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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Boyfriend having erectile issues

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Author Topic: Boyfriend having erectile issues
Pooky
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Hello!
I am 23, and my current boyfriend is 25. We've been dating for around a year and started living together about 3 months ago. Originally, the sex was amazing and we had it almost twice daily, but around the time he moved in he started experiencing sexual problems. He would have a hard time maintaining an erection and would often go soft during sex, ending all intercourse. I thought it was just a passing phase, but it got worse to the point that often he wouldn't even get erect at all, regardless of kissing or foreplay. He has always insisted that he wants to have sex and is sexually attracted to me, but for some reason could not get erections. He went to the doctor and they tested his blood for any physical problems, yet they could not find any and told him to rebuild his confidence.

I held out hope that things would get better, but after 3 months they haven't. While he gets hard easier now, he finishes after about 5 minutes of sex which NEVER happened before, and he says it happens suddenly. If that doesn't happen, he will randomly get soft halfway during sex. His doctor prescribed viagra saying that it was likely a psychological issue, and the first time it worked well, but the second time literally nothing happened and things were the same. I'm slowing becoming resentful, like I've waited so long for things to improve and nothing has changed. I feel undesirable, and he feels depressed about it after every try. We attempt to have sex every other day, but I can count the amount of 'successful' sex we've had on one hand for the past three months where we can both finish and it lasts some time.

We love each other deeply but this has been going on for so long with no change. I'm wondering if we moved in together too fast and maybe he should move out? Should he go to counselling? I've tried to be supportive, but I feel like he has lost all confidence and I have lost all hope that things will randomly get better, and it feels like we aren't old enough and haven't been dating long enough to encounter such huge problems physically. Other than this we have an amazing relationship emotionally, but this anxiety has really taken a toll on us over time. I would appreciate any advice, thanks!

[ 11-13-2011, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: Pooky ]

Posts: 48 | From: PA, USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It's actually very common for the amount of time erection lasts for with sexual activities, with a given partner, to change over time. Reaching orgasm more quickly once someone has gotten used to a partner is quite common, and five minutes from the start of intercourse to orgasm is actually still bit longer than average for most folks with penises.

I'd actually also say a few months really isn't "so long" to wait through changes like this, but a relatively short time. As well, while I get doctors giving young men erectile dysfunction meds sometimes to get them over a hump like this, not because they physically need them, it sounds like in this case it just wasn't the ticket.

Again, I'd let go of 'so long without change." A few months is not a long time. I'd also let go of the idea that being young people means changes like this won't happen: being together sexually for a while, topped with a big change like cohabitating commonly creates changes in people's sexual lives and sexual responses, for people of all ages.

I have a few suggestions you might try:

1) I'd decrease the frequency of attempts at the kinds of sex you both have felt frustrated by. because as it stands now, I think trying so often may be making things worse instead of better.

2) Are there kinds of sex that ARE still very satisfying for you both? If so, I'd put more focus on those for right now, then only move to the kinds where there have been issues when you're both feeling really good about them.

3) Can you do some work on unpacking some of your resentment? It might help to look more at where it's coming from. For instance, your desireability and his sexual response seem like things you might have way too linked in your head. Or, if, say, intercourse lasting for five minutes makes you unhappy, why? Are you not getting what you need to reach orgasm, too? If so, how about exploring other activities after then that do get you there? Maybe you two could also each just talk about the ways you are both feeling frustrated and resentful to try and get them out of your heads and on the table more: some of this may be about relationships issues that this has created, not about his penis, if you know what I mean.

