How does a decent, caring but impotent and shy guy ever find a girlfriend?
March 23, 2008 5:02 PM   Subscribe

I am a 38-year-old man who has many good qualities (I hope so at least) but two drawbacks which understandably be dealbreakers for most women - I am impotent and I have a small penis (around 4 inches on the rare occasions it is erect), so even if my impotence got treated I am not sure I could satisfy a women. On the other hand, I have heard that it's possible to have satisfactory sex life with a 3 inch penis, but have no idea how that can be. So basically I am what would be a figure of ridicule for many other men, and not exactly a strong candidate to be a boyfriend for most women either. However I know some women while still heterosexual may not want a sexual partner e.g. they may be celibate for whatever reason. And there may even be women who will overlook a sex life without penetrative sex for the right person. I have just come out of a four-year relationship which had lots of affection and companionship but not strong feelings of passion and obviously no sex, but I eventually want another relationship again and believe I have a lot of love to give the right person. How can I find her?

I have only been in one long-term relationship in my life, which lasted 4 years after we met on a self-help site. It took me a long time to accept that someone could actually fancy me as I felt unloveable because of my previous lack of success with women (she even asked me out, which I thought was great) and even more amazingly she even accepted my impotence. She was a great friend to me and helped me become a more affectionate and open person where I was totally shy before. She made me feel accepted and lovable, like I had something to offer, but I ended the relationship when my romantic feelings went away and we became more like best friends/ roommates since I didn't think it was fair to either of us to live a lie (with me not feeling things as I used to). I wish we could still be friends but she was devasted and didn't want to see me anymore - which I can understand totally.

Because of this one relationship I know I could have another with the right person, if only I could meet them. Since I have mild SA (social anxiety) as well as shyness I visit a lot of SA websites and there are a surprising number of people who have never had a partner, even at my age, and I think I would get along well with another shy person and they might be accepting of my physical problem too. Since shy people by definition are often at home, where do I find such a person? At what point in a relationship with someone do I confess I'm impotent, and if we have mutual friends by then isn't there the potential for some huge public embarrassment on my part as well as feeling rejected if it's a dealbreaker for her? I do think the only way I could find such a needle in a haystack is online dating, but should I advertise for friends first (and see if the "maybe more" happens eventually) or is that being deceptive?

I am in no rush to find a partner as I feel it's time to regroup and work on being someone I can imagine being more dateable (for example I need to lose some weight). However when it's time to start dating again, how can I overcome my handicaps and find someone that I can love and will love me too?

I am * SO * glad Ask Metafilter exists as I could never bring this subject up with my male friends. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well your penis is not really the issue. Your lack of willingness to fail seems to be the problem.

My solution is for you to go out and fail repeatedly until you don't.

The end!
posted by tarvuz at 5:10 PM on March 23, 2008 [6 favorites]

To add to my comment above:

Failing is essential in life and should be embraced!

babies fail to walk until one day they can walk

baseball players fail the vast majority of the time they go to bat

food fails to cook until heat is added

people lifting weights don't get stronger until their muscles fail

students fail to get the concept until they get the concept

most sperm fail to reach the egg but they keep trying

I work in africa and most folks here fail to live what we consider a good life but they keep trying

I guess my very weird list above is meant to show you that failing is great and even necessary... So good luck and may your failures be epic!
posted by tarvuz at 5:17 PM on March 23, 2008 [7 favorites]

Honestly, it sounds like the person you just left is a good match for you. You are looking for companionship without sex, that's likely to be a low-passion situation. Sounds like she really helped you a lot. I'm not sure that you are going to find someone better than her, if she is supporting, accepting and loving to you.

It sounds like you want it both ways here, you want someone that you feel passionately about, but also someone who can accept the fact that you can't express your passion sexually. I think that may be difficult to find. What kind of person are you looking to find online, for instance, and how is she different from your 4 year relationship?

