Do Most Men Begin to Experience Sexual Performance Issues At 30?

I have kind of a delicate question that I can’t exactly ask the guys I date about. Now that I am 33 and am dating guys between age 30-36 I have noticed a change in their sexual performance. The last 4 guys I have dated have had issues in the bedroom and it has got me wondering if this is just what happens to guys when they hit this age? They all have one thing in common which is the first time we slept together, none of them could finish. This happened the 1st or 2nd time we slept together. Is that nerves? Then once sleeping together got more regular, I noticed the following. One guy has a hard time getting hard even if he has had 1 beer; it gets hard, goes away, and is super frustrating at the end of the night. Another guy just consistently had trouble finishing and could just go forever. None of them seemed particularly interested in morning sex either. I am left feeling bad as if I am the one being demanding. It makes me feel awkward initiating sex with them. None of them had as high of a sex drive as I seem to have which surprises me. Is this the new normal for men in their 30’s? I miss dating guys who had no problems. Thanks! 

Sue

There are multiple questions in your question, Sue.

  1. Do men in their 30’s routinely experience sexual dysfunction?
  2. Do men in their 30’s have lower sex drives than men in their 20’s?

Those questions have two different answers, so let’s take them separately:

According to WebMD, only 2% of men report erectile dysfunction before age 40, so, no, it is not common for a man to not be able to get it up in his early 30’s. 

At the same time, there are any number of reasons that a man may experience temporary erectile dysfunction, many of which have nothing to do with you. If he’s stressed with work, if he’s feeling bad about his life or his body, if he’s not healthy, if he is depressed or anxious or is taking medication for depression or anxiety…all of these could impact a man’s performance, including getting it up, keeping it up, and finishing.

There are any number of reasons that a man may experience temporary erectile dysfunction, many of which have nothing to do with you.

Which is why it’s important for you to understand this difference between men and women. If a woman is dry, she can still, technically have sex. If a man has any of the above issues, he can’t. Meaning, there is a much greater burden on a man’s performance. Factor in the fear of not being able to perform, and, well, it doesn’t surprise me if that 2% number is higher in reality.

Next, regarding your frustrations with the decreasing male libido…

Sorry, Sue. You’re shit out of luck.

Men’s testosterone peaks in their teens and early adult years and decreases about 1-2% every year after age 30. Hell, I reached my peak before I ever lost my virginity.

On the other hand, a peak in testosterone doesn’t necessarily correlate with a sexual peak. This article on How Stuff Works links to a study in which men report their own sexual peak at age 33. But, at a certain point, it doesn’t matter which study is “right.”

On the bright side, men often become more relationship-oriented over time because they’re not as driven mindlessly by testosterone.

What matters is that, yes, men’s libido decreases over time, and, apart from a few outliers, this is what happens to people as they age. On the bright side, men often become more relationship-oriented over time because they’re not as driven mindlessly by testosterone.

Life is about tradeoffs, my dear. You’ll find very few married couples in their 40’s having sex daily, but as long as they’re having it once a week, they remain happy and connected.

Your thoughts, below, are always appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jenny

    A couple years ago, I started dating a wonderful man in his late 30s. Everything was great except something was going on with him in bed. He explained that the last couple sexual experiences he had had were a little off. He read up on pornography-induced erectile dysfunction and diagnosed this as the route of his issue. The idea behind it is that the guy gets conditioned to only coming from porn – in his case, porn on his phone where he flipped from image to image, and sex with a human is so different from that.

    Taking matters into his own hands (so to speak :), for one month he did not masturbate and he kept himself from having an orgasm if we were making out. He stopped watching porn completely. He also took up meditation – a few minutes every morning. At the end of this self-imposed ‘clean break’ from what had been his main source of stimulus we had sex and everything went very well. Since then we have had a great sex life. I was impressed with his ability to problem-solve on something so personal. He also made it very clear the issue had nothing to do with me, and I believed him. He has continued to impress me since then. 🙂

    1. 1.1
      S.

      That’s amazing.  His ability to talk about it with you and work with it and find a solution that works.  Thanks for sharing that!

    2. 1.2
      Lisa

      this is actually one of the most common causes of ED or DE for men under the age of 40.  It’s a serious issue.

  2. 2
    Tom10

    “There are any number of reasons that a man may experience temporary erectile dysfunction, many of which have nothing to do with you. If he’s stressed work, if he’s feeling bad about his life or his body, if he’s not healthy, if he is depressed or anxious or is taking medication for depression or anxiety”
     
    Right, but also:
    -Desensensitization due over-exposure to porn
    -Recreational drug-use
    -Not that bothered about sex anymore, as it’s just not as important in life as it was in his 20s; his priorities are probably shifting from sex to money/career.

    …………….

    I actually disagree with WebMD that erectile dysfunction is rare for men in their 30s; I suspect it’s actually quite ubiquitous; however, I reckon most know the root cause of the issue and could conceivably deal with it if they wanted. Most likely it’s a lifestyle choice that they just don’t really want to change.

  3. 3
    Clare

    Sue,

    If possible, get over your fear/reluctance of initiating sex. By the time you get to your 30s, there is no need to be coy about it any more if that is what you want.

    Not to say that you need to be the one to initiate it every time – not by any means – but it is a mutual dance, a give and take. There’s no need to lie there and wait for him to pounce on you and overtake you with desire – that stuff is for Mills & Boon novels. Help him along.

    Personally, I have not had these problems Sue is describing, and I also date guys in their 30s. Then again, as you get older and more mature, sexual desire starts long before you get down and dirty in the bedroom – you can build it from hours before with flirting, affection, looks, teasing, being suggestive. Personally, I feel that by the time you get to the bedroom, you should both have been thinking about it for a long time. If you try to get things going only at the point your heads hit the pillow, your success rate is going to go down.

    Have fun, Sue – flirt, tease, find your sensual inner goddess. It’ll help him a lot.

    1. 3.1
      Jeremy

      Hi Clare, I agree with your advice to the OP to get over her fear of initiation.  But regarding the advice to build desire with flirting, teasing, etc – I think this advice works for women but not for men, in general.  I’ve observed a real disconnect between men and women in this regard – with how much the build-up matters to the experience of sex.  I think that many men really don’t understand how much the buildup means to women.  And conversely, I think that many women don’t understand how little the buildup means to men.  Frankly, a day-long tease can be very frustrating.  I think that men tend to be very linear in our arousal patterns – we either are or we aren’t.  If we aren’t (and assuming there are no medical reasons for this), it is either that the sexual “on” switch can’t be activated (due to factors such as lack of attraction, porn addiction, or any other desensitizing factor), or that the sexual “off” switch won’t turn off (due to stress, incompatibility, anxiety, etc).

       

      It isn’t just age, it isn’t just diurnal hormone fluctuations, and it most likely isn’t due to lack of flirting/teasing IMHO.

  4. 4
    Robyn

    Shakespeare said it a long time ago, and he was spot-on:
    MacDuff: “What three things does drink especially provoke?”
    Porter’s response to MacDuff: “Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”

    Everyone’s tolerance for alcohol diminishes with age, and part of that loss of tolerance often shows up in “taking away” of “the performance”, even for guys still in their 30’s.
    Ditto various drugs and medications.

    And if a guy is amping up on steroids for body-building, forget it!

  5. 5
    Yet Another Guy

    There is another problem that has not been addressed.  There is synchronization problem when it comes to sexual desire.  Peak testosterone for a man occurs in the morning and women tend to want sex at night when testosterone is at its lowest.  Average testosterone levels have been declining for decades.  Scientists believe that it has to do with toxins in the food supply.   There are phytoestrogens in the food supply and plastics are adding xenoestrogens.  Elevated estrogen levels impact a man’s ability to perform.

     

  6. 6
    Shaukat

    I honestly can only think of four reasons this might happen to a guy in his 30s aside from serious medical issues:

    1). Can’t perform with a condom

    2). Excessive alcohol or drug consumption

    3). Never hits the gym, very sedentary lifestyle

    4). Not that attracted to you

    1. 6.1
      Lisa

      You misssed One he’s so used to porn and his own hand that he can’t perform with an actual real woman. If a man under 30 is having ED or DE the first step is to cut out all porn and masturbation for a minimum of 30 days and I suspect the problem will resolve itself without the need for a trip to any doctor. If a woman is with a man having these issues she needs to bring up this subject early on. If he can perform solo work porn this is not a medical problem.  if he’s not willing to stop then she needs to move on.

       

      And if this is an early relationship why in God’s name is he dating a woman he’s not attracted to that makes no sense.

      1. 6.1.1
        Karl S

        Loneliness?
        Maybe they can’t meet someone they’re more attracted to.

        Back in my early twenties I’d have performance issues and I realized I was dating people who were lovely, but I wasn’t that attracted to them physically.

        Also, our sexual styles didn’t always gel so well. That can be a combination of little things like how dominant/submissive they were, as well as the way they moved their bodies or interacted with mine.

        I’ve had no issues with my current partner, who I’ve been with for years now.

        1. Lisa

          Young people today are very lonely. They don’t have the same type of social interactions that people of prior generations have.  Sure it could be mismatched partner drives or bodies.  But if a man who is otherwise healthy can perform alone with porn but can’t with a partner it could very well be porn induced.  There’s a pretty easy way to find out just do a 30 day no porn or masturbation, and if that does not solve the problem then look for other causes.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Lisa

          But if a man who is otherwise healthy can perform alone with porn but can’t with a partner it could very well be porn induced.

          It could also be emotional.

        3. Lisa

          @yet another guy, sure it could be emotional.  But often figuring out the cause of emotional ED is quite difficult.   So stopping the porn and masturbation first, to see if that helps the situation would seem to me to be the easier route. If it does not work, then pursue therapy and work on those emotinal issues.

  7. 7
    Nissa

    Oooh, I have info! So there’s good evidence to indicate that metabolic syndrome causes erectile dysfuntion. Also, older men have decreased blood volume, which can interfere with erections. Links attached.

    For non tech people, it means that guys eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) are more like to have lots of sugar in their blood, causing metabolic syndrome & interfering with erections. Many men are also very likely to be undiagnosed diabetics.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142025/

    Why do older men have lower blood volume?

    Joseph Kraft: Why hyperinsulinemia matters

    1. 7.1
      Jeremy

      While the connection is likely to exist as a possibility, it is unlikely to be high on the differential diagnosis for men in this age category.  These men should definitely exercise and eat right, but doing so is unlikely to fix this issue for most 30-something year old men with ED.

    2. 7.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Nissa

      While low testosterone is linked to insulin resistance, researchers are still uncertain which is the chicken and which is the egg.  I am type 2 diabetic who is also hypgonadal (i.e., I am on testosterone replacement therapy), which is why I know so much about the subject.  What causes some diabetics to have trouble with erections is the over expression of an enzyme known as Rho kinase, ROCK1 to be specific.   ROCK1 keeps the penis in the contracted state.  Researchers believe that treating hypogonadism normalizes the overexpression of ROCK1.

      In older non-diabetic men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is sign of endothelial dysfunction due to arterial plaque (i.e., it is the canary in the coal mine with respect to an impending cardiac event).  This problem causes a reduction in the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and a corresponding reduction the production of nitric oxide (NO) from L-arginine.  NO is part of the chemical pathway that allows the arteries within the penis to expand, resulting in an inrush of blood into the corpus cavernosum, which in turn pinches off the veins in the penis leading to an erection.  Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (a.k.a. Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra) work by blocking the breakdown of a compound known as cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which is produced via the NO pathway.  The compound cGMP is the actual vasodilater that allows a man to have an erection.  Because men who have arterial plaque-related ED produce low amounts of NO, blocking the action of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) allows a man to achieve an erection with lower amounts of cGMP.  However, blocking PDE5 in normal healthy men can result in a condition known as priapism, resulting in tissue death. The reason being that the tissue in the penis is not being continuously oxygenated during an erection due to blood flow being pinched off.  That is the reason why an announcer always states that a man should seek immediate medical attention for an erection lasting more than four hours in the PDE5 commercials.  The half life for Viagra is 4 to 6 hours, which means that PDE5 is being blocked during this period.  A healthy man could lose a large part of his penis to tissue death if his priapism is left untreated, which is why it is dangerous to use PDE5 inhibitors recreationally.

