He says it’s not because of me, so how can we fix this? We’ve tried everything from clean eating to giving up smoking
My boyfriend and I have been together for a while. At the beginning of our relationship, we had sex nonstop for days on end. Now, though, he can’t stay erect after the first round of intercourse. He says it’s not because of me and that he hasn’t lost any feelings for me. He also says that this has never happened before. But it has been going on for more than a month now. We have tried ‘clean eating’, getting the correct amount of sleep and not smoking. We have even taken breaks from all types of sex. But nothing is working.
Your boyfriend is not a machine … although he may suspect that’s how you think of him. The downtime that occurs between penile ejaculation and the ability to become aroused again is known as the refractory period – and it is a normal process of recharging. Very few men can skip this phase, and then only under exceptional circumstances. Women, though, can be aroused fairly soon after orgasm – and that leads some to think it is unnatural for a man to have to wait. It is not. Don’t put pressure on your boyfriend to achieve a short refractory period – you will just make him feel ashamed and possibly make it more difficult for him to become erect. Instead, remind yourself that, erotically speaking, quality, not quantity, is best. Being hell-bent on instant sexual gratification is not a road to ecstasy; nor is focusing on the number of orgasms. Instead of keeping score, take a tip from tantric masters who teach that delaying ejaculation leads to heightened eroticism and even a shortening of the refractory period after an interval of avoidance.
Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.
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