Do men think about sex every seven seconds?


This urban myth has been around a long time! When I was a teenager, I remember being told that men thought about sex every seven seconds as if it was as an accepted fact like the sky is blue.

If men really do think about sex every seven seconds, then that’s seven or eight thousand thoughts about sex a day! The myth doesn’t hold up when you look into all the many research studies done on this topic.

This every seven seconds idea really supports the culturally constructed idea that all men are obsessed with sex all the time. It lumps all men into a sexually homogeneous group with this uniform sexual energy.

This myth ties into all the many stereotypes about male sexuality. Male sexuality isn’t as simple or uniform as people like to believe.

Male sexuality changes with age, relationship status and emotional and physical health.

This cultural idea that men think about sex every few seconds simply isn’t true and it’s very much over estimated. The research can’t agree on how many times a day anyone thinks about sex because there’s just such a huge variation.

One research study found that young men on average thought about sex 19 times a day. This was a fraction more than young women on average thought about sex in a day (ten times) but they also discovered men thought about sleep and food more than women too. Researchers concluded that men are more needs based than women.

Other researchers found that men and women’s sexual thoughts were of about equal amounts during the day.

Another study found that 16 year old young men thought about sex every five minutes not every seven seconds.  Men in their 40’s thought about sex every half an hour. These sexual thoughts kept decreasing as their age increased.

The Kinsey Report discovered that 4% of men under the age of 60 think about sex only once a month, 43%  of men think about sex a few times a month or a week and 54% have at least one sexual thought a day or more.

As men age they have less sex than when they were younger. Sexual thoughts and desires fluctuate depending on your overall energy and wellbeing.

How many times you think about sex a day has more to do with you as an individual than what sex you are. It also has to do more with how you feel in your body and your sexuality than your genitals.

Researchers found that some men and women thought about sex a hundred times or more a day. They also found some men and women only thought about sex a few times a day.

If someone is dealing with sexual addictive or compulsive behaviours then it’s also more down to a whole host of complex reasons that aren’t necessarily related to their genitals.  Sexual compulsive behaviours are due to an inability to cope with stress, biochemical reasons or growing up in a dysfunctional family or surviving childhood sexual assault. People with sexually addictive traits use sex in the same way a drug addict uses drugs- to avoid unpleasant feelings or stress from work etc.

So there you have it. Men do not think about sex every seven seconds! Myth busted!

Photography- Oliver Easton

Why asking questions about sex is important.


I’m still very concerned by how GP’s in Australia receive minimal or no training in sexual health.

GP’s in Australia don’t receive any training about how to discuss sex and sexual health with their patients.

Sexual health is intergral to our well being and it needs to be seen as an essential part of our mental and physical health.

GP’s often assume their patients are sexually active because they don’t want to ask them that question. A lot of the time that assumption is wrong.

There’s a lot of couples counsellors out there who have no sexual health training at all. A lot of them also don’t have any training in working with couples where domestic violence and abuse might be present.

You can’t operate in a sexless vacuum. It’s there and medical and mental health professionals need to have adequate training in sexual health.

It’s not true that if you repair the relationship that sex will automatically start flowing again.

It’s also not true that you can wait for a couple to bring up sexual issues with a therapist. Often they might want to but won’t, hence the need for therapists with sexual health training who will ask the right questions and not shy away from topics about sex and intimacy.

Asking patients questions about their sexual health is crucial for understanding their medical history.

The more uncomfortable the question is, often the more important it is to ask.

How to Overcome Male Performance Anxiety- video

“When I’m not interested in sex, it makes me feel like I’m not a man. In fact, my wife wants it more than me so I came up with the excuse of chronic back pain. I think it’s easier for her to accept. What’s wrong with me?”

– David, Clifton, New Jersey

Three essential male vulnerabilities that many men grapple with.

The fear of rejection. The free and burdensome position of being the iniatator.

The fear of inadequacy. Am I competent enough, do I know what I’m doing?
How do I know if my partner, especially if they’re female, really enjoys it. What is that mystery of that other partner who I can never know what she really feels, because she can fake it.

Why compatibility is a myth

I’m sick of reading about compatibility being the supposed ‘glue’ of a relationship all the time.  I hate this strange definition of compatibility and I’d like to redefine it with you now and show why it’s overrated.

