Support for Men with ED – Interview

Jennifer interviews Robert, a prostate cancer survivor dealing with erectile dysfunction, about his treatment and the support he has received from his doctor and his coach.

20:00 minutes



Jennifer Stephan is an Intimacy Coach hell bent on moving people forward so that they can have a better quality of life. Yes, she is certified in coaching from a reputable establishment. She truly believes that intimacy is a blending of mind, body and soul. Communication is also key. She is a tiny tornado seeking to destroy sexual barriers, unlock the doors for those that feel shame and defender of rights for all.


Resources for men dealing with Erectile Dysfunction

Read Robert’s guest article, Sex After Prostate Cancer

Erectile Dysfunction and Sex

You have questions, many of them. Not just questions but feelings and you have no idea who to ask or where to look for help. Your main focus was recovering from surgery, survival because let’s face it that is instinctual. Your questions range from “When will I get an erection” to “Will I ever get an erection again” to “How do I have sex without an erection” and many in-between questions.

It easy for others to tell you it is just a matter of time or that there are drugs that can “help”. The fact of the matter is that there has been a very real change that has occurred with your body. You have a right to be worried, angry and confused. It is also important to understand that there are things you can do to improve your situation. Like all things in life there are steps to go through. The first one is understanding that this is happening to you. Everyone experiences it differently but you are not alone. The second is understanding that you are a sexual being.

It is not unusual for people to confuse sex and sexuality, intimacy with the need to want to have intercourse. Sex and intimacy are difficult for most people to discuss. As a society we have decided we will only talk about it behind closed doors. We find it difficult to talk about it with our partners, friends and often our doctors. Often it becomes a taboo subject therefore making us feel ashamed.If you are a man that has had prostate cancer, has a heart condition, diabetes or takes medication you understand that erectile dysfunction can be a very real problem that effects many aspects of your life. Your relationships, how you view yourself, and how you interact with the outside world.  For many men it isn’t even something discussed with their medical professional prior to treatment. It comes as a complete surprise leaving them feeling ambushed.

As human beings we all desire human contact. Understand that regardless of what has happened you are still capable of intimacy as well as sexual gratification. Sex is the actual act of intercourse. Sexuality is the mind and soul. It is your ability to be fluid in your body. You are not just a single part, but a whole being.   Therefore you are capable of many things. While your penis may not be erect you are still able to feel sensations and will enjoy being touched and stroked. You are also capable of stimulating your partner.

Intimacy is communicating. It is sharing thoughts and ideas. It is creating an environment in which you feel safe to share your body, mind and soul. It can be an incredible experience to allow yourself to be that vulnerable. So how do you do all of this? It takes an open mind. It takes hard work and a willingness to explore.

For men with ED issues there are options. I am sure you have researched them in depth but for those of you that haven’t.

  • Viagra/Cialis
  • Suppositories
  • A pump specifically designed for men with ED
  • Injections
  • Penile Implants

There are also counselors, therapists and coaches that specialize in sexuality. It is important to find someone that you feel comfortable with and that understands your needs. There are also many forums and discussion groups online where you may find some support and find a community of like-minded men.

I am not here to blow smoke up your ass. It is a long journey and not an easy one. What you have been through is difficult and the changes suck. Men in particular often are overlooked when it comes to things of this nature. It is a big deal and I get it. The road is long but believe when I tell you that there are things you can do and you are a sexual beast. If you have come this far then nothing can stop you now. Things are going to be different but that doesn’t mean it won’t be incredible.

If you are experiencing ED start being sexual with yourself now. Let your thoughts wander and appreciate your body. If you feel comfortable ask your partner to explore with you. Don’t put pressure on yourself for anything else. Just start there and enjoy your thoughts and take it from there. It is a journey, one step at a time.

Jennifer Stephan is an Intimacy Coach hell bent on moving people forward so that they can have a better quality of life. Yes, she is certified in coaching from a reputable establishment. She truly believes that intimacy is a blending of mind, body and soul. Communication is also key. She is a tiny tornado seeking to destroy sexual barriers, unlock the doors for those that feel shame and defender of rights for all.


Resources for men dealing with Erectile Dysfunction

Reclaiming Intimacy after a Major Life Change

You are a male and you have a penis. Let’s assume you have had said penis since birth for arguments sake and the purpose of the article. Everything you know about sexual intercourse, intimacy and pleasure of a sexual nature is in some manner tied up in your penis. This is not an accusation. It is an appendage that you have touched, that has been touched, that has been stimulated throughout the years and let’s be honest, has brought you as well as others great pleasure.

