What's up with my penis?
November 25, 2006 10:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm a young guy (19) enjoying the sex for the first time. Awesome! As far as I can tell, it's just about everything I expected. Or rather, it would be if I could keep it up. . .

I met a lovely girl. She's pretty much exactly my type, which is great because I've always been a bookish, dorky kind of guy who never thought he'd have the privilege of being with a gorgeous woman exactly his type. The simple act of draping my arm around her neck is enough to call my little soldier to attention. He'll stand stiff and erect for a good, long time without being toyed with and when m'lady and I get to fooling around little buddy stands at the ready.

When the two of us get to the gushier part of our evening — or morning, or afternoon, or lunch break — I'm talking about sex now — I'm usually good to go. Then, to my crushing misfortune, things tend to go soft after we've gotten into the swing of things. This has been happening with fellatio as well.

I just don't get it. At first, I thought this was a performance anxiety thing that I'd get over. When I'm doing the deed, I'm not panicking over, "is this right? Does she like this? Is this how I'm supposed to do it? Shit. Shit. Shit. WhatdoIdo?" It's more like, "oboy! This is it! Feels pretty good, huh? Sounds like she's having a good time too. . .
"in'n'out, in'n'out, in'n'out, mmm'hmm. . . waitaminute. Where'd it go?"

For the record, I've had some success and gotten through with it very enjoyably but I'm pretty certain it's only been during times I was pretty drunk. So what the fuck? It's not as though it doesn't feel good, or I'm not turned on by her or the act. I've made a point of reassuring her it has nothing to do with her. She's much more experienced than I am and has been totally understanding. But this is causing some serious frustration for me, and I suspect for her as well.

So what the fuck? I guess I'm interested in hearing if anyone has had similar problems they've worked out, especially if you were anywhere near as young as I am. I'm supposed to be at my peak, right? I'm a horny young buck, right? This shouldn't be such an issue, right? Right? Am I too young to medicate for this kind of thing? If I did, could I ever wean myself off of it? How can I tell if this is a physical or a mental problem? I don't know if this is of any significance, but my mother's side of the family has a history of (minor) poor circulation. My sister and I have always complained of chronically cold hands and feet. During the cold weather it will take my hands upwards of an hour to warm back up after spending time outside.

-We have been using condoms, even though she is on the pill.
-We have used lubrication.

I'm sorry for the long-winded post. I wanted to cover all the bases from the start since I won't have an opportunity to follow up on this anonymous post. Any leads, suggestions, possible solutions, relevant anecdotes would be well appreciated. Thanks in advance for all responses.

I live in Ontario, by the by.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Stop masturbating, if you haven't already. The Death Grip will inure you to gentler sensation and cause premature flaccidity.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:03 PM on November 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

You should probably go and see a doctor to make sure there's not something physically wrong with you.

And stop yanking the trouser snake, solid-one-love's right.
posted by fenriq at 11:20 PM on November 25, 2006

solid-one-love gets the eponysterical prize for the evening.

On a more serious note, he's right. There's such a thing as too much.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:22 PM on November 25, 2006

SOL already mentioned to stop polishing the helmet so I won't mention that again. While you probably don't want to hear it, I'd check with your doctor or a therapist. Even if it isn't psychological right now, it may become so if you can't relax.

For some cheaper and more practical advice: Try a cock ring. I recommend a jelly ring for beginners. They're easy to put on and take off, comfortable, and cheap. Do some homework first as incorrect use can be painful or even dangerous.

I can't find my favorite brand anymore but these are pretty similar. Remember, they go around the cock and the balls.
posted by chairface at 11:34 PM on November 25, 2006

Don't take any supplements that lower blood pressure, like salmon oil. Do eat seafood. Shrimp, oysters, wild salmon. And zinc. I guarantee the results.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:56 PM on November 25, 2006

The whole.. 'we only do it when I am drunk' alludes to a psychological problem I would think.
posted by SirStan at 12:02 AM on November 26, 2006

Sounds like you have a simple case of performance anxiety. I say this for two reasons: 1) you do better when a little drunk. This is actually the opposite of what you'd normally expect if it were physiological, which means that the psychological relaxation is helping you. 2) You clearly have no erectile problems judging by how the guy behaves in non-coital situations. My suggestion would be to use your imagination -- think about how hot she is, think about her body; think the way you do when it's just you and your imagination. Also -- and this may sound a bit offensive -- objectify her a bit. Think of her as a sexual plaything. This is not as awful as it sounds; as a guy I rather enjoy it when a woman thinks of me as a sex toy, and she might get a kick out of it too if she knew (and she doesn't have to know).
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:05 AM on November 26, 2006

Though on second thought, maybe it is just more sensitive when you've been drinking. I would definitely abstain from yank the snake for a few days (week!?). Also try another brand of condom. Perhaps something thin, or not lubricated?

Maybe it is a case of too much lubrication, and not enough friction? Though for most first timers it seems, its usually a case of in,out,in,out,oops.. were done.

