Everything started off so well. Jason and I had hung out a few times and were now back at my place chatting on the couch. We both knew we were going to hook up and it was fun to watch us navigate the sexually charged energy. (Although the grown up in me was simultaneously “sex time-tracking” keeping an ever updating ratio of the amount of time for sex vs. amount of time needed for a good night of sleep). Chatting turned to kissing, kissing turned to touching, and we ended up on my bed in full make-out mode. I was moving things along quickly as I needed to get my beauty rest.
We shimmied out of our clothes with minimal awkwardness and began exploring each other. Our excitement about each other was obvious and I reached over to grab a strategically placed condom. The response was instantaneous. The second the condom went on, the erection was gone. Poof. Jason mentioned how he hadn’t used one in awhile as he recently ended a long term relationship and began to apologize and tell me how he ‘didn’t want me to think it was something I did.’ I believe his intention was good here, but why do we outsource our pleasure and bodily experience to others?
The way I see it is crystal clear. My responsibilities: be present, be kind, express my needs, trust my partner will express his needs and be receptive to them. Nowhere on this list does it say I am in charge of his erection. I am responsible for my pleasure experience. He is responsible for his pleasure experience. We are not mind readers. Unfortunately, in this case, his pleasure is currently dependent on condom-free intercourse, which is a deal breaker for me. Luckily, the potential of fun other sexual experiences is limitless if we remain open and creative. Plus, he can begin to train himself for condom-sex by masturbating with a condom on.
Ladies (and gentlemen who have sex with men): don’t take on the responsibility of a man’s erection. Erections are fickle and there are a million reasons that they come and go. If you worry your sexual skills aren’t sufficient, ask your partner to tell you and show you how they like to be touched. If you worry you aren’t sexy enough, stop. Communication + confidence + healthy boundaries. And, if the erection decides not to cooperate – there are 10 fingers, a tongue and an endless array of fun alternatives.