Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
Erection Problems
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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Erection Problems

My boyfriend can get erections and keep them, but it used to only happens once or twice a day. Its no guarantee that those will even last, as his performance has dropped considerably. He lasted a while before hand now im lucky if it lasts for two minuets. If I missed those erections, he cant get erect when i try and stimulate him. The only time it ever work he closed his eyes and in my opinion "fantasized" and that only got it half way there. Just recently hes been having more and we had sex but today for some reason he was sleeping and had an erection I went in to get a little action and he asked if he could sleep for ten more minuets, when i came back it was gone and i couldn't get it back. He thinks he has low testosterone, yet every time this happens its something new i.e. stress, fatigue, not in the mood. I know he still watches a few pron clips and he insists hes not masturbating (not that i mind ether, as long as im still getting some) so whats going on? I thought it was me because we had just recently had a child but he said that im beautiful and it has nothing to do with me, but I cant help but feel that i somehow did something wrong or i am inadequate. Can someone help me please?
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Hello. Worrying about this is a dead-end street.

I wish I had a dollar for each time someone writes: “WHY does my partner do this?” The simple fact is, how would anyone know without asking him? All I can do is speculate about possibilities. The only way to find out for sure is to ASK him.

He may be feeling inadequate because he equates erection with being a man. He may be embarrassed. And most likely, he’s become depressed. Depression can rob a person of their ability to take action.

There may be other issues in his life that contribute to this. Is he content with himself, with his life, with your relationship? Are there, or have there been any family or work crises? And what about you? Has your appearance changed dramatically? Are you doing something (anything) that might be pushing him away? You have a new baby, and this inevitably changes the dynamics of a relationship--even if he doesn't recognize it.

Men receive so many messages from society, advertising, family, movies, television, magazines, friends, books, religion, (the list is endless) about what “should” happen between two people that when it comes down to having sex, a man may equate sex with “performance” and pleasing his partner, rather than just relaxing and enjoying the pleasure himself. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game, so when erections don’t happen on command, their confidence and self-esteem are affected. 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. Some men are very affected by cultural or family messages that unmarried women who have sex are somehow “dirty” or “evil.”

The next step is to talk with your partner regarding how the two of you can make this work for the both of you. I strongly suggest the two of you try talking to each other—rather than arguing with each other—as your first and possibly most productive step. The most helpful attitude is “what can we do TOGETHER to make this work for both of us?” Remember to share only your feelings; don’t attack him or accuse him. This process involves problem-solving as a team. If you put your heads together, you might be able to work out a creative solution. For instance, there are lots of ways to be sexual and intimate that don’t involve p-v sex. If your partner’s sexual energy is low when you want sex, how about asking him to hold and stroke you while you self-pleasure? My guess is that once you two get comfortable, he’ll find that it’s not only intimate, but fun too. If this isn’t an option you care to pursue, are there other things the two of you can do that will satisfy your desire more often? Think of this as a fun way to get to know each other better, and it won’t seem so daunting.

It’s time to get help so that the both of you can talk about your separate and joint issues. A counselor can guide you through the process of discussing these issues with each other in a safe environment. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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