Doctors hear this kinda thing all the time, as embarrassing as it may seem, they wont look at you like a freak for asking about it. Just think about all the horrible sex questions they get (you got a what, stuck where?).
posted by SirStan at 12:09 AM on November 26, 2006

Everyone else in this thread is just so full of it and so clearly wrong - listen to Spiggott.
posted by caddis at 12:22 AM on November 26, 2006

Spiggott and caddis are right -- you're just nervous, which is totally normal since this is something new and exciting. You should focus (I know this sounds like ridiculous advice, but trust me) on non-intercourse options for a while, and as a plus side you can spend some time learning what she likes. Once you're more comfortable, the problem will disppear.

Having this kind of issue doesn't mean you aren't ready for sex or that you should be overly concerned. Just take a step back for a minute, take care of her, and you'll be back up and at 'em in no time.
posted by anildash at 12:34 AM on November 26, 2006

What Spiggot says. There's more to anxiety than explicit worrying thoughts.

The cure is practise. And alcohol. Maybe a little marijuana.

One of the unfortunate things we tend to believe as men is that penises ought to be capable of godlike, rock-hard, permanent erections whenever the situation or our inclination calls for it. This is simply not so, particularly with someone new, when there is something on your mind, or for any other random reason. In a very real sense, NOTHING is up with your penis. It is doing what penises do from time to time.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:37 AM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Everyone else in this thread is just so full of it and so clearly wrong - listen to Spiggott.

Spigott is also right, but that doesn't make the rest of us "full of it and so clearly wrong". There is ample evidence to support my suggestion.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:49 AM on November 26, 2006

Spiggot's advice is sound. But also, I want to hugely second whoever mentioned thinner condoms. Standard-issue american condoms are awful. Try the "extra-sensitive" varieties of the usual brands if that's all you can find, or the fancy japanese brands like Kimono or Skinless Skin if you can get 'em. Also, you can order custom-sized thin ones here, though I haven't tried them yet and can't vouch for them.
posted by squidlarkin at 2:13 AM on November 26, 2006

Playing the devil's advocate....

Cold extremeties? Circulation issues?

Second observation... alcohol is a vasodilator.

Third observation... sufficient excitation when stimulation is not accompanied by exertion from sex.

No apparent psych hangups and generally positive attitude about it all.

Sounds kind of metabolic/physiological, at least on the surface. The kind of thing the blue pills address.

I'd see a doc after eliminating all the obvious factors.

Just curious about your mophology... what's a good description of your body type? Thin/wiry, corpulant / Rubinesque, Schwarzenneger/moron? (Just kidding on the last one.. can't help myself?) Do you get dizzy when you stand up? Is your heart rate high or low? Drug use?

NIce you've found a compatible mate, BTW. Things will work out with experiment and study. Don't worry.
posted by FauxScot at 4:51 AM on November 26, 2006

We have been using condoms, even though she is on the pill.

Stop using condoms. Unless your reason for using them is something other than a second type of birth control, in which case you should have told us about it, because it's probably central to the question.
posted by bingo at 5:21 AM on November 26, 2006

are your condoms too small? Try a bigger size if they are at all uncomfortable.
posted by milarepa at 5:25 AM on November 26, 2006

I have generalized anxiety disorder and your experience sounds a heck of a lot like my experience with my first sexual partner, so I would back the anxiety advice. Anxiety doesn't always represent itself as the stream of consciousness that you describe. When mixed with the adrenaline of sex, I think there's a pretty subtle line between anxiety and normal excitement.

Extracurricular masturbation may or may not be a piece of the puzzle. Stopping that might exacerbate your problems (maybe it's not a problem. Shrug.) with public erections. Masturbating with a condom might help you get used to that particular sensation.

In my experience, the particular problem of losing stiffness pretty much worked itself out after I became used to all the new sensory information, but in the meantime, it helped that I convinced myself and communicated with my partner that this was a problem to be solved with some (very, very fun!) experimentation. Low stakes touching and foreplay helped. Being honest about one's sexual experience or lack thereof is important in any relationship. Mutual masturbation, showing each other what you like, etc... Basically, lower the stakes and isolate the senses. Schedule times when you're going to play around where intercourse and orgasm aren't the objective.
posted by Skwirl at 6:03 AM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

I would just like to note--and no disrespect to the OP--all of the colorfully evocative euphemisms for masturbation in this thread. The English language is truly a magnificent thing.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 6:42 AM on November 26, 2006

Thinking "waitaminute - where'd it go?" will likely make it stay away. Don't worry about where it went. It's probably just nipped down to the shops for some ciggies and the paper.

Think about something else, like how good she smells. Focus on some part of what you're doing that isn't between your legs, and little buddy will be back before you know it.

The only men in the world who have permanent rock-solid erections that never go away are porn stars, and they only get those with careful film editing.

Sex isn't about "success" anyway. Good sex is conversation, not performance.
posted by flabdablet at 6:53 AM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

A couple of previous can't keep it up threads.

I'm a horny young buck, right? This shouldn't be such an issue, right? Right?

