During our seven-year marriage, our sex life was never great. For the last couple of years, we would go six to eight months at a time without making love, and when we did, I usually suffered from premature ejaculation. My doctor says there’s nothing physically wrong with me, but I want to be sure this problem doesn’t re-occur with my new girlfriend. How can I make sure to last long enough to satisfy her?
Early ejaculation is one of the most common sexual concerns of men. Being able to ejaculate quickly is a distinct advantage when time is limited — e.g., when your sister is yelling for you to get out of the bathroom or your roommate is walking through the front door — but when you are trying to extend your erection and/or put off orgasm, it becomes a disadvantage. It might be helpful to think of premature/early ejaculation as a habit you can change. You learned how to be fast, therefore you can learn how to slow down. There are quick fixes, like masturbating before you make love or using Woody Allen’s famous “slide” technique (to hold off ejaculation he would think of Jackie Robinson running the bases instead of the woman he was making love with), but the best idea is to retrain your penis by using your brain. This means becoming acutely aware of the earliest feeling of heightened arousal and then slowing down the action before it goes any further. This is known as the “stop, start” technique. Not only is it effective for gaining better control over your orgasm and ejaculation, it can extend sexual pleasure. One important note: not all women require or desire extended intercourse to achieve sexual satisfaction. Clitoral stimulation is the hot button for female sexual response, and you can use any number of your body parts to excite and please her this way.
You are wise to be addressing this issue early in the relationship. Letting a vital issue like sex go unattended, as you and your wife did in your marriage, can contribute to disappointment and ultimately the dissolution of the relationship. Lastly, don’t forget that a girlfriend is also a partner: if the two of you work together, you can create a style of lovemaking that will make you both better lovers.
I have been divorced for two years and celibate for almost three. The first year after my divorce, I spent time recovering and discovering who I was again. I started dating casually about six months ago — nothing special, but I knew it was important to get out there again. About five weeks ago, I met two extraordinary men within three days of each other. I am very interested in both of them, and they have both made it very clear they’re just as interested in me. I have always been 100% monogamous and didn’t think it would be possible to have strong feelings for more than one man at a time. I haven’t slept with either of them, but the sexual tension is killing me! How do I decide which one is right for me?
Wow, after three years of celibacy, I’m impressed that you are even asking the question, but your patience certainly has paid off in the past, and I support you in proceeding with caution. Right now having two extraordinary men interested in you seems to fall into the category of a good problem; however, if it goes on much longer, you will have to make some decisions. You shouldn’t have to be suspended in this sexual tension for long because if you haven’t picked one already and are indeed waiting to determine your preference, stronger feelings for one will likely surpass the other pretty soon. Even though it is possible to have an intense attraction for more than one person, the next step, which is infatuation, tends to focus on one preferred partner at a time. Also, the more time you spend with each of these men, the more information you will have to offset the initial euphoria that comes with instant attraction. Meanwhile, I suggest you follow the course you have been on, which is take your time and hold fast to your principles.
One more comment for your question: “How do I decide which one is right for me?” The time to formulate a rational answer to this question was before you were under the influence of the extraordinary attraction for these men, so for a moment think back to the list of values and characteristics you were looking for when you decided to date. This will be your best guide. If all else fails, think of the famous quote from a Zen master, which says: “When faced with two choices, pick one — you’ll know!”
Why do women always fall for “bad boys”? Everyone says I’m a really nice guy; when I take a woman out on a date, I compliment her, I treat her like a princess, and I send flowers and call the next day. After all that, most of the women I date say they want to be “just friends” with me. It certainly seems like nice guys finish last…
Women fall for bad boys for the same reason that men fall for bad girls — because they mistake excitement for love. Or they are in it for the intensity. But falling for a BG (Bad Guy/Gal) is a lot more fun than being in a relationship with one. Most people figure this out sooner or later. It may be important to note that anyone who repeatedly goes for a BG is either a slow learner or dependent on intense relationships to create an interesting life. In either case, it’s better for you to move on.
