QUESTION: This is kind of embarrassing, but if anyone can help, it’s probably you guys. I’ve been with my girlfriend for a few years now and she’s a bit younger than I am. When we first started dating, I had no problem getting it up in the bedroom. But lately, I either can’t get it up or I finish too quickly. She’s been incredibly understanding and supportive, and I love her for that. But I hate that the sex isn’t as good as it could be because of me. I’d really rather not take a little blue pill. Do you guys have any other suggestions?
CHELSEA SAYS: First of all, kudos to your girlfriend for being so supportive; she’s definitely a keeper. And it also shows that your relationship is based on much more than just sex or money.
Believe it or not, your age might not even have anything to do with your problem. Yes, your sex drive takes a hit as you get older, but there are plenty of other factors that can influence your ability to get hard and stay hard. For example, alcohol, excessive caffeine, and even smoking can all have an impact on your tool—try steering clear of all three if you foresee sex. It’s also possible that you’re just not mentally and physically in the mood—being tired, distracted, or stressed about something can also have an impact on your sex drive.
There are a few things you can try in the bedroom to help add a little zest to your sex life. Not that there’s anything missing from your relationship, but sometimes trying something new or different can be fun, and that jolt of excitement might be all you need to get up and running again. Here are a few tricks to amp up your sex life: send each other dirty text messages or pictures to help build the anticipation, describe to each other what you like or what you want when you’re having sex, or try experimenting with toys or role playing. It might also help to have your girlfriend focus on your erogenous zones, like the neck and ears.
If none of this works, there’s the chance it might be something physical. If you’re serious about improving your relationship, which it sounds like you are, it might not be a bad idea to get checked out, just to make sure everything is OK on the health front. I think it’s safe to say your girlfriend will be nothing but supportive, so you have no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed. Trust me; it really does happen to a lot of guys.
TRENT SAYS: This is a tragic, but common concern for many men. You’re not alone. According to studies conducted by the University of Chicago, about a third of men aged 50 to 64 struggle with erectile dysfunction. About 44% of men aged 65 to 85 have the same issue.
What can affect your ability to get a stiffy? Health conditions can negatively impact your sexual performance, including heart disease, arthritis, and obesity. Lifestyle choices can also have a negative effect. Are you exercising and eating properly? Alcohol, nicotine, and weight can impair your sexual prowess, as can age-related medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and antihistamines.
If you’re the picture of health and are still having trouble getting it up, I suggest you mix it up inside and outside of the bedroom. That could mean changing the time of day you have sex to when you feel like you are the most energetic. Maybe starting the day off with sex or some afternoon delight is better than a nightcap. Maybe extended foreplay is the answer; quickies are great sometimes, but sex isn’t (always) a race to the finish line. Take your time and make it last. And you may need to try a few different things to really see what works.
Barring all of this, talk to your doctor. They might have lots of great ideas that may, or may not, include a little blue pill.
You could also try a condom that contains the desensitizing lubricant benzocaine. If you’ve got a box of ultra-sensitive condoms at home, try doubling up.
Finally, many people will tell you that finding a distraction is a great way to last longer in bed. I think it’s the opposite. Learning how to breathe and concentrate can be your greatest ally. By focusing on the entire experience, and not just your genitals, you can relax and let your entire body enjoy the main event.