Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Relationships and Sex | 1 comment

sex-on-the-brain

Q. Dear Dr. Sex, I can’t seem to get stimulated and lubricated enough to have intercourse. Sometimes when I’m by myself I feel excited and wet and can masturbate, but when I’m with my boyfriend nothing seems to work and intercourse hurts. Help me before I decide to try taking “E” to attain that level of sexual excitement.

Why do the sex gods do this to us? Such teases… If we’re all lubed up and ready for the big dance by ourselves, why can’t this transfer over when we’re ready for a joyride on the pogo stick with a partner? There are a lot of pieces to this mysterious puzzle. The good news: you’re physiologically capable of arousal and the engine has the ability to function properly. The not so good news: it’s not always easy to control when the engine decides to work.

Our mind is our largest and most powerful sex organ. It has the ability to both enhance and inhibit our arousal. Some woman can come from pure fantasy alone with no direct physical stimulation (they “think” off) while others block their arousal and sexual response mechanisms because they think themselves out of arousal. To begin unraveling this predicament, examine your life. Did social constructs like religion or family expectation shape your sexual attitudes or comfort? Was there ever a time (teenage years, college, etc) when orgasms or arousal were more difficult?

Most of us feel safest when we’re alone and masturbating. There is no one there to judge us or critique us; no one to trigger our insecurities or add fuel to the thoughts we may be thinking about our bodies, our performance, and our concern for our partner’s pleasure. When we’re masturbating we’re not concerned about how our boobs look or whether our stomach looks trim or bloated. When we introduce a partner into the equation, all of a sudden there’s a magnifying glass on all our insecurities and baggage. A supportive lover, friend, or a therapist can help you overcome all those things that impact your arousal. With the right person’s help you will gain confidence and experience, you will become more secure with yourself and your body, and you will let go of those internal judgments that are inhibiting your sexual functioning.

[private_SLH Book Club]Pain can be a wonderful thing sexually—if it’s intended and welcomed. However, if you’re experiencing painful intercourse, there is inadequate arousal (the vaginal canal hasn’t elongated to its fully aroused state) or heightened anxiety (psychosomatic fears or insecurities may reduce arousal and increase pain). Both can be addressed and improved. Like I said, a supportive lover, friend, or a therapist can help you overcome the insecurities and baggage that impact your arousal. But what if you don’t have insecurities or baggage? A below average lover can definitely breed reduced excitement and arousal. Why get up if I know I’m going to be let down? This can turn into a vicious cycle and can turn sex from an incredible stress relief to an incredible stressor.

None of us are born lovers. We learn through experience; from having sex with partners. But if the information along the way is wrong or teaches us bad techniques…

Some guys think foreplay is a cover band that plays at the Whiskey. Even worse, other guys think porn is the guide to being a great lover. Open the lines of communication and decide to learn proper sex techniques as a couple. There are thousands of books on sex technique and hundreds of sex educational DVD’s that focus on becoming a better lover. There are also a lot of places that teach proper sex techniques. The Pleasure Chest on Santa Monica Blvd, Coco de Mer on Melrose Ave, JT’s Stockroom on Sunset Blvd (for the kinkier folks) all offer workshops that help people become better lovers. Instead of renting Avatar at Blockbuster Friday night, why not rent a sex education flick? I doubt those little blue aliens will help you get laid better.

The power to change your sexual functioning is within reach. It may take medical intervention like hormones, vitamins, or medications. But most likely, you just need to shift your perspective. Seek a therapist or supportive lover to work through your insecurities, and learn about good sex techniques. Yeah, you could probably take some “E” or stock up on lube to counter the lack of arousal, but that’s a quick fix, and will NOT solve your arousal problems long term.

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Dr. Sex, better known as Dr. Hernando Chaves in Beverly Hills, is a Psychotherpist and Clinical Sexologist. He can be reached at sexologydoc@aol.com or 310.749.5777.