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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Long-term performance anxiety... I'm at a loss!

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Author Topic: Long-term performance anxiety... I'm at a loss!
Member # 73156

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Hi there all,

I posted here rather a while ago about having some sexual issues with my partner, and I'm afraid that nothing really seems to have changed since then. My partner has had issues maintaining an erection since we started being sexually intimate with one another (I am his first sexual partner), and quite often orgasms long before he wants to as well. I'm relatively well-informed about sexual issues, and I've done my best to support him and make sure that he doesn't feel that I'm annoyed with him. However, we've been sexually intimate with each other for two years now, with this recurring issue, and I'm starting to feel a little hopeless about the whole thing. I know he can sense that my patience is wearing a little thin, and I know that's not going to help, but I'm having a tough time not getting frustrated.

For better or for worse, I've adopted a "fake it til you make it" mentality - that is, I try not to worry about whether I personally am enjoying whatever sexual activity we're engaged in at the time. Generally speaking, most of our foreplay (including manual stimulation where I'm the recipient) is about helping him maintain or re-gain an erection; I often feel used because he's so distracted by trying to maintain an erection that he can't actually enjoy anything. In all honesty, sometimes I feel like a sex doll that he's just practising on, especially because he won't look at me (he says that it arouses him too much and makes him orgasm early) and seems entirely focused on balancing staying aroused with not coming too soon. With the sort of frantic darting around that he does, which doesn't allow us to get into any sort of rhythm, it's nigh on impossible for me to stay turned on for long. (I think some other women out there may identify with the absolute marvels of self-pleasuring that I have mastered whilst engaged in "sex" with a partner - 0 to 100 in under 10 seconds, who needs a Porsche right?)

When we've spoken about it, which is unfortunately always very vague, he says that it's because he's tired or stressed or perhaps because he's had some alcohol. I know that those are all legitimate reasons and that being anxious about it doesn't help the situation either, but that's two entire years of being tired or stressed or whatever - if those things are impacting his sex life that dramatically, something's gotta give, right?

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty hopeless about this at the moment, because it's hard for me to connect with him when I'm finding our sex life so dissatisfying. He promises me every time that it'll be better in the future, but I don't want to be "practised on" in the meantime...

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey, Rory, welcome back. Sorry to hear things haven't improved for you in this respect.

Let's start here: all of the things you've said here: these are things you have talked about with him, and been very honest about?

Am I also getting it right that it sounds like he's either blowing off, or making excuses about, things like talking more about this, or making sure that your sexual life isn't just about, or mostly about, him and his erections?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 73156

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Hi Heather, thanks for your reply.

I haven't told him that I feel used or that I feel his sexual behaviour is kind of self-centered; I'm still trying to figure out a way to do it, because he's so caring in every other aspect of our relationship and gets very worried about things without necessarily knowing how to fix it. Unless he has a clear directive on what I want him to do/not do (and I don't like to dictate, in the bedroom or out!), he just frets unnecessarily, which I imagine would only worsen his performance anxiety. Do you have any suggestions on a productive way to tell him how I'm feeling?

Yup, I think you've interpreted it pretty much correctly. I'm starting to feel like saying that he's stressed is just an excuse, but I'm not sure how to encourage him to not stress!

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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HI RoryAna,

I'm wondering if you and he have ever talked about taking time to engage in sexual activities that aren't specifically focused on him "needing" to maintain an erection. That is, to not have when he orgasms or ejaculates be anything that makes a difference in what the two of you were planning to do sexually? Sex between two people doesn't always have to be focused on intercourse. For many people it isn't focused on that all the time, and for some others it's not focused on that at all.

This might be a place for you to start with a conversation about this. I'd also say that, as difficult as it might feel, telling him how you feel here is pretty important. It sounds to me like he's very caught up in what his experience of this is like, and it might actually be helpful for him to be reminded that you're part of this too and are experiencing it in your own way, a way that is just as important as his experience.
In ters of how to start and conduct these kinds of conversations, this article has some places to start. One thing I'd suggest is that, if you can, you also find some things that you feel are positive about your sexual or intimate relationship, so you have a place to start with for working to make things better.

Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner


Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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