      1. 7.2.1
        Nissa

        Interesting. Here’s a link to the brilliant Ivor Cummins cardiology talk in regard to arterial plaque being a function of insulin resistance and thus the cause of most heart attacks. This implies to me that then insulin resistance, being the cause of the plaque, is a root source for ED. The good news about this is that it is reversible with diet over time. He has several YouTube videos on these topics (link below).Oh, and buy his new book, Eat Rich Live Long.

         

      2. 7.2.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Nissa

        There are men who have ED who are not insulin resistant, so insulin resistance is not the root cause of ED. Arterial plaque is caused by endothelial dysfunction due to high blood pressure, smoking, and/or hyperlipidemia. Insulin resistance is symptom of a much larger problem. Insulin resistance is usually part of triad of comorbidities known as metabolic symdrome, which includes hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and high blood pressure.  Insulin resistance is caused by having too much fat on one’s body. Fat blocks insulin from entering muscle cells.

        In men, visceral (subabdominal) fat packs a one-two punch by increasing estradiol (E2, a.k.a. estrogen) production via increased aromatase activity.  Like women need a small amount of testosterone, men need a small amount of E2. Men convert testosterone to E2 via an enzyme known as aromatase.  In men, visceral fat creates a feedback loop where it increases aromatase activity, which leads to an increase in the conversion of testosterone to E2, which leads to an increase in visceral fat.  It is a vicious cycle. This feedback loop simultaneously increases E2 while decreasing testosterone, resulting in a loss of muscle tone and mass.  It can be a downward spiral if a man does nothing about it.  Elevated E2 eventually leads to the feminization of a man’s body.  It is the source of gynecomastia (a.k.a. man boobs).

        If we want to point a finger at something, it needs to be squarely pointed at E2.  Women who have high levels of E2 also have a problem with weight gain.  What is important is to balance E2 with the other hormones. Pre-menopausal women with elevated E2 tend to put weight on in their hips and legs (pear shaped). Post-menopausal women and men with elevated E2 put on abdominal fat (apple shaped). Women who want help in balancing E2 should look at DIM or calcium d-glucarate. These compounds work for men too by helping the body to metobolize E2 into less harmful estrogen metabolites.  However, for men, the key to reducing E2 is visceral fat loss, which can be difficult after a men enters the visceral fat -> increased aromatase activity -> increased E2 -> increased visceral fat feedback loop because it is simultaneously reducing testosterone.

        The key takeaway is that weight gain in men and women as they age is more often caused by a problem with E2 dominance.  Testosterone declines in men as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) increases, leaving reduced amounts of free testosterone.  The conversion of testosterone to E2 futher reduces free testosterone.  Testosterone and progesterone decline in women with age.  E2 dominance can cause a loss of libido in men and women as well as erection problems for men.

        1. Nissa

          Something to look at from PubMed:

          The purpose of this study is to investigate the possible underlying pathogenesis of erectile dysfunction (ED) without well-known etiology in young men under the age of 40 years.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23681359

           

  8. 9
    Jenn

    Since the average man tends to masturbate to hardcore Internet porn on a regular basis starting in his early teens, I’m guessing it’s likely the porn habit that’s the problem. In an otherwise healthy young man, what else could it be? Yeah, okay, what Evan said are some possibilities, but if it’s happening that often that she’s complaining about it, my money is on the porn habit.

    1. 9.1
      Lisa

      Same here.

      1. 9.1.1
        Shaukat

        @Jenn and Lisa,

        Could either one of you please post or reference a study-and I mean an actual study, not some speculative editorial-that shows that exposure to hard core porn can actually lead to erectile dysfunction in healthy men in their 30s? It’s likely true that masturbation in one position can create short-term difficulties in terms of completing the sexual act in a different position, but this link you’re positing between porn consumption and erectile dysfunction has no empirical basis as far as I know, at least not in relation to young healthy men. Maybe I’m wrong though, so if you know of any study, please share.

        1. Lisa

          Sure, there are around 25 studies that provide the information that you are looking, for here,

          https://yourbrainonporn.com/studies-reported-relationships-between-porn-use-or-porn-addictionsex-addiction-and-sexual

          There is actually a lot of studies that support this. Some men can suffer just from death grip (Masturbating in a particular way), and some can suffer from just porn induced sexual dysfunction, many suffer from both.  Today’s porn provides a dopamine high that you cannot get with real sex. I had never heard of such a thing before either. If you had told me a few years back this was the case, I would have said the same thing you did, until I dated a man that suffered from this exact problem.   But empirical data or not, if a man with no health issues, is having ED or DE, he can do his own research.  Just stop, and see if the condition goes away?  The problem is that many single men have no idea that this could even cause an issue.  It’s normal right?  So when they get into a relationship and cannot perform they have no idea why.  This issue causes the end of many relationships.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Shaukat

          In the past, practitioners could point to physiological (blood flow, low testosterone) or psychogenic (performance anxiety) reasons for sexual dysfunction.  The rise of heavy Internet porn consumption is changing things. Unprecedented ED in the under age 40 crowd is real, and research is pointing to over stimulation of the brain’s reward centers.  The male brain craves novelty when it comes to sexual response, and porn gives a man access to novelty that the average woman cannot come close to replicating. Here is link to a medical publication on the NIH website that details a porn-induced ED study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/

           

      2. 9.1.2
        Shaukat

        @Lisa,

        Thanks, very interesting.

  9. 10
    Elly Klein

    I concur with everyone who mentioned porn-induced erectile dysfunction as a possible cause. It’s becoming a huge problem and if I had a son, I’d warn him of it. In fact, I believe the extremely sex-positive sex therapist Dr Laura Berman, who was on Oprah many times, discourages her sons from using porn for this very reason. If a man wants to do something about it, he can research it and do a detox. I suggest starting with the Your Brain On Porn website.

    1. 10.1
      Lisa

      Yep.  EMK I think it would be great if you could touch on this issue.  Take a look at no fap.  It’s an increasingly common problem.

  10. 11
    ScottH

    Well this is an interesting topic…  I had problems finishing with my first partner after divorce, but no problems getting it up.  I still remember that time we were having dinner and she was telling me about her sex issues with her previous partners, how they finished too fast or this or that.  Hint:  don’t talk to your current partner about previous partners performance.  That caused all kinds of anxiety for me and I couldn’t finish any of the times we were together and I think she thought I was weird (I guess I am).  I was happy when things went according to plan with the next partner and I realized it wasn’t me.  Do you know how worried we guys can get about performance?  I think it’s called performance anxiety or something like that.  I also had a partner who made me wear condoms and I couldn’t finish because of those and she got really really upset which only made it worse.  (Evan wrote a column on this for me a while back.)  It also makes it hard (ha) on us if we sense that you aren’t enjoying yourself.  My batting average is very dependent on my partner.

    1. 11.1
      Emily, the original

      Scott H,

        Hint:  don’t talk to your current partner about previous partners performance

      ITA. Good, bad or indifferent. I DON’T want to know what someone did in bed with someone else. That’s a conversation that should be had with a friend, not a partner. Just like I don’t need to know which of your coworkers you are attracted to. Keep that information to yourself.

  11. 12
    S.

    If a woman is dry, she can still, technically have sex.

    First, ouch.  She technically can but if she does then she might have issues and end up writing you a similar letter several months down the line.

    If a man has any of the above issues, he can’t.

    We have to expand our definition of sex, especially if there are issues arising (or not) in the bedroom.   It’s not all about the penis going in the vagina. Sure for most that’s the main deal, but it’s not the only deal.  He has hands and a mouth, no?   I think that getting too focused on intercourse especially when it’s not happening only puts more pressure on the situation.

    The difficult thing about Sue’s situation is how to talk about it with anyone feeling pressured or blamed.  It’s no one’s fault but it’s a lot of pressure if you feel your penis is holding up sex or if you feel as a woman your partner isn’t attracted enough to you to become aroused.  Neither of those things necessarily are true, but it can certainly feel that way and it’s difficult to have that discussion.  Most men I’ve known who go through this seem like they’d rather die than talk about it. When a guy is that embarrassed or pressured I’m not sure what his partner can do to help.  You can say you’re fine and really be fine, but it’s not fine for him. 🙂

    (For those when it’s a condom thing, what do you do then and still practice safe intercourse?)

    1. 12.1
      S.

      Should have been a sad face. 🙁  It really is a difficult situation, but it’s to hear how others have worked through it.

    2. 12.2
      Emily, the original

      S.,

      We have to expand our definition of sex, especially if there are issues arising (or not) in the bedroom.   It’s not all about the penis going in the vagina.

      Yes, and we need to expand our idea of sex being “successful” if the man finishes. How many times, over the years and with various partners, have women not finished? 🙂  I’m not obsessed with having an orgasm (Because I can do it myself much more quickly or more accurately). If it never happens, that’s a problem, but if every now and then it doesn’t, the sex session can still be enjoyable. There isn’t a list of menu items that has to happen for sex to be good.

      1. 12.2.1
        Lisa

        I see what you are saying, and as a woman who was with a man who had severe porn and death grip induced DE, I tried to say that too, it does not matter if he has an orgasm, no big deal.  But I was fooling myself. I wanted a normal sex life, and to me that was what was normal.   Maybe it was because his own actions were causing the condition, which is different than a medical problem one cannot control?  We all want to please our partners, it’s a normal thing.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Lisa

          Not orgasming during intercourse becomes more frequent as a man ages, especially after age 50.   Bernie Zilbergeld’s book entitled “The New Male Sexuality” is a publication that all sexually active men and women should read.

        2. Lisa

          @yet another guy, I totally agree with you and I do think age plays a factor here.  We are not talking about men over 50.  Some level of ED is certainly expected after that, or even after 45.  But most women do not expect men in their 20s and 30s to have it, and that’s what the letter writer is speaking of.

        3. James

          “Not orgasming during intercourse becomes more frequent as a man ages, especially after age 50.”
          Not only that, but the intensity of orgasms diminishes as males get older.  So even if older males do manage to reach orgasm, the whole sensation won’t feel as good as it did when they were younger.
          And the refractory period also increases as males get older.  So even if older males do orgasm and even if they feel like it was worth the hassle, they won’t be able to do it as frequently.
          So there really isn’t a whole lot of encouraging news when it comes to the libido and sexuality of older males.  And somehow I doubt  the magical fountain of youth is to be found in some little blue pills, testosterone therapy, or marriage counseling.  Both men AND women would probably be much better off just making their peace with this instead of trying to fight it.

        4. Lisa

          @james I totally agree with you and as a woman I would expect a man in that age range to have some problems. Sex is just different as we age.  That being said it’s one of the reasons I date men my age, rather than older men.  I think when I am 50 I won’t care as much about these issues, but in my 30s I don’t desire nor do I expect these issues with the men I date.  I think most women know what you state to be true it’s the men that won’t admit it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard 50 year old men say oh yes I can have sex like a 30 year old that’s why I date younger women. But they can’t nor should they be expected to.  But in their 30s, no.

        5. Emily, the original

          Lisa,

          as a woman who was with a man who had severe porn and death grip induced DE, I tried to say that too, it does not matter if he has an orgasm, no big deal.  But I was fooling myself. I wanted a normal sex life, and to me that was what was normal.  

          I just don’t like when sex is seen as goal-based. Masturbation is goal-based, but sex should be a lot more fun and spontaneous. Sometimes it’s fun just to fool around.

      2. 12.2.2
        Lisa

        @emilytheoriginal yes it’s nice sometimes to just fool around and no an orgasm is not necessary always. What I’m speaking of is being in a relationship with a man who will never be able to orgasm from vaginal intercourse and/or can only orgasm from his own hand in your presence.  As a young person I’m just not willing to accept a sex life that consists of that. At age 60 sure maybe but in my 30s no. Something many don’t realize until they are with a man with delayed ejaculation how little intimacy is felt when there is no intercourse or your sex life consists of watching him masturbate. I don’t knock people for being fine with that that’s their choice. But I don’t think it’s the majority view.

        1. Emily, the original

          Lisa,

          What I’m speaking of is being in a relationship with a man who will never be able to orgasm from vaginal intercourse and/or can only orgasm from his own hand in your presence. .. As a young person I’m just not willing to accept a sex life that consists of that. At age 60 sure maybe but in my 30s no

          I’m in my 40s, and I wouldn’t like that. I actually had a guy–the FIRST TIME we were together–ask me if watching him “pleasure himself” would relax me because I was nervous.  Uh … NO!  

