This article was contributed by Gemma Cribb, founder of Equilibrium Psychology.

He swiped right on the app. He chased you for months. He said you were a “10”. He told you he couldn’t wait to get you naked. You finally end up in the bedroom together and then… nothing! He just can’t seem to get it up! What is going on?! Is it you?

Well, before you go buying fancy lingerie, getting waxed or losing 10kg – please, let me assure you: his erectile dysfunction has nothing to do with how hot you are!

In fact, if anything it is the opposite!

The most common cause of erectile dysfunction in young men is anxiety (and in older men it can be about vascular and health issues.) Most men put a lot of pressure on themselves to please their partners in the bedroom. Often more so if they find their partner super hot! So in some sense if he is anxious about performing and wanting to please you then it may be that he finds you VERY attractive!

Of course it’s not your fault if you are blaming your looks. We live in a very superficial society and we’ve all heard guys judge girls on the basis of attractiveness. Few of us look like porn stars and so if that is sexy then what hope do we have? What is more, guys often use the excuse “it’s because you are so hot” when they come too quickly! It’s only natural to assume the reverse when they can’t get an erection!

However, far more commonly, erectile dysfunction in younger guys is as a result of a guy being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or getting too worried about his sexual performance. As you are getting it on, a guy will either be thinking about sexy things, OR he will be thinking about his own sexual performance. You can imagine that the more they focus on their penis and whether they are getting hard or not, the less aroused they will be. Men, in general, aren’t turned on by thoughts of their own penis! Then, the more they freak out about not getting an erection, the less likely it is that they will gain one over time.

The best thing you can do to help your guy is to relax and just enjoy the sexy stuff that you can enjoy without the erection. The less of a big deal you can make it, the more likely you will take his mind off it and the more likely his erection will perk up. Please don’t turn off the lights, cover up, stop what you are doing, or start questioning him about whether he finds you hot. Know your own worth and believe in yourself. He wouldn’t have taken you to bed if he wasn’t interested in you!

As a sex therapist, I have heard the occasional guy get defensive and try and blame their partner’s lack of attractiveness for their own sexual dysfunction. For guys with big egos, it’s easier to blame their partner than admit that their penis doesn’t work as it should! If you find that your guy is criticising your looks and blaming you for his problem then please, put on your clothes, walk right out of there and don’t look back! Not only is this insensitive to your feelings, it’s a good indicator that any other time there is a problem in the relationship he will blame you – don’t give him that chance! There are plenty of guys who will worship you for the goddess you are so you can leave him and his dysfunction for the next unlucky girl – let’s hope she too knows her worth and can tell him where to go if he tries that again!

Finding the right counsellor, therapist, or support for you is one of the most powerful steps you can take towards mental wellbeing. Start your search for the right mental health professional for you by clicking here.