How Can an Older Guy Keep It Up without Taking a Little Blue Pill?

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.