Why men feel inadequate in bed

“The thought of facing my wife in bed scares me stiff. I stay out late with the hope of finding her asleep.”

The Men’s Conference convened last Saturday after three months of inactivity. As you may be aware, the conference is a boy’s only club where matters socio-economic development are discussed amid all manner of drinks, food and music.

The session this time was titled, “Good Sexlife is a Foundation to Development”. The format of the meeting was an open question and answer session. My role was to answer any questions members have on sex.

“Can you give me medicine to make my erections strong? I am feeble and do not last long and my wife is not happy with me,” a member said in starting off the discussion.

“My wife wants more sex than I can manage, please help me before she looks outside for satisfaction,” said another.

“I panic when the time for going home comes,” another member interjected. “The thought of facing my wife in bed scares me stiff. I stay out late with the hope of finding her asleep.”

The questions went on and on and I noted a trend: almost all men were feeling inadequate sexually; they felt that they did not prove their prowess in bed. As such, they felt that the foundations of their marriages were shaky, this stressed them.

Sexologically speaking, it puts into question the reason why people have sex in the first place. It would appear that most couples are doing it with the aim of scoring a goal; the goal of which may be to prove a point to the partner by showing physical strength and prowess.

To many, subduing a woman because of your physical strength is a non-negotiable role of sex.

For them, it is about being heroic. If this goal is not met, they feel inadequate, or, to be fair, they are made to feel inadequate by their partners unless this goal is not met. Unfortunately, this is contrary to the principles of healthy sexuality, no wonder the discontent.

Healthy sexuality is about pleasure. Pleasure is not necessarily derived from physical penetration. It could be from touching, caressing, massage, kissing etcetera.

Take your time to enjoy the pleasure of these. Do the same to your partner. And, for God’s sake, it does not always have to end up with penetrative sex.

The fixation with penetrative sex exposes the deficit in skills that most couples suffer. The penetration mindset makes one hurry like chicken, racing towards each other naked and the moment they get hold of each other, having vigorous but short-lived bouts of penetrative sex that leaves both of them wondering what this was all about!

The unsatisfactory bout is followed by a time of disappointment and blame, a second mistake many couples make. When unsatisfactory sex happens, it is neither the man nor the woman who is at fault.

Consensual sex is a shared responsibility. Couples should endeavour to provide their best to each other so that at the end of it they feel grateful that they played their roles.

Irrespective of the outcome, thank your partner for the effort, complaining only kills the ego of your partner and creates anxiety that could be dangerous in long term relationships.

But the other peculiar thing in these unsatisfactory bouts of sex is lack of communication. In fact it is amazing that when communication happens, many times it is negative.

“Yes, whenever things go wrong my wife always says that I have a problem, that I am uncaring and that I always want to hurt her feelings!” a member interjected.

“Mine always says that she would rather not have sex with me if I am not going to meet her needs,” another member said.

“Mine shouts in the middle of the act that I should behave, or she stops the whole thing and that just makes my erection go,” a member lamented.

The need for more loving and considerate communication during these events cannot be overemphasized. And, good communication during sex does not include talks about investment, stress at work, children and other non-romantic subjects. Create time for these outside the romance time.

“Doctor, can you just come straight and tell us what to do for our women to feel okay? You seem to be taking us round and round and I am not sure you are helping us,” a member shouted to which everyone burst out laughing, he was already tipsy.

The solution to the problem of bedroom satisfaction lies with your own mindset: aim to pleasure your partner as you too enjoy the pleasure. Do not aim to show physical prowess because the bed is not a football field for scoring goals.

Secondly, be vulnerable enough to discuss your feelings with your partner. Sexual satisfaction is mutually contributed to, it is not a responsibility of one party only. Your failure is your partner’s failure. A couple should seek solutions together. Jointly seeking ways to improve your sexual experience is important. This includes annual sexual health checks, counselling and therapy.

Finally, be cautious not to swallow medicines to enhance your performance unless prescribed. Medicine definitely does have a place in a number of diagnoses. Most cases of sex problems however do not require use of medicine. Just by fixing the difficulties in the relationship, things do get back to normal.