He lost his erection, will I lose him?
Question: Dear Pam, I have a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend of a year, it's long distance but we see each other every weekend, he really empowers me. We have a very active sex life, sometimes three times a day but last weekend this changed. He had a full erection during foreplay but once we started the sex the erection went and didn't come back. This happened a few times over the weekend. At the beginning of our relationship we had a situation where he wouldn't always ejaculate but we got over this quickly once we got more familiar with each other.
This latest thing has thrown us. The last time we had sex it ended very successfully and we left on a happy note, things have been fine since and we have talked as usual. I accept that sex is not the be all and end all, I enjoy it but his company is the most important thing to me. But I am worried that what was probably a blip (I just moved back in with my parents temporarily whilst a sale of a house goes though which I suspect may have caused this), will turn into something more serious because we both feel under pressure. How can I make sure this doesn't happen again?
Dear 'Under pressure',
it's interesting that often the critical part of a person's question/dilemma comes at the end of it… in your case the fact you were at your parents’ house when this happened. No surprise there then - you both probably felt uncomfortable even if you didn't talk about it beforehand.
That said there are a number of things you should think about:
- When early in your relationship he experienced some erectile difficulties you two sorted it out. That should be absolute proof not to start panicking now! The fact you two were only beginning to know each other - and still managed what can be a tricky issue - is a big ‘positive’ to hold onto.
- As a relationship grows it's important to accept that hurdles and dilemmas are bound to happen even when you think things are 'sorted' and that you shouldn't have any challenges. That's simply not the way relationships work. The committed couple tries to find solutions - they don't run scared.
- It's tempting to pretend it didn't happen and hope for the best but is that really the way forward for a serious relationship where you love him? The simple answer is No. The couple that finds their way through difficult conversations strengthens their relationship.
- So how do you get talking rather than doing a sweep-it-under-the-carpet manouvre? First, choose a time you've got privacy from your parents - this needs to be uninterrupted you-two time. My first rule of tricky conversations: always begin with something positive! Tell him what you've told me - that he really empowers you, etc. Then tell him you care so much about your relationship you don't want any awkward feelings left over about what happened last week.
- Next, ask him how he's feeling and really listen to what he says. When anxious, in such conversations, we often don't really listen.
- Make it clear that you're not after any particular ‘explanation’ but you simply want a good vibe between you.
- Agree that in future you'll both want to know if the other’s feeling anxious at any time, about anything - whether you're about to hop in bed together or going out for dinner.
Final tip: You do have a lot of sex at the weekend - which is fab - but I hope you're developing other parts of your relationship.
All the best, Dr Pam x
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