One classic response to experiencing erectile dysfunction is to blame, explicitly or implicitly, the partner. In an original research published in the journal, Sexual Medicine, Dubin et al, recruited 13,167 respondents--heterosexual women--through social media, and analysed their experience of erectile dysfunction.

Unsurprisingly, 79% of the women had experienced their partner not able to get, or not able to maintain an erection. One out of seven women who had this experience felt that in some way they were blamed for the man's inability. Strong correlation was observed between this blame, and lasting impact on self-confidence of the women.

The connection between a partner's loss of self-confidence and overall unhappiness in the relationship (for the couple) is too obvious to require much research, so apart from not being a very nice thing to do, blaming the partner is a step towards unhappiness for self for the man as well.

So what is the right course of action when you experience not getting an erection, or not being able to maintain one, during sex?

One, do not abandon the partner. Continue. There are other things you can do that can be quite amazing all around. Oral sex, or use of the fingers, both can still make it a great session for your partner.

Two, and this is obvious, try and figure out what's going on. The Misters Sex Quiz, a scientifically designed self-assessment, that you can take right here is a very good start. Will take around five minutes and you will get a sense of your experience and also be able to index your experience to that of other men who have taken this quiz.

Take the self-assessment

Three, once the fundamental reasons for your specific situation are clearer, try and address them. Often men have been known to try and dismiss the event as a non-event, or as a one-off, or rationalise it in some way. It is important to act.

Four, do not look for magical solutions, that claim one-shot resolution. The journey to better sexual wellness is a journey and requires patience. Magical claims are often made by unscrupulous sellers, and those are best avoided.