There is such a thing as a compatible couple.

There’s no such thing as two people who share all the same tastes, values and interests.  All couples fight and argue about the same things- sex, time, money, kids, in-laws etc.  A good relationship hinges on how you manage and resolve these conflicts together.

Research shows there’s no difference in levels of compatibility in happy or unhappy couples.

Happy couples never even mention compatibility. Only unhappy couples bring compatibility up all the time and stress how important it is to a relationship.

Compatibility is like an easy scapegoat for unhappy couples to blame when a relationship is floundering or doesn’t work out.

Successful relationships aren’t about compatibility.

Successful long term relationships  are more about will power and partners who truly want to stay together in the relationship. You must want to be in a relationship in general and you must want to be with your partner.

Creating a fulfilling relationship is more to do with you and your partner than this contemporary concept of compatibility.

Lasting relationships are more about how you interact with each other than who you are.

Compatibility is something that you create together. It’s not something you have inside of yourself. You maintain and nurture that compatibility over time. You work at compatibility.

I want us to throw out talking about relationship compatibility like it’s a noun. It’s not like a holy grail you find in the wilderness. Relationship compatibility should be discussed as a verb. You go on a pilgrimage together to find the holy grail. Verbs are doing words and a noun is an object.

Relationship skills can always be sharpened and improved upon.

How do you emotionally connect? How do you respond to your partners bids for connection? Do you turn towards your partner or turn away?

Some people think someone’s personality or interests are what makes up compatibility but these won’t necessarily pass the test of time.

Relationships are about building something together. How does your relationship support your vision for your life?

Stop focussing on this flawed notion of compatibility especially in the early days of dating. Doing this makes it easier for commitment phobes or people scared of intimacy to run straight for the exit door of the relationship as soon as things get challenging.

Watch this before you get married or move in together

This is beautiful….

The relationship counsellor in me got very excited when he started talking about Dr Gottman.

Gottman says the most important factor for a happy marriage is attention.

Small moments of positive attention.

Remember you are on the same team.

It’s about giving your partner consistent small acts of love and attention.

It’s the small things often that make the big differences over time.

It’s the small moment of our lives that take up the biggest parts of our hearts…

If you’re in a relationship, what is your favorite small act of love that your partner does for you?

Let me know what you think of the video..

Can you tell a man’s penis size by his shoe size?


Dear Cat,

When I’m on a date with a man can I tell how big his penis is by checking out his shoe size? I’ve heard that men with large shoes are very well endowed and I’m quite often sussing out their foot size. Is this true?

If it’s not true is there a way I can tell whether he’s got a big one by anything else like his body type?



Hi Kelly,

Sorry to disapoint but the answer is no.

You can’t tell a man’s penis size by looking at his feet or shoe size and a research project was set up to work that out.

In a study from 2002, Doctors measured over a hundred men’s shafts and then measured their shoe size. They stretched out the participants flaccid penis to try to get an accurate measurment of the size the penis would be erect. Now that sounds rather flawed to me and I’m going to do some research into this point and get back to you on it. Anyway, the researchers found a vast range of penis size from 6 to 16 cm and shoe size from 5.5 to 13 which is interesting because there’s also a vast range in the length of women’s inner labia.

However they found no connection between the size of shoe size and penis size.

The reason the doctors measured the men’s penis themselves was to try to maintain some neutral and objective  measurements.  It would have been an interesting job to take on!

When men measure their penis on their own, they consistently overestimate and add an sneaky inch or so to the length and girth.  This is why there’s not much reliable data out there on the average penis size around the world.

To answer your second question there are possibly some other ways to get an idea of penis size but the research only really points to overall trends. So please keep in mind this doesn’t mean it’s a magical indicator of every single man you meet.

So there is a correlation between bigger penis size and taller height and lower body weight. The research shows that taller and skinnier men have larger penises. Remember these are general averages overall and of course shorter and heavier men can be well endowed.

The second way you might be able to tell if you still have your large penis detective hat on is by looking at their hands.

Penis length is also correlated with finger length ratio.  I don’t advise necessarily doing this on a first date but I’ll fill you in on the research results anyway!
The longer the penis tends to be the shorter a man’s index finger is in relation to his ring finger.

