'My New Boyfriend Has Erectile Dysfunction'

Reader Disappointed Dater writes,

I'm a divorced 50-ish woman who recently started dating a 50-ish divorced man. I am the first woman he's been with since his divorce. There was a LOT of excited build up to our first sexual encounter (flirty texts, suggestive conversations, etc). However on the big DATE his equipment failed to operate. He assured me that he never had this problem before and ruled out any physical problems... and that possibly it's because of the newness since his divorce. I suggested we take a break from sex but he said no... he's content with oral sex until his body gets with the program.

I'm not sure how to proceed... part of me wants to ambush him with lingerie and over the top sex offers, but another part of me is afraid that might intimidate him and send his Shy Friend more into seclusion.

Any tips for luring the beast from the cave in a way that doesn't freak him out and honors that sex with someone new is happening and OK?


Dear DD,

I love this question.  I have a lot of clients in your position, as well as clients in the position of your new guy. My first question: is he on antidepressants, blood pressure meds or any other meds that would have this side effect? I know he says it's not physical, but plenty of people are unaware of side effects of medications, particularly SSRIs. Bring this idea up gently, saying you don't mean to offend him but you read that meds can impact sex drive and wondered if this was the case with him. If this is the issue, he can speak with a provider about other medication options.  

However, maybe he really is just anxious. I would NOT put on the full court press with lingerie and ben wa balls and what have you. This is going to make him think you are a sex fiend and he will be even more anxious that he won't be up to snuff. It would be great if you could empathize and think of a time when your equipment did not function due to anxiety or stress. You could share this with him too, if it comes up in conversation, or if you can do it in a gentle and non-attacking way (you sound like you can). You can assure him that you find him attractive, and, even more importantly, that you are really into him as a person and partner.

For now, you can have lots of oral sex, since he says he is okay with it (it's more stimulation and more passive for him so it is a less pressure-filled situation than intercourse). I assume he is reciprocating this oral sex with oral or manual stimulation of you? If not, and you want this, then ask for it.

I suggest you also engage in other, less overtly sexual physical stimulation, such as massages, showers together, making out, fondling. If he can't have sex within one month or so, start to worry that it's not just nerves. But for right now, the less pressure the better. And I commend you on trying so hard to be sensitive and responsive to your new paramour's needs and feelings. You may get something out of this article as well, for some more tips.

Thanks for writing in and good luck with your new relationship! Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Loves Baby Boomer Love.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice, including therapy, coaching, and consultation, here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.

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