As created by Diana Richardson, pioneer of the Slow Sex movement.
Sensitive Men and Performance Pressure

I was speaking with a client the other day, who was completely confused at what happened when she was dating a man she actually really liked. They had only been going out a short time – a few dates and they made love a couple of times. It was 'delicious' as she said. Her whole being wanted to be with him and she was looking forward to the next time.

Which was lovely – at his home, he made dinner, candle lights. They made love. She had to work the next day so she left after making love.

Then after that he just suddenly decided that he had to end it, that he wouldn’t be good for her etc ….

She felt confused, perplexed, slightly upset at finally finding a man she felt an attraction to.

I was intrigued at the suddenness of it and I asked if she could share her story of what exactly happened.

Well when we got deeper into it, the story goes that he orgasmed but she didn’t – he did everything he could to ‘get’ her to orgasm and she was fine not orgasming, but soon after she told him she had to go home.

That made complete sense to me. When you look at conventional sex, there’s a lot for men to ‘do’. 

First of all, he has to get her interested. (That's during or after the candle lit dinner!) Then he has to make sure she’s aroused. Then he has to make sure he maintains his erection. Then he has to make sure he enters her before his erection goes down. Then he has to try to not ejaculate before her. Then he has to make sure they come together. And if she doesn’t orgasm after all that? Well that’s just too hard to face for most men.

He didn’t do his ‘job’.  And sometimes women wonder why men lose their erections!

So after all that stress, she leaves. I imagine that he interprets that as rejection so before she can reject him more, he calls it off.

And she really really liked him!

So ladies, let’s be compassionate in this whole sexual arena and recognise that men can feel the pressure of performing and pleasing you as much as you can feel it. 

My tips for this week:-

Encourage him to let go of the goals and enjoy the present moment through conscious touch and movement, and you will automatically go slow.

Let him know not to stress at all if his erection goes down. If you both relax, it will come back in it's own time.

Move from being tense in lovemaking to being relaxed – the bodies will respond.

Cool lovemaking instead of hot hot hot. It gives time for a woman's body to open and for a man to relax more and do less.

Diana Richardson and Michael Richardson say in Tantric Sex for Men "To relax in sex, a man needs to be encouraged to abandon the idea that he, as a man, is 100 % responsible for the quality of shared sexual experience, whether it is very good, quite good, or unsatisfactory"                                            

And ladies, remember - men are sensitive – let’s not forget that – they may not always show it but they feel just as much as women do. Just in a different way.

I'd love to hear how this resonates for you and if it was helpful. And remember The Making Love Retreat is coming up. Book now to enjoy finding out more about this amazing subject and actually get the chance to experience The Making Love Approach first hand.


P.S Your body is not broken. Menopause is a gateway, a privilege, a time to embrace change with grace and step into a life that is empowered, loving and alive.  This is your birthright as a woman.  You have been waiting for this all your life... Buy my book Tantric Sex and Menopause on Amazon AUSAmazon US & Amazon UK.

Recent Comments 

Hi Janet....I too had an experience this week of being with a man, who was having trouble getting/keeping his erection.... I was blown away by his self-talk around this issue, and could see that for him, this was going to bring up a lot of issues for him....and yes, he called it off. I already knew once we had gotten past the romantic dinner and setting, and gotten into bed that this was a relationship that wasn't going to go past this night....he has a plan re lovemaking - he does this, he does that, then he does this and the climax is him inside, and he voiced it, and no amount of trying to relax him, to allay his fears was working.... And he was soooooo rough, even though I voiced that to him also.... I was planning to stay, but I left at 3am....(he was snoring and I was losing sleep, and also I just could not have dealt with his roughness again.) He did ring me 36 hrs later...(apparently he was very depressed the following day), and he explained rather well what he was feeling, and that he didn't feel he could continue with the 'relationship', and I agreed. I could tell he was going to struggle with that concept of his manhood...which also tied in with lots of other losses in his life...which (having done Grief and Loss Counselling) I explained to him, and he agreed he wasn't in a state to have a relationship. He was going to go to the Drs and get his testosterone checked, and perhaps some pills !!! Was a great learning curve for I have come out of a 4 year relationship with a man with erection problems, and knew about slowing things down, taking the pressure off performing, etc etc.....but it depends on how the man perceives his performance which certainly makes a huge difference to how they cope. The man I met this week will possibly remain friends with me, and I hope, because of our intimacy, I can help him through this (through talking)...but I am also aware that he may just run as I may be a reminder of his 'failure'. He is 65, and had never heard of the fact that as you age your sexuality slows down, erections may not be so firm, etc. And as for slow sex....I am certain he would never heard of it.... So my lesson is - while I may be open to a relationship, and in this case, my physical needs over-rode my intuition.... I need to be more particular re who I open myself up to what a man says is slow sex...may not be my idea. All lessons !!! Annie

