Sex positive content sponsored by the Center for Sex Positive Culture.
An Excerpt from Great Sex; Erections or Not! by Laura Rad
Hereʼs a question for you:
What makes sex satisfying or important to you?
- A. Orgasm or physical pleasure
- B. Connection with your partner
- C. A big, hard erection
- D. Your partnerʼs pleasure
- E. Some combination of all of the above
I ask this question because almost no one answers exclusively “A big, hard erection!”and yet so much emphasis is put on erections in male sexuality. It seems that we have set up a system that assumes erections are vital to having good sex when in fact they are usually a secondary factor for most people.
1 in 10 men over the age of 21 have erection difﬁculties (web MD) and by age 45 most men have experienced some form of erection issues (medicinenet.com). This means the majority of male bodied people will experience erection issues at some point (or several points or a sustained period of time) in their lives. So why arenʼt we talking about this and why donʼt we hear more about how to navigate sex without relying on erections?
Here are some ideas for having great sex with or without erections. First of all, we all need to get over our worries about touching soft penises. Penises have lots of nerve endings that make touch feel good, no matter hard or soft! However, lots of partners feel nervous about touching soft penises and lots of men feel nervous about asking a partner to touch them while they are soft.
How do you touch a soft penis? One of the best things you can do is ask the person attached to that penis (yup, your lovely partner) what he likes. Stroking a soft penis as if you are giving a hand job to an erect penis can be an ok choice, but make sure to avoid
what my good friend Gay Rick calls “the taffy pull.” This is when you are pumping a soft penis in what feels like a frantic attempt to create an erection, thus stretching the penis as if you are making candy. This is usually not erotic for anyone involved. Remember,
touching a soft penis is not necessarily about trying for an erection. Touching a soft penis gives pleasure; you donʼt need a further goal than that! Take your time and enjoy touching your partner.
Letʼs talk about communication. Bottom line is you wonʼt know what your partner is thinking or what kind of sex play feels good to them unless you ask. Men (and/or people with penises) might love touch on their soft penis or they might feel pressured by it. They may be interested in trying prostate play or using toys for penetration or they may be turned off by the idea. You have to ask in order to get an answer. Here are some tips for having a good conversation:
• Choose a time to talk that feels neutral. Talking right before or after sex can be intimidating to some people.
• Use “I” statements when appropriate. “I” statements are a great way to let your partner know how you are feeling without blaming.
• Use “Us” statements when appropriate. “Us” statements are a great way to show commitment and support to your partner.
• Use genuine compliments. Who doesnʼt love hearing what their partner loves about them? The trick is to always be genuine.
Finally, a word to partners. When your partner doesnʼt get erect do not assume that it has anything to do with you or what you were doing at the time. Mental arousal and physical arousal donʼt always line up. A person can be really turned on mentally without getting a hard cock or a wet pussy. Or a person can have a really wet vulva or a giant erection without being turned on mentally at all. If you have concerns about whether your partner is turned on or not, ask! It is never a bad idea to ask what they like, what turns them on or what kind of stimulation they like when they go soft or stay soft.
So hereʼs to hot, pleasurable, connected sex; erections or not!
Laura Rad has been educating herself and others about sexuality for over eight years. She is one of the co-hosts of the Sex is Fun Podcast and the Strong, Sexy & Stylish podcast. Her writing has been published in the Sex is Fun online magazine , Hot Dish, Lole Love and Playboy UK. She loves to teach and this article is an excerpt from her Great Sex; Erections or Not class. Laura holds an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and has founded Edgewise, an afﬁrming and welcoming place for relationship and sex positive therapy in the Minneapolis, MN, area. You can ﬁnd more information about Laura’s therapy practice and classes at her site edgewisetwincities.com.
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