Sounds like you need some counseling and perspective on your issues. Is your impotence a medical diagnosis? Sounds like you are pretty freaked out by the idea of sex and ashamed of your body, which is not going to help you overcome your impotence. I think you need to ask a doctor about your problem.

Just for the you ever watch porn? Is that arousing at all? If you never have, it might be worth a look.

I don't think you were living a lie with your ex-girlfriend. So why pull away from her? It sounds like she was accepting you for who you were, so why wouldn't you just let her do that? It's no lie. All kinds of weird relationships exist. They aren't lies, they are people accepting each other for who they are.
posted by sully75 at 5:23 PM on March 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Okay, I'm not seeing anywhere in your question an awareness of the concept of non-penetrative sex and how awesome it can be.

Erm, obviously that's not a magic bullet by any means, but it's sure as heck a way to express passion and heterosexual romantic feelings! It's not all or nothing; I get the impression you're framing your problems in an either/or setting and that's making them more daunting then they have to be. They are difficult to solve, but not impossible.
posted by bettafish at 5:36 PM on March 23, 2008

First of all, everyone comes with "handicaps" when they look for partners, and dating is all about getting to know, gradually, who people are and whether they're compatible with you. Granted, the points you mention are ones that many conventional women will consider negatives, but there are lots of unconventional women out there who wouldn't be fazed one bit by your "dealbreakers" and actually might consider them major benefits rather than drawbacks.

There are a couple-few dating sites I've seen that either are inclusive of or specifically cater to celibate or "celibate for now" or similar folks, and there's no reason why you shouldn't advertise on standard friend or dating sites as well. Even people with raging libidos could benefit from taking things slowly and getting to know prospective partners before baring their souls and exposing every quirk, so I don't think it's being deceptive just to be social and test the waters. Advertising on a dating site is not equivalent to signing a Contract to Bang, after all; it's just expressing your interest in companionship of some kind.

I'd say the big things you should explore and ascertain about yourself relate to how you feel about your sexuality and what kind/amount of sexual activity or other physical affection you'd like to have in a relationship. The fact that you are impotent doesn't mean that you can't have lots of fun and mutually satisfactory sex if you want to. If you're happy with matters as they are, then more power to you! You're not broken and don't need to be fixed. If you'd like to explore your sexual potential more, then there's no reason why you can't do that slowly and comfortably after you've formed a bond with someone you trust.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:42 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

She made me feel accepted and lovable, like I had something to offer, but I ended the relationship when my romantic feelings went away and we became more like best friends/ roommates since I didn't think it was fair to either of us to live a lie (with me not feeling things as I used to)

That sounds like a damn good relationship to me, even after four years. You said that this was your first long term relationship...I hate to break it to you, but no relationship is going to be as intense as it first was, four years into it. So the "not feeling things as I used to" factor will play into every single relationship. If that is the reason you broke up, I think you made a mistake. People make that same mistake when they first start dating, I know I did.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:44 PM on March 23, 2008 [4 favorites]

Like the other mefites above, I'm having a hard time understanding why you left a relationship where you had already found and given acceptance. Of course, we don't know all the details of that relationship, besides, your question is not about that, so hopefully the thread won't get derailed. But I will say that what you're looking for is basically what the rest of us is also seeking: someone that will embrace you with all your flaws, and someone to embrace even with all their flaws. It's not easy for anyone! Just look at all the related threads here, or listen to any pop song on the radio. It takes a willingness to fail over and over again. And it's right around 30, I believe, that many of us start feeling that it may just not be worth the effort? So what I'm saying is you're not alone, and many, many of us feel just the same way.

That being said, you seem to be focusing on your biological issues, which, as a guy, I can totally relate in the sense that for us it's hard not to see it as a big big deal. The thing is, it's really not. You said something about not being able to comprehend how you could possibly satisfy a female; trust me in this one: women are satisfied by way more things than just the time spent in bed. You sound like the kind of sensitive guy who should know this. Plus, healthy sexual relationships do exist even in situations like yours.

