I love my partner but I can’t satisfy her sexually. Now she is threatening to leave me

I’ve never had this problem before – but the moment we enter the bedroom, I lose my erection

I am a 52-year-old man and my partner is 39. We have been dating for four months. Our sex life is miserable because I can’t satisfy her in bed. She has threatened to leave me because of this. I always enjoyed sex with my ex-partners and they were happy with my sexual performance, but this has got me thinking something is wrong with me. I love my present partner so much but the moment I enter the bedroom with her, anxiety and doubt set in and I lose my erection. As soon as she leaves, I feel relieved and my erection returns.

Anxiety and erectile difficulties go hand in hand. When a person fears he will not be able to have an erection, that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I wonder why you are staying with someone who is unsupportive, even punitive. Don’t you deserve a partner who is patient and cherishes you? Instead of allowing her to make you feel inadequate, try asking for what you need. Let her know that you need kindness and appreciation … and that your penis would respond better too. Your penis is attached to your heart and sensibility, so her threats are far from useful. On the other hand, there are all kinds of reasons that someone who has had reliable erections no longer does – certain medical conditions, medication or stress, for example. Have a checkup, just in case.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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