How to Have Great Sex/erection problem


Hey there, you had just answered a question of mine, im sorry to trouble you again so soon. Idk if you remember my question but it involved that Im recently married and Im having trouble because I still masturbate:( and then i cant perform let alone match my wife's sex drive. So I took your advice and didn't masturbate, we also tried a new position ( also your awesome advice) and it was great! Im still pretty new to sex so it was really exciting for me!Then for two days I didn't masturbate, then the next day I came home early for a break from work and I started masturbating, but stopped because I felt guilty and figured instead id come back early (im kind of my own boss) and have sex with my wife, so I went home and , uh, started and she was very excited and happy (I never initiate) but then, I couldn't get it up! And the next morning we tried again and I still couldn't!  She was so dissapointed, ( she's very horny and we are trying to have a baby) is there anythingI can do?? Im so embarrased. Sorry for the trouble

Hello Steven,

Yes, I remember your earlier question.

First of all, don't be embarrassed.  This is a common problem.  It happens to every guy at one time or another, and much of it has to do with performance anxiety.  Basically, you are putting too much pressure on yourself to perform.  

"Men typically view sex as goal-oriented, performance-driven, orgasm-centric and erection focused.  Men set themselves up for performance anxiety by creating expectations that are often too difficult to achieve -- expectations that donít really even matter. Not only are these expectations hard to live up to, but they work against the very nature of what sex is: pleasure enjoyed by two people. If you see sex as a task or a job, you just may miss the important stuff beyond the physical and behavioral."

Yes, there is something you can do! Here are some great tips to overcome performance anxiety from

What Can I Do About My Performance Anxiety?
There is a lot people can do to work toward managing their anxiety around sexual performance. Many may use techniques to help themselves, while others may benefit from seeing a GP, psychiatrist or sex therapist.

Here are 20 tips to help you work on your performance anxiety.

1. Erase life stressors that create anxiety. If you have stress all around you from work, family, relationships, etc., itís bound to take a toll on your sexual functioning. Manage the anxiety around you.

2. Incorporate anxiety reducers in your life. Yoga, nature walks, workouts, hobbies. How many of you have seen a stressed-out Buddhist monk? Live a life that promotes mindfulness and calmness.

3. Breathing exercises can decrease anxiety, regulate heart rate, have positive effects on blood pressure, self-soothe and decrease muscle tension. They can be used outside and inside the bedroom.

4. Mindfulness techniques. The experience of attention to thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and surroundings during any given moment. Being present, learning to limit and manage intrusive thoughts that affect your concentration on pleasure, enhancement, sensation and breath. Not having judgment, creating a safe and secure environment that embraces being one with the moment and with your partner. Anxiety and stress are distracting, the arch nemesis of mindfulness. Learn to clear your mind using meditation, relaxation techniques or visualization exercises. Practice outside the bedroom for improved regulation affects regulation inside the bedroom.

5. Communication. Talking about your fears, concerns and what you need to feel safe and secure. This communication can open up doors to comfort. Being honest with yourself and your partner is key in managing your anxiety.

6. Focus on pleasure. The point of sex is to enjoy pleasure. What sensations do you enjoy, what are your needs, what are your partner's desires? Be playful, keep things light, tickle, get kinky, share fantasies, get swept away by pleasure.   

7. Sensate focus exercises. Non-genital and non-intercourse intimacy exercises that help a person explore connection, comfort, intimacy and eroticism without anxious expectations. Exercises that focus on eye gazing, hugging, touch, partner communication, massage, masturbation in front of partner, mutual masturbation, oral and exercises are just a few of the possibilities. These are not goal oriented. Instead, they teach a person to be present and mindful of pleasure with their partner.

8. Increase your sexual comfort. The origins of anxiety may be rooted in sexual discomfort or inexperience. Read about sexuality, learn sexual techniques, have a better understanding of your partnerís pleasure cues, breathing, body language, sounds and pelvic rocking,

9. Take your time. Itís not a race to the finish line. People feel more relaxed when they can get into a groove and find a flow. Sex is not about the destination; itís about the journey.

Read more:

10. Take responsibility for your own orgasm. Have a chat with your partner and discuss this important topic. When we decide that weíre responsible for our own orgasms, it can alleviate the pressure of thinking we need to give our partner an orgasm. If she wants one, she can communicate what she needs from you, grab a vibrator to pleasure herself or take care of herself manually. You need to do the same for your orgasm. This can reduce the tendency for some to focus too much on their partner. Focus instead on pleasure, passion, breathing, enthusiasm and sensation.