Finally, even though I know that people come to mefi to hear something other than "see a doctor!", in this case I would definitely think that the best way for you to overcome your hangups is therapy. Even though going to a "shrink" is a stigma in many cultures, I can tell you that going to therapy has, ultimately, produced a positive outcome in my own life. You've taken an important step here. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; in many cases, it's a sign of bravery. Don't be afraid to get professional help. Finally, statistically speaking, it's quite possible that you will find someone to be happy with. Best of luck.
posted by papafrita at 5:46 PM on March 23, 2008

anonymous posted "so even if my impotence got treated I am not sure I could satisfy a women"

Get it treated and see. If for no other reason than that you'll feel better about yourself if it's no longer a problem.
posted by orthogonality at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2008

It's a trite saying but according to various woman friends it's true: It's not the size of the sea, it's the motion of the ocean. Sure, some prefer a larger size, but to most it's not the end all and be all of a relationship.

In short, that's no reason to stop you from seeking a relationship.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 PM on March 23, 2008

Satisfying a woman doesn't always require a penis, you know. You've got a tongue. You've got fingers. There are toys a'plenty. You just need the will (and a relationship that isn't dependent on the size of your penis).
posted by katillathehun at 5:59 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Anonymous, you are correct: there is a fact at play here that prevents you from pleasing a woman sexually. You are mistaken, however, as to what the nature of that fact is.

It is actually not because you are impotent and have what you believe to be a small penis. It is because you believe that you cannot please a woman sexually and that you have nothing to offer a woman. What you believe becomes your truth. That sounds very New Agey, but it's actually fairly common sense: if you believe that it is utter God's truth that something cannot happen, unless outside circumstances intervene to show you otherwise, it's not going to happen.

With regard to your impotence: if I understand you correctly, your impotence is not utterly permanent: you speak of rare occasions when you have been erect. I assume you are under a physician's care for your impotence? Can Viagra not help you? According to the government's clearinghouse for urologic information, one man in 20 who is near the age of 40 sees a doctor for erectile dysfunction. It's not a problem unique to you.

With regard to your length: yes, four inches is below average. However, there are four points relevant to that issue. First, I expect you'll soon see many female Mefites affirm that clitoral stimulation, not penis length, is most important to the female orgasm. Second, four inches is below average, but not horrifyingly so. The "micropenis" condition is below 2.8 inches erect; average penis length, depending on what survey you read, seems to usually suggest a 5"-6" average range. And if 5"-6" is the *average*, that doesn't mean that everyone in the world is 5-6"; that means that enough people are both above and below that number that the average falls there. Third, you speak of being overweight. It's my understanding that for those men who are severely overweight, their penis length is affected; it has something to do with the "crus." Fourth, if you are having problems with erectile dysfunction, then it stands to reason that your measurements of your erect penis may not be entirely accurate.

You have something to offer. You don't believe you do. You can please a woman sexually. You don't believe you can. Many women would, were they to know who you are at your heart and your soul, like to date you. You don't believe they would.

In each case, it is the belief that is affecting the situation and must be altered.

So the answer to your question is this: you need to start believing that you have something to offer women. You need to start believing that -- pardon me for being crude here -- you can give a woman a monster orgasm that leaves her sweaty and VERY happy -- and if necessary you can do so by using nothing but your tongue and fingers! You need to start believing that who you are, at your intrinsic and utter base core of your soul, is someone whom women would love to know, to speak to, to spend time with. I daresay it's very possible once you start believing these things, you may find that your erectile problems disappear or severely lessen.

Do you think the woman who spent four years with you did so only to be kind? No, she did not. Women do not remain friends with men who are assholes to them. (Well, that's wrong, they do, but you don't strike me as one.) You had a lot to offer that woman. She didn't stay with you out of charity. You tell us that she was devastated when you left her: that means you were an immense positive influence in her life. Were you just 'meh' to her, you would not have devastated her by your departure.
posted by WCityMike at 6:01 PM on March 23, 2008 [6 favorites]

You may feel like you can't satisfy a woman with your own equipment, but there is absolutely no reason why you can't still have a sexual relationship with someone that includes penetration. It just might not happen to involve your penis. Think about what lesbians and people with, say, impotence due to paralysis do -- plenty of people have creative or even mundane responses to these issues and end up having very fun and satisfying sex lives. How about using a dildo, with or without a harness? How about getting really good at oral sex or manual manipulation? (Gets easier with practice!) How about touching and kissing parts of each other's bodies other than below-the-belt genitalia?

