Navigating gay partner's expectations about sex, masturbation

My partner and I (both men) have been together for five years and married for two. Before we got together, he had previously been a top in most of his sexual encounters, and I had previously bottomed in most of mine. The second time we hooked up, I topped him without any problems, despite having performance anxiety with previous partners (both male and female) in the past.

Our sex life has been exciting, satisfying, and pretty adventurous at times (fun threesomes and hookups with other couples), but there have also been long dry spells and frustrating periods. These issues have mostly arisen because my partner says he has grown tired of topping all the time and that he wants to bottom for me more often.

Although I am occasionally successful, most times I’ve tried to top him in the past two years have left us both disappointed, if not depressed, by the outcome: him lubed up and ready to receive me, me asking for a few more minutes to get hard, my limp dick in my hand. His expressions of disappointment, coupled with the performance anxiety that has carried over from previous partners, leaves me almost dreading initiating sex, which I’m afraid he’ll turn down unless I’m able to top him.

Another component of this situation is that I really enjoy masturbation and the intimacy that can come from masturbating with other guys. My partner and I masturbate together regularly, but it’s often simply functional (busting a nut before bed) instead of intimate. He tends to view masturbation (and, to a lesser degree, oral sex) as foreplay leading up to penetration.

It would perhaps be easier if I could just say we have different sexual interests, but the truth is that I do want to top him—but without this feeling of anxiety or obligation hanging over the situation. I’m really excited and encouraged by this site, and especially curious about talking with other gay/bi/queer men who have dealt with performance anxiety in same-sex encounters.

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I am also in a somewhat similar situation. I’ve been in a gay male relationship for about 12 years, we always had good sex, but we primarily were very into oral sex. We only did anal sex occasionally and when we did we would take turns essentially because we both biased more as bottoms. Over the last few years my partner was wanting me to top him much more frequently, which wasn’t initially a problem, but one time I suddenly couldn’t get hard enough to penetrate. He was understanding, but it started breaking my confidence and the next few times it was hit and miss. So then I asked my doctor and he gave me a prescription for cialis. It certainly helped but I still found it didn’t always work, which really made me think it must be in my head. My partner started to be more frustrated while still being somewhat understanding. All this pressure had really made sex feel more stressful than exciting.

One more thing that probably triggered some of the pressure, was that we went to a gay nude resort a couple years ago. My partner is a bit of an exhibitionist and was turned on if other guys could see us having sex. So we later had gone to some sex parties where he wanted me to top him in front of other guys, that’s when the erection issues started to hit much more often. So it’s not only the pressure from him but other people witnessing it. Also on times where we’re just at home, he will spend time to prep himself before bottoming and if I can’t get it up, he feels frustrated after spending time getting himself ready for anal sex.

I was starting to search the internet for any answers and came across Mojo which I’m happy I found. It’s good to know ED is a lot more common than I thought and that it’s even happened to younger guys. I’ve been learning a lot watching these lessons and hope that I can put it into practice. I’ve talked to my partner and he’s really happy I found this site and hopes it will help our situation.

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Glad to hear from some other gay / queer mojo users! I am sorry about this issue you and your partner have been experiencing. Nobody talks about the stress of sexual performance in early sex-ed and cut-to, here we are all suffering from it to some degree and hoping that we’re normal. I can attest, I am relatively young (28) and do experience problems with erection quality with partners often due to performance anxiety. An auxiliary issue that may be causing my problems, which Mojo has taught me about- is my prolonged porn use that began at a young age. I am primarily a top as well, and believe that my almost daily use of porn (until recently) not only weakened my body’s natural ability to stay aroused without extremely specific visual stimuli, but it also planted feelings of insecurity in the type of lover I was because I constantly began to compare my body, energy levels, and sexual capabilities with the men (other tops) I would see in porn.

Not sure what your masturbation / porn relationship is but when you masturbate are you using porn most times? Does anything I’ve reflected on sound relevant to the problem you’re having? Are you feeling at all physically insecure / comparing your sexual abilities to those of your friends or men you may have had group sex with? Best of luck in getting to the root of your issue!

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I agree, I’m really glad there is this section on Mojo to hear from other gay/queer mojo users, it’s definitely not a topic I chat about openly with my other gay friends. So it’s cool to have this outlet.

