My wife and I have been married for 28 years. We have two grownup children and now find ourselves empty nesters. Our sex life is amazing, and to add “salt on our margarita”, as we call it, we have entered into the swinging lifestyle. It is new and exciting, and although we do enjoy these activities, performance anxiety means I have trouble achieving an erection. What can I do?
You are not a machine. Every man’s erectile capacity is precarious in the sense that there is never any guarantee – in any situation – that he will become physically aroused, no matter how much he wants to. Erectile failures can occur even during relaxed and familiar intercourse with a long–term partner, so it should hardly be surprising if you experience this in more challenging settings. Even though you find swinging exciting, it often takes time to adjust to this socially different style of sex. You are asking too much of yourself; expecting to have consistent and reliable erections in the presence of relative strangers is simply unrealistic. Many things can interrupt the erectile process including some that are common to your new lifestyle, such as becoming distracted, anxious, afraid, competitive or jealous.
It would be best to accept that you will not always be physically ready for intercourse, even if you think you want to be – and that is OK. Soothe your performance anxiety by building your confidence and skill in non-penetrative activities that do not require an erection, such as giving sensual touches and oral pleasure, and learning to be comfortable receiving non-genital stimulation yourself. In general, slow down and allow your arousal mechanism to take the time it needs.