I think you are having difficulty visualizing the ability to have sexual intimacy as something that can be separate from penetrative intercourse.

There are some wonderful sex therapists and friendly sex toy shops (try to find a more progressive one, maybe woman-centric -- this store is run by a sex educator and a psychotherapist) that could really help you see the wide array of possibilities and develop some strategies for figuring out how to be more confident in general. The fact that you care about a partner in this situation should bode well, don't you think? Women value that more than anything else.

You can do this. Good luck!
posted by Madamina at 6:05 PM on March 23, 2008

On the other hand, I have heard that it's possible to have satisfactory sex life with a 3 inch penis, but have no idea how that can be.

I dated a man with a very small penis. Maybe a little more than 3" fully erect. We had hot sex. Lots and lots of oral. A small penised man is a joy to give a blow job to. Really. He was a very generous lover. We never had penetrative sex, but he had fathered a child with his ex-wife naturally.

We broke up because he was a deeply cynical, judging type of guy, not because of his penis. Your penis size will matter to some women, maybe even a lot of women, but not every woman. So if you have shut that part of your life down because of your physical insecurities, you may want to reconsider.
posted by kimdog at 6:08 PM on March 23, 2008

anonymous; WCityMike said what I was going to say, albeit he probably said it better. So I'll just agree with him and point out his answer to you, save for the following:

There is almost no reason for you to be impotent. Viagra/Cialis/Levitra are pretty much wonder drugs when it comes to erectile dysfunction. You don't mention seeking treatment and you don't mention having tried these things which leads me to strongly suspect that you have not done so. This strikes me as very telling; you have such a lack of self esteem that you haven't even sought what is very, very likely to be a successful treatment of your impotence.

My strong suggestion would be for you to seek medical treatment for your impotence, which can almost certainly be overcome trivially with medication, and to seek psychological treatment for your issues having to do with self esteem and anxiety.

You do seem to have some problems, but they are not the problems you think you have.
posted by Justinian at 6:16 PM on March 23, 2008

oh, that's not the dealbreaker men fear it is. truly, it isn't. one of the wildest, most outrageously sexy nights i've ever spent was with a man who was smaller than you describe. although men are fixated on satisfying women with their penises, let me tell you, there's nothing wrong with alternative methods (and in fact the alternatives are often much more satisfying to many women).

yet again, i'm going to bring up my friend's dad, who has scars from 3rd degree burns on 70% of his body who went on to have a happy marriage and father a child (after the burns, btw). not because i want you to feel silly about your smaller (no pun intended) problem, but because i want you to know that it really can happen.

you totally deserve a life of happy sex. you have got to get to a therapist pronto and get to work on your insecurity issues. do not let your fear win this one. not for the sex, but for the companionship. don't shut this out yet. you may never have movie-star sex, but you know, very few of us do.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:25 PM on March 23, 2008

Since you are so self-conscious about your ED and small penis size, you should consider doing some things to build your self confidence. First, go to a psychiatrist or psychologist to work on the inside. Next, join a gym to improve your health and look and feel more attractive (many men have ED because they are in poor health due to poor diet and physical health). Have you spoken with a doctor about your ED? Do that, too.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:59 PM on March 23, 2008

Your impotence is probably treatable. By far your #1 problem here is seems to be that you hate yourself too much to be in a healthy relationship right now. Therapy, yadda yadda.
posted by 1 at 7:01 PM on March 23, 2008

Yeah, just nthing what's been said: there is an enormous (excuse the pun) amount of pleasure you can give with your mouth and fingers. Penetrative sex may indeed be very important to some women, and I understand that men receive pretty much endless cultural messages emphasizing that we all want large, rock-hard penises all the time, but I promise you -- really, truly promise you -- that your ability to give sexual satisfaction does not ultimately reside in your penis, and many women know this, way beyond "needle in a haystack" numbers. Personally, as far as I'm concerned, penetrative sex is just one of several equally enticing offerings on the menu -- and for lots of sexually active couples, it doesn't even have to be on the menu at all.