    3. 12.3
      Lisa

      Right I have personally found that there is NO good way other than to ignore the problem, that you can broach this subject without offending a man.   If it happens a few times, okay its nerves I ignore it no problem.  But if it happens over and over you have to address it.   Women, just like men want to be sexually satisfied in their relationship s and there is nothing wrong or superficial about that.     If your man is unable to perform, and you are not okay with that, I would not marry him.

    4. 12.4
      Lisa

      @Emily the original, agreed.   Not many women would be.

  12. 13
    D_M

    The scenario just seems a little off. All four guys had trouble climbing the mountain. One guy had a wet noodle problem, so that is understandable. For two of them, we are left wondering where they fell on her spectrum. The fourth guy was the man of steel, but somehow was unable to fulfill an insatiable appetite. None of them wanted any in the morning. That just doesn’t compute. If your drive is high, wouldn’t the man of steel be exactly what is needed. It’s like me saying, I want it all the time, but the whoo-ha is too wet.

    Many moons ago, I had an encouter with a very passionate kisser. Based on the kissing, I  expected a proper sweat down, none was to be had. Chica was completely passive between the sheets, which resulted in a ho-hum experience. Men have expectations as well, so it might be possible that the evening prelude, has set the stage for the morning. Men seldom tell women that their bedroom game needs work. From the cougar’s playbook, your weaker hand should be juggling, while the more dominant hand grabs a firm hold of the one eyed monster.

    1. 13.1
      Lisa

      The man of steel thing is a common misconception on the part of men.  I think it may be something that porn teaches them, but not sure.  Very few women want sex that lasts for 30 minutes or more, it’s painful and boring.  Studies show women prefer around 10-15 minutes of actual penetration.  Being with a man who never orgasms is horrible, it kills the woman’s self esteem and makes her not want to have sex with him.

      1. 13.1.1
        D_M

        Lisa,

        How would you purpose that we deal with the self esteem issue? I’ll concede the ubiquitous nature of porn at this point in history. What would be your prescription for the sexes moving forward?

        1. Lisa

          In my opinion put down the porn and get out there and start interacting with real woman, that’s the only way to build self esteem.  And tell yourself that porn is a fantasy not reflective of real life, or anywhere close to what women want in bed.

      2. 13.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Lisa

        Being with a man who never orgasms is horrible, it kills the woman’s self esteem and makes her not want to have sex with him.

        I have news for you, Lisa–men feel the same way! If a man is not orgasming through intercourse, you need to try something different.  I do not know your age, but I find orgasming through intercourse to be hit or miss these days, often taking thirty minutes or longer.  Thankfully, I do experience difficulty achieving an erection, it is just that penile sensitivity and the tone of the pubococcygeus muscles of the female pelvic floor both decline with age.   People need to become more open minded and creative in bed as they age; otherwise, they will be hanging up their spurs. 🙂

        1. Lisa

          Oh no, I left that relationship.  But thanks for the advice.  Just so you know I did try absolutely any and everything and it did not work.  You know what did work, stopping porn, and masturbation.   I am 40, but at the time I was in my mid 30s and I am sorry I am not looking to deal with ED at such a young age.    Particuarly when the man is causing his own ED and won’t stop.   I think you are comparing apples to oranges.  Mine was a situation where the man was not of an age where he should be having ED, and it was definitive that the cause of his ED was porn use and excessive masturbation.  Totally different than a man of a certain age struggling in bed through no fault of his own, just the aging process.

    2. 13.2
      Emily, the original

      D-M,

      Chica was completely passive between the sheets, which resulted in a ho-hum experience.

      When I’ve fallen into the passive role, it’s usually because something is off and I want the whole thing to move along. 

      1. 13.2.1
        D_M

        Emily, the original,

        I subscribe to the none is better than some philosophy in the bedroom. If someone isn’t into it, I stop. Appeasement doesn’t work for me. For the most part, the whoo-ha signals when she is ready in women that haven’t reached the “stage” in her life. Absent the explicit phone call from the whoo-ha, I stay away from the front door. I give you time to warm up. If you don’t have another gear besides what’s on display, the session is over. Sometimes two people are simply not a good fit. Additional bedroom accoutrements still don’t close the incompatibility gap.

        1. Nissa

          I love that you call sexual aids “accutrements”. Makes it more French, lol.

        2. Emily, the original

          D_M,

          I subscribe to the none is better than some philosophy in the bedroom. If someone isn’t into it, I stop. Did you stop with the woman you mentioned? Did you say, “‘Hey, it seems like you aren’t into this. Let’s call it a day.’?” I’ve never done that before, but I’ve wished I had the balls to do it a few times. As you wrote, sometimes you aren’t a good fit, and there’s no point in dragging it out once you’ve figured that out. I can’t imagine how awkward it would be or, frankly, how it could be taken very badly by either party. 

          For the most part, the whoo-ha signals when she is ready in women that haven’t reached the “stage” in her life. Not necessarily. I’ve been sufficiently ready for encounters that, up to that point of liftoff, had proven to be ho-hum. 

           

  13. 14
    Gala

    I have noticed the same thing,  *white collar* men in their 30ies generally make the worst lovers. The solution is to either date younger guys, older guys (40ies) even though it may be counter-intuitive, or date non-career guys. Surfing instructors don’t have a problem getting it up, assuming they are not stoned. I believe it all boils down to stress. As a professional woman myself in my 30ies, i get it completely. This is the decade of your life that is gonna make or break your career. Are you gonna be on a partner/C-level/PM track or whatever, or washed up when you hit 40? The stress of it is **intense**. The competition is fierce. The guys in their forties already know the answer. Either way they are more chill about stuff, they even make peace with being washed up and move on with their lives. The guys in their 20ies don’t know what’s ahead of them yet. They still think the world is their oyster because they got a cool entry level job (ha!). And lastly, the non-career guys are not involved in the rat race in general so they are chill.

    Oh, and the guy who couldn’t finish forever was probably watching too much porn and mastrubating to it. I’d give him a chance as with regular sex this will go away fast.

    1. 14.1
      S.

      washed up when you hit 40?

      I wouldn’t think of it as washed up, gosh.  I’m thinking about myself and not the men.  But you and I differ because I don’t care about a man’s career and never did in any decade of my life.  I’ve worked since I was fifteen but my work life hasn’t been a straight line.  As long as the man as happy with what he does and who he is, I’m fine with it. (And that what he does is legal, lol.)

      I wish and hoped that a man’s job or career wasn’t a beeline to his sex life.  My sex life has ZERO to do with my job, except sometimes at different points in my cycle I think too much about sex at work! Ha!

      But I realize we social men differently and they have that provider instinct which in our culture means job which affects sex.  That said, I’ve had really good sex with some very shy, beta males with low self-esteem.  Being desired helps. 🙂 It’s not everything and alone can’t change anyone but it helps.  And usually they start back dating just when their careers are back on track but not exactly when they are ‘crushing it’ yet in the workplace.  And I have a pretty wide definition of what ‘sex’ is.

      1. 14.1.1
        Gala

        I am not sure how what you said relates to what i said. My point is, for career men (and women) their 30ies is the most stressful decade. This stress affects men’s performance. This has nothing to do with how we socialize boys. Stressed out men physiologically don’t get it up regardless of what the source of stress is.  (the “betas” actually perform better in the sack at that point because they are less stressed)

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          I routinely worked in excess of 80 hours a week in a very stressful position as in my 30s, and I do not have problem with performance.  The problem with guys in the thirties has to do more with eating a trash diet, consuming too much alcohol, and lack of physical exercise than it does with worrying about making partner.

        2. Jeremy

          YAG, I agree with you that it isn’t about the stress of making partner.  While many women view stress as a reason not to have sex, most men IME view sex as a way to blow off stress.  But that type of sex that blows off stress is the type that prioritizes the man’s desires, not the woman’s.  If he has to prioritize her desires it increases his stress.  Think about motivations.  If you Google “what makes a man a good lover” you’ll come up with hundreds of pages.  But if you Google “WHY should a man be a good lover” you’ll come up with zilch (or rather, the same articles that explain HOW he can be a good lover).  What is his motivation?

        3. Gala

          @YAG:

          I routinely worked in excess of 80 hours a week in a very stressful position as in my 30s, and I do not have problem with performance.

          Yes, we know you’re a super human. We got that. Btw, I thought you said you spent 10 years in a sexless marriage, how would you know if you had problems with performance?

        4. S.

          My point was I couldn’t relate to the work stress affecting sex.  Work and sex are separate for me.  So I couldn’t see why it would be that way for men.

          I do know that men have a need to provide. Part of it is biological and part of it is that a man’s job is part of his self-worth in a way, well, mine is not.  That’s how we socialize boys. Little boys may have a instinct to protect, but since they can’t grow to fight tigers off anymore that translates to how he can protect and provide for his family. So maybe if they aren’t doing well at work and that affects their self-worth that could affect their sex life? It’s a reach of me trying to understand this stress leading to performance problems issue.

          Betas are stressed because well, they aren’t always treated kindly.  It’s not exactly the ‘ideal man’ (if that even exists) to be quiet and reticent.  So they are stressed but about different things. Or maybe the same things. One ex of mine was always so calm.  He eventually told me, “I only seem calm.”  Fair enough. 🙂 They can be shyer about crossing the touch barrier and getting into a relationship.  But once there, wow!  Still waters run deep. 😀

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          I thought you said you spent 10 years in a sexless marriage, how would you know if you had problems with performance?

          I was in my mid-forties to mid-fifties during that period. I did not have erectile performance problems.  I had a willing partner and desire not to cheat problems. 🙂

        6. KK

          YAG,

          “I was in my mid-forties to mid-fifties during that period. I did not have erectile performance problems.  I had a willing partner and desire not to cheat problems. 🙂”

          So, the reason your marriage was sexless was because you had a willing partner and a desire not to cheat? What are we missing?

          Does this mean you were the one who didn’t want to have sex with your willing partner?

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          So, the reason your marriage was sexless was because you had a willing partner and a desire not to cheat? What are we missing?

          That was a grammatical error. I had neither a willing partner nor the desire to cheat.

          Looking back, I should have left my ex years before I made the move. I remained in my marriage because I believed that it was better for my children to grow up in an intact family. No woman will ever have that much leverage on me, and that is a very liberating feeling. I have no desire to be tied to one women for a reason. I have seen how bad it can get when things are not right. Men in good marriages may live longer than single men, but men in bad marriages tend to have shorter lives than men who never marry.  At this point, I see absolutely no advantage to committing to one woman, and quite honestly, I encounter quite a few women who do not want to be tied to a man. They live full lives.  The disconnect that I have with these women is that they want a monogamous sex partner, and I have no desire to be monogamous to one woman.  I have learned that that practice does not pay.  A little competition anxiety goes a long way towards maintaining sexual tension.

        8. KK

          “No woman will ever have that much leverage on me, and that is a very liberating feeling. I have no desire to be tied to one women for a reason. I have seen how bad it can get when things are not right”.

          YAG,

          When you make statements like this, women are relieved that you’ve essentially taken yourself off the market.

          But the reason you feel this way is because you haven’t been divorced that long. Just like when you first started commenting here as someone who was newly separated, and you were frustrated that women weren’t giving you a chance… months later, you understood it. You even complimented the women who didn’t respond to your advances back then. Is it possible you could change your mind yet again, after more time has passed?

          Take it or leave it, but my suggestion is to stay away from dating for awhile and focus on yourself. Find a good therapist that will help you unpack the real reasons your marriage didn’t work out. You might discover that your marriage was doomed from the beginning because of the beliefs you brought into it and the beliefs you had about what kind of partner you needed. I’m not suggesting that you’re 100% at fault for the demise of your marriage… not at all. But you might be surprised to discover the feeling of freedom you’ll have from really understanding why you made certain choices and how those choices affected you.

          Then, you can go back to dating with a real sense of who you are and what you need, and if you still come to the conclusion you’ll never remarry, so be it.

          But as it stands right now, the most amazing woman could cross your path and you’d either miss out on her or completely screw it up.

      2. 14.1.2
        Amaryllis

        I am aware that a sedentary lifestyle, exhaustion and work-related stress may affect libido and performance but the reality of the long dry spells hurt. How do I bring up detoxing gently and nicely?

