Please help! Not being nervous...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2006
Please help! Not being nervous...
7
Sun, 01-07-2007 - 12:05am

Hi all! I have been reading many of your posts concerning HL/LL difficulties, most of which deal with frustrations about a LL partner, and I was hoping you could offer me some advice (I apologize if this gets long!). I have been with current BF for a year and a half, and we have been through much, sexually, since we started to be intimate (about 2 months into the relationship). See, I am not by nature a LL woman, my sex drive is actually fairly high for a woman, but when BF and I started having sex he had a lot of trouble (and still does)with ED (erectile dysfunction). We realized from the get-go that this is mostly an issue of "performance anxiety" and low confidence as a result, and everything checks out fine physically.
For a few months we tried just continuing to "practice", or have sex to try and build his confidence up. However, due to baggage from past relationships (I was basically a sex object) and feeling pressured to have sex when it was not pleasurable for me (it just felt like work) I eventually had to ask him to consider other methods of handling the ED, while continuing to "practice". To make a long story short, we tried using drugs (too much planning in advance), not using condoms (I was on the pill, but the ED still occurred), but the situation has not improved much. There were periods of a few weeks where I would feel uncomfortable being touched a lot, as I felt he was pressuring me all the time for sex, and at the same time I felt really guilty for not giving him what he needed. BF has been to a few therapy sessions to perhaps deal with the issues surrounding his anxiety, and I have been in therapy for months to deal with mine, but it only seems to be helping to a certain degree. We have no trouble discussing this issue, but it just feels like we're not really getting very far, since we only have sex once every few months!
I feel awful. I've read a number of posts on here from those of you who have LL partners. I am not overall LL, as I have said, but I can certainly recognize that my boyfriend at times feels neglected and unloved, as you do. For the past few weeks or so I have had very little desire for sex, and for quite a while now I have not really gotten much pleasure out of sexual activity (even when I am "on my own"). I feel horribly guilty that I still feel so nervous and scared to keep trying to have sex, as I know that is what we need to do in order for his confidence to return so that we CAN have a normal sex life. Its just hard for me to want to do it when I feel (a) pressured to do it every time he kisses me (which I know isn't necessarily the case), and (b) that it isn't really all that enjoyable for me. We have to do things in a particular way or else he is afraid to lose his erection -- a certain position, very little movement, I have to put on the condom, I need to be careful about this or that -- it just doesn't really feel like sex is even about me at all. We have spoken about all of this and he says he will try to be more open about things, even if it means losing his erection, but I can't seem to shake this fear and loosen up so that we can just be together! HELP! Lately, my discomfort has made me feel that I will not be able to give him what he wants, especially as I feel I have been trying so hard to help him, and sometimes my lack of libido makes me question whether I really love him (i.e. since I'm still attracted to him, if I loved him wouldn't I want to be intimate with him?).

Do you think its possible that other factors in my life are contributing to these feelings? I don't deal with stress particularly well, and the past two years have been very "up and down" in terms of luck. Additionally, two of my close family members are very ill and one is expected to die within the next few weeks. AND, I get sinus infections at least once a month, so I don't feel all that great most of the time.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I might do to calm my fears and allow me to continue rebuilding the relationship with my boyfriend? I love him a lot, he is a WONDERFUL guy, and I am afraid that eventually he will get sick of dealing with me (even though he has anxiety about his ED as well) and just leave. Please don't hesitate to ask for other information, and thank you so much for your advice! A very happy new year to all. :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2006
Sun, 01-07-2007 - 9:39am
I'm wondering that due to the problems, whether the concentration has all been about him rather than you? Woman take longer to reach the arrousal state of no return. My M has some similar problems, and the compensation is that I come first. With alot of attention, oral and sex toys etc., My DH makes sure that I come first and then we concentrate on him. Result is some fantastic multi O's.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2006
Sun, 01-07-2007 - 5:08pm

Hi lifenymph!

Thanks for answering. For the majority of the time it HAS felt about making sure he's taken care of, partly because I wanted him to know I supported him and wasn't going to leave him. It sounds like you've found a good method of dealing with your man's ED -- has it gotten better at all, or is he still having problems?

My biggest hurdle seems to be getting my arousal to come back. I am definitely still mentally and physically attracted to my bf, but because of all the difficulties we've had it just seems really daunting and like "too much effort". Its making me really depressed, and its been going on for so long now that I'm afraid to lose my relationship! Even "doing it myself" doesn't give me the same satisfaction it used to. I'm thinking of seeing a sex therapist, but I'm already seeing a therapist and don't know if I can afford another one. Do you have any idea what I might try, activities with him, things like that?

Thank you so much for your help. I am desparate to get over this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2006
Mon, 01-08-2007 - 2:10pm

You mentioned that you have tried drugs. There really is a difference between Viagra and Cialis, and even in the amount of doseage. Previously we had tried Viagra which was just horrible. I hated it. It allowed him to maintain an erection, but there was no sexual satisfaction for either of us. He would just pound away with no desire, it made me uncomfortable and didn't allow him to reach satisfaction. When he spoke to Dr. last time, they gave him both, with different (lower) doseage. The Cialis creates a headache, but allows him to feel and enjoy sex and reach satisfaction (but not too soon). It works for 36 hours, so the planning isn't hard to work in. Due to the cost, he doesn't take one until just before we begin playing. It normally takes approx 1 hr to kick in, which is all about me. So maybe you need to check the drugs again, have him talk to doctor.

Its important to communicate, which you say you can. You need to stress to him how important it is for you to feel desired. I find exotic emails to DH helped, because it was easier to explain to him how much I loved to be slowly touched and kissed. It gave me an opportunity to be sensual and yet clear on what I liked. We did a lot of research, which DH was happy to do, which resulted in the better sex. And yes, it definately has improved. Gone from sex 2 to 3 times a year, to 5 times a week. I'm always willing and ready to play. And when you're turned on, its so much easier to ensure that your partner is. With enjoying my O's, its not such a big deal on his time and ability to continue. I've become a glutton!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Fri, 01-12-2007 - 10:56pm

Hi Wheat,



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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2006
Sat, 01-13-2007 - 9:54pm

Hi Dr. Z! Thank you for responding.

Actually, we are trying to find a good sex therapist to see together -- we have not talked to sex therapists, only therapists and doctors.

About feeling the need to have sex every time he kisses me, I know that its irrational, but for such a long time it was all about "practice, practice, practice" that any physical advance felt like pressure, and I think I still carry some of that around with me. I'd really like to fix that! He still talks and jokes about sex a lot, which under different circumstances would be fun, but I feel guilty about not being able to give him what he wants right now, and not very confident about myself (sometimes I feel like I don't deserve him), and that certainly doesn't put me in the mood!

He is always willing to satisfy me in ways other than straight intercourse, but the challenge is getting past all of the feelings that have built up around our intimate life so that we are both relaxed and having a good time. I think if we could just have specific steps to take or goals to work towards instead of just talking about our issue all the time, that we would both feel like it was getting better.

Thank you for reading, and please take care!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Sat, 01-13-2007 - 10:05pm

Hi Wheat,



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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Sun, 01-14-2007 - 8:20pm

I think you're overanalyzing what is actually a straightforward and perfectly understandable situation: your BF's sexual requirements make sex unappealing for you, hence you don't crave it or seek it out. He's put all the responsibility for his erection on you -- not fair -- and you've chosen to accept this responsibility -- not prudent.

In order to loosen up physically and emotionally, I think you have to let go of the idea that you MUST keep this man. Maybe it's meant to be, maybe it isn't. And you'll survive if it isn't.

JMHO Freelance