Men and their partners are fortunate to have miraculous medications like Viagra(TM) as aids when men have problems getting an erection. But these medications are sometimes, in my observation, misprescribed and misunderstood. Perhaps that is why only 50% of men who are prescribed medications for ED refill their prescription. If you are taking these medications, or are considering them, or if you have used them but haven't been satisfied with the result, read on.
One myth is that you just take the pill and voila! you get an erection. Not so. You need to take the medication as directed. If you are supposed to take it an hour ahead, then take it an hour ahead; if daily, then daily. But the pill alone won't produce an erection. You need to be aroused or stimulated. If the reason you weren't getting erections is lack of excitement, the pill isn't going to help you much.
A second myth is that if the pill doesn't work the first time, there is no hope for you. The fact is, you may need to take them regularly as a kind of therapy. Their use helps open up circulation to the penis. So use them several times before making any kind of judgment.
Another myth is that the pills will make you feel more confident. Have you ever heard of a confidence pill? Neither have I. Confidence comes from, well, confidence! Better self confidence comes from the way you feel about yourself and your body. I do understand using pills to help you feel more relaxed about whether or not you will have an erection. But for some men, that's not enough. Men who have had problems with erections sometimes are really anxious, depressed, or stressed. Pills can help, but if you don't have the right tools, your mind can mess with the action of the medication.
Finally, pills cannot fix a relationship. No matter how much you would like to believe that your relationship will be fixed if you have consistent erections, if your relationship is teetering on the brink, a pill won't make much difference. In fact, it's entirely possible the reason you aren't having erections is that your relationship is in trouble.
The connection between mind and body, and mind, body, and relationships, is pretty complex. That is why research suggests that men prescribed erection medications receive counseling--not just a piece of paper with a prescription scribbled on it. Moreover, the partner should be included in counseling so that she (or he) understands the medication. Unfortunately, many physicians either don't have the training, or don't have the time, to provide such counseling. That is why seeing a sex therapist can be so helpful.
What happens in sex therapy? Pretty much what happens in most psychotherapy offices--talk! Lots of talk. We talk about your experiences in and out of the bedroom and try to understand what is getting in the way of your ability to have pleasurable sex. Then we work with you to come up with solutions. But not just band-aid solutions--solutions that work at a deeper level. Solutions that may even improve things in ways you might not expect--like having a healthier lifestyle, or resolving old hurts, or making your relationship more open and happier. It isn't scary--it's amazing what can happen if you combine medications with sex therapy.