My little erection problem the other day (see Women On Top in the Writer’s Life section) has made me reflect on the importance of keeping in good shape for sex. It’s a sad thing, in a way, that how much you enjoy sex depends not on what your partner does to you but on what you’ve been doing to yourself.
If you’ve not looked after yourself then you’re going to find it difficult to reach the outer limits of ecstasy. Just as Daniel Barenboim can’t play a Beethoven sonata on a piano that’s out of tune, so your partner won’t be able to ‘play you’ if you don’t keep your body tuned up.
Fortunately, there are always things you can do to give your body a better chance. Exercise is one of them. In a Gallup survey 45% of respondents said their sex lives improved when they began exercising.
That’s hardly surprising. The tiny blood vessels in your genitals are easily blocked by fatty deposits. Exercise is one way of helping to keep the blood flowing strongly. Another is to keep down the level of saturated fats in your meals. Men should also keep in mind that a paunch is a kind of anti-sex factory, causing a rise in oestrogen, the ‘female’ hormone, and a fall in testosterone, the ‘male’ hormone.
As little as 20-minutes of vigorous exercise three times a week could be all it takes to make the difference between so-so-sex and super-sex.
What can a man do if his erection suddenly fades away during sex? The most important thing is not to get anxious. It’s most likely to happen in a woman-on-top position due to the effect of gravity. So the first thing to do is separate and simply relax. Anxiety is the enemy of erection. Reflect that women, too, often ‘lose erection’ but it just isn’t so noticeable. So your partner will understand.
When you feel calm, try stimulating yourself – you’re the best one to do it. Hopefully you’re perfectly open with one another about masturbation and can do this in front of your partner without feeling guilty – otherwise it just won’t work. If you’re not used to masturbating together then that’s something you need to work on. Saliva is a readily-available lubricant but there are commercial ones that are better – so that’s something else to investigate, if you’re not already using lubricants. Just focus your mind on the underside of the glans (the most sensitive spot) and gently stroke it with your lubricated fingers. You’ll soon know whether or not it’s working.
If you’re not responsive it could be that something about the ‘atmosphere’ is affecting you at the unconscious level. Have there been some disturbing noises from outside? Is the music all right? Sometimes the wrong kind of music can put you off. Is the light too bright? Too dark for you to be visually stimulated?
The scent of a woman’s vagina is an especially powerful aphrodisiac, so giving her a little more oral may help. The effect will be magnified if she recounts your favourite fantasy at the same time.
If your erection returns, resume lovemaking in an ‘easy’ position (in which gravity is a help rather than a hindrance). If not, you can still caress and cuddle one another, and, of course, you can still give your partner orgasms with your fingers and tongue. How to deal with a slightly more intractable erection problem is something I’ll blog about another time.