My guy had trouble getting aroused; is there something wrong with me?

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Dear Guys,

So I have been talking to this guy for a while now. He’s 20 and im almost 19. Anyway, I’m not a virgin; I lost that at 13 and I had a baby at 17, but he is.

Well today we finally tried and I couldn’t get him to stay excited for anything. And I tried everything! I have never had this happen before because usually all I have to do is look a guys way and he’s ready to go, but not him. Is there something wrong with me or what happened?


Dear  Tiffany,

Thanks for your question. No, there’s nothing wrong with you. This is more about him actually.

Let’s get into a guy’s psyche so you can understand what’s going on. Understand, that a guy’s ego can be a fragile thing, and right off the bat your guy is feeling insecure because you’re way more experienced than he is. It’s not like he’s slept with a few people, and you’ve slept with a few more, he’s a virgin, and you’re not. Simple as that. That makes him uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. And if he’s the neurotic type, he’s already imagined you with the other guys you’ve been with and it’s driving him nuts.

In addition, if he’s really into you—you don’t say if this is just a hook up or something more serious—then he’s probably feeling nervous as well. He wants you to think he’s amazing in bed. In fact, every guy wants to be the best for each woman they sleep with. You’re probably thinking, “That’s not possible.” And you’d be right; but that’s how guys think. He wants you to think he’s amazing in the sack even though he understands that in some ways it’s not possible because it’s a new world to him; he’s never done it before.

It’s an interesting concept to ponder. Everything a person does well in life takes a lot of practice. If this guy is an athlete, well, he’s had to work at it. If he’s a musician, he’s had to practice hours and hours. In school, he’s had to do homework, write papers, study for exams, in essence practice to get better. But when it comes to sex, guys think they should just be able to walk in, take care of the business, and have it be the most amazing experience ever. (It may be for them, but it often is not for the woman. At least not that first time.) It’s amusing to think about, but it’s not amusing to guys, or this guy. What it is, is a ton of self-imposed pressure. And that kind of pressure will often impact performance. We’re sure he’s very attracted to you, but if he has all of these thoughts swirling around in his head, that’s enough to keep him flaccid and unresponsive.

So here’s a suggestion: Don’t talk about what happened. He’s already embarrassed about it. (And some guys will even blame the woman for it because of how they’re feeling inside. ) The next time, don’t create this huge buildup like, “Saturday night we’re going to consummate our relationship.” That’s too much pressure. Just let it happen naturally. Maybe while sitting on the couch, watching a movie, start kissing gently, and kind of go from there. Maybe instead of going the whole way you start with some other type of “pressure relievers” if you know what we’re saying. There are other ways to enjoy each other besides just intercourse. No pun intended, but build up slowly to the final consummation.

But to reiterate how we began, this is no way a commentary on your attractiveness or beauty. It’s a common situation that happens more than you might imagine, something that guys don’t like to talk about. Hope this helps.

Questions? Feel free to keep asking. Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.


ps. And please let your friends know about us. Thanks!

Readers: Anyone else have a sex question, leave us a comment, or send us a note on our Ask the Guys page. 

Questions about Sex and/or questions about virginity: 

Can you guys explain men and masturbation to me?

High school dating: Am I hot or not? 

Can a guy’s taste really change? 

Do looks matter? 

I don’t want to cheat on my prince charming

My boyfriend wants to watch porn together

I slept with my virgin friend; bad decision, and now I feel badly


2 Comments on My guy had trouble getting aroused; is there something wrong with me?

  1. Hey Guys, I have a similar problem with some slight variations. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 months. I’m 30 and he is 34, we’re both in good shape, no previous marriages or children. In the beginning the sex was often as well as fantastic, but it has been slowly becoming less frequent. I did ask him if he’d rather masturbate or have sex with me, and he looked at me like I was crazy and chose sex, however the other day he told me he still masturbates around 3 times a day (a decline of 4-5 since we started dating, he informed me) and we only have sex maybe twice a week. Now my problem isn’t his inability to get aroused, it’s the ability to stay that way. Both of us are experienced in the bedroom, and I must admit this kind of thing has never happened to me before. We don’t live together but we are next door neighbors and I sleep over almost every night. We have a great connection as far as mutual interests go but I wonder if he isn’t attracted to me physically. Based on various conversations and comments, I am the complete opposite of his “type”, literally. What I’m wondering is, how do I bring up a subject like “Are you attracted to me and is that why we never have sexy time anymore?” without sounding ridiculously needy? (As a side note, I dated a guy for 7 years who made me feel ashamed any time I felt things like this, and while I’ve been able to overcome most of the emotional abuse it’s still sort of there. I try not to let my baggage interfere with current relationships but it does color things for me. This is what I’m worried about, that I’m projecting the past onto this new relationship.) Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

  2. @Autumn……First of all have you read our piece on masturbation?. “Can you guys explain masturbation to me” YOu might want to check it out. Three times a day seems a bit excessive AND impressive. But what that does is diminish his drive, and make him less interested in the real thing. (Definitely read our response to the question on the masturbation post.) Questions for you: If things were really good for a while what do you think changed? And when did it change? (How long into the relationship?) And besides your past, why do you feel worried that he’s not attracted to you? (We’re wondering that because you said the sex was fantastic and frequent.) Fill us in a little more and we’ll get back to you.

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