I'm 29 and Ive been in this relationship with this beautiful woman for about a month. We have had sex a couple times, but lately I've been having trouble getting an erection and keeping it and it ruining our relationship. Because she believes its because of her and that I'm not attracted to her and its effects her self esteem and its tough on me, becuase I want to please her and care for her alot and I do want her. So i think alot of it might be mental with me, because when we get ready to have sex, thats the only thing i'm thinking about is the erection thing and not thinking about enjoying and just making love to my woman.The funny thing is, i get erections when we are fooling around or were on the couch together playing, but when it gets to the moment it gets soft. So is it mental? Or do I need pills or something?
Welcome to your 20’s! When you're younger and just beginning to be sexual with others, erections pop up everywhere--including when you don't want them! Post-pubescent men are highly excitable. After all, sex with a partner is new, and anything new is terribly exciting.
As you age, you'll find that erections sometimes take longer, and even come and go. This is not an indication if ill health, but just part of life.
Our society does a terrible disservice to men by raising them to think that their penis has to be 10 inches long, hard as a rock and last all night. It’s no wonder that many men feel insecure about their sexuality. Great sex involves your whole body; in fact, having great, mutually satisfying sex is usually quite the opposite of what you see in those performance-oriented sex videos.
The more you think of sex as being about performance, the more worries you'll have. If you're stressed, you'll probably worry even more. And this can be a vicious circle. For most of us, sex is about fun and pleasure. If you think of it as performance, or a “job,” you’ll set yourself for a stressful experience. Remember: Performance can be the enemy of pleasure and fun.
Men receive so many messages that sex is about “performance” and pleasing a partner, rather than just enjoying the pleasure of it. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure.
If you experience erections when you wake up, during self-pleasuring or before you attempt penis-vagina sex (p-v), it’s obvious there’s no medical or physiological condition interfering—it’s all in your head. Your guess is right on the money: Something p-v with a woman is causing you anxiety. What do you suppose it is? Is it possible that you’re worrying yourself into this problem? In other words, once you began to worry, you stopped being able to enjoy yourself, so naturally, your erections disappeared, and you created a self-fulfilling prophesy. Often, anxiety and nervousness create a situation in which you can't relax enough to feel pleasure.
Worrying about erections is a dead-end street. All it will do is make you anxious, which will make your penis very uncooperative. And remember you don't need an erection to be sexual, have fun, experience pleasure, etc. Relax, enjoy your own unique sexuality and stop judging yourself.
And, no, drugs aren't the answer. Viagra doesn’t alleviate anxiety, etc. All it does is open up blood flow to the penis. It’s for men who have a medical condition such as diabetes, which prevents blood flow. Don't forget: YOU ARE IN CHARGE of your sexuality. Take a deep breath and look at the above issues to see if any relate to you. Once you can relax and stop putting pressure on yourself to please someone else, you can begin to discover just what it is that feels good to you. For more information about male sexual issues, I recommend “The New Male Sexuality,” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., widely available online, both used and in paperback. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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