Hi Annie,

Thank you for your sharing! All lessons yes. We learn by how we feel afterwards, so you just have to try it out sometimes, but your intuition sounded spot on. Again, I find it sad that men think there is something wrong with them, just like women do when they can’t ‘perform’. And that they go for Viagra to ‘fix’ the problem. His dynamic organ, a man’s penis, is potent whether it is erect or not. And it’s good for women to value that, whichever state it is in. If a woman stays in her ‘camp’ so to speak, enters her own body with awareness through her breasts, and perhaps moving gently with her breath or simply remaining still in the awareness, without the desire for it to different, she will feel this potency. And then sometimes, by surprise the erection will rise on it’s own. It’s quite something when the genitals start to energetically do their own thing! VERY different to conventional lovemaking. Tantric Sex for Men is a great book to share with him – and a great read for women to understand men too.

Love Janet

I love what you offer for lovers and also anyone wanting to deepen in relationship...Magic all round my goddess sister.. I trust you will have a wonderful workshop and continue to open and heal others in this way. I have finally found my inner goddess and am sharing her sweetly with a wonderful sensitive and steller man... hugs honey..and well wishes.. T xxx

Hi Tanya

Thank you for sharing your wonderful news!! I am so deeply happy for you! And thank you for your well wishes, so encouraging,

Much love to you and your new lovely man

Hi Janet, yes your blog resonates for me. And makes so much sense I am very grateful for the information you share. Thinking back to a partner i was with and the erection problems he had..... he was very orgasm focused. His erection would go down... he said he had medical issues that caused that. He said he was grateful that i was so understanding. Although I really believed it was all in his head and that if he relaxed and stopped worrying about the orgasm it would be fine .That was when i really started to see that sex was a problem for me. It didn't make sense. Thankfully it is starting to now.

Hi Wendy

Thank you. Yes there is a lot of misunderstanding about this issue and so sad that the medical profession is making so much money out of it without really helping the CAUSE, which is the way we make love. Just a shift in awareness and attention and an understanding about how the genitals can be engaged in lovemaking in a completely different way simply eliminates this problem. And both can then have the potential to expand in lovemaking instead of the contraction that happens with the goal of orgasm.

Love Janet

About 30% of men under 40 now have ED and/or low sexual desire for real partners. The cause? Streaming internet porn. Many men have no trouble getting erections to internet porn so they are baffled when they can't perform with a partner. Fortunately, a lot of brave men have abandoned internet porn and regained both their sexual performance and their desire for real partners. For more: Video: Women can help by understanding what happened and by not putting performance pressure on their men during his recovery - which can take months.

Hi Marnia

Thank you for this incredibly important and up to date information and for sharing these links with my readers, with regard to this often unspoken, unacknowledged cause of erectile dysfunction. We are also hearing here in Australia of youth of 16 years of age who cannot get erections due to the use porn for years – so sad. Also thankfully, some are recognising the cause and addressing it.

