How can I maintain an erection and a lovelife?
March 3, 2009 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Emotional involvement = impotence?

I'm in my mid-20's and I've never been much of a dater. My last meaningful relationship was a few years ago. Since then it's basically been casual sex. A few months ago, I started having problems keeping an erection, but it seems only with women I was at least a little attached to. The one night stands, no problem. The repeat offenders that I went on dates with or hung out with, I often couldn't finish or would need some oral stimulus to stay hard.

Now, I've met someone I really like. On top of that, she's intimidatingly beautiful (I'm a 7 and she's a 9). Things got hot and heavy the other night and my junk wasn't having any of it. She was cool about it, but really, it can't happen the first and second time.

So has my lifestyle of detached sex ruined me? There are obvious physical problems I could think of (overweight, smoker, depressed lately) but like I said it's not a constant problem, nor does it interfere with masturbation. However, my overall sex drive has been down lately. How can I put myself in the mindset to conquer this?

I've tried to include everything I can think of, but follow-ups can be sent to
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
I don't know what "I'm a 7 and she's a 9" means, and I'm not a guy, but it sounds like you're putting pressure on yourself to perform because you really want this girl to like you. That pressure's not there with flings because it's a one-time thing. Doesn't matter what they think as much. Maybe spend some time relaxing first... and spend more time on foreplay? She might like that better, too.
posted by katillathehun at 9:50 AM on March 3, 2009

Stop masturbating. Nothing. Ever.

If a month of that doesn't improve the situation, talk to a doctor.
posted by GuyZero at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2009

You will often see the "stop masturbating" advice for these questions. Since there's no evidence that any masturbation is happening here at all, I'm going to suggest that you see a therapist. The fact that you have this problem only with people you have an emotional attachment to and your young age indicates the problem is psychological, not physical. I'd suggest that you are downgrading yourself as a person and thinking that you aren't worth the women that you are interested in.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You'll have to trust that these ladies are just regular smart people and have some pretty good reason for wanting to be with you. Some voice inside you is likely saying otherwise.

That puts a lot of pressure on you to be perfect. A therapist is likely to really help you with that.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 AM on March 3, 2009

A couple of things

- she's intimidatingly beautiful
- I'm a 7 and she's a 9
- overweight, smoker, depressed lately

Sounds like you have some self-esteem issues, which could be causing performance anxiety. On top of that, you're a smoker, and smoking causes impotence and erectile dysfunction.

It'll probably be hard to quit smoking, but you can probably help cure your depression by exercising more. An increase in activity will increase your positive self-image, and then you may start to lose weight, which will further increase your self-image, and your performance problems will probably disappear (quitting smoking will really help, though).

In the meantime, without being too intense, try to explain to this wonderful woman (perhaps when cuddling watching a video) that you think she is beautiful and incredible, and that you're working on your performance issues.

Affection + a genuine demonstrated desire to change + a plan = a good chance this woman will stick with you until you're rock hard again.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:58 AM on March 3, 2009

OK, I see the masturbation on review, but my advice still stands. The problem only occurs when you are with someone you really like and whom you rate higher than yourself. The one night stands are no problem. This says the problem is situational, not physical.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2009

Since there's no evidence that any masturbation is happening here at all...

OP: "like I said it's not a constant problem, nor does it interfere with masturbation."
posted by rhizome at 10:00 AM on March 3, 2009

You're nervous because you really like her and she's hot and you think you don't deserve her.
Work on thinking you deserve her, because she obviously thinks so.
Even if what you say about yourself is true (7, overweight, etc) that means you probably have a pretty awesome personality or else she wouldn't be with you. Chances are you're making too much of your faults and you're probably closer in level to her than you think.

You're already doing something right by attracting her in the first place and keeping her interest so far, even with your performance woes, so try not to worry about it too much. She's sticking around because she likes you.

Try thinking "I'm so fucking cool that I got this hot smart girl" as a replacement every time you start thinking "She's way better than me and is going to realize it and leave."
Be proud instead of anxious and your problems will probably disappear.
posted by rmless at 10:15 AM on March 3, 2009

What is this, 1990? Take a pill.
posted by nicwolff at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2009

Was there booze involved? If so, lay off of it next time.
posted by originalname37 at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2009


Get some Levitra, take a half a pill before the action. After 4 or 8 sessions your boner will be trained that "in bed with this woman = good sex", and you will not need the drugs anymore.

Speaking from experience.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2009

Agreeing with everyone else that this sounds like self-esteem. I've been there.

Also, the "stop masturbating" advice really does work. Stop it. ESPECIALLY on the days you're going to see her. Just don't. You can thank me later - I accept Visa and Amex
posted by phrakture at 11:22 AM on March 3, 2009

overweight, smoker, depressed lately

I wouldn't say those belong in parentheses; those three things are probably factoring in more than you realize. I'm a girl, but I can tell you that a pile of excess weight and an equally flabby pile of untreated depression mangled my sex drive and things didn't get better till I sought out some help from a doctor. Just feeling like you're doing something positive to help the problem (talking to your physician) will probably make you feel better about yourself overall. Definitely worth bringing up with a doctor.

And I agree with pretty much everyone else, though, who's saying to ease up on yourself. This "I'm a 7, she's a 9" stuff isn't helping. She obviously likes you so don't worry about it. Just take care of yourself, be healthy, and probably take phrakture's advice too.

Good luck.
posted by Neofelis at 11:30 AM on March 3, 2009

have a game plan ready if it happens again - give her the best oral sex she's ever had. Do a little research of techniques beforehand (I'm sure I've read some great askme's on the topic) and focus on pleasing her. Giving a hot woman an orgasm should give you just the boost that your self-esteem needs.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:47 PM on March 3, 2009

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