Performance anxiety with significant other having undiagnosed BPD

Hello everyone,

I’ve known this person for over a decade and we recently started getting intimate and eventually developed into a relationship.

The random anger or rage from BPD does not necessarily bother me as much as before thanks to some work on myself, but I find it harder these days. My question is not about her however.

For context, one issue happened in the bedroom a while back, leading to performance anxiety. I constantly think “what if i cant get it up”, “I know it will affect her if I can’t please her” etc. Sometimes I will have a week where everything is great and I have no pressure and the relation is ideal. But then I get one day where I’m stressed and it won’t happen and it retriggers the anxiety. I can’t seem to break the cycle.

I enjoy foreplay and pleasing my partner in other ways, but I cannot always do that as “it’s not her thing”. I want to accept that, and had no issues prior to the first incident (lost erection mid-massage). I used to get hard just massaging her, but now it seems I need more, or I am simply in my head too much. I seem to have the most success when I am fully relaxed and cuddling and feeling soft touches.

This obviously leads to arguments and her feeling unwanted, undesired. She understands and want to support me, but at the same time she can’t help but feel that way. I can see her shutting down and it just perpetuates my anxiety even more. I love her to death, but I’m at a point where I can have mini panic attack when thinking about going to the bedroom, which obviously kills it for both of us.

I can get erections when calmly meditating thinking about her in various scenarios, or by masturbation (tough not as hard as it should be, sometimes i cant even ejaculate). I want to try touching myself beforehand to get an erection and then go to the bedroom to get a confidence boost, but I am always scared she might think I have to “force myself” to have sex.

I try to talk about it, but every time I do it seems to make the problems worse. It feels so illogical to want intimacy, and that I can be horny, but then lose it all the moment we enter the bedroom. It’s embarrassing and difficult to explain.

Thanks for any guidance

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It’s all in your head, focus on you having a good time, if you do, you’ll perform well and she will be happy and satisfied; and that’s what you wanted all along.