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Marriage/erection problem


Hi, thank you for what you do. I don't really have anyone I feel I can go to with this and its very kind of you to avail your time to people like me and others. Here goes.. I'm 20 and I got married recently to my high scholl best friend, also 20 ( we are both observant jews, 20 is not insanely young for religous jews, we where both virgins as well, also common, expected actually, for our background) she ia beautiful, sweet, and gas a very strong sex drive.  We've been having some issues. I'm very embarrased to say that masturbation is still a problem for me, and it led to an inabilaty on my part to meet my wife's sex drive and she was very hurt(who can blame her)  I felt awful and I have obstainef from masturbating which is very hard,  but in the past 3 days, I couldn't get it up during sex. Im extremely embarrased and my wife I can tell is very hurt. ( and horny, and we want to have a baby) do u have any advice? Im sorry this was so long. I don't think I was satisfying her enough before but now im definatly not.

Given your youth and inexperience, and that you are erect some of the time, it's undoubtedly performance anxiety. You won't be able to achieve erection if you're nervous. You're too focused on pleasing her or failing. Read the article on my website about Sex an Spirituality and the blog on Sex as Meditation. Both contain some suggestions.
Think of sex as an opportunity to share love and be close, not as a test of your performance with a pass/fail attitude. Think of sex as getting to know each other in ways which you haven't. It's the closeness an intimacy that will make your marriage and love strong.

Ask your wife to be patient with you. Also, ask yourself if you have any negative religious beliefs or guilt about sex that may be hampering you. When you feel like masturbating - instead cuddle up with her.
If the suggestions in my articles and a change of attitude don't work, see a marriage counselor or try some Viagra from your doctor short term, to build your confidence and then wean yourself off.
Darlene Lancer, MFT


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Darlene Lancer


Questions about intimacy, communication, physical and emotional abuse, sex, divorce, fair fighting, problem solving, re-marriage. How to improve your marriage and communication. Please read articles on my website, and blog about relationships, sexuality, intimacy, and divorce. You may also listen or call into my radio show at, where I take callers questions.


For over twenty-four years, I’ve helped individuals and couples overcome problems and enhance their marriage, relationships, and self-esteem. My clients acquire tools for change, problem-solving and communication skills, and the capability to manage emotions and boundaries. As a Senior Mediator for the Los Angeles County Conciliation Court, I’ve helped couples resolve custody and visitation disputes and domestic violence issues.

“A Lawyer’s Primer for Understanding the Process of Divorce from a Mental Health Standpoint,” Family Law News and Review (1992); “Growing Through Divorce,” The California Therapist (1991); and in Whole Life Times, “Relationship as a Spiritual Path” (1992), “Body and Soul” (1991), “Light My Fire” (1997) Whole Life Times (1995). These and other articles (“The Relationship Duet,” “Stages of Divorce,” “Parenting After Divorce,” “Emotions After Divorce,” “There’s More to Sex than Sex” appear on my website and other mental health sites.

UCLA, JD Antioch U. MA Psychology Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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