    2. 14.2
      Jeremy

      I find this topic so interesting to think about.  Because, after all, the way that most women define a “good lover” is by how much pleasure he gives HER, not himself.  So what is his motivation to be a good lover?  It certainly isn’t his own pleasure.  It might be validation, but only if the woman is hotter than he is or if he is conditioned to predicate his value on the opinion of a woman.  It might be an ego thing – about overcoming obstacles – which is a circuitous route to validation.  Or he might just genuinely be a giving person, more concerned with the well-being of his partner than his own.  But regardless, the “good male lover’s motivation to be a good lover is not his own pleasure.

       

      I only bring this up to muse about your comment about 30-something year old white collar men being good lovers in your experience.  I understand a man in his 40s dating a younger woman wanting to be a good lover to her so as to keep her – his motivation is to keep her.  I understand a younger man in his 20s trying to prove himself and develop his skills.  But a high-earning man in his 30s who is in high demand from a female population who is starting to want marriage and children with a man exactly like him….what is his motivation to be a good lover or to do anything he doesn’t have to?  Unless he is a genuinely giving man…..the sort of which is unlikely to be the type to climb a corporate ladder?

      1. 14.2.1
        Gala

        what is his motivation to be a good lover or to do anything he doesn’t have to

        His motivation to be a good lover is getting women, of course. A guy who is bad in bed will be a one and done guy, no repeat customers. He will have women ghost him after the first encounter. He then needs to go and find another woman who doesn’t yet know that he sucks, and do it over, and over, and over again and presumably he will have to go out with these women first and $$ for dates. Whereas a guy who is actually good in bed will have a phone full of women he can text to netflix and chill when he feels like it.

        Also, a career guy in his 30-ies does not yet command the power you suggest that he does. He gets to work 100 hours a week while the there are real fat cats in their 40-ies,  still with the head full of hair and a ton of $$ to through around on women. Those guys have options, the guy in his 30-ies just hopes to be one of them one day. Some will, most won’t.

        This is why it is best for a guy to get married in his late 20-ies, or around 30, so that he has a (sort of) reliable source of sex and the support system to go sly the dragons, without worrying where his next orgasm is coming from.

        1. Jeremy

          His motivation to be a good lover is getting women, of course.”  I disagree.  Such a man has no problems getting a woman, regardless of his sexual performance.  There are no shortage of women whose sexual meta-goal is marriage and children rather than pleasure and orgasms.  Being rich and powerful is far more of a draw to women for sex than being good in bed.  You mentioned that the man you’re currently with is more technically skilled/giving than the guy you were with in the past to whom you were more attracted.  The first guy drew you without even trying.  The second guy has to put in all this effort.  Who would have more options?

        2. Gala

          There are no shortage of women whose sexual meta-goal is marriage and children rather than pleasure and orgasms

          While most women I know what to have marriage and children, not a single one is desperate enough to marry a guy with ED (which would sort of make the kids part hard, no pun intended)

          The first guy drew you without even trying. 

          Oh no, he tried hard, believe me. He just tried in a different way. The amount of money he spent on me over the course of our 1.5 year long relationship was probably 3x the current guy’s annual pre-tax income. So yes, a guy who can fly you to a private island for a second date doesn’t necessarily need to be a casanova reincarnate, but how many guys can do that? Others have to compete on pure merit 🙂

        3. Jeremy

          Oh no, he tried hard, believe me. He just tried in a different way.”  But that’s just it.  A woman who wants to draw men doesn’t take a course in being good at sex, she hits the gym or gets plastic surgery.  A man who wants to draw women doesn’t take a course in sex, he gets a better job (or maybe hits the gym, depending on the type of relationship he wants).  How many men have commented on this blog that in their experience, the hottest women were the worst in bed? What would their motivation be to put in more effort?  They are hot – they already have their pick – and being better in bed won’t increase their options meaningfully.  Successful men have the same issue.  What is their motivation.  And this is something to demonstrate what it sounds like you’ve already observed – that men who have more motivation to want you and only you have more motivation to please you than men who have their pick.  The same is true of women.

           

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,
          How many men have commented on this blog that in their experience, the hottest women were the worst in bed? What would their motivation be to put in more effort?  They are hot – they already have their pick – and being better in bed won’t increase their options meaningfully. 
          Ego can be a big motivating factor. It’s pretty cool to have someone rank you as rocking his world, if that is a motivating factor for any particular woman.
          Successful men have the same issue.  What is their motivation.  And this is something to demonstrate what it sounds like you’ve already observed – that men who have more motivation to want you and only you have more motivation to please you than men who have their pick.  The same is true of women.
           This is an extremely depressing statement. It makes sense, of course, but it’s saying that the men who hone in on one woman are the ones who are less appealing and have fewer options.

        5. Jeremy

          This is an extremely depressing statement. It makes sense, of course, but it’s saying that the men who hone in on one woman are the ones who are less appealing and have fewer options.”  But that isn’t necessarily what it means, Emily, though I know you are worried specifically about this issue.  I honed in one one woman because I wanted to be married and the woman I chose had by far the best mix of qualities I was looking for.  My motivation to hone in on her was that she was what I was looking for.  My decision to prioritize her is because I value my relationship with her beyond any sort of temporary fling.

           

          I wrote above that motivation to please a woman could be for validation, could be for ego, or could be a man who genuinely cares about the woman in question.  You only need to worry about the motivation when the guy doesn’t care about you and doesn’t value more than any of his other options.

        6. Gala

          A man who wants to draw women doesn’t take a course in sex, he gets a better job (or maybe hits the gym, depending on the type of relationship he wants)

          Ummm… no. Just no. First, there’s getting a woman and then there’s getting the woman to come back, ok? These are two completely different objectives. Allow me to illustrate: when i was in grad school i hooked up with a guy who had the body of a Greek god. Not only was he in the prestigious graduate program, but he also hit the gym, so by your description he should have been golden. But he went soft within 5 minutes and I confidently rank him as one of the worst lovers i ever had. Talk about a major letdown. I told one of my girlfriends, who said she had the same exact experience with this guy. Obviously, the word spread as a wildfire, not only did he not get either one of us to hook up with him again, i think he had to go off campus to look for dates.

          Even outside of the enclosed campus environment this still holds. A guy who is really bad in bed will struggle to keep a woman – whether  he wants hookups or  a real relationship. Even more so for casual hookups since having good sex is the actual goal in that case and he’s got nothing. So, to sum up, it benefits the guy to be a good lover because if he is, women will be more willing to hook up with him again and again, making life easier for him. We all know the type – a guy who has phone numbers of 50 women who he can text at random “wanna hang out” on any Tuesday night and get at least one of them to hook up with him. This is the guy who is good in bed. He doesn’t have to be the master of the universe or anything, he just needs to have some game to drum up the initial attraction and then deliver in the sack. Ok? And this is a lot easier to achieve versus making seven figures. In fact, this type of guy is so common place in the dating market today that I am kinda surprised I have to explain it. Must be a generational thing and also the fact that you’ve been out of the market for a while.

           

           

        7. Gala

          @Jeremy:

          Such a man has no problems getting a woman, regardless of his sexual performance.

          To understand the benefit to a man of being a good lover, you should think about it like a business with high customer acquisition cost. If you’re spending a lot (of time and money) to attract a customer (a woman), you better make sure they’re satisfied with the service (sex) and want to bring you more business (come back for more). Otherwise, if the product is shitty, no matter how good the marketing campaign looked (your status or biceps), they’re not gonna generate repeat sales for you. At best, they will stick around until the end of the promotional period (you taking them out to a couple of nice restaurants) and then bail.  Any finance savvy person will tell you that’s just a horrible business model. 🙂

        8. Jeremy

          Gala, you business analogy assumes that the product the man is selling, the thing that the consumer (the woman) desires is sex.  Which may well be so in the hook-up market, but not so (or at least far less so) in the relationship market.  I’m not talking about extremes like a guy who is unable to maintain an erection for over 5 minutes.  I’m talking about a guy who prioritizes his own enjoyment in bed versus a guy who prioritizes the enjoyment of his partner.

           

          The reason I bring this up isn’t to argue with you over the merits of being good in bed, but rather to think about motivations.  If a man’s motivation is to please his partner (rather than please himself), why might that be so?  Is it so he can attract more women in a hook-up environment?  Is it because he believes his partner will be happier and more likely to stay with him if he pleases her (ie. security)?  Is it because he derives validation from giving her orgasms, as pertaining to his own ego/ability to achieve?  Is it because he loves her and is a genuinely giving person?  The only reason to wonder about this is to think about whether it is likely to continue to remain a priority as the relationship matures over time.

           

          As pertaining to the OP, my suspicion is that porn use may be contributing to the problem.  And the reason that porn use is so ubiquitous among men is that it allows men to focus on their own pleasure without the anxiety of being judged on their performance or the need to jump through hoops to get what they want.  A man accustomed to having his needs met without effort or empathy might not just be unable to satisfy a woman sexually, he may wonder why he should even try.

        9. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I honed in one one woman because I wanted to be married and the woman I chose had by far the best mix of qualities I was looking for.

          Yes, I understand that, but by your own admission (and this is not a criticism) you lived at home as you were going to school, (I think) saved up, planned your future. You were always pretty serious. Didn’t have a slut phase. You weren’t the type of man who was picking up tons of women. Mr. Charisma has tons of options and even if he settles down at some point because he wants a family, is he not tempted by all the other women who still find him appealing? I mean, don’t some men just ooze sex (as I’m sure some women do)?

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Mr. Charisma has tons of options and even if he settles down at some point because he wants a family, is he not tempted by all the other women who still find him appealing?

          First off, Jeremy is 100% correct with his assertion that a woman’s sexual ability is usually inversely proportional to her attractiveness level.  In shape, very attractive women do not have to learn how to be good lovers. They can get by on their looks alone. Now, fat-bottom girls are a completely different story.  There is a reason why guys are willing to date down in SMV for sex.  The larger the difference in SMV, the harder a woman will try in bed and the less often a man will hear the word “no” to a desired sex act.

          Now, to answer your question about Mr. Charisma, I cannot vouch for other men, but I was a man-slut before I married (it was always a source of friction with my ex).  I had absolutely no problem hooking up long before hooking up was fashionable and when women almost universally mounted anti-slut defense before having casual sex, which is a big part of why I did not marry until the second half of my thirties.  Heck, I hooked up with a woman that I met on jury duty of all places. Yet, I remained faithful to my ex even though we went through a long sexless period. Why? The answer for me was my children.  I may be a man of questionable character.  I am absolutely certain that they are women in my past who would refer to me as a cad or player, but what kind of message would it send to my daughters if they learned that their father cheated on their mother?  It would send a message that it is okay for a man to cheat. Often, there are bigger, more important things in a man’s life than getting laid. I am certain that there are other men who can justify not giving into their urges for the same reason.

        11. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Now, to answer your question about Mr. Charisma, I cannot vouch for other men, but I was a man-slut before I married (it was always a source of friction with my ex).  I had absolutely no problem hooking up long before hooking up was fashionable

          I’m not talking about hooking up a lot. I’m talking about being a man who walks in a room and attracts the attention of most the women. I can’t relate it to anything but movie stars since we don’t know each other and don’t have shared acquaintances, but I went to a movie months ago and Richard Gere (EVEN IN HIS OLD AGE — can you imagine an older woman having that kind of power?) appeared in a preview, and there was a palpable energy in the mostly female audience. He woke the women up. I’m talking about being with married to a man like that … 

      2. 14.2.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Gala

        His motivation to be a good lover is getting women, of course. A guy who is bad in bed will be a one and done guy, no repeat customers. He will have women ghost him after the first encounter.

        A man does not need to be a good lover to get women. He needs to reasonably attractive and have good game. Guys my age were not interested in “repeat customers.”  We practiced sex as a sport. We were in it for the thrill of the chase. Sex with a new woman is thrilling.  Undressing a woman for the first time was like opening a present on Christmas.  We moved on after we conquered a woman. Many older women experienced this kind of high speed pass when they were younger.

        1. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          His motivation to be a good lover is getting women, 

          Please keep in mind a man is only as good as the last woman he had sex with says he was. Meaning: Some women will think he is fantastic. Others will think he is mediocre. Others will think he is terrible. Sexual taste is extremely individualistic. It’s not possible to be all things to all women. 

      3. 14.2.3
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        I find this topic so interesting to think about.  Because, after all, the way that most women define a “good lover” is by how much pleasure he gives HER, not himself.  So what is his motivation to be a good lover?  It certainly isn’t his own pleasure. It might be validation, but only if the woman is hotter than he is or if he is conditioned to predicate his value on the opinion of a woman.

