How to deal with pressure from partner?

Hi guys,

I was wondering if any of you have experienced this situation and how you worked around it / with it…

Just tonight, me and my partner had been out on date night. As we came back, she asked what the time was and I suggested “sexy time?” as a half-joke, but also because it’s been on my mind quite a lot recently (long story short, I had this problem for a long time - solved it for a short period - then recently it’s come back).

She responded saying it depends if I can get it up and keep it up in a joking voice but it’s something she says quite a lot whenever we suggest sex… unfortunately when she does say that it really sets off my inner critic and immediately makes me think “sh*t this isn’t going to happen”.

Have any of you experienced with these kinds of comments from your partner before? How did you maintain confidence and proceed in this situation? Is this perhaps my fault by half-jokingly suggesting “sexy time” when we weren’t really in that ‘sexy vibe’ at the time?

Sorry for the long post! Tl;dr girlfriend says we can have sex if I can get it / keep it up, I suddenly have massive doubts & can’t follow through

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How I deal with it is just focus on my sensations. My partner does do this as well but she’s very nice about the problem since it’s been going on for a while and I try to do that exercise where you argue with your inner critic. It doesn’t always work but sometimes it does and if u get it up just a few times in a row (at least for me) ur confidence can soar!

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Thanks DFG, really appreciate your help!

I’ll have a go at this next time it happens. Luckily my GF is really understanding about it too, but it is hard for her to know what to say sometimes.

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Maybe just tell her very nicely, probably not when you’re ramping up for sexy time, how that comment makes you feel (and how counterproductive it is for your erection). Sounds like she’s just trying to be playful and doesn’t realize it’s problematic. I guess while you’re talking about it, you could come up with alternative things she could say that would be more of a turn on?


I think noisy-white-lizard summed it up great. You may want to have a conversation outside of sexy time letting her know how that comment affects you. From there, maybe open up the conversation to what things do get you going (as well as her!). You both can experiment with these things to get you both going. Best of luck!

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As I think about it now, maybe there’s more behind your girlfriend’s comment than we thought, but I think the answer is the same—talk it over with her. We’re generally all operating with so much inherited misinformation and repression about sex, and not talking about it, so an open conversation could be incredibly helpful for both of you to understand each other and come up with new approaches. My wife and I aren’t “prudes,” but just basic societal/religious norms around sex can easily limit the conversations we have on this topic and I’ve found it super freeing to have honest conversations with her.

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I can totally see how that comment can make things difficult. But you should tell her that what really helps is if she can keep you in the moment and not thinking about if/when you get an errection. Suggest something she can say instead such as commenting on herself and how she feels sexy. Also it helps to broaden the idea of sex beyond just intercourse - sexy time can be a whole range of things even just cuddling naked and touching each other. This helps lower the stress of expectations.

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Those comments would definitely kill my confidence trying to get hard when we are overthinking it to begin with. Maybe have a conversation and be like if I suggest sexy time, i am having the confidence to commit but if I hear these comments even though I know you’re joking, can kill the very little confidence that I obtained to even ask for sex in the first place.

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For me, the more pressure my wife puts on me, the worse I perform, there’s been so many humiliating times I cannot count them, and the more frustrated she is, the more nervous I am. I have dealt with these types of situations by not really talking about sex and our expectations but letting things flow naturally; taking things one step at one and being very slow and romantic instead of diving right in… doing alot with clothes on first to put those comments out of my head