Dear V: Bedroom bliss going limp

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Dear V,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few months and we recently had sex for the first time. Before things got heated in the bedroom, he warned me about an issue: he has erectile dysfunction, or, he has trouble “keeping it up” in the bedroom.

He said he was diagnosed by a doctor a few years ago and he takes medication to improve it as much as possible. But the first time we had sex, it took him 20 minutes to get it up, and things didn’t last long after that.

I hate to say this – but I’m considering dumping him. I care about my boyfriend, but how are we supposed to be intimate if we can’t have normal sex? Sex is important to me, and I’m used to having it daily. In this relationship, that might become a struggle.

I don’t want either of us to get too attached if I’m going to have to dump him eventually. Should I just do it now or try to make things work?

Sincerely,

Worried Wendy

Dear Wendy,

Dropping people you care about at the first sign of an incompatibility isn’t the answer.

If you really care about him, try to find a compromise before kicking your boyfriend to the curb. I’m not saying to stay in a relationship you’re not happy in, but at least give him a shot, will ya?

While the folks you tend to see in Viagra commercials are older, ED is surprisingly more common in younger men than you’d expect: ED affects about 26 percent of men under 40, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Your boyfriend’s doc has likely already explained this to him, but high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal disorders and being overweight can all worsen the sitch. Make sure he knows this and be there to support him.

Another way you can help your guy get things going in the bedroom? Ease his performance anxiety.

Make the sex as low-pressure and comfortable as possible for both of you. Turn on some soft lighting and music to set the mood or, if your guy isn’t into ambience, just have a heart-to-heart conversation with him.

Foreplay is essential, too: if you can help take the pressure off to get things going immediately, he won’t get as frustrated with himself. And don’t forget you can always experiment with toys in the bedroom.

After trying all of this, if you’re still certain you can’t handle this kind of issue, ending things is easier sooner than later. The more invested you both get, the harder it will be, and your boyfriend deserves someone who’ll accept and work with his minor imperfections.

Don’t let getting it up get you down, and don’t let going soft be too hard on you.

– V

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