April 18, 2013

Q&A: My Girlfriend Orgasms, But I Can’t Keep My Erection

What would it be like if you tried focusing on your own pleasure, on what feels good for your body and your arousal?

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Question: My current girlfriend is the only woman I’ve ever had sex with. But lately, I’m finding it harder to reach climax. There have been a few sessions where she climaxed three, even four times, and I was unable to. It’s not that it doesn’t feel good, or that she isn’t tight or anything, I just lose my erection 10 minutes in and we stop. This happens about once every three times we have sex. What is wrong with me?

It’s common for men to occasionally have some difficulty with their erections—especially if they are feeling stressed, anxious, or pressured to perform.

Focus On Your Pleasure Too

I wonder how it feels for you to give her so many orgasms when you have sex. On one level, it may feel exciting and arousing.

On another level, I wonder if it feels like a lot of pressure or work to focus so much on your girlfriend’s pleasure and orgasms.

What would it be like if you tried focusing on your own pleasure, on what feels good for your body and your arousal?

Very often, men tell me that they feel pressured to keep going and to keep their erection so that they can please their partner.

It’s common for men to feel that the only way to be a good partner is to last a long time during sex. And while it may be exciting for you and your girlfriend for her to have several orgasms, she might be just as happy with one orgasm.

You might try talking with her about this and, in your own words, letting her know how much you enjoy having sex with her and that you want to try something different when you have sex.

If you’re already stopping sex when you lose your erection, then the issue is already on the table and may be something you can talk about.

You might say that you’d like to try focusing more on your arousal and pleasure earlier to give you the best chance of having an orgasm yourself.

That’s a fair thing to ask. Over time, you may become more tuned into what feels good and how to pace sex so that you can go longer if you and she want to.

Learn Together

You might also read a book like The New Male Sexuality together which provides a wealth of information not only on men and sex, but also on male-female differences that sometimes affect how couples have sex.

Great in Bed also provides male and female perspectives on sex and may be another book to read to enhance your sex life.

For young healthy men, erectile problems are most often linked to performance anxiety.

However, if you have health concerns, or if you are older, mention your erectile problems to your healthcare provider as this can sometimes be an early sign of heart disease or diabetes.

Next Question: Concerns About My Uncircumcised Penis

I’m a 25 year old man who is not circumcised, and my foreskin has never retracted—from what I know, this is uncommon. The opening is much smaller than the head of my penis. Are there health concerns I should be aware of? I’m asexual, so I’m less worried about discomfort during intercourse, which I might never engage in, than I am about hygiene.

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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