Performance Anxiety. How can I help my boyfriend?By
I have been with my boyfriend for about three years. We’re both in our mid 20′s. We’ve been having intimate issued for about 8 months. It started by us starting making out and him getting erect, but loosing erection before penetration, to now him asking me to not try to initiate anything intimate with him. He says it has nothing to do with me, and that he just gets really nervous thinking of past failed attempts. At the beginning i tried doing new stuff to him, then i tried just not pushing the situation, now I’m just plain out lost. People have advice him to try to relax, but it hasn’t worked. I have tried to be really patient and understanding about this because i love him, but im getting to the point where im feeling frustrated, unwanted and self conscious. Even when im not model perfect, i don’t consider myself an unattractive girl either. I don’t know what to do. He says he knows is not physical because he has no problem when he masturbates. I have asked him if he’s not attracted to me or if he feels any different towards me, or even if he wants us to take a break, and the answer is always "no, why would you think that"… Im desperate, and don’t know what to do. I don’t think a relationship is based on sex, but it is important none the less. I feel like if this problem doesn’t get resolved it has the potential of damaging our relationship. I don’t want to pressure him and make things worse, but i don’t know how to deal with it. I would love to have some advice from men that have experience with this problem. How can i help him get over this? What should i do? I don’t want to act like is all about sex, neither do i want to act like i don’t care. I miss him and want him so bad. Please help!!!
First thing – stop trying to have sex. It is only making things worse, because then he knows he is expected to perform again, and gets anxiety remembering the last time he couldn’t perform, and the body cannot physically experience sexual arousal and anxiety together, so the anxiety takes over and arousal shuts down.
You need to start back from square one and take things slow. Tell him you want to take the pressure off yourselves (don’t mention his performance anxiety) by abstaining from intercourse for a short amount of time. Take a week of just kissing and touching through the clothes, but NO genital touching. Just enough kissing and soft touches to arouse. Then take another week of kissing and touching genitals through the clothes. The next week, take it up a notch to touching hands to genitals without clothes, but NOT to climax. Just touch to arouse and fool around. The following week, allow genital on genital contact but not intercourse and not to climax (at least don’t plan to go to climax, but if it happens for him then great). Then you can start having intercourse for short periods of time, at first not to climax, but then later on, to climax.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but surely a relationship this long has to be worth it. You need to basically start out from the beginning of the sexual relationship, pretend you just started dating and want to take the physical stuff slowly. All possibility and expectation of orgasm needs to be removed in order for him to truly relax – just telling him to relax isn’t enough.
You may also want to figure out the original source of his anxiety, since he hasn’t had this problem your whole relationship. He felt anxious about sex once, and then everytime after that he began to link sex with the anxious feeling in his mind and the anxiety outweighs the sex. Why did he get anxious that one time? Did he have guilt? Was he really just nervous about being bad at it? There may be something he isn’t saying.
All the best!