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My friend recently told me a bizarre "dating story" (opens in new tab). Back in college, he and his friends witnessed their friend through a cracked door when he couldn't get it up (opens in new tab). They peered through the opening and witnessed their friend pointing and yelling at his penis like a military instructor: "Come on, get up! You get up!"
The next day the guys asked their friend how his night was with his girlfriend. He shrugged his shoulders and said: "Eh, it was OK." Of course, their friend glossed over the details of the evening. No guy wants to admit he ever went soft.
My defense is to throw it all out in the open. It's gotten to the point where I'm with a woman at the end of the night, but I know I will probably not "perform" effectively because I'm wasted. (opens in new tab) If she wants to come home with me, I'll caveat the event: "OK, but I've been drinking so not sure much is going to happen down there." I guess I'm preparing her for the worst, but warning a woman that I won't be able to get it up is probably the worst closing move ever (opens in new tab).
Here are some pointers about guys and their vulnerable state when they go soft:
In Event of Flaccidity Follow His Lead
...and never do either of the two extremes. The "extremes" are Nurturing Therapist or Female in Heat. The Nurturing Therapist says: "Oh, it's OK, it happens to everyone once in a while. There, there." The Female in Heat says: "Well, come on. Let's go!" It's ten times more awkward when the woman showers us with sympathy after we've gone soft, and the Woman in Heat makes us feel incredibly inadequate (opens in new tab).
Laughter, as usual, is the best medicine. Guys react to going soft in a number of ways. If they are making a joke out of it, go with that. If he doesn't say anything, perhaps you should act like you don't notice either. Remember, guys fear dysfunction more than being small. We tell ourselves that most women don't think size matters, but how we use it is important.
Our Excuses Are Legitimate
When it happens, a guy might rattle off a list of reasons it's gone soft: the most common reasons are being drunk and "too much use" before intercourse. (opens in new tab) I've actually laid off masturbating when I know I'm going to have sex in a few days to save up the potency. My married buddy tells me when his wife is out of town and he's spent a significant part of his day masturbating (opens in new tab), he must "take one for the team" if she gets home wanting sex. I guess, just like any part of the body, it gets tired.
The one excuse we don't mention is sometimes our mind is in another place (opens in new tab). We might be stressed about something unrelated: money, our sports team, (opens in new tab) or whatever -- big or small issues.
It's Worse in the Middle Than the Beginning
My friends and I agree that the worst form of flaccidity occurs in the middle of intercourse (opens in new tab). It stops all the momentum; it's better to not get started (opens in new tab) than to get started and revved up, then have to stop.
It's Not Your Fault
My girlfriends blamed themselves when I didn't ejaculate after sex (opens in new tab). I don't know what my issue is but it wasn't their fault. Like I said, the excuses above are legitimate. If we have trouble maintaining an erection it's a mental or physical reason within us. It has nothing to do with how attractive you are.
Trust me, I'd never have sex with a girl, or even kiss her if I didn't find her attractive (opens in new tab). And the guys who will "do any girl" don't care how attractive you are. Just remember, every guy you've been with has not gone soft. Any guy who blames a woman for it should be ashamed of himself.
It Impacts Committed Relationships More Than Random Encounters
This is common sense, but if it happens during a one-night stand (opens in new tab), it's not going to do much damage, other than a bit of awkwardness. But a deep relationship suffers from sexual dysfunction. Luckily, the deeper your relationship is, the easier it is to work to overcome it (opens in new tab).
How do you react when a guy goes soft, and does it differ for a one-night stand or a committed relationship? Were you aware of the points I made above? How has a guy's sexual dysfunction affected your relationships? What's the best and worst way that you've reacted to flaccidity during/before sex? Has a guy ever tried to blame you when he's lost his erection?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens (opens in new tab)
Follow Marie Claire on Twitter: twitter.com/marieclaire (opens in new tab)
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