What happened to my libido?
June 23, 2006 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm a recently out, gay 21 year-old college student. I recently met someone and things are starting to get serious. Last night he came over and I couldn't get aroused. I've never had a problem with that before. What's going on?

At 21, I have finally come to terms with my sexuality and have begun to seek out relationships. Recently, I started dating someone and last night was our first attempt at any kind of sex (my first gay experience, as well). He had no problem with anything, but even after extended play, I could not maintain an erection.

Clearly, this was quite disconcerting to me as I am quite attracted to this boy and was very excited and into the experience. I usually have a large amount of sexual energy and have no problem getting it up, so I have no idea why I couldn't maintain an erection this time (when it would have been very handy, for once). At 21, I really doubt it's ED. I also work out regularly and am generally in good health.

Mefites: What could be going on here?

Please send additional questions to mybrothercharles@gmail.com.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total)

Recently, I started dating someone and last night was our first attempt at any kind of sex (my first gay experience, as well).

There's your answer: performance anxiety. You're getting used to this, and these things will happen. Happens to everyone--gay or straight.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:35 AM on June 23, 2006

Get drunk!
posted by maxreax at 9:36 AM on June 23, 2006

But not too drunk!
posted by chiababe at 9:39 AM on June 23, 2006

But enough!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:40 AM on June 23, 2006

What these people are telling you is that you are not the first person to have failed on your first attempt. It will get easier.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 9:42 AM on June 23, 2006

I'll second the performance anxiety suggestion. Sure can be a mood killer, and the more you think about it, the more it'll happen, but it's happened to the best, most-experienced, and most-confident among us. Next time will be better, then the time after that you'll ace it, I bet.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:43 AM on June 23, 2006

Should this happen to you a second time, know that it is still not fatal. I knew a man who took several attempts spaced over months to get over first-time jitters. The problem never resurfaced after that. Good luck.

Another thought - are you concerned about roommates/parents overhearing?
posted by crazycanuck at 9:57 AM on June 23, 2006

It's just stress and anxiety. Keep at it, eventually you'll be able to relax and it'll happen naturally.
posted by Meagan at 10:33 AM on June 23, 2006

I had a boyfriend once who experienced a similar problem with his first girlfriend (not me). They'd made a date to have sex for he first time, and he, being 17, was as you can imagine full of anticipation. But he said he had a "bad case of psychological impotence", and that it actually took another two or three tries before he could put his anxieties (or over-excitment, which can affect things, too) aside. I also had another boyfriend who didn't have any problems with erections, but who wasn't actually able to orgasm for the first number of times we had sex... Sex isn't as simple or as natural as one might think-- it takes some practice. Like Robertson Davies once wrote, It's like painting in watercolours. It looks easy, but it's not.

Best of luck. Keep trying, and don't put any pressure on yourself. I imagine you would want to talk about this with your partner, so that he doesn't feel pressured, either. Just relax, play with each other with no clear goal in mind, and you'll get there eventually.
posted by jokeefe at 10:57 AM on June 23, 2006

Well, as a 28-year-old, not-so-recently "out" gay man, I'd like to say it's just nerves, but if it keeps up for a while there's no shame in seeing a health professional (mental or physiological). I have unfortunately dated a couple of guys who were never able to get it up during our months-long relationships and both eventually convinced themselves that it didn't matter (despite my opinion to the contrary* and willingness to try whatever they wanted).

*That is to say: my opinion that they deserved sexual satisfaction, not an opinion that sex is the be-all, end-all.
posted by kittyprecious at 12:06 PM on June 23, 2006

I feel you should always write offyour first experience with a new partner anyway. It just takes practice to get both good and comfortable with the whole sex thing. Give yourself permission not to be great, but just to have fun. Keep your sense of humor and feel free to communicate whatever is going on and whatever you want to try. And, yes, get a little drunk. It all helps.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2006

it's nerves. Don't worry about it. I have a guy, who'd I'd cut my right arm off for, in an instant.....no questions asked. He's my life and soul mate. We don't see each other that much as he lives in another country, but the last time I was with him, sex was great, but I have to admit I wasn't at top form, I was having huge job problems, and during sex and love making, try as I might, I kept thinking, "I have to go back to work in 2 weeks to a job I abhore". I couldn't help it, thinking those thoughts and yes, it affected my dick. Your dick is directly connected to your brain, so one affects the other.......every have an erection, with out provocation, and guess what.....you're brain kicks in and starts to think sexy thoughts, so it all works on a two way street basis, ideas and feelings affect your brain and dick both ways..You think sexy thoughts and get a hard on, so it works both ways. Your dick can control your brain. Kiss your new friend lots and have lots of foreplay, and a little alcohol might help loosen tensions, just take it slow. Explain to him you're new at this and nervous and you need time, and boy when the time is right, you'll feel the earth move under your feet!!!!! Good luck.
posted by kfl61 at 5:02 PM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

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