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Not feeling desired by the man in your life feels devastating. I’ve been there. You may think it’s a direct reflection of you but he may be silently suffering not knowing how to deal with performance anxiety.

While it’s commonly said that men access their emotions more easily through sex and women need to be touched emotionally before turning to sex – it’s not always the case.

It’s not uncommon for men to avoid sex if they are struggling emotionally.

I’ve met men who avoid sex, not because they don’t desire their partner, but because they’re struggling with performance anxiety.

They’re afraid of not being able to provide what their partner wants or needs. Or they’re afraid of the possible rejection of disappointing them if they lose their erection or ejaculate earlier than either of them would prefer.

Many men and women get caught up in believing you can’t have great sex if you don’t have an erection. But not having an erection or cumming too quickly and going soft is only a problem if you perceive it as one.

Erectile difficulty or cumming too quickly & going soft is only a problem if you think it is. Click To Tweet

Unfortunately what happens is either one or both partners get insecure about what ‘happened’. And this often leads to more disconnection between partners and increases performance anxiety. The last thing anyone wants is to feel rejected or humiliated. Which leads me back to guys struggling emotionally and another cause of why he might be avoiding sex.

One of our core needs in relationship is to feel safe, connected and accepted by our partner.

Often I see and hear messages along the lines of – “Accept yourself instead of needing others to accept you”. This confuses and concerns me because it flies in the face of our primal drive for connection.

“For both men and women, emotional disengagement closes off the richer dimension of sexuality.” ~ Dr. Sue Johnson. I’ve known it to be true in my own life and in my work with couples.

Men are emotional beings and when they’re missing the emotional intimacy they crave it shuts them down sexually. For some men this is especially difficult if they’ve never learned that it’s safe to trust, or how to open up and be vulnerable.

Neither men nor women are wired to feel guarded or cautious yet turned on at the same time. Both need to come together (excuse the pun) and learn how to nurture each other to feelings of acceptance.

What I encourage couples to do is pay more attention to love making and less attention to the mechanics of sex. Love each other in every conceivable way so you each feel safe and secure. It may seem odd coming from a sexologist but it’s from that place that performance anxiety fades into the past and you can both explore erotic sex again with playfulness and fun.

Live a happy, sexy life!

Dr. Gayle Friend

p.s. Please share with all the women you know so more couples can learn to love each other better.