Q: If you’re having sex with a guy and you finish but he doesn’t, he just sort of stops, what does that mean? He’s finished before (previously sexual encounters) but sometimes he doesn’t. It’s not that he goes soft; he stays hard, even for a while after, but then he just falls asleep. I don’t understand.
A: It’s a thing that happens. Sex columnists want you to think that the penis is a simple one-trick item. Point and shoot. But that’s not true for most penises. Penises can be a tricky, confusing, and complicated product and one size does NOT fit all. Personally, I have a difficult time reaching orgasm and that was very confusing and depressing when every tv show, movie, talk show, and article online suggested that men can climax very, very easily with little effort. Every penis (and vagina!) is a snowflake – it might look similar, but it’s quite unique.
Of course, it’s not just the sex columnists, either. Guys, as a species, are not good about asking questions of their doctors, seeking out information, or discussing issues in the bedroom. So my first thought here is, “You should try and talk to him about it.” I recommend that any conversation about your shared sex life should take place outside of the bedroom. In fact, I strongly recommend that. Everyone is a little bit sensitive when it comes to their performance, so wait for a time where the two of you are outside the bedroom, having fun, and then in a non-threatening and inviting way, ask him, “Hey, so what’s up with ____?” and see what he says.
Some guys are really afraid of getting a woman pregnant (there are hundreds of reasons why this might be the case). There could be psychological reasons there that prevent him from (or compel him to) having an orgasm. Maybe he watches a lot of porn, which can effectively “rewire” the brain – he might need to be touched in a certain way, in a certain sequence, or can only get off if he is thinking of/experiencing a particular fantasy.
Some guys take Viagra recreationally and their bodies don’t respond the way that people think it will. Medications or recreational drugs might play a part in this as well. For example, I took Viagra recreationally years ago to see what would happen and almost ended up in the hospital – my hearing became heightened, my heart was racing, and I was exhibiting several symptoms of a heart attack. So naturally, I did what any twenty year old would do and I did it a second time to see what would happen. (Ugh. Safety, kids. Be safe out there and learn from my mistakes.) When my partner and I started having sex, my penis was very hard and I was very “in the moment” but it slowly dawned on me that while most of my body was “in the moment,” my penis wasn’t. It was hard, sure. But everything was so heightened that the sensations overwhelmed each other. Those were times when I was physically having sex, but mentally miles away. Again, these are things you want to talk about with your partner or perhaps even have him talk to his doctor about. There might be very serious reasons there and even health complications that, if diagnosed early, can be easily treated.
Then again, maybe your guy wants to be like Sting and save up his climaxes for one wild weekly tantric universe-bending orgasm. This might be a spiritual or even a personal contest for him that he should let you in on and share with you.
Whatever the reason, as always, talk to your partner first. See what he says. Try to be understanding. And, if the two of you feel there is a more serious reason here, seek counseling or a medical professional to help the two of you determine your options.
Q: I’m a healthy 30 something, I feel like I’m normal in most respects, but when it comes to sex, I only get aroused by what I call “crazy sex.” Sex on network television doesn’t really register for me and traditional porn is a turn off, but if one of the people having sex starts choking someone, or they say outrageous things, I can feel myself responding. When I fantasize, only “crazy stuff” turns me on. And it’s a problem because I feel like this affects who I date and how I date. If someone is vanilla (in my mind, “safe, stable, a great person – but boring”), they don’t interest me. Am I weird?
A: You are absolutely, 100% NOT weird. Lots of people like intense sex. Me included.
However, let’s slow down for a second. Your question relies on television, porn, “choking… or saying outrageous things” (which sounds like more extreme, even niche porn) and you are having trouble dating? Sounds like you need to detox for a little bit and reassess because what all of this says to me is that you are having trouble with personal relationships.
Lots of people like intense sex. Whether it’s bondage or a humiliation fantasy, pegging, or sex in a sports mascot outfit, having an active imagination will naturally bring up some really unique fantasies that are fun and exciting. Good for you! That’s awesome that you’re exploring the things that turn you on! Yay you!
However, as with any activity, hobby, or personal pursuit, you need to reflect on how this area of your life – your fantasies – is affecting other areas of your life – like your trouble with “vanilla” relationships.
I really “feel ya” on this one because, years ago, I was dating a really amazing girl and we were sexually incompatible. She was more experienced and while we had fun with friends and at parties, behind the bedroom door, she didn’t want to spend time teaching me how to please her or reassuring me that it really was okay to pull her hair and hurt her. So we broke up because, again, I was “vanilla” at that point and she needed something I wasn’t able to give her. I feel like, had we been able to talk about it more, I could have come around. But by the end, I feel like she had to closet her true desires to accommodate me which wasn’t fair to either of us. Maybe that’s what you are experiencing right now? Not just trouble finding a relationship, but being honest about your desires inside that relationship?
First off, step back and reassess your desires. I’m so glad that you are finding something that works for you, but focus that energy on finding a partner who is good for you (even if that means they are “vanilla”) and then, once that relationship is in a good place, begin to slowly discuss your desires and grow together. It sounds like that’s something you would want – being able to grow into those interests together and “keep up” with each other.
This might mean that you look for a partner outside your current circle of friends, family, work, and church (if that’s part of your life). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more adventurous in bed. There are certain circles of friends who I love deeply, but who – quite simply – are too “basic” or “vanilla” for me. Great people, love them with my whole heart, but I know that my interests in sexual research has exposed me to areas that they look down on because it’s not “appropriate” or “acceptable.” If they tried to set me up with one of their friends/workmates, it would be embarrassing for everyone involved. So be sure and change the venue of your dating pool. Try online dating. Answer some of the questions and see if anyone matches up with your interests, has the same fetish you do, etc.
Second, let me reassure you that being aroused by “crazy sex” is perfectly normal and healthy. When I say “step back from those desires for a few days,” I’m not shaming you AT. ALL. I’m just saying that everyone, at some point, needs to step back from the thing they love the most and take an honest inventory of how big a part of their life that is to them. Whether it is drinking or sex or a hobby or really anything else, you can actually enjoy it more if you know what part of your life it is playing. I think you can be the best judge of whether these sexual interests of yours are healthy and satisfying once you have determined how interesting, how healthy, and how satisfying they really are. But I think you already are doing something like this because you are aware that “crazy sex” is affecting your ability to meet a partner.
Third, be conscious of the fact that it has taken you some time (you’re in your 30’s, you say) to find, recognize, and embrace your sexual interests. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to “accept” you at once when you dump all of that on them at one time. Be slow. Be gentle. Answer their questions. Work this out with a partner. Explore and experience these fantasies together. Don’t just blurt it all out.
If someone I was dating told me on the first date, “I have a foot fetish,” I think that’s a really easy fetish to bring into a relationship. However… it’s the first date. I want to get to know them as a person, not an inventory of their kinks. If you are going into a relationship and expecting someone to immediately accept you when it’s taken years to accept yourself (it even sounds like you haven’t done that quite yet since you are asking if you are weird/something is wrong with you), you’re doing relationships wrong. That’s too much pressure. Spend that “detox” time looking at that as well – why are you having trouble finding a partner? Is it just the “crazy sex” or do you have unrealistic expectations?
Hope this helps and keep me posted on how it’s going!