Your relationship is going great and you couldn’t be happier with the girl of your dreams. Except when it comes to the sex, or perhaps, lack of it. For some reason or another, it’s just not as hot as you had imagined it would be. Some common culprits include performance anxiety and a less-than health lifestyle. We check in with Debby Herbenick, PhD, a sex researcher at Indiana University in the US, to help tackle some of the common bedroom problems men encounter.
“AFTER TWO YEARS OF DATING, WE’RE HAVING LESS SEX.”
It happens, it’s normal and men rarely like it. You’re not stuck, though. Find activities that involve touching to increase the intimacy she needs to be aroused. Learn tango or partner yoga, or hit an indoor climbing wall. Trade massages or shower together.
Also, watch for possible desire killers. Stress and lack of sleep are bad. Prescription meds and birth control pills can also hurt. (She can ask a doctor for options.) A healthy lifestyle is the best set-up for a healthy sex drive, so find ways to stay fit as a team.
“I’M USING CONDOMS WITH MY NEW GIRLFRIEND, BUT I CAN’T STAY ERECT.”
Don’t blame the condoms. Maybe you became used to sex with someone who was totally into you, which can be arousing in ways that fumbling sex with someone new isn’t. Your body and mind are readjusting. Linger on foreplay, which can make your erection easier to maintain. Then ask her to put the condom on you, which gives you the chance to watch her.
Why not also try a vibrating ring such as the Durex Play Ultra? It anchors the condom in place and its stimulation of your partner’s clitoris can make it easier for her to reach orgasm. Plus, at low levels, vibration can boost men’s erections.
“I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING, BUT I STILL LAST ONLY A FEW MINUTES DURING SEX.”
You can control yourself, but it takes a bit of practise. The stop-start and squeeze techniques – which involve stimulating yourself until just before orgasm and then backing off or gently squeezing the head of your penis – are effective for many men. Work on your mental game too: When you recognise what your body does before orgasm, you can relax, slow down and refocus. During sex, counter your anxiety with deep breaths, slow kisses and long strokes, all of which can help calm you and amp her arousal.
“MY GIRLFRIEND CAN’T ORGASM DURING SEX, BUT SAYS IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL.”
Don’t sweat it. Many women reach their 30s without ever having had an orgasm. They just haven’t found what works for them. Sex, it turns out, isn’t really designed to stimulate her clitoris and only some positions effectively stimulate the G-spot. So let her know you’re open to learning new ways to make sex more pleasurable, or – if she wants to try – more easily orgasmic. (But don’t push. It’s true that not all women care whether they have an orgasm during sex, but she’ll definitely care if you’re hung up on it.)