Yeah I definitely feel I have performance anxiety as well. I’m trying to go through mojo now and practice some of these exercises and learn from the videos. But I think you’re right about porn possibly playing some role into the whole puzzle too. There was some point last year where I stumbled on some blogs about porn being a root cause to some erection and arousal issues. It was talking about how whenever you use porn to masturbate, you get a dopamine hit in your brain, then the next time you go back to the same video, it won’t have the same impact, so you need to find new videos or ones that are more extreme to continue the same level of dopamine and arousal. This would make real live sex not receive as much of a dopamine hit as the intense porn would. I noticed that same pattern in myself about always needing to see something new or find some video that was more intense to get arousal during masturbation. But I found it also starting to effect sex with my partner. Instead of being into the moment with him, I found myself during sex, needing to think about some recent porn clip that turned me on last, for me to get hard. Another thing was that I couldn’t get the same grip and cadence during anal sex that I was getting during masturbation, so it made it also hard to stay fully erect and get to climax during sex. Sometimes, I’ve had to pause, masturbate up to that last point and then put it in at the last moment before climax, which isn’t the most intimate during sex. Some of those blogs had guys saying they completely cut off all porn to reset and get back into the moment with their partner. I did actually try that for a few months and it did actually make a big difference, I was a lot more into the moment and was able to get an erection and keep it all the way through. But I’ve found unfortunately, porn is so easy to access these days, it’s so easy to get pulled back into it. So I think that’s something I probably want to ween myself away from again to help with the whole situation.

I also can relate with your feelings of physical insecurity when comparing with other men around me or from porn videos where there is no issue at all. They seem completely hard as a rock and can go at any moment. I need to try and stop focussing on those comparisons and stay calm. I’m wondering what things you’ve been doing on mojo that has given you help? I went to one of those zoom sessions with other guys on mojo a week ago and actually found it really helpful to hear other real live guys talking about these issues that no one ever usually talks about. Do you have other things you’re doing to help work out your issues? Best of luck to you as well!

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Circling back to your habits regarding grip and cadence during masturbation and how that has affected your experience of sex with your partner- I’ve had the exact same experience relying on memories of porn to finish (if I can at all). Its been roughly 2 years since a partner was last able to bring me to climax and I think that its mostly my own doing because of my porn use.

I too have been weening myself off of porn for the last couple of months (weening being the operative word)- deleted my Tumblr, free online porn accounts, and have set up content restrictions within my phone settings. Unfortunately there are not a lot of “free” content blocking tools to reinforce this censorship in the day to day use of my phone (where I solely access porn), and the settings can easily be undone if I feel like having a 15 minute relapse or so. I am getting better at this however, I wish I could attack the issue in a more cold-turkey method.

But I’m choosing to remind myself that while I’m not making changes as rapidly or as drastically as I would like, I’ve still reduced this habit drastically from what it was prior to having this realization and THAT IS PROGRESS. Be sure to remind yourself of that if you feel you have a relapse in your porn use.

I remember also needing to pull out during the last few minutes of sex and masturbate in order to get myself close enough to climax to finish like you’ve mentioned, and that’s just not the way I want sex to be anymore. But I do think that it’s more common than we realize for guys to do this, but during climax we become very self-fixed and don’t notice our partner’s habits much. I can recall quite a few times when men I might have been giving oral sex to needed to do the same thing, but they never attributed that sexual habit to a psychological problem that was probably developed through THEIR masturbation habits. Some of us just make these realizations earlier than others! I have only now begun to use mojo as an outlet to share my experience and its definitely relieving to hear accounts from other members in this kind of detail, so I’d encourage you to do the same and repeat courses if you need to- this is entirely self paced and can be revisited or paused as often / as much as you like.

It’s not the most revolutionary tool I’ve developed, but I have made a point to not incriminate myself so much for having created this problem in myself, and instead have started thanking myself for beginning to do something about it and making small, quiet changes and I hope that’s something you can start affording yourself as well!

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I thought I’d chime back in here since it’s been a while. I have to say it is pretty difficult as well, to ween myself off of porn use. I also deleted my Tumblr account a while back, which helped, but I still have a Reddit account which always seems to pull me back on occasion. But I think as you brought up, I am making progress and don’t nearly check it or watch porn as much as I used to. So I’d say that’s a success and I’m not beating myself up over it.

I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone regarding needing to pull out during the last few minutes of anal sex to masturbate and get close to climax in order to finish. Sounds like it’s a little more common than I thought with other gay guys. And with the grip and cadence during masturbation not matching the feeling during anal sex, have you heard of any exercises or things to help with that issue, to help not needing to pull out and masturbate to climax? I think looking through Mojo, it seems some of the exercises about staying in the moment and getting used to being aware of the sensation of touch, might be some direction of help so I’ve been working on some of those.

