I’m tired of erections. Well, not all erections. I’m tired of the erections that people think are so meaningful when they don’t get them. As in, “I don’t get erections, so there’s something wrong with me.” Or “He doesn’t get erections, which means he doesn’t care for me.”
I’m sympathetic, of course. But sometimes I think “How many times do therapists have to say it, do educators have to say it, do our wise ex-lovers have to say it, do Cosmo and Men’s Health have to say it: “You don’t need an erection—his, or your own. Erections don’t mean anything—his, or your own.” How many times do we have to try to relieve people’s suffering and broken hearts, while people insist they must suffer, must have a broken heart?
So as sympathetic as I am, I’m tired of certain erections.
Like, “I/he didn’t get an erection last night, so we could haven’t sex.” Or, “she was so angry when I lost my erection in the middle of sex.”
Or, “I’m so afraid of not getting an erection that I take Viagra as insurance.” Or, “none of my other boyfriends ever needed Viagra, what’s wrong with you?”
Those are the erections I’m tired of.
I’m also tired of certain doctor’s erections. Well, not the erections of certain doctors, but the way some doctors relate to their patients’ erection difficulties:
Like, “At your age, what do you expect?” Or, “You just need to meet the right woman.”
Or telling patients they “have ED” without a proper evaluation. While 20 or 30 minutes is preferable, here’s a three-question evaluation that docs can use when patients have erection concerns:
~ When you have sex, how much alcohol do you usually drink?
~ How are your erections when you masturbate?
~ Do you actually want sex with the person you have sex with?
Three questions, fifteen seconds.
OK, Doc, you have twice that much time? Great, here are three more questions:
~ Do you and your partner enjoy the kinds of sex that don’t require an erection?
~ When you get and lose an erection, or don’t get one at all, can you and your partner manage things without quarreling or feeling bad toward each other?
~ Can you and your partner feel sexually adequate and attractive when one of you doesn’t get an erection you both want?
Doctors of the world, unite! Give (most of) your worried male patients the good news: “You don’t have erectile dysfunction—you just don’t get erections every time you want them, because you have unrealistic expectations. Penises need special conditions in order to get erect, and that does NOT include a lot of alcohol, anxiety, or anger.” One (or more) of these three are, of course, very common when men don’t get erections.
There is one occasion when an erection is quite useful—when you want to create a baby right now.
Although artificial fertility technologies make even erections unnecessary, they’re still handy (and way cheaper than, say, in vitro fertilization). But let’s remember that of all the sex that people around the world will have tonight, only a tiny fraction of it will be with the intention of conceiving. In fact, most people having sex tonight hope they won’t create a pregnancy. For those people—probably including you—this makes erections unnecessary.
So I’m tired of those erections that aren’t necessary, but that people decide they need anyway.
I’m tired of the erections that men use to have intercourse way longer than their female partners want or enjoy it. This is, of course, a big reason that women fake orgasm—they want the intercourse to end. A supposed orgasm allows everyone to stop and declare each other sexually adequate. People could skip all the huffing and puffing and just decide on that conclusion, but almost everyone seems to want proof—and “successful” intercourse is most heterosexual people’s first choice. And yes, non-heterosexual men love those “meaningful” erections, too.
Of course, I’m tired of the erections that men use when their partners don’t want sex at all. It’s such an odd idea, pressuring someone to have sex when they don’t want it. Does anyone imagine that they (or their partner) will enjoy such an experience? If not, why do it—hostility? Sadism? The desire to feel powerful? Disbelieving that someone could say “no” and actually mean it? The fantasy that someone will enjoy it so much that they’ll feel grateful—even though they really didn’t want it?
Sometimes, the belief is “I must give my penis whatever it wants,” as if it’s a greedy child who must be satisfied. I’ve had many male clients—often nice guys —who say they “need” sex frequently, and just can’t concentrate when working or parenting if they’re horny. These guys would never force anyone to have sex, but they do pressure their partners constantly, as if their vaginas or mouths or anuses contain the medicine they need to get through the day.
A common situation involves the belief—often shared by both frustrated partners—that “my erection (or your erection) is unreliable, so let’s use it if we have one,” whether or not both people are actually in the mood. That’s often the case when a client complains “we have sex before I’m ready—we were fooling around and he got hard, and that doesn’t always happen, so before it goes away, we had sex. Or tried to.”
I’m sympathetic, honestly I am. But like greedy children—like children in general—an erection should never be in charge, no matter how demanding.
Enjoy this article? I bet you’ll enjoy my piece at www.MartyKlein.com/bedroom-tricks