If your practice is to do what you said, i.e. “take a woman out on a date, compliment her, treat her like a princess, send flowers and call the next day,” this seems like overkill. I say slow down: doing too much too soon makes you appear insecure — even desperate — and that’s a turnoff. I’m not saying the gestures are not romantic and thoughtful, but more appropriate to a relationship that has had time to develop based upon mutual interest. Pay more attention to the response you’re getting from a woman before you put your heart on the line. If you consistently ask out women who say they want to be just friends with you, it could very well be that you are not picking up on cues correctly. And if you are picking the wrong women, chances are very good that you are missing the right women. My hunch is that there are women interested in you, but you’re too busy trying to get an uninterested woman’s attention to notice.
I started an affair a couple of months ago with someone from my SCUBA diving club. I love my wife and our kids, and I don’t want to break up, but we’re more like roommates than a couple. I have a deep sexual and emotional connection with this other woman, and I can’t imagine life without her. Is it possible to really love two people in totally different ways — and is there a way of keeping both relationships happy and healthy?
You’re asking two very important questions. But before I answer either of them, let me ask some questions about the relationship you have with your SCUBA partner. Do you get excited just knowing you are going to see her? Do you find yourself telling her things you don’t tell anyone else because she is so easy to talk to? Do you get energized when the two of you are together? Do you feel happier now that she is in your life? Do you get shivers up and down your spine — not to mention other places — when you are together? Do you think about her constantly when you are apart? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you probably won’t be able to understand what I’m going to say next because you’re under the influence of infatuation, which is an altered state of consciousness. While infatuated, you cannot be rational about any subject that concerns your lover because you do not have full access to the neocortex: the reasoning part of your mind. A brain scan would show that when you’re thinking of her, or in her presence, there is very little blood flowing to that region of your brain. So you might have to wait until this stage passes before any of my answers make sense.
What you have described in your question is two distinct stages of love. The affair relationship represents a classic example of infatuation: the first and earliest stage of love. The love you hold for your wife represents a much deeper, more lasting love, albeit not as euphoric as infatuation. But the fact that you still love your wife after time has passed and children are on the scene is a very strong statement.
You ask if there’s a way to keep both relationships healthy and happy; in a word, no. My best advice about affairs is not to go there in the first place because most people don’t have the will power to walk away from them once they start.
Write me again when you’re ready to work on your marriage.
I’ve been dating a really great guy for two months now. Last weekend, we had sex for the first time, and it was a complete disaster. He seemed very embarrassed and bolted out of my house, and I haven’t heard from him since (normally, we talk every day). Should I call him and let him know I’m still interested, or should I take this as a sign that things would never work between us?
This is not a sign that things would never work between the two of you. In fact, it may be the opposite. This guy may have such strong feelings for you that he put a lot of demand on himself to perform and the anxiety worked against him. Arousal and orgasm require a delicate balance of safety, relaxation, and excitement. Any type of pressure can inhibit normal sexual response. This is why it’s not uncommon for the first sexual experience to be fraught with disappointment. Sexual performance is one of the most vulnerable aspects of relationships — this is why patience and cooperation are such important factors.
Given the fact that you think this guy is great and you’ve had two very enjoyable months together, I think you ought to call him — if for no other reason than to let him know that this one incident wasn’t a deal-breaker for you. A phone call at this point will at least ease the tension if you run into one another in the future.
If you do decide to call, I say the sooner the better. As time passes, it may become more and more difficult to move past the awkwardness. I would just pick up the phone and have a normal conversation that lets him know you want to see him again. Maybe invite him out to the movie or some activity that doesn’t lend itself to a private conversation. This way, if he wants to talk about it he can, and if not, there will be a pleasant experience to fill the void. If you call and you don’t get the response you want, my advice is to let it go and move on.
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