I just turned 18 and have been sexually active since i was 16. I think about sex alot and always can get an erection easily. I have no problem staying rock hard during foreplay but as soon as it comes to putting on a condom or if i take more than a couple seconds putting it in I start to go soft. I want to have sex so bad with my current girl and have before but I seem to be having trouble staying hard long enough to put it in. It seems like my mind is teasing me. Please try and give me some solutions so i can enjoy sex without feeling dumb.
There’s nothing wrong with you. You’ve just convinced yourself there’s something amiss, and now you’ve created a viscous circle. As soon as your penis didn’t do exactly what you wanted, you started to worry. Sex is all about what’s going on in your head. The more you worry, the more your penis isn’t going to cooperate. In fact, it can be downright rebellious! You need to relax. If someone tells you NOT to think of elephants, what’s the first thing you think about? That’s right. Elephants. And if you worry about getting erection, same thing: self-fulfilling prophesy.
Erections go up and down. You’ll find this happening all your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex, but you have to adjust your attitude and relax. Many men feel that if their erection goes down even a tiny bit, there’s something wrong with them. Where does this come from?
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. Ask yourself whether you have any conflicts about being sexual—any old messages that might be lurking in your subconscious.
For more information about erection issues, attitude, etc., I highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available in paperback and is an invaluable resource.
Relax, stop putting pressure on yourself and enjoy sex for what it is: pleasure. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever happens—and find partners who aren’t hung up on performances issues either. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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