I've never read it, but I understand that She Comes First is a must-read for learning all about how to deliver great oral sex for a woman. (I suspect that the anatomical knowledge you might get would be helpful in teaching how best to use your fingers, too.)

Beyond those reassurances, though, I do also nth the suggestions for therapy. You need to see yourself on the most basic level as a desirable, lovable, worthy man with plenty to offer a woman personally, emotionally, and sexually -- that's not going to happen overnight, even if you learn how to give the best oral sex on the planet.

I wish you well.
posted by scody at 7:13 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

You can have some amazingly hot sex without putting your penis in your partner's vagina. Just sayin'...
posted by darkshade at 7:14 PM on March 23, 2008

Anonymous has posted about his previous relationship before and it was very dysfunctional so no, I don't think he left a "good match" for him.

To anonymous: Nthing seeing a doctor. Also, keep in mind lesbians have tons of happy lesbian sex without any penises involved at all, so nthing that there are many, many things you can do to please a woman that don't involve a penis.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:25 PM on March 23, 2008

nthing what everyone above has said, bit I wanted to remind you that there are many differently shaped women out there. Like, some women might actually prefer a not so well-endowed partner. You've probably got by now that a lot of women don't care a bit about size, but some women might actually prefer your penis to Mr. Mega-Dick-Ow-My-Cervix.
posted by MadamM at 7:31 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

"Mr. Mega-Dick-Ow-My-Cervix."

Ugh, I've dated him. "Too small" is much preferable to "too big".
posted by Jacqueline at 7:43 PM on March 23, 2008

No idea where you are on the Kinsey Scale, but there are lots of gay men who get into small penises (and several adult groups on Yahoo! and USENET to go with them)--it's what they're after, as opposed to just what they're putting up with, so it might be worth your time (if you're interested) to investigate.
posted by LGCNo6 at 7:54 PM on March 23, 2008

You've gotten some excellent advice here, I'd just note that I can understand why you would break up with a former lover. If you simply felt no passion and romance (as as long as you realize those things are pretty transient anyway) there is little need to 'settle' for less than you wish for. I think too many people do that, and that's a big reason many 'successful' marriages are pretty miserable. So yeah, get treatment for the ED, and date like crazy. For example I have (and everyone has something) OCD and I always feel like I have to bring that up fisrt thing or I'm not being honest when in actuality my bigger problem is basic selfishness. And it seems you don't have some of those emotional hang-ups. Not to minimize the pain of SA.
Also, you may enjoy My Penis and I, and don't worry, I don't mean my personal penis. It's a great documentary by Lawrence Barraclough. I would think the entire thing is online somewhere. Obviously nsfw, but not gratiously offensive.
I can't help it with the double entendres, including these 'small' tags.
posted by dawson at 7:57 PM on March 23, 2008

LGCNo6, with respect that would seem to be only about the sex, no? Not that I'm moralizing about that, just didn't strike me as something anon wanted. But hey, new vistas and all.
posted by dawson at 8:02 PM on March 23, 2008

Mercy me, I so agree what has been said above. If you have a good tongue, a woman will be satisfied and then some. I also second that having a less than average size penis will give you the blow job of your life. No woman wants to be gagging the whole time. Relax. We're not all judgmental about penis size, thank goodness. Exercise your tongue and the women will be chasing you. I promise.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:13 PM on March 23, 2008

Isn't it also worth mentioning that there are many women that simply feel pain from penetrative sex for whatever reason, i.e. vulvodynia (isn't the number like 1 in 20 to 1 in 5, depending on how you define it?). So a guy who could suggest, and be skilled at sexual alternatives would be a godsend.
posted by schroedinger at 8:36 PM on March 23, 2008

Dawson, in what respect? It's just another way to meet compatible people. Not just about sex, unless that's what they both want.
posted by LGCNo6 at 9:12 PM on March 23, 2008

As I read this, you are conflating what are really three separate concerns: penis size, impotency, and finding a partner. At one level they are all connected, but at the same time you can address them separately, and addressing any one of the three will make the other two easier to deal with.