Not really. It's not that uncommon, even in horny young bucks, and can be caused by a variety of things, as folks have noted above. If there's anyone in your family you'd feel comfortable talking with about the poor circulation thing, you might want to do that before going to a doctor.
posted by mediareport at 7:19 AM on November 26, 2006

a) stop being anxious


b) take some Viagra

I'm guessing the Viagra will make you self-confident enough that after a few times you won't need it anymore
posted by matteo at 7:24 AM on November 26, 2006

It's probably not circulation, since you report plenty of boners. It's just subconscious or whatever. Have drinks or puff tuff till you get over it.

Or could be you two don't fit that well. Some dudes have enormous cocks, right? Some women have big vaginas.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:09 AM on November 26, 2006

follow-up from OP

"In response to FauxSports:
I'm 6 feet tall, 160lbs, reasonably lean and in good health. Funny you should mention it, though—I do often have dizzy spells standing up.

In response to Joseph Gurl:
We're a good fit, as near as I can tell. I'm not terrifically well-endowed but neither does she have a large vagina."

Thanks guys,
Anonymous (hah!)
posted by jessamyn at 9:04 AM on November 26, 2006

I had a similar problem for a while, still do sometimes. For me, anyway, it's always been anxiety, as several folks have already stated. Be it performance anxiety, sudden worries about things not-sex related, or, even, worrying about losing an erection.

On second thought, Skwirl's comment seems pretty dead-on with my experiences.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:35 AM on November 26, 2006

I know someone with pretty much identical issues. I was also his first partner. His problem was one of sensory overload and maybe a little anxiety.

His doctor gave him something like six viagaras so he could have sex a few times without worrying about staying hard -- gave him a chance to get used to the feeling and experience.

After that, he was much more successful at staying hard, though sex was a gradual learning process. Two months on, he still sometimes would be surprised to lose his erection (less than 10 percent of the time). Six months on, limp dick happened maybe 1 in 50 goes. Several years on, it was not a problem at all and the sex was generally awesome, because he was more comfortable with his body as well as with his partner's, and more familiar with the whole experience.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:23 AM on November 26, 2006

First: there is nothing wrong with you *or* with Mr. Happy. Second: there is nothing wrong with how you are doing things. The biggest self-diagnostic is when you're drunk you can get it on just fine, thanks.

The situation you find yourself in happens when it matters how you're doing - and of course it does, you are really happy with your gf and you want to please her. This implies your mind is not on the sensation you are getting from sex, but on other things like "is Bruno starting to wilt?"

Re-focus on the good feelings you're getting. Pay attention to all the sensation and stay present with your yummy partner. If you turn having boners into a game, your gf will probably be both charmed and flattered. You'll also find, I bet, if she binds you and takes away your responsibility in the play that you will have a completely different experience. When you are *unable* to make your actions have consequences, then worries about the rise and fall will have no meaning.
posted by jet_silver at 1:32 PM on November 26, 2006

Just throwing in here: I find it doesn't really matter if I masturbate or not, but there definitley is "too much", some people have a refractory period of several hours.

That said, I've totally been where you are and I find it's just a level of comfortability with the person I'm getting down with. I was recently dating a girl with whom I'd have sex 3, 4, 5 times a day. With other girls it was a real crapshoot. It's a definite state of mind thing and it can take a while to work it out. My advice? Get good at the oral.
posted by GilloD at 6:41 PM on November 26, 2006

Ooo, right, GilloD, I'd forgotten about that. If you do happen to go limp, eating out is always much preferrable, for both parties, to feeling inadequate.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:18 PM on November 26, 2006

Stop using condoms.
posted by bingo at 8:21 AM EST on November 26

Lousy advice, of course. As is the advice about the super thin condoms - they need to protect against STDs, not just pregnancy. Assuming you're using condoms, despite the fact that she's on the pill, because of disease prevention, then you need to keep using them, and not the lambskin variety either. If it's a monogamous relationship, you might want to consider getting yourself tested for the slew of STDs*, in which case you could trash the condoms.**

And if you're using condoms because you're not sure you can rely on her to (a) take the pills at all; (b) take the pills reliably - every day at the same time, inform you when she's on antibiotics or vomits shortly after taking the pill so you can double up with condoms - then you should stick with the condoms even though they very well might be contributing to your issues.

As for your question, I agree with everyone who says it sounds like nerves, and that this can happen to more experienced men temporarily, and they "think" their way out of the brief limpness, by imagining something sexy, or looking at particular parts of their partner's bodies that especially turn them on, or some other method.

*Remember that you would need to be precise with the MD about which STDs you'd want to be tested for - they don't test you for everything unless you specify.

**At your age I wouldn't recommend that though. It's so hard to know, at your age especially, if the person will be faithful to you.

Good luck! It'll all work out soon.
posted by Amizu at 8:22 PM on November 27, 2006

Amizu writes "Lousy advice, of course. As is the advice about the super thin condoms"

Condoms like Kimono UltraThins or Beyond Seven Sheerlons are just as safe as regular brands but feel a heck of a lot better IMO.
posted by Mitheral at 8:21 AM on October 28, 2007

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