so treatment can be effective in overcoming this problem.
You could also consider these top tips:
- Decide not to have penetrative sex on Valentine’s Day, particularly if it causes pressure to perform. A sensual massage or non-penetrative sex might be more enjoyable, such as ‘intercrual sex’, which is where you rub your penis against your partner’s genitals using lubricant, creating a pleasurable friction without penetration.
- Avoid the pressures of Valentine’s Day altogether and celebrate your relationship in other ways at other times. Get some perspective; ask yourself, what does this day even mean to you and your partner?
- Crucially, talk to your partner about what each other’s expectations are.Valentine’s Day can be a source of tension for couples, especially when one expects the other to live up to being some kind of love God or Goddess. We are not mind readers; aiming to provide the perfect Valentine’s Day for your partner might be more of an unachievable fantasy than reality. By not talking about it, you are more likely to be setting each other up to fail. Perhaps agree in advance on what you do and don’t want from Valentine’s Day.
If you still feel that Valentine’s Day intercourse is non-negotiable and worry that ED will occur, there are some points worth noting if you are considering medical interventions like Viagra:
- You need to feel desire towards your partner for it to work,
- You may have to take it on several occasions before it is effective and it does not work for everyone.
- If you take it with a high fat content meal, its effectiveness could be compromised.
- LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor can support you with a free online consultation for ED assessment and treatment.
It is important to be aware that although ED may have psychological causes such as anxiety or relationship problems, ED can also be caused by underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Always get these medications on prescription from a GP. These drugs may not be suitable for everyone, so medical consultation should be sought.
If ED is an on-going problem, there are other effective medical, surgical and non-medical treatments worth considering, including psychosexual therapy.
Charlotte Simpson is an Accredited Psychosexual Therapist and Relationship Counsellor in Private Practice in North West London.