4) How are both of your solo sex lives? Are you both making time for your own masturbation? If not, that's something else I'd be sure to do.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Pooky
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Hi, thanks! You're probably right, three months isn't that long. I just can't help but feel a little confused by the sudden changes in our sex life but I'm sure its more common than I thought. I have suggested to my boyfriend that we decrease the amount of sex we have that he struggles with, though he seems very upset by this idea and firmly wants to keep trying. Most sexual positions for us aren't working mostly because he has to constantly keep stopping so that he won't finish sooner, especially the position that I prefer. I say it lasts about five minutes, but actual sex is more like 3 or so not including breaks he takes in between. I'm unhappy because it usually lasted longer and I don't really finish easily so the shorter the time, the harder it is for me to get there. I masturbate after sex usually, and have also suggested that he try as well to build back stamina since he is unhappy about finishing suddenly, but he again thinks having sex would be a better way for him to gain control. We do talk about this issue maybe once a week, but I think it makes him uncomfortable understandably. Is this change just another stage in our sex life that will last a while? He still has trouble staying excited during sex half the time, and says that he mostly has to focus on keeping it up rather than enjoying the moment.
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Heather
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Personally? I'd go ahead and make stepping back from so many attempts at intercourse a line of yours, not a request. In other words, you want to try less often, and need him to respect that line. You think it'll be what is best for both of you, but also you, so that's what he needs to adapt to for a bit. Know what I mean?

Again, a few minutes from the start of intercourse to orgasm is actually what is most typical for people with penises. It's also most typical for partners with vulvas not to reach orgasm before their partner does. Have you two not previously engaged in other activities to get you to "finish" after intercourse before now, as a couple (rather than you masturbating alone)?

I can't possibly say how long things will be the way they are now for you two. I don't know anything else at all about this relationship or the sexual history of this relationship beyond his history with erection (like, I don't even know how you felt about your sex life before then, what activities it has involved, how he felt about it, what your sex life has been like before this relationship, how well you two experiment in general and also sexually communicate, the works). But what I do know is that in a relatively new relationship -- a year is still pretty new -- and then only three months of that, after a major transition? That's no kind of time with these things to figure must be how things will always be.

Heck, you know already things can shift a good deal in a short period of time, right?

[ 11-13-2011, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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Heather
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I should have added: if you want to give me way more information like I talked about above, I could probably help a bit more. However, I'd still suggest trying those things I suggested in my first reply, regardless. And if there are things you have tried, like communicating very deeply about this, without success, I'd keep trying with that. It's not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable talking about sexual issues, but we still need to, even if that means that it is uncomfortable or awkward.

--------------------
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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WesLuck
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It might also be worth mentioning that you care about your shared time together, and sex is a shared activity like dancing. So it's not anyone's "fault" if something doesn't go "as expected". If you are communicating effectively, respecting each other's boundaries and using effective protection against STIs and pregnancy, there's not really much you can do wrong. If you have any comments Heather, you can make them (although I probably don't need to say that [Wink] ).
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Pooky
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Hey, thanks for the advice! A quick update- since this post we have talked about this issue to great depths and many times. Unfortunately, nothing has changed for us sexually. I recently didn't see him for a week and upon being reunited we had successful sex to completion once, but things have now slipped back to their old routine. I love him so much, but I miss really connecting with him physically and sharing that together. My favorite position and the only one that allows me to orgasm during sex is the one that he has the most struggles with. We have each only been with one other partner and so I have no experience as for what to do from here. He says he thinks it may be performance anxiety, but he really doesn't know why this is happening. Should we just continue talking about it and hoping for the best? I feel like this issue is a wedge between us physically, though emotionally we connect so well and enjoy our time together.
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Robin Lee
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Communication is always a good idea, so you each know what the other is thinking and feeling.

I've read through this thread and I'm wondering if it really is time to take the pressure off of yourselves by seeing intercourse as the kind of sex you have. IN other words, I'm wondering if you've explored other types of sex with each other to see if they're pleasurable. It sounds like intercourse was once a mutually satisfying form of sex. It's natural to gravitate towards what is familiar and what has given us pleasure in the past, but it's also worth exploring how to accept changes in our bodies, whether they're temporary or permanent.

These are things thatyou and your boyfriend would need to talk about together, to accept that there have been changes, that things may well return to what they were, but right now they're not like that. I think sometimes (and this happens with everything in life not just sex)we spend so much time thinking about what we should have. It takes a lot of energy. What do you think about trying to spend some time and energy finding things that could work for both of you? Do you think your boyfriend would go for that?

Here's an article you can perhaps read together...

With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body

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Robin

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