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The Heartbreak of Male Performance Anxiety

I get a dozen or so messages a month on this topic. I’ve written about it in numerous postings and spoken about it in several podcasts, but still the email comes.

One of the real bugaboos for anyone, regardless of gender, is living up to our own expectations of sexual performance. So many things can get in the way, literally and figuratively, of fully enjoying ourselves and/or pleasuring our partners.

The arousal stage of our sexual response cycle is particularly vulnerable to a disruption. And when there’s trouble there, there’s no hiding it. A limp dick or a dry pussy can put the kibosh on all festivities that we may have hoped would follow.

However, performance anxiety can strike any of us, regardless of age, and at just about any point in our sexual response cycle. This is a particularly galling when it seems to come out of the blue. And regaining our composure can be more far more difficult than we imagine.

Today we will be focusing on male performance anxiety.  I’ll address female performance anxiety at a later date.

Here’s Bob, he’s 26:
Doc, this has never happened before. But I couldn’t get it up tonight, and this chick was H.O.T. Now I’m not gay at all, but I haven’t had sex in about 3 years because I was locked up…so I masturbated pretty regularly, about 3 or 4 times a week. But I can’t figure out why I was soft… the only thing I can think of is I ate clams tonight and I’ve never had them before. Could it be that or should I get checked out?

It weren’t the clams, darlin’! And I don’t think you need to get “checked out” either…at least not right away. If you could back away from the situation a bit and stop freaking out, I think you’d discover the source of your problem all on your own.

Here’s the thing—while you were out of commission there in the slammer, you relied, as you say, on jerking off. Okay, cool. We all do what we gotta do. Now the first time you try to score after your release…you go soft. This tells me you have a mild case of performance anxiety. We all get that from time to time.

There’s probably nothing wrong with you or your johnson. You just got the jitters first time you tried to get you some after being away, that’s all.

The anticipation of boning this H.O.T. chick—fueled by some predictable self-consciousness; what with just getting out of the big house and all—pulled the plug on your wood. No surprise there, right?

What I don’t want to see happen is for you to replay the incident over and over in your mind’s eye til that’s all you can think about. If you do, this proverbial molehill will become a mountain. You’ll then bring all this anxiety to your next encounter, setting yourself up for even more disappointment. You can see how this shit can snowball? If you interpret every less than satisfying encounter as a failure, your fears will become self-fulfilling. You’ll begin to avoid partnered sex and you’ll develop a full-blown sexual dysfunction. And your self-esteem will take a nosedive, too.

If you’re preoccupied with your performance, it’s less likely that you’ll be fully present during sex with a partner. This pretty much fucks up your sexual responsiveness and any hope for spontaneity. Why not just relax into the whole sex thing and not try to prove your manhood with your pecker?

Then there’s Steve with a slightly different take on this meddlesome problem:

My partner and I have been together for just over 3 years now in a monogamous relationship. I am the top and he the bottom. Our problem is not premature ejaculation on his part, but his inability to have an orgasm at all. No matter what I try and even if he masturbates, sometimes it is impossible to get him to cum. Is this a medical issue? Have you ever heard of this?

Delayed ejaculation is the difficulty one has ejaculating even with a firm erection and sufficient sexual arousal and stimulation. This problem is not uncommon. For most men, delayed ejaculation occurs during partnered sex more frequently than while masturbating. In fact, 85% of men with delayed ejaculation can usually cum by jacking off. However, in partnered sex, the guy may be unable to ejaculate at all, or only after prolonged partnered stimulation. This problem can be very frustrating and cause distress for both partners involved, as you already know.

What causes delayed ejaculation? Well, it could be a number of things. It could be something as simple as performance anxiety, or inadequate stimulation, or there could be neurological damage.

I don’t want to be too reductionist here, but most of us experts believe that the majority of instances of delayed ejaculation aren’t physical in nature, but rather are the product of psychological concerns. Simply put, there’s a difference between the psychosexual response we have when we are alone and the one we experience with a partner. There’s probably nothing wrong with your partner’s unit. It’s all in his head…or his mind, to be more exact. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s got a real bad case of performance anxiety.

When I see this sort of thing in my private practice, I always begin the therapeutic intervention by calling a moratorium on fucking of any kind. This immediately takes the pressure off the couple. From there we begin to rebuild the partnered psychosexual response one step at a time. We begin with sensate focus training (Sensate Focus is a series of specific exercises for couples that encourage each partner to take turns paying increased attention to their own sensations. More about these helpful exercises in the weeks to come.), stress reduction and relaxation exercises. These applications are designed to reduce performance pressure and instead focus on pleasure. The idea is to get them to stay in the moment; absorb the pleasure present without worrying about what is “supposed” to happen.

