Dear Dick: The Hard of the Matter
I have intimacy issues in relation to anal sex. With strangers, I never have a problem keeping erect but if I get to know the person after a couple of get-togethers or hookups, then I lose my erection as soon as we get going. This happens with lovers as well.
I am seeing a counselor about my sexual addiction problem, which involves a lot of safe but anonymous sex. So like I said, I can plow strangers.
I am 46. Age isn't the problem. I have been like this since my late 20s. Can you suggest anything that would help with my problem?
Thanks for any advice.
Wants to Stay Hard
Since you’re in counseling you probably know this, but for others let Dear Dick clarify something. “Wants” is seeing a counselor for Sexual Compulsive Disorder, not sexual addiction. The term ‘sexual addiction’ is not in the dictionary, it doesn’t exist in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the reference book used by professionals in the field of psychology), nor in the Physicians’ Desk Reference. It is, however, commonly used in our current culture when regular folk are referring to sexual compulsion.
A compulsion happens when people have an anxiety and use a behavior to deal with it. That can involve things like food, drugs or alcohol, or in this case sex.
Whew! It’s getting all technical here, ain’t it?
Okay, so the trouble you’re having is with intimacy. You hook up with a stranger, but on repeat visits you talk, you get to know one another, and eventually that stranger becomes an acquaintance. Human nature causes that acquaintance to try and connect even more, and it’s that level of sexual/social intimacy where you lose wood.
That’s where the sexual compulsion kicks in. You’re trying to go deeper with someone—anyone— but that concept makes you anxious so you continue going toward what feels good and is familiar, and that’s your obsessive sexual behavior.
So here’s the real question: What’s so scary about having a connection with a dude? Are you nervous that you can’t fulfill him emotionally? You say you can “plow” guys, but a long-term partner needs more than sex. He needs human interaction and intimacy. It sounds like you’re nervous about stepping into that emotional zone and being open with these guys, and until you know how to do that you will keep having this problem.
One suggestion that might help is to have someone take care of you sexually. This doesn’t mean you need to take the hot beef injection, it means you have to let the other guy be in charge of your pleasure—whatever that might be. Don’t fall into the typical “Service me!” role-playing so that you’re still in charge on some level. Just accept the passion being offered and see what that vulnerability feels like. This could be a turning point because then the intimacy is coming toward you, you’re not delivering it to the other person, and you’ll have a chance to experience the relationship on another level. It may make you nervous or somewhat uncomfortable, or you may just enjoy it. But one thing’s for sure: you won’t die or be injured by giving yourself over.
If this seems like an impossible task, remember that these men want to get to know you—that’s why they keep returning to make a connection with you— so obviously you have something to offer. You need to understand and embrace that fact, and use it as your foundation for future healing.
Dear Dick isn't a doctor of any kind, but he is pretty good with advice (or finding someone with the right answers), which he did in order to write this week's column.
Leave a comment or send Dick an e-mail.
You must be a Gay.com member to e-mail Dick, but registration is FREE!