Miss Information

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"The guy I'm seeing can't keep it up. Is it me?"

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Dear Miss Information,

I have been loosely dating — I guess “dating” is the word; “Hanging out but falling into bed” is so clunky — this guy for a few months. We hooked up on our second date and have probably slept together five times by now. He’s very giving (read: the oral sex), and our chemistry is really good… kind of. The first time we hooked up was fantastic. The second time, though, he lost his erection halfway through and kind of apologized and masturbated to get hard again. He kept protesting that “this was hot” and that he was “so into this,” but also seemed really embarrassed about his cock. I tried not to pressure him and kind of waited it out. Things finally got back on track and it was okay.

Basically, this has been happening more and more, and I’m starting to wonder if the total loss of wood is on him and not me. Our first hook-up was incredible — what if, the more he gets to know me, the less attracted he is to me? He swears each time that he’s so turned on and his body just isn’t cooperating, but, I dunno I believe him anymore.

I really like spending time with him, and I think he might turn into boyfriend material, but this is increasingly freaking me out. The naked waiting around I can handle (although it gets old), but I’m starting to wonder more and more — what if it’s just me?

— Bonerkiller

Dear Bonerkiller,

“Bonerkiller” would make an outstanding superhero. In fact, I can see the panels of the graphic novel now. I wish so hard I could draw, but I can’t. Readers: surely one of you are talented? Someone, please write The Bonerkiller Chronicles. "She fights crime by emasculating her enemies!” or “… He stomps out evil, then gets sexually excited by it!” Man, I’m an idea goldmine today. (Seriously, though. Someone please draw this.)

All right, anyway. Bonerkiller, you had a question. Early on, dating is always fraught with “What does this mean? Am I reading this right?” Admittedly, “I take off my shirt” → “he loses his erection” is a tough cause-and-effect. But it honestly may not have anything to do with you. Like all of us, he probably has a complicated history with sex: maybe every time he gets turned on, he gets LSD flashbacks or remembers a terrible ex or hears The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” in his head. Any number of things in his own inner ecosystem might be causing this. Don’t take it personally! If you know you’re going to have sex in fits and starts, learn to take advantage of the downtime. It’s only dead air if you make it dead air. If he is flustered and embarrassed, use the time to masturbate and/or get him to help you. Or start nibbling his ears, sucking his toes, biting his shoulder — whatever he’s into that draws focus away from his dick. Don’t rush it, and sooner or later you’ll get back in the groove.

Perhaps more interesting than the sexual issue, though, is your assumption that this is just a symptom of him liking you less and less. You say you think he might be boyfriend material — what makes you think you're becoming less likeable while he's growing more likeable? I’d encourage you not to think of his erections as a litmus test of his affection for you. Sexual chemistry is important, but it’s not the sole indicator of your relationship’s health. Look at your relationship holistically — especially the times you are fully-clothed and just hanging out. And, please, have some faith in your own likeability!

Worst-case scenario, if nothing else changes, you can just take to shouting a catchphrase. “YOU JUST GOT BONERKILLER’D!” It may not help your love life much, but it will do wonders for your legend.