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Intimacy Without Penetration: What To Know About Affection Vs. ED

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Intimacy without Penetration: What To Know about Affection Vs. ED
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on February 06, 2022

Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, is a condition that affects men around the world. It impacts their ability to get or maintain an erection, which also impacts their self-esteem. However, if you face this problem, you can visit the online pharmacy Canada Viagra and buy the Viagra pill you need.

While many men experience this occasionally, it can be concerning if it happens regularly during sexual encounters. Causes of ED vary across the board, but they can affect different areas of a man's life. Studies show that ED can have a profound effect on a man's sense of self-esteem and overall quality of life. 

However, if you're struggling with erectile dysfunction, it is still possible to maintain a healthy relationship and sex life. There are many creative ways that you and your partner can be intimate without penetration. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to navigate a relationship with ED and how you can enjoy intimacy with your partner. 

How To Deal with ED in a Relationship 

Sexual dysfunction can bring tension into a relationship if you let it. There are important factors to consider when it comes to ED and strengthening your relationship. Here are some effective ways that you and your partner can tackle ED together. 


Communication is a pillar in every part of a relationship, and issues in the bedroom are no exception. Dealing with ED can be challenging, but having open and honest communication with your partner can make a big difference. 

Not only can communication alleviate some of the pain and embarrassment, but it can also help you learn more about your partner's sexual needs. 

Open the lines of communication to discuss your fears, your needs, and your desires. This is also an opportunity for you to assure your partner if they are feeling undesirable because of your ED. These types of thoughts are unhelpful and can damage the relationship. 

Communication allows you both to express yourselves and support one another in exchange. 


Couples counselling is a great way that you can both discuss your issues in the bedroom with ED. 

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by physical issues, such as underlying health conditions or age. However, for many men, ED is psychological. There can be trauma, emotional stressors, or mental health issues. 

Counselling can help heal these psychological blockages that can be causing your ED. It can also help strengthen your sexual intimacy and your relationship. 

Be sure to educate yourself on how ED affects both partners in the relationship. 

Other Types of Intimacy 

There are many ways that you can be intimate with your partner. 

Taking away the pressure to perform can be a relief to both partners, and you can get creative in exploring new ways to be intimate. This will look different for each partnership, but here are many ways to expand your scope of intimacy. 

Ways To Be Intimate When Struggling With ED

Intimacy involves much more than penetration. Often, sexual intimacy begins long before you get to the bedroom, and enjoying that time can be very sexually gratifying for both sides. Here are some ways that you can be intimate with your partner if you're experiencing symptoms of ED.

Enjoy Intimacy Outside of the Bedroom

A great way to get intimate with your partner is actually to get out of the bedroom. You can try a new activity together and revel in sharing a new experience. Try a dance class, cooking class, or road trip. 

These types of activities can help you grow as a couple and help you navigate your relationship in new terrain. It can be very exciting for you both. 

Foreplay, Foreplay, Foreplay

It might come as a surprise, but only 25% of women can achieve orgasm through penetration. 

Gentlemen, this is a great opportunity for you to hone in on your oral and manual skills.

Take this time to learn how to pleasure your partner through clitoral stimulation. Studies show that almost 40% of women need clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm. What's more, is that a clitoral orgasm is associated with a strong sense of sexual desire. 

Foreplay can start with enjoying a night in, preparing a romantic dinner, and watching an erotic movie. Extend the foreplay to create an intimate and special experience with your partner.

Explore Other Areas of Your Sexuality 

This can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. The idea is to get intimate in ways that take the pressure off of penetration and ED. Learn to connect with different parts of each other's bodies and explore untapped parts of your sexuality. 

Here are some ways that you can do this: 

  1. Cuddling naked 
  2. Hand holding
  3. Kissing 
  4. Heavy petting 
  5. Mutual masturbation 
  6. Incorporating sex toys such as dildos and vibrators 
  7. Full-body massages 
  8. Outercourse 
  9. Sex talk 

These are just a few of the ways that you and your partner can share intimate time together without an erection. You might be pleasantly surprised to uncover new aspects of your sexuality. 

Erectile Dysfunction Therapies

There are a variety of therapies & techniques that you can try. You can also use a combination of these techniques to find what works best for you.  

Try Talk Therapy 

As previously mentioned, talking to a therapist can be an effective way to deal with the psychological causes of ED. 

In addition to couples counselling, you might want to devote time to individual therapy to discuss personal issues outside of your relationship. This can help you learn more about your sexual dysfunction in a safe environment, free of judgment. 

While it is also important to explore the physical causes of ED, talk therapy is a good way to help nurture your relationship with dealing with ED. 

Reinforce Healthy Habits 

Certain bad habits in your life can exacerbate the symptoms of ED. Making healthier choices can help to reduce the symptoms and frustration that come with ED. If you want to manage your ED symptoms in a natural way, making the following changes is a great place to start: 

  1. Avoid smoking cigarettes 
  2. Limit your alcohol intake 
  3. Limit or avoid illegal narcotics 
  4. Avoid processed and unhealthy foods 
  5. Take care of your mental health 
  6. Avoid certain prescription medications 

These are some of the ways that you can help improve your overall health and improve your ED symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are on any medications that might be affecting your ability to get an erection. 

Manage Symptoms With Medication

Incorporating meditation into your sex life is another way that you can help deal with ED. Medication can help you achieve an erection and enjoy penetration with a partner. 

To know more about medications prescribed for ED, contact your healthcare provider or urologist. They can decide what medication is right for you by asking the right questions.

Try Relaxation Techniques 

One of the ways that you can exacerbate the symptoms of ED is by feeling anxious and stressed during a sexual encounter. Often, the fear of ED will initiate the symptoms. 

If you've experienced symptoms of ED in the past, you might be feeling anxious in the lead-up to sex. You might be concerned that you will not be able to perform, which - ironically - will not let you perform. 

Before going into a sexual experience, try your best to allow your mind and body to relax. You can do this by practicing mindfulness, meditation, or breathing techniques.  

You and your partner can also try some relaxation techniques together. You can offer each other massages, extend foreplay, and put penetration on the back burner. This will help you both relax and take the pressure off of performing. 

Let's Talk About Sex Baby, Let's Talk About Intimacy With ED 

Struggling with the symptoms of erectile dysfunction can be frustrating, but there are many ways that you can still enjoy intimacy with your partner. Remember that communication and counselling are both effective ways to help deal with ED in a relationship. Intimacy without an erection means that you can get creative outside of the bedroom, enjoy more foreplay, and explore other areas of your sexuality. 

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.