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March 23, 2022

Sex is a natural part of a healthy life. But what happens when it's hard to perform sexually and enjoy intimate relations? Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual difficulty for men. There are an estimated 30 million men in the US affected by ED, so if you relate to this, you’re not alone.

Psychological factors often cause or contribute to ED. One of the main drivers is stress. Because of this, even though meditation and erectile dysfunction may not seem like a complementary pair, meditation can be a very successful solution. Healthy sexuality requires a low ratio of stressful versus positive feelings. Meditation and mindfulness support this goal and can help.

In this article, you’ll find information on what erectile dysfunction is, how ED meditation can help you, guided imagery for ED, and how to incorporate meditation into ED management.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. This plagues 13% of modern men, with 42% reporting sexual difficulties in general. Since an erection can only happen when you are in a “calm and vegetative state,” the answer to your sexual woes may lie in your nervous system. Here’s why…

When your heart rate and blood flow increase during sex, you activate the part of your nervous system that also controls the fight or flight response. If you tip into stress instead of arousal, you may lose the erection. When you’re stressed, high levels of cortisol and adrenaline get pumped into your body. This decreases the flow of oxygen and blood, which you need to keep an erection.

Meditation and mindfulness help us navigate the fine line between arousal and stress, leading to better erections and ultimately, better sex. These practcies work by helping to rewire the brain…In one study, meditation changed the structure of the amygdala in as little as 8 weeks. (The amygdala is a core part of the brain that controls the stress response.) Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., cites that 60% of doctor's visits for ED were psychological. So, by training your brain to respond better to stress, you’ll have better erections.

How Meditation for Erectile Dysfunction Can Help

Mindfulness includes any practice that uses attention to increase awareness. Erectile dysfunction meditation focuses on the connection between the genitals and the mind. In a world where we live mostly in our minds, we can easily lose connection with our bodies. As you reconnect the body and the mind, you decrease stress and anxiety.

You may not even realize that your mind is busy, which can increase underlying feelings of stress. As you practice meditation, you’ll become aware of how often your mind strays. When you’re unable to stay present and focused on the body, you’re less likely to relax enough to keep an erection. The more you become aware of your thoughts and internal sensations, the more you’re able to refocus your attention. This is helpful in everyday life, especially in the bedroom. 

Meditation has plenty of positive impacts on stress-related factors. David F. Khalili, LMFT, a sex and couples therapist in the Bay Area, says, “Biologically speaking, you are lowering cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate and the stress hormones. Psychologically you’re more aware and present. Emotionally you are less reactive.”

Researchers have been studying the effect of meditation on erectile dysfunction for decades. In one 1977 study, Dr. Gérard V. Sunnen, MD wrote that “individuals will invariably describe sensations of fullness and warmth with their attention on their genitals.” Being able to experience this sensation is the first step in having more (and better) erections.

erectile dysfunction, Why Stress Creates Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Meditation: Step-by-Step Guided Practice

There isn’t a singular way to practice ED meditation. A great place to start is a body scan, like the meditation below. The goal is not to control or change anything, but to raise awareness. You want to ask questions like “What do I feel here? What happens when I touch X?” Approach it with curiosity and openness. With time and consistent application, your mind and body reconnect.

Get a sense of what erectile dysfunction meditation offers by practicing this body scan.

Guided meditation for erectile dysfunction

Set a timer for 15-30 minutes. It’s helpful to have a set container for this practice; a private, quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed or distracted.