        Uh … isn’t that, to some extent, every man? I haven’t been with someone who isn’t, at the very least, subtly waiting for some feedback/that-a-boys/appreciation/acknowledgment of his performance. I think both sexes want that. 

         

  14. 15
    Yet Another Guy

    I would like to propose a completely out of left field explanation.   The combination of hookup culture combined with the over consumption of porn by men and women has lot of men anxious in the bedroom.  Let’s face it, obtaining an erection in man’s twenties is almost autonomic (it definitely is in man’s teens). The thirties are were being sexually excited starts to factor into the erection equation.  It used to be that average man was lucky to have a female count (F-count) of five by the time that he reached age thirty; therefore, sex with a new women was still a novelty and exciting.  Now, a lot of men lose count of the number of women with whom they have hooked up by age thirty.   It is no secret that guys are horribly visual. It is really difficult to get excited about being with a new woman after a man has been with a lot of women, and men do not experience that emotional hit that creates the mind blowing sex effect that women enjoy.  Now, combine lower mental stimulation with the performance pressure that comes from watching too much porn and we have a recipe for disaster.  Just as women are sensitive to their bodies, men are sensitive to their size and sexual prowess.  Fifty-six percent of men cannot pass the dollar bill test (a dollar bill is six inches long) and ninety-one percent of men are shorter than seven inches, yet men with penis sizes in the six to seven inch range still believe that they have smaller than average size penises.  That is because they watch too much porn and porn stars tend to have “OMG, get that thing away from me” size penises.  🙂

    1. 15.1
      Lisa

      Yep this is exactly it.

  15. 16
    Nissa

    What bothers me about this is that it seems like this evaluation of ‘men’s performance’ is so divorced from the men to whom the penis is attached. What about loving the man behind the penis?

    For me, sex is not just about the physical act. Yes, the act is lovely, especially with a partner who you’ve had before and you know each other’s preferences. To me, sex is about loving the man in front of me. A lot of that is physical, but there’s also appreciation of HIM, and all the qualities of him – including non physical qualities like aggressiveness, boldness, playfulness, verbosity, creativity. It’s about drinking him in with my eyes, my hands, my mouth; about being the receiver of his desire. It’s about my enjoying his body and enjoying his pleasure. None of that is predicated on an orgasm on either side, although that of course is nice. I just find that the act of loving is pleasurable, and making one part of that greater whole, into the entire thing, feels off to me.

    The other thing that strikes me about the OP’s letter is that it seems that the men in question are fine with it. This would make sense if it was a one time thing, but the letter makes it sound as if it is the norm, rather than an exception. I’m surprised that these men were willing to continue trying if the efforts were so dismal in their opinions. Perhaps their goals were not the same, although in non committed relationships I would expect the major goals to be more physical in nature than on connectivity.

    1. 16.1
      Buck25

      Nissa,

      Beautifully stated in 16, I think; at least that’s the way we used to think of it (within the context of a committed relationship or marriage, anyway). I wonder if that holds true as much today, at least with some of the younger set. From some of what I read here, I’m not so sure, but perhaps, the nature of some of the dialogue here, coupled with the past experiences of some contributors plays a part in that emphasis. I don’t know; the older I get, the less sure I am of so many things…

    2. 16.2
      S.

      It’s about drinking him in with my eyes, my hands, my mouth; about being the receiver of his desire. It’s about my enjoying his body and enjoying his pleasure. None of that is predicated on an orgasm on either side, although that of course is nice.

      Exactly!

      I’m surprised that these men were willing to continue trying if the efforts were so dismal in their opinions.

      It’s unclear if the OP talked to these men about this topic? She seems to be cataloguing her experience for herself, but maybe they were fine and well, she just moved on to the next and didn’t tell them? Her first line does say, “I can’t exactly ask them about” so it’s difficult to know how the men feel about it.

      Also, now rereading, maybe she could have told that one guy to have the one beer after sex.  She noticed a pattern with him that seemed clear enough.

      Hope she’s reading and will tell us. 🙂

       

    3. 16.3
      Emily, the original

      Nissa,

      For me, sex is not just about the physical act. Yes, the act is lovely, especially with a partner who you’ve had before and you know each other’s preferences. … I just find that the act of loving is pleasurable, and making one part of that greater whole, into the entire thing, feels off to me.

      You make it sound like there’s depth to the sexual act beyond ego gratification and entertainment?  🙂

      1. 16.3.1
        Buck25

        “You make it sound like there’s depth to the sexual act beyond ego gratification and entertainment? “

        Emily,

        I used to think that was rather a primary point of the exercise. After reading some comments I’ve read at various times on this site, I am led to wonder if that’s quite the case anymore, with some of the younger set of women (I’ve always known that was a bit of an outlier attitude among men, at least, insofar as many of them will openly admit).

        semi, in a post below, makes some comments about post menopausal women I’d like to echo here. The more my dating pool has come to be overwhelmingly made up of peri-menopausal/post-menopausal women, the more I’ve come to appreciate those of them still sexually active as partners. On balance their approach to intimacy and sex is more relaxed, and more relaxing from a male POV. I’ve never experienced any sort of “performance anxiety” with any of those women, much less ED issues. They’re able to enjoy holding, touching and caring in a way that too many younger women too often don’t. Maybe they’re simply wiser, maybe they don’t feel so much need to prove something to themselves or to their partner. They don’t seem to struggle or try too hard to have the big O; less pressure for them, and less on me. In spite of that, many of them seem to enjoy easier, better quality and more frequent orgasms than many of their younger counterparts. The active ones still appear to have a healthy libido (most can keeps with me, and I’m a several-times-a-week man), and the worst problem most seem to have is some dryness issues, easily remedied with supplemental lubricant applied as part of advanced foreplay. In essence sex with them is by and large easy, relaxed, low-pressure, and frankly more emotionally satisfying, if a bit less frantic. With some slightly younger women (mostly forty-somethings, as I’ve had next to no experience with any younger age group this time around), I’ve had the feeling they were almost keeping a mental scorecard-I didn’t know sex was supposed to be an Olympic event, for chrissakes! In that situation, it takes one hell of a confident man NOT to feel some pressure. It’s like she’s evaluating, “Did he make me come? How easily? How fast? How many times? Were they just so-so, or the real toe-curling, completely zoned-out variety? Oh, and how hard did he come (when I was ready for him to, of course)?Etc. etc. etc.” I guess times have changed, cause I don’t remember women doing that(at least not as much) when I was 35-40. I didn’t feel any pressure much back then either; but with this, I can sure understand how a thirty-something guy might, if he feels even a little off his game.

        1. Kenley

          Many people have speculated on the impact porn may have on men.  I think the wide spread availability of free porn is also having a tremendous impact on women as well.  I think a lot more women are watching porn and  I think porn is causing some women to view sex as primarily about performance and getting off as well.

        2. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          as I’ve had next to no experience with any younger age group this time around), I’ve had the feeling they were almost keeping a mental scorecard-I didn’t know sex was supposed to be an Olympic event, … Oh, and how hard did he come (when I was ready for him to, of course)?Etc. etc. etc.”

          I’ve had men do that. Ask me if I came, as if they had failed if i didn’t. (I don’t see it as their job.) One announced beforehand that I would be coming twice. I’m not kidding. Do you know how UNsexy that was? It was all his ego. It had nothing to do with me.

          Now, I’m not the sexually relaxed type like you. 🙂 In the words of the great Kayne West: Go ahead, go nuts, go ape shit!

          And in terms of the affectionate part … if the situation warrants that. If it’s casual sex/dating … then no. Keep it on the level.

        3. Buck25

          I’ve had men do that. Ask me if I came, as if they had failed if I didn’t. (I don’t see it as their job.) One announced beforehand that I would be coming twice. I’m not kidding Do you know how UNsexy that was? It was all his ego. It had nothing to do with me.

          Emily,

          I wish I could say I’m surprised; honestly, I’m really not, given what I’ve heard from women (though whether the women’s attitude or the men’s came first is a chicken-and-egg sort of thing, and I’m not sure it matters). It does seem a pity that it’s come to that, but perhaps (as in so many other things), you generation has a different viewpoint. Something in it feels a bit cold and almost impersonal, to me; I mean, if it’s not about your partner at all, no real caring or feeling, just scratching an itch, or ego gratification…

          Some of this may be a product of a growing hook-up culture. Then too, I was reading Kenley’s post here, and I think she may be onto something-free porn becoming so ubiquitous, that it’s increasingly consumed by both men and women; might it be that this also contributes to a heavier emphasis on performance and getting off, as opposed to the emotional side of the experience? Combine that, and a hook-up culture that pretty much glorifies casual sex, and perhaps that’s part of the why of it.

        4. Emily, the original

          Buck25,
          It does seem a pity that it’s come to that, but perhaps (as in so many other things), you generation has a different viewpoint. Some of this may be a product of a growing hook-up culture.
          I didn’t grow up in the hookup culture. That’s the … um … generation below mine.  🙂    I actually have read the percentage (at least of young women) of people involved in the hook up culture is quite low. A lot don’t like it.
          Something in it feels a bit cold and almost impersonal, to me; I mean, if it’s not about your partner at all, no real caring or feeling, just scratching an itch, or ego gratification… That’s hard for me to relate to. It’s been a while since I’ve been with someone I cared about. Sometimes the caring and affection is shown in the moment … but disappears once you leave the room.

  16. 17
    PacNW Smile

    Gala,

    In fact, this type of guy is so common place in the dating market today that I am kinda surprised I have to explain it. Must be a generational thing and also the fact that you’ve been out of the market for a while.

    This is every guy I’ve dated for the last 10 or 15 years. The reason I’m still single at 46 is because men do not want to be in committed relationships today unless they want children or are not attractive ENOUGH to get sex regularly, and good ENOUGH in bed to keep women around they can string along. I would love to have a boyfriend who cares about me who I can care about. Evan’s advice has helped me understand men better so I don’t get my feelings hurt as much anymore, but I can be as “cool”, playful, supportive, accepting and sexy as I can be and it won’t help if men don’t actually want to have a girlfriend. They are happy ENOUGH with having several women they can text to come over for sex, using porn in between, and living their lives without a committed relationship. That’s how I am living my life now, too, but not because that would be my first choice. I’m enjoying their company and the fooling around (no intercourse, still following Evan’s advice though it is very hard sometimes) while waiting for one of them to make me a girlfriend, and then just keep moving forward when they inevitably ghost. It is difficult and lonely, but I just keep my chin up and keep dating, hoping a guy who really wants to be in a relationship finally shows up.

    1. 17.1
      Jeremy

      Men who have several women on call for sex likely won’t make good boyfriend/husband material IMHO.  If one spends one’s life practicing piano and getting really good at it, how likely is one, at age 50, to abandon piano for the flute?  If a man spends his whole life practicing for promiscuity and short-term goals, how likely is he to want to commit to one woman?  And if he does commit, how likely will he be to keep that commitment?

       

      For something as important to our long-term happiness as marriage and commitment are, one would think that people would practice for them during their youth rather than practice their antithesis.  If one does not practice at something, how on earth can one expect to be good at it?  Of course, the men in your comment aren’t practicing for marriage likely because they don’t want it.  Don’t see a point to it, have no motivation for it.

       

      Emily asked whether Mr Charisma who has a million options would be tempted to cheat in marriage.  My answer is that it doesn’t depend on how many options he has, it depends on his motivation not to act on his temptations.  Is Mr Charisma also Mr Stupid or Mr Impulsive?

      1. 17.1.1
        Gala

        I think no one should bet the farm on it but stranger things have happened. One of the biggest womanizers that i have ever dated who never wanted wife, kids, family and loved his life seeking all sorts of pleasures, got married in his 50ies (to a somewhat appropriately aged woman). Another guy i know socially married a 29yo woman when he was 50 and they had a child. Both were obviously well to do but thermodynamics wives weren’t poor either. The first has a high powered position, the second from a well to do family. So.. things happen.

        1. Jeremy

          Sure, things happen.  But are they the exception or the rule?  And are such unions more ore less likely to last over time?  Just as my advice to men is to choose a woman who always wanted a man like them (rather than a lane-changer), I’d offer the same advice to women.  Choose a man who always wanted to be married, not one who lived a playboy lifestyle and had an epiphany.  Not because it never works, but because it often pays to play the odds.