So you can stop staring at their shoes on a date now!

How does your personality predict your sex life?

Your sexual expression is an extension of your personality.

We all have our own unique personalities. Our personality is made up of individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

Our personality has a big impact on our sexual satisfaction and sex life.

Sex researchers have been doing a lot of work into what our personalities can predict about our sex lives and it’s very interesting! A lot of it makes sense.

Without boring you with the history of the development personality theory from the Ancient Greeks, through to Freud and Jung I might just jump straight into it. Unless you beg me to write a blog on the history of personality theory throughout the western world!

So today we are  going to talk about the BIG FIVE theory of personality.

This is the concept  that each one of our personalities contains five basic traits which all exist on a spectrum. Every one of us can be positioned anywhere along this line between two very distinct poles. This model has been applied successfully to people all over the world from various cultures.

I like this model because it also accounts for how your personality changes over time and how biology and environment can influence our personality. It puts some important context in there.

This BIG FIVE concept is a valid construct for viewing personality and I’m pretty down with it, so let’s move on and look at how the  five elements  predict your sexual behaviours!

I’m going to talk about them one at at time so let’s start.

1.) Neuroticism:

Imagine a sliding scale with anxiety,  tenseness, pessimism and being withdrawn on one end and emotional stability, contentedness and confidence on the other.

Ask yourself: are you someone that gets nervous really easily and/or experiences the world as a threateneing, unsafe place or are you very relaxed, content and handle stress super well?

High levels of neuroticism predict higher dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s life and more sexual and intimate relationship unhappiness.

High levels of emotional instability and anxiety are disruptive for the sexual process. Our stress reaction inhibits our biological and psychological sexual expression.

The more neurotic someone is more likely their intimate relationship will be under large amounts of stress and the partipiants unhappy and unsatisfied sexually.

Neuroticism and high levels of anxiety and volatility can get in the way of a fulfilling sex life. If you’re high in neuroticism you might not prioritise sex as that important in a relationship.  You’re more likely to avoid sex, you might not enjoy sex all that much or you might really like sex but also need so much time on your own it could push your partner away.

Men that showed high levels of neuroticism didn’t display many erectile problems, however their big problems with showing emotional openess acted as a barrier for sexual encounters and sexual communication skills.

Neurotic men were slightly less satisfied with themselves as men and moderately less satisfied with their bodies.

Men higher in neuroticism showed higher condom use or withdrawal methods.

Neuroticism is the only big five trait that has a direct connection to a smaller likelihood of having anal sex.

If your personality is high on the neurotic continuum you might be more likely to be nervous about your sexual performance and have lower levels of sexual satisfaction. You might also have lower sexual esteem, less sexual assertiveness and more sexual guilt, anxiety and depression.

Research shows that people high in neurotic traits had high levels of sexual self monitoring.

What is a high level of sexual self monitoring?

Self monitoring is basically when you’re observing and regulating your own behavior in a social or sexual context. Think of how chameleons blend into their environment. High and low self monitors have completely different concepts of self and identity.

We all self monitor to a degree, but if you have high levels of self monitoring you’re more meticious about presenting yourself in a particular way for each environment youre in at the time.  You’re  more likely to see love as a game. You’d project a particular image of yourself so that you will fit in or impress the particular people you’re around at the time.

Alternatively, someone with a low level of self monitoring is more likely to present the authentic version of themselves without the mask.

Now imagine this in a sexual context.

Higher levels of self monitoring might look like this- you might be acting like you’re the most turned on and aroused person at a kink party, when you might really be having a terrible day and feel really bad.  No one could even tell.  You might act sexually in a way with a partner that is more about what you think they might like than what you might like.    You’d be tuning into the cues around you and making sure you act how you deem “appropriate.”

High self monitors also struggle with attachment in relationships. They  don’t like their partners getting too psychologically close or too intimate and try to keep them at an arms length.

None of the research I looked at shows whether there’s a consistent connection with neuroticism and sexual infidelity or ‘promiscuity.’ Those sexual behaviours are much more connected to other personality traits like extraversion!

I’ll talk about this in my next blog!



Overcome your orgasm block

           She struggles to orgasm




Were you punished for simply exploring your body as a child? It’s a common way that we learn to repress our sexuality and young girls seem to be punished a lot more for self exploration than little boys.

