This one is about dicks.

Two dicks. Two incredibly similar questions.

OUR LOVELY FRIEND #1:

So I’ve begun to run into an issue in my sex life that I thought you might have some insight on. So up until recently, I hadn’t had sex in quite a long time. It had been at least 7 or 8 months. Maybe about a month ago, I started seeing this girl I met on tinder. We’ve hung out 10 times and hooked up the last 5. Each time we hook up though, I’m unable to ever orgasm. No matter what we do or try, nothing’s worked. It’s incredibly embarrassing and I feel like this girl either thinks I’m gay or asexual. I also feel bad every time, because I feel like I’m insulting her with my penis by not finishing. This has never even remotely been an issue. In fact, the very opposite used to be an issue.

That’s the thing. I’m only 21. So if anything, my problem should be that I finish too quickly. Young men aren’t supposed to experience these types of penile ailments until much later in life. So, am I going through the earliest stages of erectile dysfunction? Or did I go so long without sex, that I’m simply not accustomed to it?

OUR LOVELY FRIEND #2:

So my question involves blowjobs. I’m a 21 year old straight male who often finds it difficult to ejaculate from blowjobs alone. Vaginal stimulation seems to do the job much more effectively. Is this normal? I’ve never heard any dude say some shit like this, so I was genuinely curious. Thanks.

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It’s a photo of eggplants. Get it!?!?!

SOPHIA:

Lads, I’m so glad you’re here and that you both wrote in on exactly the same day just 25 minutes apart. Literally 25 minutes. It makes my job so much easier that you both wrote in at the same time so that I can SHOW you rather than just tell you earnestly that you are VERY FAR FROM ALONE.

We tend to assume as a culture, for a whole host of unhealthy reasons, that people with dicks are always ready to go and ready to come—especially if the person is young. There’s a narrative out there that says that dicks are physically extremely easy to turn on and to get off. It’s unfortunately… not true. (Certainly not any more true than it is that vaginas are particularly bad at orgasming; another harmful myth that keeps sex from being good). Bodies are surprisingly persnickety, and extremely idiosyncratic. One of my eyes sees things as more red and one sees things as more green, for example, so if I look at a white wall with one eye closed and then switch eyes, the white is a different color. That’s bodies for you! They’re bizarre!!!!

Now, me seeing different shades of color in each eye is incredibly non-bothersome and doesn’t effect me emotionally at all. Dicks, however, are beyond emotionally affecting. We have intertwined and conflated the ideas of masculinity and virility, which was and remains a very harmful mistake. We’ve told men again and again that they are their dicks, which isn’t just a lot of pressure, it’s also super transphobic and exclusionary and it feeds very easily into rape culture narratives. It’s bad all the way down. I cannot, I’m sure, undo all of the years of being told that how one of your body parts performs or doesn’t is your worth. But I would like to take a moment to comment on the ridiculousness of it, just in case that helps. Imagine if we had decided that knees instead of penises were the true sign of masculinity, or of being sexually appealing to other people (not that those two things are the same!!!!!) Then imagine you had arthritis and now you’re going around worried about if you can get up stairs and prove to your sexual partners for once and for all that you are A Good Knee Haver! It’s silly!!!!!! Putting all that pressure on dicks is just as silly.

Especially because if you’re having sex with vaginas (well, people who have vaginas!!) dicks are not the best tool for pleasure. You can read an entire book about it by Ian Kerner called She Comes First— and I STRONGLY STRONGLY STRONGLY encourage you to because it will help—or if you don’t have time, please read these articles I wrote, which will explain how dicks aren’t the key to good sex and neither is orgasming. Sorry to promote shit I wrote, but I know I can trust what I said.

The point of sex is not to get hard or to come. The point is to have a good time with another person.

Now, some points for each of you separately.

#1 first: You said, “Young men aren’t supposed to experience these types of penile ailments until much later in life.” SAYS WHO??????? Who said that? Not doctors. Doctors—especially urologists who actually deal with ED know that it happens at many stages of life. Sometimes it’s a phase, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s linked with depression, sometimes with stress, sometimes with medication. Sometimes it’s just your body. You may want to talk to a urologist if you find yourself getting super frustrated with this. They deal with ED all the freaking time. It’s their bread and butter. I’m not saying that you need to; a lot of ED is mental and stress-related, so you may find a difference on your own. It’s just an option. As for this person you’re hooking up with thinking that you’re gay or asexual, first of all: big picture—who cares? Those are great things to be! Second of all, the only reason your partner would think that you don’t find her attractive despite repeatedly hooking up with her!!! is if YOU do not make it clear that the issue is not with her. So tell her. Use your words.

Say something like, “Hey, I know I haven’t been able come the last few times we’ve hooked up, and I want you to know, just in case you’ve been worried, that it’s not about you at all. It’s just my body right now. I’m sorry if I get frustrated about it, but it’s not at all a reflection of how I feel about you. I think you’re hot as shiiiiiiit.” (But phrase it how you would). I promise that it might feel weird, but it’s sooooooo much worse to let this person wonder if you’re simply not into them. (Not that someone not orgasming means that you aren’t into her. I just think that either YOU think that not coming means that or you assume that she thinks you not coming means that).

To answer the question #2: I have not only heard of, I’ve slept with multiple people who couldn’t come from blow jobs alone. It’s normal as hell!!!!!

And now a big point for both of you together:

The very best thing to do—and it takes PRACTICE not to feel silly doing it, so please understand that I know this is a big ask, especially when you’re 21 and likely having sex with other early-twenty-somethings—is to communicate to your partner. This DOES NOT need to look like a weird formal talk at a dining room table while you hold hands and cry. It’s just that during sex you can (and I would even say should) communicate that you aren’t going to come from the activity that you folks are doing. When I have had partners who have a difficult time coming—and I have! Virtually everyone I know has!—the thing that has helped THE MOST is them being clear about what is working and not and what they want and don’t.

If you’re getting a blowjob and you aren’t going to come, you can say, “This feels amazing and I would love for you to continue, but heads up, I don’t usually come from blow jobs. I just don’t want you to not know.” Some people will misinterpret this as “Making him come via bj is now my mission” or “He hates blowjobs.” Those people suck, sorry about them!!

If you are having sex and you aren’t going to come, you can say out loud (and again, it’s super helpful to your sex partner) “Hey I don’t think I’ll be able to come tonight, but X would feel great.” Or, “It might not work, but can we try Y position?”

TALK IT OUT. If you treat it as normal, your partner will go along with you. Your partner wants to make you feel good. They don’t want to pressure you into having jizz come out of your dick. That’s not the goal of sex. The goal of sex is to feel good together. Ask for what feels good!!! Communicate if something isn’t working.

And, most of all: 🚨GIVE YOURSELF A FUCKING BREAK🚨 Your job as a human is not to be attached to a dick that comes. It’s perfectly fine and human. Again, I have personally experienced and have a lot of friends who have also experienced sex with men who have trouble coming and it’s not a big deal at all!!!!!!!!!! It’s like having sex with someone who is 6’7”—it may change what you do in bed, but it’s not going to make it bad.

You’ve got this. It’s normal. Even for 21 year olds. I promise I promise I promise.

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