Finally we address as frankly and openly as possible any fears or anxieties that they may have—as individuals or as a couple. I have the greatest confidence in this method; it succeeds over 90% of the time.

Ok, let’s recap shall we?

Overcoming sexual performance anxiety is dependent on five simple things.

  • First, a guy needs to be attuned to his sexual response cycle — arousal, plateau, orgasmic and resolution phases. He should know what kind of stimulation he needs at each phase to fully enjoy himself and satisfy his partner.
  • Second, the more worried a guy is about a performance issue, the more likely that problem will present itself. A bad experience in the past can often set the stage for its recurrence.
  • Third, don’t be afraid to talk this over with your partner. Withdrawing from your partner or shying away from sex altogether will only increase the likelihood that the problem will persist.
  • Forth, be proactive! Fearing the loss of your sexual prowess or feeling sorry for yourself is counterproductive. Confront the challenge head on. Employ sensate focus training stress reduction techniques and relaxation exercises to help you push past this temporarily impasse and regain your self-confidence.
  • Fifth, free yourself from the mindset that your dick is the center of the universe. Your manhood or your capacity to be a great lover does not reside in your genitals. Expand your sexual repertoire. Remember, pleasure centers abound in your body as well as your partner’s.

Good luck!

LORDY, LORDY, LORDY!

Hey Dick!
As you know, I am an escort. My business is doing very well. In fact, so well I need to ask if you know of any meds, besides Viagra, that I can take that will help me maintain an erection over a longer period of time?
Can I be frank? Here’s the deal, let’s say I have I have two one-hour clients during the day. Then a regular of mine calls and wants an all-nighter. That’s not a problem other than the fact that this particular client wants to get fucked hard. I mean real hard, for hours at a time. He’s an insatiable power bottom.
I want to be able to ride his ass, like the bitch he is. Hell, I’m even attracted to him. I just can’t stay hard enough to fuck him like he likes (especially after having had the two clients before him that same day). Sometimes I have difficulty getting it up for him, and wind up finger-fucking him till my hand is sore. I do not want to lose this client. And shifting days is not the solution. Because when he wants it he wants it and I have to produce. That’s what I do, I sell “muscle.” I have a reputation for giving the best hard driving, dominating and controlling sex around.
Again, is there a medication I can take to maintain the erection?
— Works Hard

Dear WH,

Your life reads like a cheap porn movie script. Lordy, the good doctor nearly got the vapors simply reading through your very explicit missive. (As you can see, I had to edit out some of the more gory details so I could protect your identity in this public forum.) Of course, as you suggest, it never hurts to advertise. You’re so bad!

I thoroughly understand the pressures you and other sex workers face. It’s not as glamorous a life as it is often portrayed, huh? Ok, so you’re beautiful, men idolize you and crave your attention. You’re getting loads of sex, putting all those “bitches” in their place, and crying all the way to the bank to boot. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. But then again, there are all those sniggling performance issues that even a he-man like you must contend with.

The trouble lies in the fact that you are a workaholic. And that’s never good, regardless of the work one does. Sex work, like any other work, will burn you out if you’re not careful. If you don’t learn to pace yourself, darlin’, you’ll fizzle. (How’s that for an appropriate euphemism?) And from what you tell me, this is already beginning to happen. Keep it up (no pun intended), and you won’t be the first causality in this line of work, nor will you be the last. But If you ask me, and I happen to know a little something about sex work myself, the object here is to grow old (or older in your case) in your chosen profession.

I’m tellin’ ya, WH, if the erectile burnout don’t get ya the psychological torment will. I’ll bet you’re terrified the word will get out that Mr. Big-Beautiful-29-year-old-Stud-Power-Fucker can’t get it up. That would be real bad for business. And you know how those johns can gossip. Bitches! They don’t know that you’re servicing men at a rate that would make a superhero blush. All they see is limp willie and that spells trouble right there in River City.

It’s not surprising that you are having erection concerns given the number of clients you are seeing in one day. I mean, girlfriend, when do you find time to eat? You don’t need a new med, you need a vacation. If Viagra and a good cock ring don’t do the trick, then, in my humble opinion, your body is telling you to slow the fuck down.

And here’s another tip; research is beginning to show that prolonged and persistent use of Viagra can have some very unpleasant side effects. Those who overuse this potent cardiovascular drug, particularly young men who use it recreationally, may be in for some very unpleasant surprises down the road. So, I have one simple suggestion, WH, have a care about your sexual wellbeing and treat your dick gently. Despite the pounding you can inflict with it, it is a very delicate mechanism.