You have aged and now found yourself in a place where there is a possibility your health has affected you. Possibly a heart condition, prostate cancer, diabetes or an accident. There is a great deal of information on these conditions. Medical doctors that can treat you and aid you in recovery. Yet there are after effects of these conditions that linger. I am not a doctor but I do know that intimacy and the information needed to relearn intimacy are necessary in order to have a better quality of life.

How does one deal with something of such magnitude when they are already vulnerable? It is a very difficult situation and not one to be taken lightly. So much has already occurred and now there are more challenges ahead. Understanding that you are not alone, that there is help for you is essential. I realize it is frustrating to have had surgery or have had something happen to you beyond your control and have to face such a daunting task but you are worth it and should know that everything you want is possible if you are willing to make it happen.

It is possible to have a warm, crazy, loving relationship filled with passion and erotic moments. It is just a matter of being patient with yourself and letting go of what was, so that you can enjoy what can and will be.

Intimacy is far more than the connecting of bodies but we have been conditioned to believe that. Men are taught from an early age their penis is a symbol of vitality and masculinity. It is what makes them a man. Sperm is released through the penis, it is how they procreate. So what happens if your penis is no longer viable? Intercourse is but one way to connect. In many cases men that have been treated for prostate cancer are no longer able to achieve an erection. Yet they are still capable of feeling arousal and achieving an orgasm. Is it the same as ejaculating in the typical fashion? No, there is no semen, no erection, but there is pleasure.

It is necessary to relearn the art of intimacy. Touch, communication, to be open to exploring new options. Understand that like all things it takes a commitment and a willingness to achieve what it is you want.

In the case or prostate cancer as well as other conditions there are some options that can improve one’s sexual life. There are penial implants. It is a relatively short surgery in which an inflatable device is placed in your penis and scrotum. It can take four to six weeks to heal and antibiotics will most likely be necessary. Oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra can be prescribed as well. Other options include a vacuum device that is used a few times a day to help the blood flow in the penis. Another option is a medication injected into the side or tip of your penis allowing the blood to be trapped and thus maintaining an erection.

Yet all I have given you so far are facts you could have gotten yourself. What I want to give you is more. I want to give you hope. I want to give you the skills and ability to see and feel things in a different way. To have the courage to acknowledge that yes, your body has changed yet you have the ability to feel deep passion and intimacy regardless of all else. That you have survived something that could have been tragic and yet here you are. Producing sperm does not in fact make you a man but is just a physical by product of arousal. You can still be aroused and feel pleasure as well as climax.

When you touch yourself or someone else, do it with renewed life. Don’t just touch, feel. Allow that feeling to enter you. You can feel warmth, you can feel the way another body or even your own reacts to touch. That is the beginning. It is allowing yourself to absorb everything. Understanding yourself will allow you to share with a partner. Climaxing was never what came out of you, it was always about what was in you, the feelings that were created, but we are so conditioned to pay attention to the outer that we lose site of the inner.

Do you want to be intimate? Do you want to find sexual satisfaction? If so are you willing to explore other options in order to achieve sexual satisfaction? You didn’t ask to be put in this situation but here you are and you need to decide how you are going to handle it.

Jennifer Stephan is an Intimacy Coach hell bent on moving people forward so that they can have a better quality of life. Yes, she is certified in coaching from a reputable establishment. She truly believes that intimacy is a blending of mind, body and soul. Communication is also key. She is a tiny tornado seeking to destroy sexual barriers, unlock the doors for those that feel shame and defender of rights for all.

When We Close the Door to Happiness

The attraction is there. You’re certain of it. It’s a palpable, tangible, absolute force. Every single part of you wants to connect.

Smart. Attractive. Compassionate. You been waiting months, years—perhaps your entire life—to connect with someone who has all the attributes you’ve been looking for. Thrilled doesn’t begin to describe how you’re feeling. You’re over the moon. Ecstatic. It’s as if you just heard your heartbeat for the first time. You’re Dorothy opening your door to a world of color.

Then you slam the door closed. No rhyme nor reason.

“It’s not going to work,” you tell yourself. “It’s just not going to work.”

How many times have you cheated yourself of happiness? How many people have been left gazing upon that door? A door that represents fear, lies, anger, pain and causes others to doubt themselves and their ability to love?

How many nights have you lain awake in bed, once again alone, remembering moments spent together? Laughing, talking, sharing and creating something that could last forever? You start to rationalize, tell yourself it was better to end it before it became to serious, this way you won’t get to invested, less chance of being hurt.

They didn’t have the same political views you did; you really didn’t understand their religious choices. You couldn’t stand the thought of getting up early to listen to the birds or climbing mountains just doesn’t appeal to you. Maybe someone better will come along. You start to come up with every excuse possible and yet there is still that dull ache residing within your heart.