Thank you for the work you and your husband are doing in this field

Kind wishes
PS Marnia Robinson is the author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow

I have often seen in my practice over 30 years and in my tantra training, that men feel inadequate and thus have erection difficulties. Women can perpetuate this – as mothers, as lovers as we have an idea of how we would like it to be, how a man should be, an ideal image. Men also have an idea of how they should be to please the women. Past experiences add to these reactions and our interpretation of these events create beliefs that we then filter our experiences through. So we can look together as a couple at how does one another add to this feeling of inadequacy then often men do not have to retreat to porn and women don’t have to retreat to frustration or feeling rejected. From a pro-relationship perspective (compared with pro-self) we can work as a team to make a difference.
Bert Hellinger talks about this in relation to addiction in men with a great youtube clip

A great comment, thank you Brenda for your input

I needed to read this to remind me of how demanding I may have appeared to my ex lovers/partners.

Since I have been on anti-depressants which is first time in my life (57 yrs) I actually can understand the pressure for men to perform, this being, I have no libido and am very hesitant to engage into sexual relations, as I know I would be incapable of having an orgasm. This does concern me and how I may be perceived as not enjoying myself. I was very sexual in my past and found that I was perhaps addicted to tantric sex and the beautiful spiritual experiences during intimacy that I had.

So, now, perhaps for the first time, I appreciate the pressure men feel to perform and their sense of under achieving when a woman doesn’t orgasm.

My next step is for me to somehow overcome my fear of intimacy and learn how to express myself regarding this sensitive issue, and trust I can experience the pleasures in a loving patient way, not looking at the end result having to be an orgasm…..

Janet replies:- Thanks Kerrie What you speak of is so common and thank you for being so candid as it helps others. The good news is that even with 'low libido' or suppressed body response resulting from such circumstances as using anti-depressants, that lovemaking is actually still possible, and pleasurable using The Making Love Approach. Then lovemaking becomes a choice and you go into it from a very different angle (no pun intended!). Not from a hot/heating up approach but from a cooler/more still standpoint. Without the orgasm goal, or the body's apparent ability to orgasm, a deeper pleasure can be harnessed through the body. It is good to see that 'orgasmic' can have so many contexts and it's a journey of discovery. So in a way, your body is calling you to actually go deeper in your exploration. And, I do understand the feeling of lack of confidence in this instance. It takes two aware, honest people to address these tender issues but it's worth it. I hope you get to experience that with a trusted other. Janet

I am so glad to see comments from women who appear to appreciate the fact that men can feel so much pressure – and crippling feelings of inadequacy – when it comes to intimate relationships. As a man, I assure you that it has only gotten worse over time. Porn, the internet, hook-up culture, Hollywood romance fantasy, etc. have really shaped women’s expectations and demands, and they are voicing them in often insensitive and shaming ways to men. Of course, men can be terribly shaming and insensitive too – I am not letting them off the hook! But the fact is, both genders have really lost their way. And whereas a more sensitive, in touch woman might have been able to bring the man back to reality, now both genders in general seem to be stumbling in the dark.

For men, it becomes an ego-comparison issue, and fear that if he doesn’t “perform” well or have certain physical characteristics, that his woman will get swept away by another man who can provide more excitement to her For women in this age, many seem to have lost touch with their own bodies and desires, and may have lost a more comprehensive understanding of what makes a truly bonded, intimate relationship VS. one that just provides them with security or a little “excitement,” and why the former is better than the latter.

I am grateful for sites like this and teachings from the likes of Diana Richardson, Marnia Robinson, and Gary Wilson etc. because they provide an alternative, a way out of the performance and excitement-chasing trap.

But I think that for such truths can fully take hold on a larger scale, we would need a lot more soul-searching, mutual respect, honest discussion in the spirit of humility, and a dismantling of the harmful thought and action patterns that both men and women seem to be stuck in. I know it is difficult to actually do these things in practice. But it can be done by those who are willing to face themselves honestly and with some vulnerability.

I guess in the end we all have to start with ourselves, and hope we can find others out there who have begun to reach similar conclusions. That way, maybe we can learn how to learn together. I don’t believe that relationships were meant to be a solo act on both sides, where each person has their own agenda to push. Most relationships seem very much like that. But a healthier and more nurturing relationship should strive to be a safe haven away from all that.

Hi Constantine I really appreciate your comments and your take from a man's perspective - I agree whole heartedly with you, Thank you for taking the time to write, May we all grow to understand love better and what stands in the way of that, All the best Janet


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