Battle of the Sexes

Q: Every once in a while my boyfriend loses his erection halfway through sex. As if that weren’t bad enough, he gets really depressed when it happens and won’t talk to me afterwards. It doesn’t happen that often, so I’m OK with it. I just want him to stop being such a baby. How do I get him to get over himself?

Chick: Guys equate much of their masculinity with their penises, so in a guy’s mind, if his penis fails, he fails as a man. (Why do you think a penis is also called a guy’s “manhood”?) So while it might not be a very big issue for you, it is for him. Trying to shrug it off like it’s no big deal (for instance, cooing “It’s OK”) may only further deflate what’s left of your guy’s ego. The best thing to do might also be the most awkward, which is bringing up the subject when the two of you are talking (and setting here is key – don’t do it before sex or right in the middle of mindless chatter while you two are channel surfing). Simply tell him you’ve noticed that he sometimes loses his erection but that you take more notice of his defeatist attitude afterward. Assure him that it certainly doesn’t make you think less of him, that you thoroughly enjoy sex with him and that if he ever wants to talk about it or if he would prefer to never mention it again, it’s entirely up to him. Simply leave it at that and take his lead – if he wants to talk, listen, or if he wants to sulk, give him his space and get your beauty sleep.

Dick: First of all, he is not being a baby. Not being able to keep your totem pole standing is one of the biggest fears for guys. The only thing worse is actually becoming a woman. Think about all the things that upset women on a regular basis and put them into a funk. Now that one thing bothers your man, or in this case, your little boy, you can’t handle it. Honestly, you need to back up off him, because if this were me, I would probably be jumping out the window. Not being able to get Mr. Happy to stand up is good reason to be upset, so unless you are going to help him rise to the occasion, giving grief is not going to be productive. The little head likes to think for itself, and having a fem-nazi being “sympathetic” is the last thing to help the situation.

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