My boyfriend and I recently started having sex. Up until this point, we had been very active together sexually with no problems whatsoever. However, now that sex has entered the picture, things have taken a bit of a turn. The first time we tried to have sex (which he was very enthusiastic about getting to throughout our entire relationship), he couldn't get hard. We tried again the next morning and he managed to get hard, but couldn't maintain his erection; subsequent times, it's been up-down-up-down throughout all of our sexual activities. Needless to say, we're both pretty frustrated with the situation, and it has led to several exasperated conversations about the source of the problem and our sexual dynamic. I'm new to sex and still experience some discomfort when we do it; when we tried discussing our problem last, he confessed that when I tell him that it's hurting, the idea that he's causing me pain makes him lose his erection. Obviously, I want to enjoy sex and it doesn't seem reasonable for me to say nothing when I'm feeling pain, but I also don't want him losing all desire to touch me because it hurts sometimes. I think it's really important that we work through whatever isn't working, but he just gets really upset with himself and it makes me want to just keep my mouth shut. I try to be as sensitive as possible when talking to him about everything because I know it's a sensitive subject; I never imply that he's doing something wrong or that the problem is one sided or that there's even a "problem," because honestly I think we just haven't hit our stride yet. But we're never going to get there if we can't communicate about it and he just seems to get more stressed and upset the more I try to discuss it. The fact that this was never a problem before makes me pretty certain that it's a psychological issue, not a physiological one. He has a history of pretty significant depression that started many years ago after an old girlfriend had an abortion. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to draw some lines connecting those experiences with difficulty with sex. I just don't know what to do about it; I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I try to talk about it, he gets more upset and frustrated, but if we don't work it out, nothing is going to get any better. I am very much in love with him and see a real future with this relationship, but I don't know how to be supportive but productive in this unfamiliar territory.
Okay so let me try to understand the situation. You are saying that you both were active sexually before the relationship and there were no problems? And you have gotten this information about his previous experiences from talking to him?
Tell us more about the painful part for you. Is it painful because of the need for more lubrication, the angle? What is causing the pain. I am thinking maybe if you remedy at least that part of things, things will be better.
It sounds like maybe you have hit upon something...that there may be some psychological things going on as far as your boyfriend's issues during sexual intercourse. He may feel pressure or fear judgement or maybe it does have to do with things that happened in the past.
I am thinking that in this case...more talking and more focus on the "problem" will just make your boyfriend more uncomfortable. Maybe take any pressure off peformance for him and just enjoy the moments no matter the outcome.
If depression is a cause of this of course therapy might help him but...it would be up to him to seek treatment.
I do hope things will work out eventually for you two. Sometimes by de-focusing the sexual issues...makes it easier for you both to relax.
Thank you for your question.