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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » help for a friend

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Author Topic: help for a friend
she_who_questions
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Hello, I'm writing this post on behalf of one of my best friends. She's been really troubled by something lately and I no longer know how to advise her.

Essentially, she and her boyfriend have been unsuccessful in their attempts to have sexual intercourse. Though he may initially be aroused, he loses his erection whenever he tries to use a condom. The first time this happened, my friend simply chalked it up to performance anxiety or nervousness. However, he became very sullen afterward and could not let go of what had happened. When she asked him about it, he said something along the lines of: "I don't think you understand the implications of this."

My friend's boyfriend is 25 years old, and he's used a condom with other partners in the past. Since that first attempt at intercourse, they've tried again a couple of times with no luck. Apparently they talked about the issue some more, and he said two things 1) he doesn't know what the problem is, and 2) he's concerned about pleasing her.

My friend describes her boyfriend as being confident. He walks naked around his bedroom without self-consciousness, and seems pretty expert when fooling around. However, even before they started attempting intercourse, he always got himself off (as opposed to letting her do it). He would literally take over and start masturbating or something. He would also say things like "I'm a tough nut to crack."

I think all of that is pretty unusual. My friend is beginning to doubt herself and told me earlier that she's going crazy thinking about all this.

To me, it sounds like a lack of physical attraction on his part. I think my friend is beautiful though she is rather overweight; I can just imagine him being shallow about that. And even if his sexual problem stems from something less dire, it's still not a good sign. Honestly I wish she'd break up with him; he's done other shady things.

How should I advise her in this situation? Does this sound normal or like he's lying? I hate to see my friend freaking out.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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This is very tough to answer, because while I hear him saying she doesn't understand the implications of this, what I don't hear is him having explained to her what he thought they were. Nor do I hear what he thinks might be going on.

People can still be attracted to people and not sustain an erection, just like people can NOT be attracted to people and still experience erection.

So, sure, lack of attraction is one possibility, but one of so many that without hearing what HE thinks is going on, I would not suggest anyone leap to any conclusions whatsoever. And no one should need to, since this is something can can communicate about with her directly.

In other words, it sounds like the best advice would be to tell your friend to try and initiate more communication about this and deeper communication. You might also want to tell her to try not to make this about her. After all, neither she nor anyone else can have some kind of omnipotent power over someone's penis. [Smile] His erection and other sexual responses are always -- as is the case for all of us -- going to be mostly about him, not someone else, even when someone else is involved.

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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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