Erectile dysfunction (ED) can feel like an embarrassing issue to be facing, but it’s important to know that if this is a problem you’re having that you’re not alone.

In fact, one international model has recently spoken out about his own experiences of ED in a bid to encourage other men to talk about it and get the support they might need.

Sharing his story with Wales Online, Champ Imi explained that he started finding it hard to perform sexually after his long-term relationship broke up when he was 22. At this point, he had a very successful modelling career and found it hard to deal with the fact that he was having issues with ED.

“It was so surreal. I became afraid of having sex, 100 per cent. I was happy to kiss possible partners, but would make excuses so we didn’t go home together,” he said.

Mr Imi also revealed that he was surprised when he started having problems. “I didn’t think this could ever happen to someone my age. I was in my prime at 22 and I put it down to stress.”

Despite dating another woman and developing feelings for her, the problem didn’t go away, and he became more embarrassed. He also said that he felt too embarrassed to talk about it with anyone, which only increased his depression and anxiety.

However, after opening up to a friend on a drunken night out and discovering that his friend had suffered from a similar issue, Mr Imi felt more relaxed and comfortable about the situation.

He said that he felt “much more at ease” as soon as he knew he wasn’t the only person who was facing these kinds of issues around sex.

By opening up and talking about his concerns, Mr Imi has seen his issues surrounding intimacy disappear.

If this is an issue you’re struggling with then firstly, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. As Mr Imi found, in some cases ED can be more of a psychological issue than a physical one. But even if it’s the latter there are still solutions, such as buying sildenafil online. This is the generic form of Viagra and it can help you get and maintain an erection.

But, as an article for ABC Life recently noted, there are plenty of ways to enjoy being sexually intimate with someone without having an erection at all.

Speaking to the publication, clinical psychologist and lecturer in sexology at Curtin University in Australia Matt Tilley stated: “A person doesn’t require a full erection to have a pleasurable sexual encounter.”

He stressed that an erection is just one physical sign of sexual arousal, and explained that a person can be aroused without having an erection. He added that it’s even possible to orgasm and ejaculate without an erection.

The key to achieving this, according to Mr Tilley, is to move away from the idea that an orgasm needs to be accompanied by semen being ejaculated from the penis. “An orgasm may entail this, but it’s best thought of as a mixture of physiological and psychological responses,” he said.