“Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.” Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
So here we are, still having some fun with a list of questions I like to call the Top 10 Men’s Concerns, representing the most common sexual concerns expressed by men. We’ve already discussed penis size and shape issues, spent some time on self-pleasuring (that was SO much fun!). Now, for the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at an assortment of concerns drawn from real questions that I’ve received from readers just like you. I’m doing this because you all deserve to know this kind of information, without any hype or agenda; so after each and every question, you’ll find my answer. Oh—and the really astute readers (read: YOU ) will doubtless remember that at the end of this last year, we surveyed the top 10 women’s concerns. Guys, it’s your turn to stand up and be counted, so read on.
So, without any further ado, our first guest has signed in with a very common concern shared by many men in new relationships. Pop open a cold beer, grab a handful of corn nuts and read on.
“Dear Dr. J: I am recently married. I’m 30 years old and in good health; and prior to my marriage, I used to get turned on very easily. Now, whenever I try to have sex with my wife, I just lose my erection. During cuddling and kissing, it’s hard, but when the time comes to penetrate, it just fails me and then I lose interest. Now I'm so stressed. Is there any medication for this, and how normal is this among guys? Please help!”
Dr. J’s Response
The 800-pound gorilla in the room you’re so carefully trying to tiptoe around is that now that you’re married you’re finding it difficult to relax and be sexual. Obviously, something about being married is making you anxious, self-conscious, inhibited, etc.
Do you have any sense of what is making you feel this way? What are you thinking about during sex? Now that you’re married, perhaps it’s difficult for you to think of your wife as a sexual person and that’s what’s getting in the way. When you’re being sexual do you have enough privacy? Are you both relaxed and happy? If not, issues like these can contribute to your discomfort.
There are various other possible psychological and emotional factors just too darned numerous to detail here. But since you asked, they include (but are not limited to) fear of intimacy, fear of women or at least negative feelings about them, unresolved anger and conflicted feelings about being married – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, guys. Some men find they can be totally uninhibited sexually as long as they’re NOT in a committed relationship. Others find the day-in, day-out doldrums of being with someone 24/7 destroys any sense of sexual mystery or romantic feelings. You know: her morning breath, her bathroom sounds, the various face creams, notions, lotions and potions she wears to bed, the way she chews her food. Arghhh! It’s enough to turn ANYONE off! And, of course, all of this also goes for what SHE’S feeling, too. And speaking of her: What’s HER role in this? Has she been acting differently? Has she let herself go? Do you wonder if she’s as turned on to you now, as she was before you were married? So many questions; so little time. And we aren’t even talking about what’s it’s going to be like if you decide to have kids.
Here are a few other things to consider: You may have negative attitudes about sex in general, you may have performance anxiety issues or you may have conflicts about marriage or about women in general. Any way you look at it, it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of trying too hard, which, of course can lead to more stress and more anxiety. You know what? These self-doubts, questions and destructive attitudes aren’t that uncommon – the good news is that it’s not that hard to change. Be willing to take a deep breath, relax and honestly examine the issues I’ve mentioned above and see if any of them fit you. The bottom line is that something is getting in the way of your pleasure, and you’ll need to do some very serious thinking to figure out what it is.
Of course, in any new relationship, it takes time to be able to relax with each other and learn about your body and its responses. Like anything worthwhile, it takes a little time, a little willingness and lots of practice, practice, practice. Talk with your wife and tell her you’d like to slow down and learn about what feels good for each others’ bodies and the ways you respond to each other so the two of you can discover just what it is that arouses each of you and gives you the most pleasure. You have a chance to take a wonderful journey of discovery and pleasuring that‘s not only educational, but a whole lot of fun, too!
You’d be surprised how often men put massive amounts of pressure on themselves to be whatever they think is sexually “perfect” once they’re in a committed relationship. Of course, all that pressure is a lot to carry around and usually winds up deflating the old tires so the car doesn’t actually go anywhere. How many times have I told you that relaxation is the key? Come on, say it with me: “breathe, relax, enjoy; breathe, relax, enjoy.” Think about making it your MAN-tra, “breathe, relax, enjoy.”
Tune in next time. I think you're ready for "Top 10 Couples' Concerns," don't you?