      2. 17.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        Is Mr Charisma also Mr Stupid or Mr Impulsive?

        If a woman who has “that thing” decides she wants to settle down, and she lands a man she not only respects as a person but digs as a man, she’s going to know she’s hit the motherlode and probably be happy. If a man has “that thing,” (and I don’t mean he’s hooked up with a lot of women or dated a lot; any man can do that but that he has that extra special something that makes women take notice), if he decides he wants to settle down, I don’t know that it will be the same for him as it would be for his female counterpart. Women aren’t attracted to as large a swath of the male population as men are to the female population. A woman knows when she has landed something good because the probability she’ll meet another man of equal quality who appeals to her and wants her is low. 

        1. Jeremy

          Differing interpretations of what “quality” means, Emily.

        2. S.

          the probability she’ll meet another man of equal quality who appeals to her and wants her is low.

          I don’t know if this is true. Maybe! Maybe as Evan says some women value things other than character and also undervalue compatibility?

          For me it’s not that.  It’s staying too long with the guy with that ‘thing’. Or heck without that thing. 🙂 Just focusing too long on the wrong relationship.  Men seem to let go a bit quicker (I say ‘seem’ because that’s what it looks like on the outside.)  I think there might be a lot of men out there with that thing but you would have to let go of the one you’ve decided on to put yourself out there and meet more of them.

          That may be just me.  Others’ mileage may vary!

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy and S.,

          “That thing” is sexual charisma, but as I wrote he’s a person she also respects. The chances that she would find both in another man who also wants her is low.

  17. 18
    Semi

    Hmmmm……time to re-jack the thread (pun intended)

    I’m probably older than most of the folks that haunt this site and my dating pool is mostly made up of post-menopausal women because I prefer them closer to my own age.

    I simply don’t care if I can get it up and keep it up.  What I do care about is doing the best possible job whether my unit is working or not.  If I’m soft (usually late at night and slightly drunk), I have fingers, a tongue, my beard, and a drawer of toys that I use.  My goal is to make my partner do that near-epileptic, eye rolling, multi-orgasmic thing.  Sometimes I come. sometimes I don’t. As long as she starts snoring lightly afterwards, I’m happy.

    I’ve tried the drugs and they can help but, it feels like my erection is not connected to my brain.  Morning sex is always better.

    There are some women that I instantly respond to and some take a little work.

    My periodic limitations never, ever stop me and sometimes it’s funny.  I just don’t worry about it because I’ve adapted.  I’ve only had one women have a problem with that but I think that was on her, not me.  Needless to say, that relationship was short-lived.

    PIV sex is great when it happens but for me, is not the objective.  If sustained penetration is required, I have my backups.  I think in my case, age is the culprit as opposed to all of the other possibilities discussed previously.

    I think for men, I would say: Overcome, improvise, and adapt.  For the female readers: If he is struggling to get it up, ask for something different but don’t exacerbate the problem.  I think a lot of guys will appreciate exploring the alternatives with you if you ask politely.

    1. 18.1
      Lisa

      I think it depends on the age of your partner.  Many post menopausal women are fine with the type of sex you describe. But a woman in her 30s would likely not be.  And it’s okay to want what one considers a normal sex life.

    2. 18.2
      S.

      This works for me!  Always did in every decade.  Twenties, thirties, forties.  I’m glad too because it means I keep getting to have the sex I like to have no matter how old I am. And no matter how old men get.

      Yippeeeee!

      🙂

  18. 19
    D_M

    Lisa,

    The self esteem issue that you referenced, was on the part of women. That is the question I was asking, not how to boost male egos. Telling men to put down the porn won’t help younger women and it’s never going to happen. Being that we are operating in a porn environment, how should women proceed? The porn bell can’t be unrung. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, porn has always been around. Just google the history of pornography.

    Jeremy and YAG are touching on interesting aspects of this discussion. Jeremy is putting out little bread crumbs about learning how to please your partner, but the audience appears unreceptive. YAG highlights promiscuity, which undoubtedly has contributed to folks figuring out what floats their boat. Going back to the sentiments of my original comment, maybe her bedroom game just needs work. Come on, none of them want any in the morning. How plausible is that? Men in their 20s are generally less experienced than older men, so they are quit content with just being there. Guys in their 30s have had experiences, so let’s not simply chalk it up to porn.

    1. 19.1
      Lisa

      Sorry I thought you meant men. As for women If a man can’t perform in bed it’s going to effect 99% of women’s self esteem I don’t think there is anything that can be done to fix that. And if the reason he can’t perform is due to porn that lowers her self esteem even more. I think the whole thread about learning to please women is being ignored because you can try to please her all you want but if you can’t get it up or orgasm then she’s still not satisfied. Part of satisfying a woman is her seeing you are also turned on and satisfied. As far as saying men are not going to stop watching porn, if it’s more important to them then having a normal sex life that’s certainly their choice but women at least younger women are not going to stay around for that.  Not all men have ED from watching porn so she will just find one without it.

      1. 19.1.1
        Jeremy

        Hi Lisa.  It’s not that I disagree with what you wrote – I don’t.  But rather, it’s that I think that putting this issue in terms of what is good for women is counter-productive.

         

        If I’ve understood the thrust of your comments correctly, you are saying that men who are addicted to porn and have trouble performing with their partners cause psychological harm to those women.  No argument.  But what if the whole reason why the men got into porn to begin with is that they felt that too much emphasis is placed on what women want in society and not enough on what they (the men) want?

         

        Consider, for a moment, the male perspective that no one will ever tell you bluntly:  Men are addicted to female sexuality from the moment they hit puberty, in a way that I don’t think women will ever understand.  Imagine a sailor on a boat, dying of thirst, surrounded by water.  Everywhere he looks he sees what he needs, but he can’t use any of it.  Imagine how that would feel.  A young man entering puberty sees women all around him, knows that they could have sex with him if they wanted, but they don’t want to.  So, addicted to them as he is, he tries to figure out how to get what he wants.  He learns that he needs to court, to plan, to pay, to do the dance that women want him to do before they are willing to give him what he wants.  And as he matures, he finds that if he does the dance enough, he will eventually find someone who will have sex with him, but only for as long as he continues to dance.  Eventually he might ask himself whether there might be an easier way….and he will find porn.  It will be there for him in all its variety and visual stimulation – it will never say no to him, never judge him, never demand anything from him.  It will never make him dance to earn what he wants before he can get it.  Of course, it won’t offer him intimacy.  But intimacy is much higher on the pyramid of needs for men than it is for women.  For women, intimacy is a base need – only once that need is satisfied will most women agree to have sex.  For men, it is the reverse.  Only once they are no longer dying of sexual thirst can they clear their heads enough to think much about intimacy.

         

        So why shouldn’t such a man use porn?  The absolute WORST argument that we can give him is that it will prevent him from satisfying the needs of women.  The needs of women?  That’s all he’s ever heard of his whole life.  Porn is his ESCAPE from the needs of women.  Its raison d’etre is the man who is tired of dealing with the needs of women.

         

        Of course, the problem with my argument is its one-sidedness.  It doesn’t take into account the perspective of women at all – their needs and their trials – but that is by design.  Because the man using porn isn’t interested in them.  If we are to convince young men not to use porn, the reason can’t be to better achieve the needs of women.  It must be to achieve a happier MAN.  Such an argument can be made.  But it must be made in terms of the man’s needs, not the woman’s.  IMHO.

        1. Buck25

          Jeremy, on 19.1.1

          Nailed it! Brilliant!

        2. Lisa

          I don’t think the reason a man should not use porn has anything to do with a woman’s wants or needs.    The reason not to use porn is so that he the man can have a sexual relationship with a real live woman.   Not even a committed relationship just a sexual relationship.   Because if the man cannot perform in bed, then the women will just leave him, so it’s not really about them or their wants or needs, they will find other men to fulfill those needs,  it’s about him wanting to have sex with a real live human.    I mean as a man, would it not bother you if you could not perform in bed?   I suspect it bothers the man more than it bothers the woman, and then of course the woman can just up and leave that situation and find a man that does not have these issues, whereas a man will continue to have these issues no matter who he is with.  So yes sure it does hurt a woman’s self esteem, but her solution is to leave that relationship, and most do.  But what is the man left with?  He still has the problem where he cannot perform in bed and it’s going to continue to effect his relationships, and not just the “intimate” ones, any and all sexual relationships. I think the way to convince young men to not use porn is to show them that it sexually neuters them.    If a man is also tired of dealing with the needs of women, then women are going to want nothing to do with him.    This is indeed about him, not the wants or needs of women.

        3. Jeremy

          Except that it does not neuter the men at all, contrary to one of the articles posted above.  Men who are addicted to porn have lots of orgasms and erections.  Just not with women.  The question such men will have to ask themselves is whether or not they WANT to be with women.  Whether they want to pay the price of having to deal with women’s wants and needs, which are so different than their own.  The way to convince men is not to accuse them of being “neutered.” Nonsense.  Rather, it is the same argument we use against recreational drug use.  Namely, that using heroin, for example, feels so good that it makes other things that SHOULD feel good, not.  A heroin addict loses interest in family, friends, work, hobbies – all he can think of is heroin.  Life loses its meaning in search of positive affect, and so long-term happiness is elusive.
          The reason a man should avoid porn addiction (addiction, not porn) is to prevent the things that SHOULD matter in his life from not mattering.  So that the man in question can achieve happiness, which can only be achieved when relationships and meaning balance positive affect.  The reason a man should avoid addiction is not to better achieve the needs of women, nor is it to prevent women from leaving them.  It is for their own psychological well-being.  Regardless of the presence or absence of a woman in their lives.

        4. S.

          @ Jeremy

          not enough on what they (the men) want?

          The thing is how can women give men what they want and feel emotionally safe doing so.

          I’ll go back to one thing you said:

          they could have sex with him if they wanted, but they don’t want to.

          It’s not that they don’t want to.  When I was twelve I spent so much time thinking about sex.  I found boys attractive.  Wasn’t that I didn’t want to.  But I got my period at age 11. The consequences of having sex then would have been so dire. I saw so many teenage mothers, a few years older than I, going nowhere. People who acted on their desires.  A family friend died of AIDS from her husband when I was 19.   It’s not that we don’t want to.  It’s just that suddenly you as a beginning woman have adult responsibilities. You’re managing birth control, or having a kid, or an abortion, yeast infections, STIs.  And that boy who is 12, 14, 19 isn’t always ready to help shoulder those responsibility with you.  The desire for sex is still strong even with this, but it does put a damper on things.  Even with the strongest desire ever, I never could quite forget that that possible baby/disease/etc. could be in my body.  I worried more about this when I was a teen, you know at peak fertility.  Later I chilled more about it.

          So yes, I know you know this. I just wanted to let you know the desire was there in those women. (Maybe even for you!) And it’s strong. And long after childbearing years are done, those years with that responsibility have shaped who you are.  Like porn, you can’t put that responsibility back in the bottle either.

          One point that makes your point: Would a woman give up her sexual outlets as a single woman because it might affect a future relationship?  How many women will give up reading romance novels because they might give them unrealistic expectations of an actual relationship and those expectations make make it difficult for them to find and keep a relationship?

          Not many.  People need their sexual outlets.  If someone wants an actual, real-life intimate relationship and have found the person they want to be with, well, then they have to figure out whether to continue habits that make that end goal more difficult.  But giving that up before that? Nah, I don’t see it.

        5. Lisa

          @s personally I think attempting to compare how a woman feels post baby to a man who is choosing to jerk off to porn by the other posters offensive and a total lack of understanding and selfishness on the part of the man for his wife, as if she is there solely for his sexual pleasure.  And that’s a big trap that men that watch a lot of porn fall into. Because in porn women never say no, they are always ready for sex and sex anyway he wants it, that’s not realistic. And although he may not realize it a man who uses porn a lot treats women differently than one who doesn’t.   So really it becomes a question of what came first the chicken or the egg? More often than not the excessive porn use precipitated the lack of sexual interest by the woman in her partner not the other way around as many men see it. Let’s be frank here a man turning down sex with a live partner to sit in a room with his hand and a computer is not attractive at all. There seems to be some sentiment that women just have to put up with this but they don’t and they won’t.  When I read some of the posts by men I hear the country song “Don’t take the girl” except it’s replaced with “don’t take the porn.”  The idea that porn is so important that men are willing to give up whatever to have it. That’s really a sad state of affairs for the man who feels that way. If a man prefers porn that’s great he should have a relationship with it and not date real women I don’t take any issue with that.  But many men can’t have both they do have to pick.

