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Miss Information

"He swears he's attracted to me, but he has trouble getting it up."

By Sarah Jaffe

Dear Miss information,

I've been seeing a new guy for the past three months. I like him a lot and I'm thinking there might be something here, but here's the thing: he often has trouble getting it up. He says it's not me and that he finds me super-sexy and enjoys getting me off, but I don't believe him. When I asked him about any hidden fantasies to see if I could fix the problem, he told me that he'd think it was really hot if I handcuffed him during sex, but I'm not sure I can do that without laughing like an idiot. I like him a lot and want to believe there is good sex between us down the line. Is it me? How do I attract a dude who can't get it up for me. He's only 27. Help!

—Such a Softy

Dear Softy, 

You've only been dating a few months, so I'll give you a pass on not trusting him when he tells you you're not doing anything wrong and that he's attracted to you, regardless of proof in the form of a pants-tent. Four months is hardly long enough to determine whether or not someone might be a serial killer (or at least a bunny-boiler), let alone long enough to read someone's cues to know if they're telling you the intimate truth about what's going on between their legs and between their ears, try as you might to read their soul.

But hey, listen, in my professional opinion he's probably telling the truth. (Can't tell you if he's a serial killer or a bunny-boiler, though, sorry! Let's all cross our fingers on that one, shall we?) While 27 is a bit young to be sitting in two separate bathtubs on the beach, it's not unheard of for younger men to have issues getting it up. There are studies that show that one in four men seeking medical help for erectile dysfunction is under 40. If it's more than 25 percent of the time that he can't muster a full mast, you're likely looking at ED. If the guy you're dating is a smoker, a joker, or a midnight toker, it's likely that these habits are contributing to the problem. (Kidding on the joker bit — but "frequent drinking" didn't fit in the lyrics and that can be an issue, too.) If any of these habits sound like him, tell him to knock it off for a little while so you can see if it helps him get off.

Depression, and annoyingly enough, depression medication (as well as other medications and medical conditions), can make it hard to ah, get hard, so if he's suspiciously mum on the subject this might be a contributing factor he's worried about disclosing to a new lady. Ditto a bad case of performance anxiety, which can also keep a good man down. Talk to him about it (not before, after, or during sex — at a neutral time!) if it's really worrying you and see if you can get to the root of the problem. But stop being self conscious — it ain't you, babe. 

As for fulfilling his fantasy, why the hell not? If you laugh a little, you laugh a little. Tell him beforehand that if you do get a case of the giggles, it's from your own discomfort and not at him. A little laughter during sex isn't the worst thing in the world — it's supposed to be fun, people! It doesn't have to be all smoldering glances at all times. My guess is once you get started, watching him get super turned on will get you super turned on and then we'll see who's laughing. Good luck!

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