top of page

Coping with Erectile Dysfunction: How to Regain Confidence & Enjoy Great Sex Book Review

Authors: Michael E. Metz & Barry W. McCarthy

Year Published: 2004

Main Topics Covered: Erectile Dysfunction, Male Sexuality, Relationships/Marriage, and Sexual Health

Written for: All Genders, All Sexual Orientations

Recommended for: Clients

Perspectives taken: Sex Positive, Inclusive, Biopsychosocial

Type of Resource: Self Help Book

APA Citation: Metz, M., & McCarthy, B. (2004). Coping with Erectile Dysfunction: How to Regain Confidence and Enjoy Great Sex. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications. Print.

Book Overview:

Metz and McCarthy challenge the typical assumptions of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in an integrated, comprehensive approach. Their multidimensional diagnosis of this dysfunction offers reads a spectrum of causes for a fuller understanding. This self-help book focuses on interpersonal dynamics and development of psychosexual skills to strengthen their relationship with their partner, reminding them that ED is a “we”, not an “I” problem. This approach is motivational and realistic, with the goal of establishing comfort and confidence for a satisfying relationship.

While the book is gender/sexual orientation neutral for the most part, there is an emphasis on opposite sex couples when discussing emotional aspects (especially in regards to empathy and understanding between partners). The authors present an objective view of male gender identity and its role in the sexual relationship, acknowledging the faults in the “typical model”. Moving forward, the authors promote a model of sexuality that focuses on partnership and shared pleasure, rather than intercourse performance. The authors urge the readers to adapt a more flexible view of sexual behaviour, altering unrealistic expectations and prioritizing the importance of “good enough sex”.

The book presents gender integrative views of the sexual response cycle to fully comprehend the complexities of sexuality. Along with the physiological breakdown of the vascular system of an erection, the authors also discuss realistic bodily responses to aging and sexual performance. The book gives detailed descriptions of general medical treatments for ED (which may or may not be out of date), and the pharmaceutical cures and effects of Viagra and other popular treatments (such as Cialis and Levitra).

Along with narrative stories, the book encourages the reader to partake in body exploration exercises. These exercises can be solo or partner-based, however many of the exercises are intended to be completed with a partner for a fuller understanding, and communication of, each other’s intimacy needs. Self-assessments (diagnosis, severity, the need for medical evaluation) should be taken with a grain of salt- as a book can never replace the expertise or advice of a professional. Cognitive exercises are the substance of this self-help book, working to transform detrimental thoughts and behaviours into beneficial ones.

The book concludes with relapse prevention strategies and suggested reading resources. Overall, the comprehensive overview and approach is most helpful to the couple struggling with ED. The emphasis is on interpersonal dynamics and the recognition of ED as an issue that extends beyond the clinical and into the bio-psycho-social. Whether the ED is caused by stress, marital issues, or chronic disease, this book offers couples the opportunity to understand themselves and each other.

About the Authors:

Michael E. Metz, PhD., is psychologist and couples therapist. He is a major spokesperson for the bio-psycho-social approach, with an emphasis on sexuality and marital relationships. He has served twelve years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and has published numerous articles on sexuality and sexual health. Metz has also coauthored “Coping with Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Pleasure your Partner, and Have Great Sex” with McCarthy.

Barry W. McCarthy, PhD., is a clinical psychologist with a speciality in marriage and sex therapy. He currently practices at the Washington Psychological Centre, and is a professor at the American University, teaching undergraduate human sexuality. He has published numerous professional articles, and published many books, including “Sexual Awareness: Couple Sexuality for the Twenty-First Century”. He has hosted hundreds of professional workshops both nationally and internationally.

Written by Westland Researcher Adrianna Xue


bottom of page