  • Begin by finding a comfortable position to relax in. Perhaps you’re sitting, perhaps lying down. Find an optimal position for a centered presence.
  • Bring your attention to your breath. Feel the air as it passes through your nose on the inhale, noticing how it’s warmer on the exhale. Becoming aware of the sensations in your lungs, belly, nose, and throat as you breathe. If you can, get specific about the sensation that you are feeling. Is it hot or cold? Is it heavy or light? What’s the quality?
  • Bring your attention down to your feet and notice where they meet the surface beneath you. Feel the support here. Observe the sensations in your feet and toes. If you can’t feel anything, you can wiggle your toes and notice what that feels like. Keep your observations neutral.
  • Next, one at a time, move up the body in a gentle progression. From your feet to your ankles, then calves, then knees, then thighs. Notice the sensations that arise when you place your attention on each of these places. Continue to breathe in a consistent rhythm, and release any judgment. Spend as much time as you need to feel connected with and aware of these places.
  • Place your attention on your genitals. Again, notice if there are any sensations that arise. Refrain from labeling them good or bad, just notice from a neutral space. You may experience emotions as you put your attention here. Allow yourself to slow down in this area of your body and take your time.
  • Your attention here later, but for now, continue scanning your awareness up the body. Place your attention on your lower back and spine. Notice if there’s any tightness or tension after spending time in the genital area. Notice if anything feels stuck. Or, perhaps there’s something else. What’s true for you and your body? Focus on that objective connection.
  • Next, focus on the sensations in your stomach, then your heart, then your chest. Take your time in each place, noticing the quality of sensation and any differences between the places in your body.
  • Now bring your attention all the way up the body. Notice what arises in your neck, then your face, and finally your head. How does this feel unique from the rest of your body? Are there similar sensations? What are they?
  • Allow yourself to take a moment to feel your whole body in the space. What does it feel like to notice individual body parts versus your whole body? Feel the connection with your body through your increased awareness. Feel your breath filling every cell at once. Feel the cohesion this practice has created.
  • Return your attention back to your genitals. With this increased awareness and connection to your body, notice if the sensations here have shifted. If not, that’s okay. The goal is just to notice, not to force or change anything. Awareness is the goal.

Let this practice be enough, even if nothing shifts for you right now. Continue this practice often to increase awareness and connect more to your body. This will help you feel more grounded, calm, and present in your experiences, decreasing stress and increasing relaxation.

erectile dysfunction, Why Stress Creates Erectile Dysfunction

Guided Imagery for Erectile Dysfunction

If you prefer visualization, guided imagery meditations can also help men overcome ED. In this practice, your brain gets rewired through visualization. 

Guided imagery for ED works through visualizing a positive sexual experience. The more you picture yourself in a positive outcome, the more likely your mind will rewire itself for the real thing. It also helps you practice accessing the feelings and sensations that arise with that outcome, so your brain and body are primed to imitate this experience. The mind is a truly powerful tool.

A study conducted by Professor K. Kuruvilla, Head of the Psychiatry Department at Christian Medical College in Vellore, found that 70% of men treated with guided imagery and sexual re-education succeeded in overcoming their psychological ED.

How to Incorporate Meditation Into ED Management

Adding meditation into your ED management plan is simple. First, decide on which type of meditation for ED to practice. What feels right to you? Be willing to try out a few different techniques for a well-rounded effect. Next, make time in your schedule when you can be alone and relaxed for meditation.

Types of meditation for ED

Body Scan

The body scan (like the one above) will help you become aware of your body as a whole. It assists your body to relax and to increase sensation. The increased presence coupled with a stronger connection to your body helps you feel grounded, connected, and confident.

Guided Imagery

This option is great for people with a strong visual mind. By walking through a specific scenario, you can rewire your mind through visualization. You can also prime your body to experience the sensations and feelings a positive sexual experience offers, making it easier to access these feelings later.

Meditation with Self Touch

Mindfully touch your genitals to connect awareness with physical sensation. This will help connect your mind with physical interactions. Let there be no goal, no expectation. Just approach this meditation with the intention to know yourself better, to feel what arises naturally, and gain deeper awareness.

Tips for starting a meditation practice

Start small

Choose a goal that is small and easily doable… like 2-5 minutes per day. You can work up to longer periods of time when it’s accessible and feels right.

Create consistency

Pick an accessible time of day and specific practices that resonate with you. The less wiggle room you give your mind, the more likely you are to show up. A study performed by Dr. Lori Brotto and her colleagues showed that a 4-week meditation practice had a direct positive effect on men’s ability to get and maintain an erection. As we’ve always heard, consistency is key!

Create a space

Have a space set aside that is specifically for meditation. Ideally one that is comfortable, private, and allows you to fully relax. Ensure there are no distractions and minimize electronics. Incorporate things like plants, lighting, and colors that feel soothing to you. Set and setting is important, especially when rewiring the brain.


Erectile dysfunction meditation is the practice of using mindfulness to resolve ED. Your modern lifestyle may be driving stress and sex anxiety, which contributes to erectile dysfunction. As you strengthen the connection between your body and mind, you can ease the experience of ED. Commit to slowing down, applying mindfulness to your sexuality, and you may see results in your sexual health within a matter of weeks.


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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other materials contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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About the author 

Angie Merrill is a Copywriter with Conscious Copywriters and a Feminine Embodiment Practitioner. She writes on the topics of consciousness, spirituality, and living a great human life on earth. Beyond writing, her life is filled with long walks in nature, playing with friends and family, and making art.