Help! My Penis Is on Fire!
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because sex is a dish best cooked hot. And well.
By Eugene S. Robinson
The Lasting Sexy of Summertime
EUGENE, SIR: For the entire summer I’ve been seeing someone, almost exclusively. I’ve dabbled here and there, but this summer relationship has been fantastic. We get on really well, she’s supersmart and funny. And we’re scary compatible. However, the sex is highly unsatisfying. At first, I thought I could work on it and it’d be a project we could both work on, but it’s never really gotten out of second gear. Last weekend, someone who I haven’t seen in almost two years came back into my life. We’ve kept in touch, but our schedules never synced. The other night she came over, and we had fantastic sex. The best I’ve had all year. We’re both really into each other, and I want to see where this goes. I’m genuinely excited.
But that leaves the summer relationship still there and hanging. She’s been great and supersupportive amid all the drama that’s been my life this year (my mother passed in May). I should probably just be up front and tell her I need a break, but again, we’re so compatible. My heart is no longer in it though, and I’m feeling guilty from all this. Ideas? — PP
Dear PeePee the Sailor Man: You gotta let Ms. Compatible go. Some columnists might advise that compatibility is a big deal and they’re right, but not without the sexual elements. Yes, people can get better, but negotiating that is always going to be tricky and only for the most ego-steadfast among us. Because if she jumps to your suggestions and they’re not in line with what she suspected needed improving, then there’ll be the whole issue of you being the bearer of bad tidings, and this now being a point of tension and unpleasantness.
A friend of mine once told his wife (yeah, he acted too late) that what really turned him on was when she embraced the act in the full spirit of nasty. So she started talking dirty to him, which, unexpectedly, put him off. He wasn’t used to it from her, it felt unnatural and most importantly, he felt like she was bad at it. Meaning: It felt like something she was doing just to make him happy. Which gets points for effort but is still pretty unsexy, since an element of sexy is giving what it pleases you to give. Not what you feel compelled to give.
So if you go with Ms. Compatible, you’re consigning yourself to furtively embracing more fulfilling sexual relationships other places … until? You’re caught. And then you’ll have to “act” contrite, and well, it’ll be a drag all around.
Like I’ve said before, forget unconditional LOVE. Gimme unconditional LUST!
Long-term relationships will require every ounce of strength you have. Especially if you’re going to have kids. Better start off with the best of the most, and I just weight sex very heavily. Why? It’s rare to want to get away from someone who is great in bed.
And now some words of caution: That works both ways. Good luck!
Hunk of Burning Love
EUGENE, SIR: My husband and I have had a confusing problem for a few years, and it isn’t apparently a priority in health research because I can’t find a lot of information about it, and our family doctor brushes it off. You see, he experiences strong burning pain in, or of, his urethra after sex. He doesn’t have a urinary infection, but he does have a transplanted kidney to replace the loss of both of his kidneys. This pain is strong enough to send him to the shower and stop him from sleeping. It arrives about 30 minutes after ejaculation and lasts hours. For a while, it seemed correlated with the duration or time of sex: the later or longer the sex, the more likely he was to experience pain afterward. That doesn’t matter anymore. Have you heard of this before? I wish I could find help, because sex is very important to him, and I hate to see him suffer while I bask in a happy glow afterward! — Kansas City
Dear KC + The Sunshine Band: I gotta say this one kinda stumps me. Stumps me enough that I actually asked a real doctor, which is something I suggest you do. But he said that the easy answer would be if you are using spermicidal birth control. Outside of this, transplant recipients take a lot of drugs to prevent rejection, and these have a lot of weird side effects. Also, people with transplants may have had multiple medical procedures, which might have caused a urethral stricture, but that would cause pain mainly with ejaculation and urination, not half an hour later. It’s possible that this problem is not caused by the transplant, but is coincident.
“When one thing is not explained by a precedent, it is necessary to consider that there may be an independent causative entity,” the doctor said. And then: “Specifically, something like chlamydia prostatitis could theoretically cause this, although I would expect painful ejaculation as well, and being on immunosuppressive drugs could potentially trigger a relapse in a previously subclinical infection. Finally, the genitourinary system is wired up funny, and pain is often experienced in a different location than it is being generated, which adds another layer of complexity.”
So, um, yeah. Color us baffled.
Manic Performance Panic
EUGENE, SIR: I’ve been dating the man of my dreams for the past four months, and he’s adorable in every way. However, he gets hard when we’re fooling around, but the minute he comes close to penetrating me, he loses his erection. EVERY SINGLE TIME. We’re both in our mid-50s, and he’s wonderful at pleasing me through oral sex and other ways, and he reaches orgasm through fellatio. But we’re both missing the closeness that comes with penetrative sex, and he’s getting increasingly frustrated and so am I. What can I do to help him? I don’t want to say or do anything that will increase his anxiety, and I told him I’m willing to wait for as long as it takes. — Mamacita
Dear Muddah: Sex is about play. PLAY. And while we do take our play seriously — witness: weekend softball games or poker — there’s such a thing as taking it too seriously. That’s where you all are now. It’s become … a thing. How do I know? I know because you both are functional, sexually, in almost every other way.
But that’s not what you asked. You asked how to help him continue that functionality when it comes to coitus?
Easy: Set aside an entire day for play. No time limits. And you take a greater hand in things. Nothing quite as daunting from a man’s position as having the whole room waiting on him — and nothing quite as attractive as knowing that your partner is aroused by whatever you’re doing. So grab him and de-signify penetrative sex since he’s most expecting that his failures here will cause him to be dumped.
So you remove the fear of being dumped? Maybe he mellows out. However, if four months from now things are still stalled? If it’s me? I start thinking exit strategy.
Let me know how it turns out.