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Nervousness with sex?


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Alrighty - so I've never posted in a forum like this so all help would be appreciated. I kind of sought out this forum, with educated individuals b/c I did not feel comfortable posting in just a regular, run of the mill, everyone and their mother type of scenario. Anyhow, I'm 24 and here's the deal.

I've a problem where whenever I get to the point of having sex with a new person, I can't get erect.

The first time this happened I was 18 or 19 and was "dating" this 23 yr old beauty who I was crazy attracted to. She tried to give me oral sex and I refused, b/c I was nervous and could not become erect.

I've had sex with about 20 women in my life and have not had this problem with the majority of them. I just recently finalized the longest 'on again, off again' relationship which was approximately 3 years. With this girl I can get erect within a few seconds of just touching her or even TALKING to her, and the sex is fabulous and quite honestly what kept us coming back together for so long. It was about 4 weeks ago when we last had sex. We still talk and are good friends.

The problem I am running into now is that when I get put in a position to become erect and sleep with someone, I can't - I don't know if it is due to nervousness, or comfort, or what it could be. I don't have any problem talking to the girl, or being charming, and am wholeheartedly attracted sexually to them. Last night, for instance - I hung out with this girl that I am familiar with. She is extremely attractive, and after a few drinks she kissed me and we went upstairs. She took off her clothes, and all I can think is 'wow!'. All I wanted to do was have sexual relations with her but I could not get erect - she performed oral sex on me for 30-45 seconds and I became larger but not erect.

I made some excuses about how I wasn't going to sleep with her b/c of our history as friends yadda yadda so I think that went over well, but I can't deal with this. A week ago I kissed another girl who I would consider to be just beautiful as can be and could not become erect. It seems like it is a comfort issue to me or something, like if I were to spend more time with them I would be able to become erect.

I don't know if this stems from sexual self esteem, or size, or what, but any help would be appreciated. I can't go on with my lower half being scared of sex and my brain being in love with it. Thanks.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Paramour,

Welcome to our community.

Have their been any changes in your physical health over the past month or so? Do you use drugs and/or alchohol or has there been an increase in usage?

Are there any medications that you now take that you did not take before?

Even though you are young, do you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other illness.

Tell us more about your self. Also, as John points out, do you have casual sex or do you get involved in deep, personal relationships? What are your views of women. Can you tell us about growing up or anything else that can throw light on your life and situation/



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Let me try to rephrase myself for both John and Allan and address your questions -

I am 24, athletic build.. I work out 3 times week, weigh about 170 and am 6 foot. I do not use any drugs but I do drink casually (once or twice a week). I have no diseases, and have been tested for STDs of which I have none.

I have a great appreciation of women and am regarded as a very moral and ethical person by my friends and family. I am not religious but have high regard for chivalry and gentlemanly actions - I would never force myself on someone nor would I try to convince or coerce someone to sleep with me.

I am the oldest of two, my parents were divorced when I was 15 but I don't feel it has any bearing on my thought process - I am very logical and try to think things through and don't feel like the divorce has affected me in any facet of my life.

As far as relationships go, I have normally become involved with people rather than sleeping with them. I just got out of an on again off again relationship of 3 years, and slept with one girl that I dated for a few weeks in the 3 month "off again" part. I did not have this problem with her. I have had numerous "girlfriends" but obviously have not had the opportunity to do anything sexual with anyone "new" with the exception of the one in about 3 years.

I could go on a rant about my personal life, but I feel like I am of very sound mind and body. I have thought a lot about this recently, and I almost feel like because the girl was very forward about having sex that I was almost scared, or had "stage fright" if you will. I am very caring, and have in the past cared very deeply about the girl I had mentioned before. She is a very sexual person, as well as very intelligent so I am feeling like I may be intimidated by the forwardness or just her presence in general.

With any girl that I have dated for an extended period, or even more than a week, I have never had this problem. The 3 year relationship that I had was very healthy sexually and there were never any problems whatsoever the entire 3 years. The problem I have is with initial encounters.

Hope some of this helps you - I suppose I'm not necessarily "helping you" as much as you are helping ME resolve this issue that I come across. Again, I really appreciate both of you responding as I sought out this board in particular due to the more educated responses.



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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Paramore,

Yes, the information you provided helps me understand better what you are experiencing.