Good Luck

Dude dilemmas…

Name: Mike P
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: LA
My girlfriend needs to watch lesbian porn to get off and sometimes kicks me out of the bedroom to masturbate by herself. Initially I was turned on by her desire to watch porn — but now — it’s become a blockage. She always needs porn. I am frustrated and to make things worse — she has started abusing me through financial manipulation. She makes me pay her rent — pay for her food, pay for everything — and she never gives me nookie.
Should I leave this woman?

Time to wake up, fella! Your “girlfriend” — and you’ll notice I put that term in quotes — is decidedly not YOUR girlfriend, and possibly not any dude’s girlfriend.

I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and say; I think your “girlfriend” is a certifiable, died-in-the wool, muff-divin’, coozie-lovin’ lesbitarian. All that’s really left for her to do to make the picture perfectly clear…even for you, is to show up one day in a mullet and a plaid flannel shirt. Holy cow, Mike, how is it that you are missing the obvious?

Listen, bub, it’s clear to me, you’re excess baggage. She keeps you around for comic relief…oh and to foot the bill.

Should you leave this woman, you ask. Honey, she’s beaten you to the punch on that one. She’s long gone and left you way behind, at least emotionally and sexually. All that’s left for you to do is find the door and say good-bye to this embarrassing situation.

Name: Leslie
Gender:
Age: 46
Location: Brisbane
Will bicycling make me impotent?

YIKES Leslie, what kind of bike riding are you doing that would put such a notion in your head?

My initial response to your question, of course, was a wisecrack. “Sure, bike riding will make you impotent if you get your balls caught in the spokes. Throw those things over your shoulder when you ride, for christ sake!”

Then I thought to myself, “Wait, what does Leslie mean by impotent?” I know lots of people confuse and/or conflate the two very different concepts of impotency and sterility. So maybe this is an opportunity to sort this out some.

Impotence is characterized by a dude’s inability to develop or maintain an erection. And I suppose extreme bike riding, like the kind I often see on TV, could possibly cause this condition. Especially, if you are knocking your cock around enough to cause your darling little willie serious injury.

Male sterility, on the other hand, is the inability of the male reproductive system (a dude’s balls, basically) to produce enough (or even any live) sperm for the purpose of impregnation. The reason I bring this up is, I know fertility specialists are very concerned about men wearing tight-fitting underwear and pants for long periods of time. (We used to call these cheap hotel pants — there’s no ballroom! Get it?) Tight fitting garments elevate a man’s nuts to the base of his pelvis, which in turn increases the temperature in his huevos. Too much heat kills the little juniors in our baby-batter, don’t cha know!

The reason evolution designed our family jewels to reside outside our bodies and actually hang off of and away from our bodies is so that all our adorable little sperm buddies can stay relatively cool and comfortable till they blissfully shoot out of our dick into a vagina, asshole, condom or Kleenex.

Tighty-whities and all such things, particular those obscenely clingy spandex (which is basically glorified plastic) bike shorts makes things even hotter.  They’re notorious sperm killers! So in a way, Leslie, yes, biking can make you sterile if not impotent.

Good Luck ya’ll!

A Spot of Heavy Breathing

Name: Bob
Gender: male
Age: 40
Location:
I’m a bisexual male. Recently I’ve been seeing this black guy, 25 years old, with a very big 9” very thick cock. We’ve been suckin’ and he’s been fuckin me. But most recently he’s been wanting me to get together with two or three of his friends and have a party. I mostly want to do it, but I’m a little scared. Would I be able to handle 2 or 3 guys? Would I be able to take all their cocks up my ass? I need some advice.

Bob, you are a little breathless, huh? I’m so delighted you stopped by with this tantalizing tidbit. So let’s get this straight, so to speak. You’ve got this heavy hung black dude, 15 years your junior, rockin’ your world with his thick 9”. Oh sure, count your money in front of the poor, why don’t cha? Say, all of us here at Dr Dick’s Sex Advice are wondering; how in the world did you get this dazzling urban specimen to tap your honky ass in the first place?

But there’s more…besides your amazing good fortune with this one fella, your young playmate wants to introduce you to a few of his big boned bruthas for some hot group action. Mmmm, how you do go on, sir! I suppose it’s only natural to be a bit intimidated, what with all that weighty pipe that will be swinging around. All I can say is I hope you film the event for posterity, darling. Because if you don’t no one, not even me, will ever believe you.