Size: First, most (if not all) men worry about this, regardless of what the ruler says. Anyone who has ever had a girlfriend say "wow, sex with you is so much nicer than with my ex, because his dick was too big" knows that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It's a really universal concern, and the "sex with small dicks is a really nice change" comments -- though honest and heartfelt -- maybe don't totally help. A couple of thoughts: a) take averages with a huge pile of salt, as there is a lot of (inflated) self-reporting involved; b) there is a direct link between weight loss and penis size (according to some doctor who appears on Oprah, every 15 pounds equals an inch of penis -- I'm sure it's not that much, but the principle is correct); c) and be aware of that old grower/shower issue, where what you see at the start isn't always what you get at the end.

Impotency: Go talk to your doctor, go talk to your doctor, go talk to your doctor. If your doctor is dismissive or unhelpful, fire him/her and talk to another doctor. Ask for a referral to a specialist in sexual issues. Have all the easy medical reasons for impotency checked (testosterone levels, etc), and discuss whether any of the new drugs (Viagra et al) would work for you. If you are taking medications for anxiety, depression, or other conditions, look into whether they have sexual side effects. Once you eliminate the medical causes of impotency, you may want to talk with a therapist -- not so much to increase your libido (unless that's your goal) but rather to come to terms with what your sexuality is like.

Finding a partner has been talked about a lot on AskMe, and honestly I think it is the least important of your issues, behind becoming happy with who you are, addressing any medical issues, etc. Relationships are like dancing, and if you aren't comfortable in your shoes, you are going to keep tripping. I'm not saying "do nothing and things will magically happen," but I am saying that looking before you are ready does not tend to work well. That said, I don't think your potency or size are deal-breakers at all -- not everyone has sex twice a day every day, nor does everyone want that; not every woman wants an 8-incher; it's a big world and there are a lot of different boats to float. Being confident generally -- and sexually confident in particular -- will go a lot further towards making a woman happy than will having a huge cock. Learn how to rock a woman's world in bed, whether or not penetration happens.

You can reduce sex down to the 5 minutes of thrusting/licking/jerking before the orgasm, or you can expand it to what you are doing all day long. There's that old cliché about the best foreplay being you doing the dishes; all the gendered baggage of that aside, it's really true -- you set the stage for blowing her mind many, many hours before you get in her pants. There is an endless list of what you could do to be the awesomest partner ever, from giving her a foot rub to telling a good joke to taking the dog for a walk; get that part of it right and you are 90% of the way to having a fully satisfied woman in your life.
posted by Forktine at 9:22 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I should say IANAD, but I did used to work at a medical device company that made penile implants (and while it's a last resort and pretty invasive surgery) it'll probably work for you, even if nothing else has. So I would highly recommend talking to a doctor about all your options and given how much it obviously bothers you, I'm really surprised you haven't already. You have a lot of options other than just accepting this as your lot in life and you really need to be proactive and face this problem head on. There are far, far more women out there who won't care about whether you need viagra/penile implant etc, than there are women who are willing to accept a sexless relationship.
posted by whoaali at 9:32 PM on March 23, 2008

I've been pleasing women for 20 years now with no penis at all! Seriously though, it sounds like you've got some self-confidence issues to work on before you start worrying about the sex stuff. Being secure in yourself and what you have to offer is attractive.
posted by spinturtle at 9:51 PM on March 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

LGCNo6, my apologies. I think it was the 'gay men who get into small penises ' that made me think of anon user groups with a particular fetish bent. On re-read I understand that random sexual activity was not what you were suggesting to OP.
posted by dawson at 10:23 PM on March 23, 2008

As a doctor, I have known many men with impotence and/or small penises, and most of them had great, stable, loving relationships. Finding a partner is something separate and you should probably focus on that.