The girl with whom you are having this problem appears, from what you say, to intimidate you and cause you "stage fright." Well, you are not the first nor the only man to have this difficulty.

It has often been said that sex is 95% psychological and 5% physical. You report that you are strong, healthy and vigorous young man of 24 years old.

Therefore, the problem is psychological, and in this case it is performance anxiety, stage fright or plain, old anxiety because this particular girl is smart and aggressive.

In many respects, you are "talking yourself into a problem." In other words, there is no real problem except that when you are with her you become anxious and experience erectile difficulties.

So, what can you do?

1. You can have an honest, sincere and frank conversation with her in which you explain the anxieties she provokes in you and ask that she slow down and become aware that you need time and attention. Of course, having this type of conversation depends upon how much you really trust her and can rely on her to be sensitive and understanding. If she is not that type, look elsewhere.

2. Go for psychotherapy. There are psychotherapies directed to reducing anxiety. You can find more information about this by doing a search on our web site. Along with this, there is cognitive behavioral therapy to help you clarify your thinking.

3. Learn stress reduction techiques such as deep breathing, meditation and visualization. Look all of these up on our site.

4. There is excellent literature on sexuality and I do not mean anything pornographic. The writings of Master's and Johnson, and they can be found in the public library, are helpful as well as other researchers and experts.

5. This may sound strange, but I think it might help you relax to put less emphasis on erection and intercouse and focus on giving the woman pleasure. Master's and Johnson as well as others, point out that young men and women focus too much and too quickly on intercourse. The idea is for everyone to slow down and let nature take its course while male and female indulge one another in giving pleasure. Touching, kissing and stroking are enormously important, along with hugging. I am not implying you do not do this but you may be getting too focused on erection due to anxiety

6. Lastly, move on to another girl and put this behind you.

Any or all of these suggestions can be useful but I think psychotherapy would be an excellent idea.


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  • 4 months later...

Hopefully you guys can help as I am in a similar situation and am trying to resolve this issue.

Im a 21 year old male. 6'5" and 210lbs. About average body type. I dont do drugs and only drink occasionally.

Im not a very experienced guy as I started a little late and went right into a long term relationship. My last(first) girlfriend and I dated for over two years(broke up last december). We had sex, and always used a condom. I never had any performance issues and on most occasions outlasted her.

So I met this girl a few weeks back and we have been seeing each other a lot. Getting very physical. When we are hanging out i get very aroused, as does she. At first when we were getting frisky she wasnt ready so I was using my hands to help her. No issues yet. The problem arose when we were fooling around and she decided she was ready. I reached over and got a condom and went to put it on and lost my erection. We continued fooling around for about 45 minutes trying to get it back and we couldnt.

We figured we had just waited too long or something like that. A one time thing. Then the next three times we tried to have sex(on different days) similar problems arose.

Its not like she wasnt arousing me. During the foreplay sessions I would be hard and at her opening. Fighting to stop myself from going into her right then. But then once we actually commit to intercourse it goes away.

Its both frustrating and embarrassing. Like I said she arouses me and I want to take her all the way. And I never had this issue before.

Im a big time pleaser. I love pleasuring a girl. Failing to give her what we both want is driving me crazy. And it just doesn't make sense to me. I love the foreplay but I know she wants more then that, and so do I.

Essentially I am aroused and ready to go until it is time to show.Then it goes away. But after we have given up and are getting ready to do something else is comes back. So not only do I leave her unsatisfied, but I too am still wanting it.

Basically, Andy help or advice anyone could give would be greatly apreciated.

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Im a big time pleaser. I love pleasuring a girl. Failing to give her what we both want is driving me crazy.

Who can say what exactly the problem is? it would appear that it is not a physical problem as you are able to have an erection and all has worked okay in the past. Perhaps it is related to your desire to please? That is a wonderful thing, wanting to please your partner, and you will undoubtably make this young woman (and whomever follows her if that occurs) happy. But it is only one side of the equasion. You also have to please yourself and that means allowing yourself to be just a little bit selfish about your own pleasure; to think about what you want and how you feel as well as to think about what she wants and how she feels. Believe it or not, being partially selfish in this balanced way can be sexy to your partner. If your issue is related to performance anxiety, giving yourself permission to be just a little bit selfish may make it go away.

This is all to say: Too much thinking while lovemaking is a good way to ruin the lovemaking. :rolleyes:


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