        6. Jeremy

          Lisa, you wrote, “@s personally I think attempting to compare how a woman feels post baby to a man who is choosing to jerk off to porn by the other posters offensive and a total lack of understanding and selfishness on the part of the man for his wife, as if she is there solely for his sexual pleasure.”

           

          You are missing the point.  When it comes to the post-partum woman, you write about how the woman FEELS.  The man is ignoring how she feels.  When it comes to the man masturbating to porn, you do not write about how the man FEELS.  You totally miss the point about WHY he is masturbating to porn.  You wrote, “Because in porn women never say no, they are always ready for sex and sex anyway he wants it, that’s not realistic. ”  Do you think there’s a man on Earth who doesn’t know it isn’t realistic?  Did you understand my comment above on what men experience, growing up?  Men get fed up as to what is “realistic,” because what is “realistic” is not set by their own needs but rather the needs of women!  Eventually men get tired of dealing with the needs of others before their own get met….in EXACTLY the same way post-partum women do.  Try to understand this.  Because although you do not need to tolerate a man who does not prioritize you, the notion that your priorities are the ones that matter most is one that I see too often in married partners, male and female, and it is not a notion that is compatible with marriage.

        7. S.

          @Lisa

          personally I think attempting to compare how a woman feels post baby to a man who is choosing to jerk off to porn by the other posters offensive and a total lack of understanding and selfishness on the part of the man for his wife, as if she is there solely for his sexual pleasure.

          When you get married, I can’t think of a situation where sex isn’t a part of the agreement.  If it’s not, then maybe other outlets (other partners, porn, vibrators) are okay.  My point is people need a sexual outlet.  Especially married people.  I completely understand the postpartum woman.  I was the one helping these women with their babies.  I did that work for years, I get it.  But I also don’t think it’s fair to a man to never get sex ever again from his wife after a baby. Or for it to be some rare event.  Marriage is about an agreement.  Both partners have to agree to the terms.

          The physical part aside, sex is also a part of showing love and affection.  We as people need that.  I’ve never been married but I know what it’s like to lie next to someone you love very much and not feel able to touch them or to feel your touch might be rejected.  If it’s not a marriage of convenience, I can’t see why a woman would want her husband to feel like that indefinitely.

          It’s not just about porn.  For many sex is a need and they don’t get married to not have that need met.  And if she can’t meet it after the baby, I don’t feel that’s the end of that conversation.  Some alternatives or therapy or something has to be done to come up with a solution that works for both of them.

          Now if the man is truly a porn addict, was before and during the marriage. Was before and after the baby, that’s a different situation.  That’s about addiction.  But a situation where man who turns to porn solely because is wife can’t or doesn’t want to have sex after kids is completely different than a porn addict in my opinion.

        8. Lisa

          @jeremy yes they are many men that do expect sex to be just like it happens in porn, so they are plenty of men on earth that believe that.   So let’s make the comparison here.  A woman just gave birth to her husband’s child.   She is in pain, she is tired, and she needs time to physically recover.  A man is tired of meeting his woman’s needs and so he sits in a room and jerks off to pictures on a screen?  I am sorry but those are two total different things.   It is understandable that a woman that just had a child would not be physically ready for sex.  It is not understandable that a man would choose to use porn and not have sex with a woman, it is illogical in my mind. If it seem logical to you, great, it does not to me and never will no matter what you say.  I mean honestly to me, that guy is not much of a man at all.   I mean it’s super unattractive.  Have you dudes ever watched yourselves when you do it? Is that attractive, um no ick.    and would I as a single woman give up my sexual outlet in order to have sex with my partner, absolutely!

        9. Jeremy

          Lisa, first of all my comments were not about a woman who is 1 week or 1 month post-partum.  If we can not agree that it is extremely common for women to go off sex from the time of conception to several years post-partum, we have no basis to continue a discussion.

           

          Second, I feel somewhat frustrated here.  Because in spite of my continued efforts to implore you to see a perspective other than your own, you continue to make it all about the woman.  A man watches porn and masturbates – you question his manhood and tell him he looks unattractive.  You claim that you, as a woman, would give up your sexual outlet to have sex with a partner in a minute.  Would you do so if he made you dance whenever you wanted sex?  Seriously – if every time you wanted sex, if every time you reached out to your husband – he told you that you had to put on a hat and tapdance for him first, would you get a bit put off?  And what if he requested the tapdance, you did it, and he then told you he wasn’t in the mood and you had no right to expect anything, no matter how many tapdances you did?  Might you, at some point, seek the sexual outlet you abandoned in favour of partnered sex?

        10. Lisa

          @jeremy absolutely I would give my partner a lap dance every time if that was his thing.  I think the reason I don’t get what you are saying is because I don’t turn my partners down for sex, I actually cannot recall a time that I did.  So my ex had porn induced ED and turned me down for sex.  But somehow you are saying that I should understand that he turned to porn because I turned him down for sex or made him “dance” for me when that was just never the case I initiated.  You make the assumption that women are not the initiators or that women turning men down leads their man to porn but there are plenty of women that are not like that at all, that never turn their man down, that dress up sexy, that are willing to do whatever they want, but yet their partners are using porn and turning them down. So sure I can see that if a man was constantly turned down by his wife that he would turn to porn. But that’s not me, nor is it the majority of women in these situations. We are speaking of two different things. I’m speaking of women who initiate and want more sex, whose men still use porn and ignore them. You are not talking about the same thing. You seem to think it’s always the woman holding the keys to sex and that’s just not true. It may be in your experience but it’s not in many others.  You are looking for a way to blame the woman but it’s just not there in every case.

      2. 19.1.2
        Lisa

        @jeremy, well actually eventually true porn addicts, do start to have ED and DE problems, even with porn, and masturbation over time, so it can neuter a man totally.  If a man’s desire is porn and his hand, than that is his perogative, I have no issues with that. I agree that a man should stop watching porn for himself, but that would only apply if he wants to be in a relationship with another human being. If he does not, then I see no problem with that either.   In general both members of a couple have the want and need to have sex with each other.   Therefore, i cannot really understand why you seem to be trying to hang this issue up on a woman’s “needs.”  I am not sure what that has anything to do with?   So in a relationship a woman’s need is to have sex with her partner and a man’s is what?  Not to have sex with her?

        1. Jeremy

          Lisa, oftentimes in a relationship it is the wife rather than the husband who loses desire for sex.  It usually has nothing to do with porn, but rather simple loss of desire.  This is common as dirt, and often occurs after the first pregnancy.  In such circumstances, the husband finds himself in a quandary similar to the one you described.  In your case, porn was the etiological factor.  Frankly, that makes it easier rather than harder, because you have something tangible to point at.  In cases where a wife has lost desire, though, the husband often tries to get her to consider his desires, similar to how you (and others) were trying to get men to consider the desires of their wives. You wrote “In a relationship a woman’s need is to have sex with her partner and a man’s need is what?”  That is exactly the question that men ask in such a situation.  And the answer is – whatever it is, it isn’t sex.

           

          My point is not to argue with your assertion that “both members of a couple [should] have the want and need to have sex with each other.”  My point is that when one partner doesn’t – for whatever reason – it is because that person has lost the desire to have sex with their partner – and further, lost the desire to WANT to want to have sex.  At that point, only 1 question remains – can the person be motivated to see something in it for themselves to rekindle desire, or not?  If not, the relationship is doomed.  Because no amount of shaming language or external pressure will make someone want something they don’t want.

        2. Lisa

          I think you fall into the trap or common misconception that it’s the men wanting sex and the women turning them down, when often it’s quite the opposite. There are many women in sexless marriages and not because she does not want it.  I have had a higher desire than every man I have ever been with.  And I’m not against using porn, I’m against it when it causes issues sexually in a relationship. So men are turning down their wives because they have sexually expended their energy elsewhere.   I do think the underlying message I’m seeing, and not sure if you consciously are doing it, but that a man’s porn use is somehow the fault of women, and likewise so is his porn induced ED.  Women want the focus on them during sex, she turne d him down a few times, she does not initiate. This is quite common and wrong. If a man can’t perform in bed, the woman is blamed!

        3. S.

          About pregnancy and loss of desire for sex.  Some of that is hormonal.  Hormones change immediately postpartum.  And also hormones shift with nursing if a mom is nursing.  Exclusive breastfeeding on demand can actually inhibit ovulation, when is the time in the cycle when most women really want to have sex.  Sometimes things go back to normal after the baby takes solid food.  Some peoples hormones take a while to return to normal even if they never nursed.

          Another factor–exhaustion.  I once had a job helping new mothers at night–like a baby nurse.  It meant I didn’t sleep.  And I had a full-time day job too.  I was younger then. 😉 I like babies even though I didn’t feel a need then for one of my own.  I worked with twins at night too.  I wasn’t nursing anyone but I got so exhausted after months of this.

          I remember I kept bumping into the the pole you hold onto on the bus when I went home. I’m not an awkward person. I’ve been riding buses since I was six.  I was so tired that I just misjudged the distance. Happened twice–ouch!  If I was so exhausted that I couldn’t get off a bus without bumping my head, I couldn’t see the energy for sex, especially good sex.  It’s not that my hormones were unbalanced or I didn’t want sex. I was just so tired the world kind of was dim.  And the sound of a hungry baby–it silenced all other needs, at least for me.  If I had to go to the bathroom, eat something–nope, baby comes first.

          Don’t new Dads get exhausted too since they are also getting by on three hours of sleep a night for several months since they help bottlefeeding moms with feeding?  Does exhaustion not affect male sexuality?

          Sometimes it really is just sheer exhaustion the first few years.  Not necessarily that a woman just up and stops wanting herr partner.  I’m not sure how to mitigate that or how long that lasts.  But the new baby exhaustion struggle is real.

          I write this stuff because most women I know do really do love and want sex! So maybe it’s not trying to motivate her to want it. She already wants it.  Maybe she needs sleep to have the space to meet that need. It’s her need too.  If it’s hormonal and she’s not nursing, there are people you can consult about that too.

          I believe people can figure it out if they have the emotional and physical reserves to.

        4. Shaukat

          I’ve now read some of the articles/studies from the site posted by Lisa, many of which are quite interesting, but, by their own admission, also quite inconclusive. It should be noted that several were based on self-reporting and laboratory experiments. While the latter are certainly very useful in terms of isolating causal factors in very controlled settings, they are far less useful when it comes to drawing conclusions about real life interactions, which are full of counteracting mechanisms. At any rate, what the research seems to show is that porn addicts require greater stimuli over time to become aroused, which is quite different from medically induced ED. From one of the reviews:

          “We show experimentally what is observed clinically that [compulsive internet pornography use] is characterized by novelty-seeking, conditioning and habituation to sexual stimuli in males” [86]. In a related study, many of these same subjects had also reported sexual arousal and erectile difficulties in partnered sexual activity, but not during Internet pornography use [31]. This implies that Internet pornography-induced sexual difficulties may be partly due to conditioned expectations of novelty that are not matched in partnered sexual activity.”

           

        5. Jeremy

          S., I’ve written about this topic so many times, but to briefly address your questions:

          ”Don’t new dads also get exhausted? Doesn’t exhaustion affect the male sex drive?”  Yes, and no.

           

          WHile it is certainly true that new parents are exhausted, that does not explain the phenomenon.  It isn’t that these women (and yes, it is usually women) want sex but are too tired.  They don’t want it at all.  They resent the hell out of their husbands for even looking at them sexually.  Some of this is hormonal, but much of it is also simple changes in goals/priorities.  And there is absolutely zero guarantee that the libido will return once the baby is older. While this is certainly explainable, it is not justifiable.  One can not lose one’s libido for years and expect a marriage to proceed happily.  And unfortunately, the message that women are getting from society and their friends is that it is not only possible, but their husbands are immature assholes for not expecting it.  Imagine if society told men it was ok not to talk to their wives for years because they were too tired.  A love language is a love language.