You want to move forward yet here you are, always in the same exact place. Your Yellow brick road will never lead you to Oz. Have you truly asked yourself why? Is it always the other person’s fault? Are you a blamer? Do you blame yourself in ways that still allow yourself to hold yourself back because they allow you to hide behind your fear? Do you use what you consider to be your shortcomings as an excuse to terminate relationships before they have had a chance to begin?

“We all build walls.” It is an age old, time worn excuse. We want to protect ourselves from harm. The ache that seems as if it will never leave us when we lose someone that we thought would always be with us. We forget the moments we smiled and laughed. All we remember is the pain, the fact that they are gone. We promise ourselves we will never love again. We literally are willing to deny ourselves this indescribable pleasure because of fear.

From the moment we are conceived we are connected to another. There is a heartbeat not belonging to us that echo’s through our very being. It is that connection, that intimacy we go throughout life wanting. That miraculous sound assures us that we are not alone, that we do not have to face our fears without someone beside us. We are created to be connected, so we search for that connection.

Men and women alike need and want love and intimacy. We see it everywhere we go. The thing is love isn’t like it is in the movies and we expect it to be all about us. Love me the way I want to be loved, when I want to be loved. Love can be messy and difficult but there is a beauty in that and it brings strength and courage and takes commitment and passion.

It is complicated and complicated dictates messy at times. This is when you need to know how to communicate with one another and realize that if this is what you want you are going to have to put energy, time and thought into this relationship. So that first moment, when you thought, “This person is perfect for me” well, you are going to have to keep those reasons alive.

Remember the reason why you fell in love, their smile, the stupid jokes, the way they looked at you and you forgot to breathe, when they stood by you when everything was falling apart. When you begin to put that wall up or want to push them away you are going to have to ask yourself, “Can I walk away from this person?” What can I offer this person? Tell yourself that you can and do love this person the way they deserve to be loved and that you are worthy of the love they give you in return.

Love doesn’t have rules. There is no handbook that will tell you what to do and how to do it. You are going to have to get in there and feel!

Being with another person is wanting them to be happy, it’s being willing to take risks. That doesn’t mean you push your happiness aside or stop being who you are it means you take the time to know them, the first thought in your head isn’t me or I. You begin to realize that their happiness and well-being is an extension of your own.

Don’t shut the door to your own happiness. Don’t allow fear to rule your heart. Follow your Yellow brick road with an open mind, open heart and a willingness to truly experience what love has to offer. Love yourself deeply, love another with all you are and know that regardless of the outcome nothing is more painful than not knowing what could have been.

What’s the Difference Between a Coach, a Mentor, and a Therapist?

Recently I was at an event and someone asked me “What do you do?”

Excitedly I said, “I am a coach!”

I had his attention.

“That’s awesome! What kind of team do you coach?”

This was my big moment, I moved in a little closer and said “I coach Team Human Kind.”

He had no idea what to say but I had a few minutes to explain. I am a Relationship Coach. I help people to create outcomes for themselves by setting goals, intentions, and accountability. Coaching is action-based and focused on the future.

Now you may be asking yourself how this differs from Therapy.

A therapist helps to heal the hurt from the past. They will delve into the dysfunction of relationships and your past and resolve any issues that may be preventing you from moving forward. Therapists are medically trained to help with psychological issues and help people to function in a heathier way. A therapist can make a diagnosis and give advice.

A coach is typically involved with a client that is looking toward the future. We work with specific action oriented outcomes helping them initiate change on a personal or professional level to reach what it is they consider to be their objective. We do not offer advice nor do we offer medical opinions unless we feel a client should speak with a medical professional.

A mentor is someone who advises based on their own expertise and experience. They give advice and guide and may also coach. As a coach we do not advise, our primary focus is our client’s agenda. We provide support and help create structure based on what the client’s wants and needs are.

Consultants can differ but typically a consultant will be called in to determine what the issue is. They will either offer suggestions on how to fix the problem or implement a solution. A coach on the other hand gives the client the means to discover the solution within themselves by providing them with the tools necessary for self-discovery.

A sports coach! I love this one because I am a huge football fan! A sports coach is an expert in their field. They know what you have to do and when you have to do it. They strive for excellence, precision, dedication. Their focus is solely on their team or an individual. A sports coach controls the players with calls, rules and regulations. A coach, whether it be a relationship, sports, corporate, health, wellness etc. coach only ever has the client’s agenda in the forefront of its mind. As coaches we know that no one knows our clients like they know themselves.

So what do you want to look for in a coach? Look for a coach that is accredited.

Do your research. Many coaches will offer a thirty minute free consultation, take it!