You want some advice? How could I possibly advise someone who can handle…and I quote “a very big 9” very thick cock.” If that’s truly the case, you don’t need nothin’ from me. Let’s just hope your hole will be able to withstand the massive gang fuck. And that’ll depend on one thing — you being as big of an insatiable bottom as you are a braggart. If you are, you’ll have no trouble at all.

Good luck…you’re gonna need it.

Name: Ben
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Location: New York, New York
Dr- I have read up on some of the questions you have answered and realized why my penis is curved. Because I began to masturbate in sixth grade! (The older boys on the bus encouraged me too) Now I know that this may sound dumb. But is there any way to fix this? I haven’t ever even had a blowjob, or hand job because I’m so timid about a girl seeing my penis. I’m also scared to call anywhere, and when the doctor asks me if I have any questions about my body I’m even to scared to say yes to that. Should I ask the doctor about it just too see if there is a way to fix my penis, or is there a natural way to fix it with a special kind of vitamin that I can take? Thanks a ton! -Ben

Hey Ben, why are you being such are a scaredy cat? I mean how bad a curve does your dick have that you would avoid a blowjob or even a hand job when offered? Is it really that misshapen? I mean, how many erect cocks have you seen in your short life span that you can say for sure that your unit is so fatally flawed? Can you be absolutely certain that the curve of your johnson isn’t just a normal variation on an otherwise handsome and hearty tool?

Listen pup, even a precocious masturbator like you is unlikely to change the shape of his willie simply by jerking off. That’s not to say that one’s dick can’t run into trouble from injury or abuse. For as hearty a plaything as it is, our cock, it is a relatively delicate instrument. When you get a woody, your cock is engorged with oxygen-rich blood, which is essential for the upkeep of the smooth muscle tissue. This kind of tissue makes up about 90% of your cock. So you can see how a healthy circulatory system is to a vibrant sex life.

If you dissected your woody and looked at a cross-section you’d see three distinct spongy tubular structures, each are made up of smooth muscle tissue. Two of these tubular structures — one on either side of your cock, both of which run the length of your cock — are called the corpora cavernosa. These marvelous structures become engorged with blood lifting and thickening your cock to erection. The corpus spongiosum, the third tubular structure is located just below the corpora cavernosa. This baby houses your urethra, through which urine and semen pass during urination and ejaculation, respectively. This may also become slightly engorged with blood, but less so than the corpora cavernosa.

An oxygen-deprived cock will build up a kind of plaque, which resembles scar tissue. This will cripple a dude’s rod (Peyronie’s disease) or rob him of his wood altogether. However, I don’t think this is the case for you.

So before you start tryin to “heal” or “fix” yourself with some contraption or herbal supplement visit a doctor first. If you’re too timid to make an appointment with your family physician, go to a free clinic, or neighborhood clinic near you. You’re living in the big apple for crying out loud; you have all these great resources available to you.

Good luck

Catalyst

Hey sex fans,

We got a handful more than a handful of interesting toys to tell you about today, so let’s get at it.

Our first product comes to us from a manufacturer new to our product review effort. We welcome Xmybox.  Don’t ya just love that name?

Here’s Dr Dick Review Crew member, Christa with the lowdown.

Dew Drop —— $59.95

Christa
Happy New Year, fellow perverts! I’m beginning my 3rd year with the Dr Dick Review Crew, if you can believe that. I remember back in November 2008 when I got my first assignment, I was like blown away with all the free stuff. Then I realized that I was being offered all the products that no one else wanted to review. I imagined Dr Dick saying; “lets give this to that freak Christa, she’ll love it!”

Hey, I don’t mind, I am a freak and proud of it. Besides, I think us freaks have a shit-load more fun then the rest of you. But I digress.

Now that I’m a long-term reviewer, I’m getting more mainstream stuff to review. That’s fine by me too. Take today’s product, for example. There’s nothing freaky or even kinky about the Dew Drop. It’s basically a vibrating egg made of hard plastic. There are a few interesting features beyond the obvious, like it has it’s own handle. They call a “dropper”, that kind of attaches to the egg, by way of a clear plastic cord. This makes the insertion of the vibrating egg into a pussy (mine or yours) pretty easy. A nice personal lube is required; at least it is for me. And since the Dew Drop is hard plastic, you can use whatever kind of lube you want. I used a silicone-based lube.

Once the egg is deposited in said pussy (mine or yours) you remove the “dropper” leaving the clear plastic cord. It’s exactly like a tampon, only completely different.

And get this; the vibrating egg is operated by a remote control, which is very, very cool. Those tiny watch batteries operate both the egg and the controller and they are included in the package, thank you very much!