A few positive things I have to report: I’ve gone to a few more of those Mojo connect sessions and they’ve actually been really helpful seeing all these other guys talking about their situations and stories, both straight and gay. I’ve also been slowly going through a lot of the videos, doing the exercises and listening to the meditation sessions. I think they’ve been really helpful. Last weekend, I actually wanted to try again with my partner. So I, did a few of the meditation exercises while my partner was prepping to keep me in that calm state. Just before he came in, I did get a little nervous so I got soft again, but I tried to keep with the deep breathing and as we started to do some foreplay, I started getting hard again. I was excited that I actually was able to get hard and penetrate. We actually went on for a while without getting soft at all. I did still have to pull out in order to get ready to climax and then I inserted just before finishing. But I was pretty happy and it gave me some confidence that I was able to make it all the way through. So I do feel a lot of the Mojo exercises and discussions have been beneficial. How are you doing with your progress? Hope you’ve had some good successes too!

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Appreciate you all sharing

I’ve actually always found the same issue as @rapid-brown-marmoset and @vitreous-lavender-raven, even since I was 15, it had just always been the case

Never really bothered me that much, as it’s still plenty enjoyable. But it did always seem a little “weird”, and it did seem to bother my partners a little

I’ve often wondered why that’d be the case, but basically just accepted it :man_shrugging:

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I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been making some slow but steady break throughs! honestly I have yet to use the Mojo connect sessions as a resource, most of my experience using the platform has been without consistent check-ins but hearing about your success with the meditation, connect sessions, and video resources may have inspired me to check in more regularly.

I have reduced my porn usage dramatically, although I do still indulge in a few minutes of swiping through Tumblr every few days or so, but make no intention to use the material to masturbate to. Its still not the most cold-turkey approach but I found that when I WAS cutting out all forms of porn cold-turkey a couple of months ago, the experience was so frustrating that I felt more inclined to relapse.

I’ve been monitoring the amount of time I spend viewing material like this and have been intently distancing myself from viewing porn that may be considered deeply fetishized at the moment, simply because I feel that viewing sexual “fantasies” played out in porn maintains a level of detachment that I need to make a concerted effort to dissolve.

When I use social media like Instagram, unfortunately the app’s algorithm is very keen on presenting lots of risque material throughout my “discover” feed, and while none of it actually constitutes porn, I recognize that much of it has the same affect: triggering arousal via visual stimulation. It makes me feel like I’m cheating a bit in trying to reduce my porn use, but I admit it has helped me sort of ween myself off of actual porn. A small amount of that PG-13 visual stimulation throughout the day seems to be discouraging me from having a relapse and poking around for any REALLY graphic material.

Expanding on this, I feel like abstaining from masturbating with a visual stimulus is beginning to make my penis more sensitive to touch. At the moment, erections are slow to happen when I’m not using visual material but the act of touching myself even when not hard is beginning to be enjoyable- I think this is a sign of progress that my arousal pathways between mind and body are being repaired. Last month I could only fixate on how frustrating it was that I was taking so long to get hard without porn- now, I just sort of enjoy it by not being too goal-oriented with my masturbation. In doing this I have also been monitoring my grip habits, touching myself much more gently, allowing myself to climax through softer touch no matter how long it takes. While the climax isn’t as strong or intense as it would be with a tighter grip or with porn, its becoming enjoyable again and I’m starting to remove the stress of masturbating without material to aid me.

Sorry for the novel!, just wanted to give a report over the last month or so!

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Thanks man for sharing this. I mean, I’m in the same exact situation. Open couple, both enjoy sex so much, me being bottom for most of the time and the other getting into bottoming also, but there is my ed issues.
ED issues in man to man sex is pretty awful.

How’s things going?

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I’m glad that hearing some of our sharing has been helpful for you. I can relate with what you’re saying, having usually been a bottom, suddenly needing to be the top can add that sense of pressure to perform when you’re not used to it. I’d recommend attending one of the mojo connect sessions, it’s somehow really therapeutic to hear stories live from other guys of all ages talk about these very similar issues. I think a lot of the meditations have been helpful too to get me out of my head before having sex.

user_384231, I was trying some of the things you were talking about with focusing more on touch as opposed to visual stimulation and I’ve been trying more masturbation with a light grip. It takes some getting used to, but I can see that if I can readjust my brain to be more stimulated that way, I’m hopeful it’ll help me climax completely during sex without having to pull out and masturbate to get there. I’ll report back if that ends up working. Thanks for the suggestion.

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