For what it's worth, though, being attractive is very closely related to feeling attractive. Your first step should probably be a thorough examination of your feelings of self-worth (or lack thereof), where those feelings derive from, and whether or not those feelings are justified by close examination of the facts. A therapist can help you sort through these difficult tasks.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:10 AM on March 24, 2008

I have heard that it's possible to have satisfactory sex life with a 3 inch penis, but have no idea how that can be.

You have a penis. You've always had one, and it's always been a major part of your life. It's not surprising that it's difficult for you to separate it from sex. I am second to no woman in my love for the penis, but the average man will spend far more of his time thinking about his own cock than I will spend thinking about all the cocks I've ever known and loved put together. And there's nothing wrong with that, unless he's spending that time thinking about how his penis isn't good enough.

Any woman who loves you will think your penis is good enough. You need to learn to believe it too.
posted by happyturtle at 5:29 AM on March 24, 2008

long term relationships are not all about sex. many marriages and long term partnerships are sexless, and not because of penis size. the love and the caring and all the other relationship stuff is still there. the lack of sex does not invalidate the relationship. and a no-sex marriage does not mean that the couple are "just roomates". i wish people would get over the idea that marriage/partnership must involve sex.

but, as others have said, it doesn't necessarily seem that the size of your cock is really the issue here.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:21 AM on March 24, 2008

No matter how I try to turn it around in my mind, I can't help feeling that you had it good but messed it all up. I don't mend to offend you, but it's how I feel. I know you said you didn't feel the same way about her anymore, but my lover now is my best friend. I mean, he's the bestest friend I've ever had. It's not all about passion and roses, it's about companionship and appreciation. It's about having fun and being happy. Sex is only an extra perk when you get down to it and trust me, I KNOW this. I've had 20+ years of marriage under my belt.

I don't know. It just sounds like she helped give you a bit more self-esteem and so now you don't need her anymore. That's too bad because she was worth keeping, it sounds like.

Years ago in high school I had a crush on two different boys. I was going with one of them but was considering breaking up with him to go with another. One of my male friends told me, "If you try to switch horses while riding, you might fall off and lose them both forever." That was some of the best advice I've ever gotten.
posted by magnoliasouth at 7:44 PM on March 24, 2008

Doctor, therapist, sex surrogate, in that order.

A sex surrogate is like a physical therapist for your sexual health. She can teach you about sex, teach you about sexual touch, show you how to please her sexually, have sex with you, and/or just generally help you become comfortable with yourself as a sexual being.

Here's another article that is a bit more from the point of view of the surrogate.

Good luck!
posted by sondrialiac at 4:36 AM on March 25, 2008

A brief anecdote -

A person I know, let's call her `A', went out a guy for a while.

She described his endowment with a raised little finger, and said `seriously, it was like that!', and poked some fun at him.

A few month's later, girl `B' went out with the same guy. She was asked what she thought about the physical aspects of the relationship.

`It's the best sex I've ever had' was her honest response. The guy compensated for any lack he felt he had, and in doing so rose above the ranks of average joes who think that 5 minutes of vigorous thrusting is all that's required.

Also bear in mind that there are plenty of successful relationships in which the couple considers their mutual feelings to be like that of very close friends. All relationships cool down, but if you are with someone who you like to be with, they like to be with you, you are comfortable being close, that might be enough. I'm not suggesting `settle for less' but more `love what you have'.

I know people who have comfortable and happy relationships that seem more like a partnership, they love each other, but rarely have or feel the need for sex. They are working together to build a future, a family and so on with someone whose company they enjoy. It's not all roses and steamy glances, it's practical, day to day, and it works well.
posted by tomble at 8:55 PM on March 25, 2008

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