11. Use positive self-talk. Itís time to challenge the negative self-talk using the power of positive thinking and psychology. Use positive reinforcement, affirmations and statements to create more positive energy directed toward yourself. There are community colleges and universities that teach positive psychology theory and techniques classes that can be very helpful as well.

12. Automatic thought records. A classic cognitive therapy technique that helps challenge cognitive distortions and encourages us to work on noticing our distorted thoughts and replacing them with alternative thinking.

13. Hypnosis. A wonderful technique that can help individuals work through anxiety and stress.

14. Changing your diet, sleep and exercise regimens for improved body system regulation. Itís no secret that working toward better eating habits, sleep cycles and workout routines works wonders for our bodies and our anxiety levels.

15. Realistic expectations. Itís realistic to expect a wide variety of sexual experiences. Some pleasurable, others that are duds, and everything in between. Expect a few sexual difficulties, be realistic in both your expectations and your reactions.

16. Professional help. Consider a sex therapist to help you navigate any difficulties. They can help you look at your history of anxiety, attachment, childhood, family issues, as well as your sex history and relationship history. Iíve treated a lot of men with performance anxiety, and the one thing Iím certain of is each man has his own personal story of where it likely comes from and how it affects him. The American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors & Therapists (AASECT) is a good start toward finding qualified sex therapists near you and if youíre in Los Angeles (you can find me at A primary-care physician can help rule out a physiological issue. Get checked out.

17. Porn star sex vs. reality lovemaking. Iíve noticed a lot of men compare themselves to the guys they see in porn. If thatís your experience, it might be wise to challenge your ideas of sex, relationships and how porn influences those. In the real world, penises are average-sized, most women arenít into huge penises, the average lovemaking time for heterosexual couples is 3 to 13 minutes and our partners like us for a lot of reasons, not just for sex. Remember, porn is fantasy and not intended to be sex education or used for performance comparisons.

18. Be careful of substances, drugs or alcohol. Some drugs help short term with managing anxiety, lowering inhibition, increasing desire or arousal, and even increased sensation. Sure, theyíre fun and offer physiological spikes with some neurotransmitters and hormones, but long term, many drugs do the exact opposite of what you hope for. Many men feel more anxious when using substances, which can affect sexual functioning.

19. Donít distract yourself. Thinking about Margaret Thatcher, baseball stats or NFL teams is the exact opposite of what you need to do. Thinking about anything other than pleasure and enjoyment defeats the purpose of sex. Why would you want to avoid something that is meant for enjoyment? Avoidance is rarely the answer in sex. See mindfulness techniques.

20. Take the emphasis off erection. When their erection joins the pleasure party, many men feel an immediate need to use it. They create a state of pressure and anxiety, and feel the need to rush into intercourse. Thereís no need to pressure ourselves. For most men, erection is simply a sign of arousal and not always the signal to stick it in. Sensate focus exercises are helpful tools. Itís OK to be with your partners, erect or flaccid, and be present with them, regardless of penetration. To begin to assume power and control over your anxiety, youíre going to have to stand up to it. Tell your erection when you want to use it. Donít let your ejaculation, fears or performance anxiety dictate your thoughts and your sex.

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So, try some of these methods to reduce your performance anxiety.  There are other types of sex, other than penetration. If you get turned on doing other things, like lots of foreplay and don't worry about the performance aspect, the erection will naturally come regardless.

So, don't put so much pressure on yourself!

Oh, and congrats on abstaining from masturbation as well. Keep trying that (I'm not saying don't masturbate ever, but try to limit it more).  Also, what are you both doing before the sex act?  Are you engaging in lots of foreplay, oral sex, touching, kissing everywhere? Those things will help you both get more in the mood.

Let me know how you make out and good luck!


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I am happy to answer any questions about human sexuality and how to have great sex. Which positions facilitate G-spot pleasure? What is the best way to explore anal sex for the first time? How can I spice up my sex life? Is kinky sex right for me, and how can I safely explore it? Sex positions, types of orgasm for men and women, how to prolong or delay orgasms, multiple orgasms, Tantra and more... And, don't forget types of foreplay and setting the mood. Feel free to ask me these or any questions you have about how to have great sex.


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