Sex can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also bring with it a lot of awkward situations. Whether you’re educated or more inadequately educated about the topic of sex, growing up, sexual issues are not really something that get addressed.
No one takes you aside and lets you know about premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. It’s as though these things are reserved for when you get older, so instead they sweep it under the rug. And the longer this goes on, the more this creates secrecy and taboo around these subjects. But it’s not just the one who experiences this personally that can feel awkward or embarrassed. If only they taught us easy ways to say, “honey, it seems as though your penis isn’t working too well, let’s get it checked out.”
Toxic masculinity also plays a part. We are still that society that sees women as the gatekeepers of sex, the ones who “take it” and men as the ones who should initiate and be responsible for delivering orgasms all around. But all that does is take the ownership of sexuality away from women and transfer it to men. A man’s sexual performance is so closely tied to his masculinity and this is where it becomes awkward.
So how do you deliver that blow?
Sometimes, there is no escaping uncomfortable conversations. They are a part of life and also often a part of sex. But within those awkward moments, there can be vulnerability and that can help to bring intimacy into a relationship. Who would have thought talking about a a flaccid penis could actually help your relationship? These are the types of issues a couple needs to work on together and this can build the strength to help you get through other issues that arise.
Before you launch into having that awkward chat, you need to consider this: how he addresses things in the bedroom might give you an indication of how he is going to discuss it with you. If it’s swept under the rug and not acknowledged, this might be an indication to tread carefully.
Here are a few tips on approaching the situation:
1. He might be stubborn.
Some men don’t want help and don’t want this to be a relationship issue as such. They just want to deal with it on their own. That’s fine and it’s their own boundaries that need to be respected. You might just want to lightly bring it up, encourage them to seek help or talk to someone and then step away. But always reassure them you are there if they want to talk, no matter how awkward it might feel.
2. Give them a heads up.
If you are going to have a more involved conversation, let them know you want to discuss some things to do with your sex life and to inform you when they are ok to have that chat. This is a way to open the door for the conversation but let them choose when is the right time.
However, not all men are receptive to this. If they are not going to be forthcoming, you might need to follow up with a nudge.
3. It's okay if it's uncomfortable.
This might be an awkward conversation, but remember that’s ok. The conversation will depend on the exact issue and your relationship, but following a process might help. 1. Present the issues, 2. Give them reassurance that there are things that can be done to help and, 3. Give them support and let them know you will work with them to resolve the issues if they wish. The specifics in between is up to you.
4. Let him know it's okay.
No matter how this conversation goes, you might need to throw in some reassuring statements, even some to do with sexual performance. For many men, this is a space that can be daunting and even a blow to their sexual self-esteem.