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Hello. I am a 42 year old male. I have a new girlfriend and I been getting performance anxiety. I am confident in my abilities. I just get really nervous therefore I’m unable to keep an erection. Any ideas?


  • Michael Castleman says:

    Sorry you’re having this problem. Performance anxiety is a drag, but yes, I have some suggestions that should help.

    First, discuss your situation with your new girlfriend. Relationships are all about intimacy. Intimacy means self-revelation, and most women are very interested in the man revealing his inner self to them. This certainly qualifies. Many surveys show that when men have sexual issues, women are less upset about the issue itself than about the man’s unwillingness to include them in addressing it. So tell her how you feel. Speak from your heart. Share your consternation and tell her what you’ve done about it, i.e. asking me and anything else you’ve done. Then invite her to participate in the other suggestions I offer:

    Try not to have an out-of-body experience. Men with performance anxiety often “leave” their bodies and hover above themselves, watching themselves have sex. Sex therapists call this “spectatoring.” When you do this, you take yourself out of the experience of lovemaking and become the critical coach focused on your performance—usually its shortcomings. Try to stay in your body, in the present. Sex is NOT a performance. It’s basically mutual whole-body massage that, after a while, extends to the genitals. Get into the process. Be playful. You can have all sorts of great fun WITHOUT an erection. In surveys, one of women’s biggest complaints is that men are too penis-focused, too consumed with intercourse. Get into all the ways you can give and receive pleasure that DON’T involve your penis. Taking pressure off the little guy often help him work better.

    Drink less alcohol for the several hours before you anticipate sex. When faced with issues like yours, many men think a few drinks will calm them down. No. The first drink is relaxing , but after that alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant that impairs erection. If you want to take a drug, try caffeine (coffee, tea). It’s a stimulant that may help a bit. (But don’t use much or you may get insomnia.)

    Fool around clothed before you go to bed. Kiss, cuddle, touch each other all over. This excites the pleasure nerves throughout the skin surface and takes pressure off the penis.

    Shower before sex. Do this either together or separately. The hot water is relaxing and relaxation helps with erection.

    Cultivate a slow sexual pace. Women often complain that men rush sex, that they can’t wait for intercourse. Women generally need more time than men—like a half hour or so—of kissing, cuddling, and mutual whole-body massage to become aroused enough to warm up to intercourse. Give her that time. A slower pace also helps penises work as you want them to.

    Breathe deeply during sex. Deep breathing is very relaxing and helps penis function. It also communicates that you’re turned on, which helps turn on your lover.

    Use a lubricant. If she places a little lube on her hand, handjobs generally feel more erotic and your penis is more likely to rise to erection.

    Only 25% of women are consistently orgasmic from intercourse. Women’s orgasm trigger is the clitoris, which sits outside the vagina and above it under the top junction of the vaginal lips. For most women, intercourse doesn’t provide sufficient clitoral stimulation to produce orgasm. Most women need direct clitoral stimulation by hand, mouth, or sex toy. As long as you provide that, she can come whether or not you have an erection.

    Similarly, men don’t need firm erections to have marvelous orgasms. If you don’t become firm enough for intercourse, there are other ways to climax: handjobs, oral sex, and toys. Don’t get me wrong. Erections are great and intercourse is wonderful fun. But if you don’t have the former and can’t manage the latter, you can still enjoy very fulfilling sex—and so can she.

    I hope this helps. Finally, you might peruse the Info Library and see if any of the articles interest you. Try these suggestions, and let me know how they work. Wishing you the best!

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