My boyfriend is less experienced than me. How can I get him to relax and enjoy sex?

He has admitted to feeling anxious and wanting everything to be perfect. I know he will become more comfortable, in time, but is there anything I can do to help?

My boyfriend (20) and I (18) have been dating for two and a half months, like each other a lot and have good sex. He definitely enjoys sex with me a lot but he never ejaculates because he says he gets soft the moment he feels he’s about to. I am his first sexual partner and his first proper girlfriend, so it’s hard to ask him what he likes because even he’s not sure. We also live in shared accommodation so we can’t do it that often. He has admitted to feeling anxious because he’s my sixth sexual partner and fourth boyfriend – and he wants to be perfect, although I have reassured him. I know it will just take time for him to get comfortable, but is there anything I can do to help?

You are correct in assuming it will take time. Sexual finesse does not arrive naturally and is not easily achieved. Rather, it is something people learn over many years. The best thing you can do is try to have fun with him. Being playful during lovemaking reduces anxieties and the sense of performance pressure. And, although you have developed a pattern that seems to work, be prepared to mix it up and try other styles. Some people find it difficult at first to switch from solo sex to partner sex, so allow him to discover how to without you always leading. There is probably a position that will work best for him and help him climax, but he needs to feel safe to try different ways – focusing on his own pleasure rather than yours.

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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