Relationship

My partner and I are trying to conceive – but he's struggling with his sex drive


My partner and I have been trying to conceive for about six months. I’m a 32-year-old woman and he’s a 31-year-old man. What we’re finding is that it’s challenging for him to have the sex drive to have five days in a row of sex. We’re getting to day two or three and he can’t ejaculate. It’s not because he doesn’t want to, nor that he doesn’t want to conceive, he just gets in his head and finds the experience quite pressuring. Do you have any suggestions on how to raise his sex drive or for helping him get out of his head?

Couples under pressure to conceive not only risk conception failure, but the loss of their erotic connection as well. It is really important to take the pressure off both of you. Trying to become sufficiently aroused to achieve ejaculation is always handicapped by the presence of a goal – whether that be finishing before the alarm goes off, proving you’re a good lover or making a baby. Take a different approach. Instead of making love with a practical purpose, allow yourselves to embark on erotic fun together without any design. Your erotic time together needs to be playful. Try some new moves, focus just on sensations and try to make your only chore pure pleasure. Stress – such as work challenges – will only make things more difficult, so try to get a break or some time off. And plan your lovemaking sessions to be long, unhurried and uninterrupted by phones. You are not machines. You will not achieve anything by trying to press “Go”!

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• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

• If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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