           

          Lisa, while it is definitely true that many women suffer through sexless marriages, statistically it is more often women who lose desire at a young age (30s and 40s).  The porn issue is simply giving some women a taste of what men have experienced.  If a man loses his libido is it the woman’s fault?  Maybe, but not necessarily.  Flip the question – if a woman loses her libido, is it the man’s fault?  Depends why she lost it, doesn’t it.  In my own marriage, my wife lost her libido for almost a decade and it was definitely my fault.  I gave her everything she ever wanted, resulting in her not having any reason to prioritize sex.  It was only when I pulled back that sex became a priority for her.  In other marriages, a woman might lose her libido because of a man’s behavior – and so might a man lose his libido.  If a man prefers porn to sex, the reason might be simple addiction or it might be because he feels the sex isn’t worth it to him.  Nothing in it for him.  Same as the woman who loses her libido.

        6. Lisa

          @shukut when my ex developed ED/DE it was totally fixed when he stopped the porn and masturbation.  So what I am saying is do your own research. If a man is having ED and is otherwise physically healthy and using porn/masturbating he should stop to see if that fixes it, studies aside. If it does then he has an answer if not then he can go onto other causes. Does that not make sense?

           

          On the no fap community there are thousands of men who had this exact same issue and fixed it by stopping.

        7. S.

          @Jeremy

          I agree, that it’s absolutely unacceptable to change one’s sexual priorities in a marriage permanently.  Exhaustion and hormones explain the change, but I certainly don’t think that any partner should not try and find solutions.

          It isn’t that these women (and yes, it is usually women) want sex but are too tired.  They don’t want it at all.

          This hasn’t been my experience with my friends.  Maybe the women you know are different.  My friends all wanted sex with their husbands and most of them had it.  I think that maybe one stopped having sex for a long while with her husband.  But that seemed like issues that stemmed long before they had babies.  And they still managed to have two kids without regular sex.

          And unfortunately, the message that women are getting from society and their friends is that it is not only possible, but their husbands are immature assholes for not expecting it.

          I somehow grew up in American society and I never got that message.  Do you think it’s an economic class difference? I grew up working class (perhaps lower) and all my friends who had kids were as well.  (Though most of them are middle class now.)  Is this something that differs for upper class women who stay home?  Maybe that explains the different message?

          I know you have said some of these things before, but I simply have never met a woman, and I’ve known so many women, who thought not having sex with their husband indefinitely was preferred and okay.  I just haven’t seen that. Most of my friends so desired their husbands and were thrilled when they had sex.  I understand if you have seen differently.  I’m just offering my experience and observations into the discussion.

        8. Jeremy

          I appreciate your comment, S.  If you had asked my wife whether or not we still had a sex life during the decade I describe, she would have said yes.  We averaged about twice per month, which was more than enough for her.  And when asked (by me) about it, she thought we did it far more often than we actually did.  Because our memories are fallible and oh so subject to our emotions and what we believe “should have happened.”  The story of our lives that we want to tell ourselves.  That was the irony of “spreadsheet guy” – the guy who recorded his sex life over a month on an Excel spreadsheet and showed it to his wife – the fact that she rejected his advances 8 times out of every 9, yet she still believed they had an ok sex life.

           

          You don’t know any women who believe their sex lives have tanked….but have you asked their male partners?  I believe you’d get quite a different story.  And I have no idea about the effect of SES.  Most of my peers are upper-middle class, more or less.  But the articles I read are directed toward the general population.

        9. S.

          @Jeremy

          I saw that spreadsheet.  I don’t know why she thought that was okay. Most women I know are not that okay with that little sex.  Like I said in other comments, the women I know really like sex!  With kids or without.  Married or not.  They want to have it.

          I don’t think any partner should renegotiate the frequency of sex without the other partner’s input.  That’s not fair.  Now maybe some people think quality is better than frequency? Hmm.  Most women I know want both 🙂 And one shouldn’t have to choose.  But that’s a couples decision that they make together.

          I have not asked the men.  That can be rather personal!  And I don’t know the men as well, honestly.  There is one couple I know well. I was good friends with the woman and now am good friends with both.  Their marriage ended and yes, the sex was lacking in the latter part of the marriage.  My female friend wanted it!  She always thought he was so hot. I do remember when it looked like she was falling for someone else, it was completely out in the open, I asked was he worried? He wasn’t. He was completely fine and open to polyamory.  I think that in this case he and my friend fell out of love and ended up good friends.  The lack of sex and her falling for someone else only happened because their marriage had just slowly withered.  There was a point earlier when my female friend so wanted to save it but years passed and she couldn’t try and save the marriage without his help.

          I know him better now.  He can get really set in inertia sometimes.  Sometimes it’s depression, sometimes it’s the hyperfocus of his ADD, sometimes I don’t know.  But you can’t get him moving until he’s ready.  I never ask about sex because well, he’s still a teeny bit sad over the end of the marriage and at the same time it’s all so water under the bridge at this point.

          It’s been several years.  I don’t see him often but maybe one day I will ask.  I honestly think the question is more about his tendency to be inert, rather than sex.  But when I have a friend, I accept their flaws and stop questioning them about them after a while. Even as a friend, I would have to think carefully how I’d say it.

        10. Nissa

          Jeremy, I think you hit on a really important point: My point is that when one partner doesn’t – for whatever reason – it is because that person has lost the desire to have sex with their partner – and further, lost the desire to WANT to want to have sex.

          In my relationships, I definitely had sex with my partner when I wasn’t really into it at the start. Usually this was because I was in the middle of something else, tired or not feeling particularly sexy. But I almost never said no. I didn’t know that there were a lot of women who didn’t have sex during their periods until I’d been married for years. (Maybe it’s a Christian thing?) But once I got started, I was almost always swept away by the loving feelings generated by touch, smell and feel.

          To me, this speaks highly to your point of whether or not the person WANTS to want it. Because I wanted to want my partner, to please him, and because it did not ask more of me than I was able to give, I could do that.

          Now in my other relationship, I could have offered what the other person wanted, but I didn’t want to. I was too angry with her, too resentful of her desires, felt too harassed by her. The gap between what she wanted and what I was willing to offer was too wide.

          That’s why, in your wife’s mind, you two have a sex life by having sex twice a month. Not only did it meet her needs, but was in excess of her needs, in excess of her wants. That means every time she had sex, she was doing it for the other person in spite of what she wanted. When you are doing something for someone, and not only do they not appreciate your sacrifice, but badger you about not giving more – hell no, you are not going to want to give more.

          That’s a mismatch. Both sides would be in error to blame the other for having whatever wants and needs they have. It’s not reasonable to demand that others want what we want (and is very unlikely to happen). It’s more loving to accept what they can and can’t offer, and recognize when what once matched, no longer matches.

          If I was in your wife’s shoes, I would have to honestly evaluate how much sex I wanted. If you could not accept twice a month, then a break up would be appropriate in my mind. If I could tolerate giving sex more often, that would be a good compromise – but that is only possible when each partner is willing to boldly claim what they want and what they are willing to offer. If I wanted no sex at all and wanted to stay married, I would consider giving the husband a free pass in regard to sex so long as he was discreet.

          It always comes back to each of us being responsible for our own lives, that we are never victimized by someone else, we always have the power of choice.

      3. 19.1.3
        Yet Another Guy

        @Lisa

        if the man cannot perform in bed, then the women will just leave him, so it’s not really about them or their wants or needs, they will find other men to fulfill those needs, 

        You just supported Jeremy’s thesis.  There is nothing about the needs of the man in your assertion.  Performing in bed is about meeting the needs of a woman, not his own.  A man who is using porn is getting his needs met, quite expediently I may add.

         

        1. Jeremy

          Their short-term needs, certainly.  Their long-term needs are often neglected.  Problem is, they can’t think so far ahead, doped-up as their brains so often are.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          I agree that there may be a price to pay, but I find the “she will leave him if he cannot maintain an erection and orgasm inside of her” argument to be quite sophomoric.  That is not a very welcoming way for a woman to induce a man a to please her. If a man is having performance problems in the bedroom, the last thing he needs is for a woman to put pressure on him.  That pretty much ensures that things will not improve.

          I wonder how many women would get pissed if the guy they were with insisted that they swallow and do anal?  I have lost count of the number of women who have said “no” to both of those requests.  Better yet, allow a man to tie them up, apply ball gag, and drip hot candle wax on their bodies.  I personally would rather go without oral sex if I have to worry about orgasming in a woman’s mouth.  That completely kills it for me.  It is not like I say, “I will go down on you, but do not squirt in my face.”  I can assure any man who has never had that happen to him that it comes as quite a shock the first time it occurs, especially if a woman is a heavy squirter. If a woman wants a man to concentrate on pleasing her, she needs to remove the word “no” from her vocabulary.

          The thing on which I will agree with Buck25 is that post-menopausal women who are still sexually active are a hell of lot more fun in bed than pre-menopausal women. Why? Because they have no preconceived notions about what has to occur, nor are they judgemental when they climb into bed with a man. They do not freak out if a man does not climax during intercourse. For them, the journey is as important as the destination.  A post-menopausal woman is also very appreciative of a man who takes his time to please her because she is also often struggling with the effects of aging on her own sexuality.

          As to modern forty-something women, well, I dated mostly women who were in their mid-to-late forties when I first re-entered the dating pool.  I could not get over how many of these women wanted really rough sex, sex rough enough to leave bruises all over their bodies.  We are talking about being seriously manhandled with hair pulling and choking. While I was with a few women who liked rough sex before I married, it is like the Internet has created a whole new breed of sub-fifty-something woman. I am curious if these women also watch too much porn.

        3. Lisa

          Again @yet another guy I think you are missing what I am saying. A man that has age related ED is totally different than a man with porn induced ED that won’t fix it by stopping.  If a man is getting his needs met with porn so be it, I just have zero desire to be with that man. I suppose I am making the assumption that sex with a real live human is better than taking matters into your own hands in front of a tv screen.  And it’s a woman’s need to have sexual intercourse, a man is perfectly fine with being limp and unable to. And and still do not see how this is about a woman’s needs. I just don’t see it.  And asking for anal or swallowing is different. A man with PIED is not gaining pleasure of able to complete most Acts alone whereas a woman who does not like anal, or swallowing is still willing and able to do other things.  I personally am open to whatever a guy notes.  But anal sex is painful and I’m not sure why a man would want his partner in pain.  I know I kmow porn shows you that women love that stuff all women right?  But since you still think this has to do with a woman’s needs, tell me what should she do to get and keep the man from choosing porn over her?

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          If a woman wants a man to concentrate on pleasing her, she needs to remove the word “no” from her vocabulary. 

          You have posted this “remove no from her vocabulary” SO many times. There are women who will do whatever you want but they cost money. 

        5. Jeremy

          You can’t necessarily get a porn-addicted man to choose sex with you over porn, as I think you know.  THe problem is that the harder you try, the more guilt and stress you put on him, the more he will want to self-medicate with the porn – the point of which is to give stressless pleasure.  All you can do is to make life with you as stressless as possible and get him into an addiction recovery program.  Failing that, leave the marriage if your needs are not being met and you find the situation intolerable.  There are plenty of men out there who are still happy to have sex with a real woman and don’t find the price too onerous.

  19. 20
    Buck25

    Jeremy,

    That’s an interesting theory you posit in 17.1  I hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but intuitively, it makes sense. I wonder if that underscores the idea that a man may have a few tipping points in his life, where what he chooses might send him down one course or the other, i.e. toward or away from  relationships/marriage? Once a player, always a player? I think I recall a couple of places in my own life, where that sort of shift might have taken place, but didn’t, for one reason or another. Then again, we never know what was down the path not taken, do we?

    1. 20.1
      Jeremy

      I don’t know if it’s that “once a player always a player.”  I know examples of players who married – both male and female.  But as I’ve written so many times, motivation is what matters because it will dictate the future.  If a man was a player, WHY was he a player?  Was it because he craves novelty?  If so, he will always do so.  That doesn’t mean he won’t be able to maintain a monogamous married life if he so chooses, but rather that married life will pose a unique challenge for him to overcome his own internal desires in favour of what he “should” want.  Which will prevail, his frustration or his guilt?  Thankfully I don’t have that problem in my marriage, because novelty was never my thing.

       

      I think that some personalities lend themselves better to married life than others – it is easier for some versus others.  Not because they lack options, but because the options matter less to them.

      1. 20.1.1
        Buck25

        Jeremy,

        Yes, perhaps that is so. Then again, I wonder if the options are quite the same, or mean quite the same thing, at different life stages. At least, I find that that both as they were at 35, seem very different at twice that age, and there are times now, when I wonder, what is relevant now, and what no longer is. A strange place sometimes, this time of contemplation, in the twilight of life..

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