[Penis filter][Gay sex filter] I'm 24 years old and I can't maintain an erection. This is probably a psychological problem, but possibly not entirely.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've never been able to top someone (have penetrative anal sex). Email: email@example.com
More details: About four years ago, my lifelong unhappiness turned into a suicidal depression. Treatment included hospitalization, therapy, many different kinds of medication (including SSRIs, SNRIs, antipsychotics, MAOIs, and others I can't recall), and electroconvulsive therapy. I think the MAOI helped most, but the only real solution to my problem, however, was coming out of the closet. By the time I fully came out to everyone at age 22, my mental health problem was more-or-less solved.
I had never had any sexual experience until 22. When I began to be sexually active, I was on an MAOI (Parnate). It had real sexual side effects, though, including difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, as well as difficulty orgasming. (It is possible previous drugs also had such side effects, but I wasn't in a position to really notice.) Eventually, I tapered off the MAOI, and a few weeks later, when it was all flushed out of my system, I noticed a rather marked and immediate change -- I was getting erections more frequently, more easily, and I ejaculated while with another person for the first time in my life. And yet, I have never been able to top someone. Whenever I try to top someone, I lose my erection and cannot successfully penetrate. However, "erection" may be stretching it -- I never truly get as fully hard as other people I am with, I don't think.
To put it in concrete terms: my erection never goes above the horizontal. I can maybe flex my kegel muscle to force it just up to the horizontal, or really stroke it so it gets slightly harder for a quarter-second but the standard is drooping slightly down. And not pointing erectly and slightly down: drooping slightly down. 80-90% hard. This is enough to pass the stamp test (google it), definitely, but not hard enough to penetrate a man. Perhaps I shouldn't simply compare to porn or to other sexual partners, but EVERYONE seems to get harder than me, and most people seem to point at least a little bit up. Also: multiple times while fooling around with a guy, I get an erection, but then lose it. Sometimes I get it back, but the other guy doesn't generally lose his erection in the middle. Another data point: after ejaculating, my mostly-hard penis generally becomes fully flaccid very, very quickly. Other people seem to stay rather hard-ish for some time after coming.
I am not currently on any medication or seeing a therapist. Once, a few years ago, when I was on the MAOI, I got a doctor to prescribe Viagra for me, but I wasn't really in a position to be able to use it then, and I don't have the pills any more. I'm okay with trying Viagra/Cialis now, though the cost is high, when including doctor co-pay and per-pill cost (or: my roommate has recommended pills you get at 7/11 such as something called StaminaRx, but I'm slightly hesistant about what this would do), but really I'm looking for a solution that would NOT mean taking a pill every time I want to have sex. I have also talked to a therapist about this in the past, but there wasn't much concrete he could offer me, beyond saying that I needed a boyfriend I could be fully comfortable with.
I anticipate two responses which I don't find helpful. 1st: "You just need to find someone you're truly comfortable with, like a boyfriend." Well, it takes two. (I'm looking.) Anyways, I've recently been hanging out with someone (not quite a boyfriend, but he's very sweet and accepting), and the problem keeps popping up. Or not, so to speak. And, 2nd: "Gay sex isn't just anal sex. Find your fulfillment in oral sex. Statistics that show that the majority of gay sex is oral, not anal." I find those statistics misleading, because while the majority of sex ACTS may be oral, due to spontaneity; the majority of sexual RELATIONSHIPS, on the other hand, include anal at some point in time. Regardless, I want to have anal sex, but I can't. This is the problem that's frustrating me.
The last thing I'll throw out there: I rather frequently notice that my hands and feet are cold, even when others aren't. Multiple people I have recently touched have commented on my cold hands. I'm not saying my problem is NOT psychological, but I'm just throwing out the possibility of poor circulation. I have no idea if cold extremities = poor circulation = poor blood flow to the "fifth extremity," but I'm just throwing the idea out there.
My questions are:
1) Has anyone else had this problem and then overcame it? How?
2) Is it possible that this is actually a physical problem and not a psychological one? If so, what would doctors do (aside from prescribing Viagra/Cialis/Levitra )?
3) Any first-hand experience with Viagra et al from someone with impotence problems (not someone healthy taking it on a whim)? What about with the OTC herbal stuff you get at 7/11?