You like sex too much. My last girlfriend didn’t need sex as much as you do. You’re pushing the physical part too fast. I’m not into you that way as much as you are. If you’ve heard these excuses from men before, chances are it could be because he has Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and is trying to blame his inability to perform on you.
In 1999, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey counted 1,520,000 American men visited the doctor for erectile dysfunction. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse suggests that many things can cause ED including: alcohol, heart disease, smoking, cycling injury, weight, diabetes, depression or just a stress on the biggest sex organ-the brain.
The why or how questions are not yours to answer—it’s his physical or emotional issue. When ED presents itself in your life, know that you’re not alone and that it’s unacceptable for him to pin the problem on you.
“Women internalize things…in fact, the first thing a woman thinks when a man can’t get an erection is that it’s her fault, and nothing could be further from the truth,” says Andrew McCullough, MD, director of sexual health at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
Erin, a 40-something teacher was dating a thin active guy in his 30s the first time she had an experience with ED. “The first couple of times we tried I just thought, oh well, he’s nervous, no problem. But when I was willing to help him and yet he didn’t try to satisfy me at all or even talk about it—I was unimpressed. When I finally asked him to visit his doctor–he angrily suggested that I was a sex fiend to want sex once a week with my steady boyfriend.”
Rekha, a 27 year old therapist had a similar experience, “The last guy I dated was the same, he’d initiate sex and then nothing, he had no reaction, no matter what I then tried. And get this—he wasn’t willing to try anything himself to please me. I now agree with Samantha on ‘Sex in the City’—have sex with them soon and assess your chemistry before you invest in him emotionally. A huge part of love for me includes a healthy sexual relationship that bonds us.”
This sounds familiar to Vanessa, a young 31 year old marketer. “He’d initiate kissing and I’d feel nothing, no response down there. He told me he just didn’t feel that way about me—and yet he’d keep initiating serious make-out and more sessions–and remain absolutely soft. And he did this weird thing where he’d keep just his hips away from me when we’d kiss. It was bizarre. If I didn’t have a friend who went through the same thing, I’d have believed him and questioned my hotness factor and thought it was my fault. He definitely tried to blame me without admitting he had a sexual problem at all. It’s ridiculous.”
As an adult female, we get breast exams, PAP tests, HPV shots, and deal with our periods monthly. We wax, shave, laser, thread, color, pluck and primp to make sure physically we’re appealing and ready to be a part of a healthy relationship. So after all that, if a guy you meet turns out to be sexually dysfunctional, you’ve heard it before—it’s really not about you. Work with him or move on as you choose, but know that whatever your age, you deserve a fulfilling, complete sex life with a partner who cares about you!