The vibration is not going to knock your socks off, but there are 6 vibration patterns and 8 speeds. The controller is easy to handle and operate and is effective from up to 10 yards away.

Of course, once my sub, butt-boy BF, Alex saw the Dew Drop he wanted to try it in his ass. He’s this total ass whore, ya know. But I refused. Not that I don’t think his hungry hole couldn’t accommodate the modestly sized egg, on the contrary. It’s that I didn’t trust the clear plastic cord or its connection to the egg to withstand pulling the egg out of his ass. This is regrettable! Because I would have had a load of fun remotely operating the vibration while it was lodged in his ass and we were at the Homo Depot! Maybe the Xmybox folks could work on a model that didn’t have such a flimsy connection.
Full Review HERE!

Now a couple of swell toys from our favorite retailer — Adult Sex Toys .com.

Nexus O —— $73.92

Kevin
I’m starting off the new year with an excellent toy. Allow me to introduce you to the brilliant O from Nexus.

But before I get to the review I have a bone to pick. The package says that the O a male G-spot massager. I have a big problem with that. I assume the Nexus people are trying to educate the public about the male prostate, or P-spot, but likening it to a G-spot, I think, only muddies the waters. To tell you the truth, I don’t much like the term P-spot either. It’s so adolescent.

Listen folks, men have prostates. Your prostate is a highly erogenous zone, if you’ve discovered yours or not. Stimulating your prostate is not only intensely pleasurable, but it’s also beneficial in terms of prostate health. So if a company like Nexus wants to educate the public about this, I suggest that they quit beating around the bush and call a spade a spade. That’s what I’m going to do.

The Nexus O is an extraordinary prostate massager. It has an amazingly simple design, but it delivers a surprising amount of stimulation. Its velvety feel comes from it being fashioned from 100% high-grade silicone. It has three pleasure points (balls) that arouse the two major pleasure points on a guys anatomy; the prostate and the taint (perineum), and area just behind your nuts. And the unique O design keeps the massage in place.

Having the Nexus O stay in place is essential to its effectiveness, because this is supposed to be a hands-free pleasure device. You can wear it while you’re beatin off, while you’re goin down on your partner, or while you’re fuckin you’re partner. It’s that brilliant.

Regular prostate massage considerably increases my ejaculate. I also find that, if I wear the Nexus O for at least a half hour before Gina and I play together, my erection is stronger and lasts longer. I’m not sure why this is, it I can vouch for the effect.

There are no batteries to worry about; in fact, it’s not actually a vibrator. It’s a massager that works its magic while I sit on it, rock back and forth or just walk around. I can clench my sphincter muscles while I have the Nexus O wedged in my ass, I can also work on my kegels. These are indispensable exercises for any guy who is into his ass. The Nexus O is decidedly low-tech, but it works. Instructions for use are on the inside panel of the package insert.
Full Review HERE!

As you will see, Denise takes me to task for an unintended oversight.

Alumina Pace —— $59.71

Denise
I had to have a little talk with Dr Dick a while back. I noticed that all the cool anal toys, like butt plugs, were being reviewed by only the guys in the Review Crew. “What’s up with that,” I asked. “A lot of us ladies like ass play too.” In his defense, Dr Dick said that he’s an equal opportunity ass-pleaser. And if I wanted to pleasure myself where the sun don’t shine, he had just the thing for me.

As luck would have it, my challenge to the boys only rule, which wasn’t really a rule, came at them most opportune time. It scored me this stunning 100% aeronautic grade aluminum plug, the Alumina Pace, by Tantus.

Tantus is famous for their beautiful silicone toys. We’ve reviewed several of them already. And as much as I love silicone, this aluminum plug is everything I could want.

The Alumina Pace is both stylish and functional. It is not a particularly big insertable; it’s about five inches long and the diameter is 1 1/4″ at its widest point. And it’s actually a doubleheader. You can insert either end!

The aeronautic grade aluminum is, of course, phthalate-free and non-porous. The Alumina Pace can be sterilized, which is important if you wish to share it with someone else. Soap and water is all you need for general cleanup, but you can also toss it in the dishwasher, boil it, or wipe it down with a 10% bleach or peroxide solution. It’s that easy.

The heft of the aluminum is also a plus. This distinguishes this plug from say a silicone plug. The extra weight is really nice. The teardrop shape of the one head and the bulbous shape to the other head both make for easy insertion and comfortable wearing. But both ends provide distinctive sensations.

The Alumina Pace can be both warmed and chilled for added sensations. If you’ve never had an insertable that you can enjoy in this fashion, I highly recommend you give it a try.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

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