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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Having some problems...

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Author Topic: Having some problems...
Ccoolleenn
Neophyte
Member # 109286

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This is a rather personal issue, but it is very frustrating, and it is causing a bit of a strain on our relationship.

My boyfriend and I are both 18, and we first had sex in October. We were both virgins, and we were nervous, but things went well - no awkwardness, and no real reason to be upset. After a month or so of sex, suddenly, he started having issues keeping his erection at the time when he was putting on the condom. At first, this was very upsetting to me, because I stupidly thought it had something to do with me, though I now realize it didn't. It is very stressful to him, because he is afraid he isn't going to be able to keep me happy, which I think is completely ridiculous.

I just was wondering if there was anything Scarleteen could tell me on how to help him out, either with his anxiety or.. really anything? I am lost for what to do. Every time this happens, he just wants to run away and is so embarrassed that he can barely talk to me, and I feel terrible for him! I just want to reassure him and help him with this problem.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You got it. [Smile]

One of the first things I always suggest with this situation -- and it is a common one -- is to make clear to partners that if they got the idea that their erection = your satisfaction, they need to understand that's just wrong. Sexual satisfaction, even for people who love intercourse, isn't usually based mostly on erections or having a given kind of sex, but instead, on things like partners being creative, responsive, spontaneous and communicative.

I also often suggest trying to just take anything that requires an erection off the table for a while. That way, that takes so much of the pressure off, people can explore other kinds of sex they might like just as much -- or even more! -- and then if and when an erection does happen, and you both want to have a kind of sex that involves it, then yay! But when it doesn't, that helps everyone feel like it's less of a big deal: know what I mean?

It can also help to talk about how when you want to do things, your genitals don't always "work" the way you may want them to either. In other words, this isn't just something that happens to him or to people with a penis.

Can you fill me in a bit on what he thinks the issue is with this? In other words, you say he is experiencing anxiety: is this just about feeling like he has to have an erection or else, or something else?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi Ccooleenn,

This article might be a good place to get started, for both you and him:

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gender/ed_why_you_dont_have_to_get_so_down_about_not_getting_it_up.

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Ccoolleenn
Neophyte
Member # 109286

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The thing is, he is fine when I give him oral or manual sex, and is not anxious at all. I don't know how this started - just one day, when he tried to put the condom on, his erection went away and ever since then, that happens every time we try to have sex. He can be completely ready and have an erection, but as soon as he goes to put the condom on, it just kind of.. goes away.

He thinks it is just anxiety with putting the condom on, and then after it happened the first time, I think that just made him more nervous to try to have sex. He has a lot of self-confidence issues as it is, and I know this hasn't helped him any..
I am on birth control, but neither of us really feel comfortable with using only one method of contraception.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, I'd say that likely a good deal of this probably was always something he worried about. After all, there are a lot of cultural and personal messages people with penises get that if they can't get an erection, or can't -- or do not want to -- have intercourse, that is The Big Bad. There is also a lot that ties up masculinity with those things. In other words, this stuff, in part, was likely all floating in his head before it came to light here.

If it is just about keeping an erection while putting on a condom, it might help him to practice doing that when he is alone, with masturbation, rather than with you. You should like a wonderful partner, but you know how it is: someone else, anyone else, being around with things like this where we feel vulnerable or exposed always amps up the pressure.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ccoolleenn
Neophyte
Member # 109286

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Of course.. but I try my hardest not to pressure him, and I will wait as long as he needs - that's not a problem. But he WANTS to, and I feel so bad for him..

We even tried to have me put the condom on, to mix things up and make it not so stressful for him, but even that didn't help.
I'll suggest to him trying to put the condom on when I'm not there.

Thank you!!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Like I said, this doesn't sound like you are pressuring him. I was just addressing the higher these stakes feel when someone else is there, especially someone a person will want to please, that's all. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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