Actually, there are a lot of things men shouldn't say to women in bed. But it's this innocent-sounding statement that wounds us most:
"That's never happened before."
Sooner or later, "it" – erectile dysfunction – happens to pretty much every sexually active male on the planet. For one reason or another, you just aren't feeling it.
If erectile dysfunction is long-term, it's time to see a doctor. But short-term erectile dysfunction (short-term ED), while potentially embarrassing, isn't serious. In fact, it is considered normal for a man to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection as much as 20 percent of the time.
Numerous factors can lead to short-term ED, including stress, anxiety, fatigue, alcohol or medications.
But still… you're embarrassed. You don't want your partner to think she's chosen a lemon. So you say those four or five innocent-sounding little words: "That's never happened before."
Only here's what we hear:
"I've been able to get it up for every other woman I've been with. You're the first woman I haven't been able to perform with."
In other words, it's us, not you.
Even if it is, however, we don't need to hear it. Telling us just makes you a total dick.
So, how can you express to us what's going on in way that lets us know it's not something we did, or worse, who we are?
The key is to examine the situation honestly and try to determine what's going on.
Are you tired, stressed or anxious? We understand that. You can tell us. You don't even have to be specific. Were you with us on a rebound? We won't be thrilled, but we understand that, too.
Even if you simply changed your mind before you got us home, make it about the situation, not about us personally: "I saw you in the bar and you really turned me on. But now that I've sobered up/had time to think about it, I'm not really comfortable doing it like this. It feels disrespectful." (You don't have to say to whom). Let's face it — you made a mistake. So find some deeper truth.
Because if you say nothing but those four or five words we find so awful, we will carry around the certainty that we're unattractive, or we have a terrible personality, or we smell bad, or we look fat or old without our clothes. To put it bluntly, we become convinced we're unfuckable.
You'll be home in a few minutes or a few hours. Your momentary embarrassment – (it is momentary, right? If not, it's time to see a doctor) – is, to us, a statement on our worth. We'll remember it. We'll remember you. Your temporary embarrassment becomes memorable.
So, guys… tell us about your shitty day. Tell us you'd rather hang out and get to know us first. Tell us you'd be thinking about your ex and feel really guilty afterwards. Tell us anything.
Just don't tell us it's never happened before.