This repression can continue into adulthood. When women don’t know how to orgasm after growing up with this shame about their own bodies it’s important to awaken your own body on your own terms.

I’m going to say that again because it’s so important- awaken your body on your own terms! What would that look like to you? How could you do that?

A lot of young people are brought up with the abstinence only model which can lead to repression and confusion about desire and pleasure.

A lot of girls are accessing porn earlier and earlier and using it as their main form of sex education despite the fact it’s mainly focussed on male sexual needs, made for the the male viewer and documents the male sexual response cycle which is very different to the female sexual response cycle.  There can be a lot of frustration when women are trying to make their body respond in the same way a man’s body does.

Learn how to self pleasure yourself on your own.

Get a lamp and a mirror and rub oil on your genitals and give yourself a loving and sensual massage.

Learn how to orgasm yourself on your own first.

Learn the rhythm, pressure and patterns that feel good so that you can then show someone else what you like when you’re ready.

For women of menstruating age and not on hormonal contraception that blocks ovulation, notice the times of your cycle that your body is most responsive, most easily aroused and most lubricated.

Notice how your vulva, body responses and discharge changes throughout your cycle.

Learn to love your body and your genitals in new and radical ways.

Masturbation and sex are skills that need to be learnt like riding a bike.

Imagine you’re training for the Tour de France! Start putting all of that focus and concentration on traning yourself! Don’t let your pleasure go to the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list.

If you struggle to orgasm get to know what’s in between your thighs intimately and make it a priority to master the art of self pleasure and orgasm.

Understanding how all of your body works and responds is important to unlocking sexual pleasure. A lot of my work is starting off with sex education and eradicating so much of the myths that my clients have been brought up with surrounding their sex drive and their bodies.

A clinical sex therapist such as myself can help you if you’re struggling with orgasm and can set you specific homework techniques depending on your specific situation.

This is especially relevent if you’re struggling with past sexual trauma.

Get in touch with me today if you want to reclaim your sexuality, your pleasure and your body.

Catherine O Dowd

Sex therapist- Relationship Counsellor- Art Psychotherapist

Things from porn you shouldn’t do

porn good


Porn lies to you! And sadly so many people get their sexual education from porn these days and are terribly misinformed. It’s important to remember it’s a highly constructed fantasy for entertainment- it’s not the one and only way to have sex!

Here are some things you may have seen in a lot of pornographic films and shouldn’t do in real life!

Vaginal sex straight after anal sex


STOP!! If you are using a toy like a strap on or a penis in a partner’s anus and then you go straight from there into the vagina stop noooo stop right now!!
You will give your partner nasty infections!

You should never even put your finger from up inside an anus to up inside a vagina. If you want to do this, wear gloves and use lots of lube. Change the gloves before you go from the anus to the vagina. Also, change the condom before going from the anus to the vagina!

Remember how little girls are taught when wiping themselves after urinating they should wipe from front to back never the other way around? That’s because the bacteria from the anus should NEVER get into contact with the pH balanced vagina. This transfer of bacteria can apparently even happen when women wear a g-string! Once the  bacteria that normally lives in a healthy GI tract, rectum and anus is transplanted  into the reproductive tract of the vagina, they can cause quite a few problems.

Putting a cock, finger or toy from an anus into the vagina can cause bacterial vaginosis. This can cause a strain that’s harder than usual to treat because it’s a type of bacteria not normally found in the vagina.

This mistake you may have learnt from porn may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which is when bacteria travel from the vagina to the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes and can cause infertility. That’s not sexy!

Vaginal sex straight after anal sex can lead to vaginal thrush (or vulvovaginal candidiasis). This can be very painful, inflamed and itchy with off-smelling, white or looking discharge. Doctors recommend avoiding any fingers/toys or penises in the vagina while it recovers from thrush so that’s another reason not to do this!

Post anal vaginal contact can also cause urinary tract infections which can lead to serious kidney infections if not treated early!


Not using any or enough lubrication

I know you never see the behind the scenes prep in porn movies with lube and to be frank, there is often hardly any lube used in a lot of porn scenes which looks rather painful!

Spit isn’t enough!

All safe sex requires lube and condoms! Condoms without lube can break! Always use lube!



Not wearing condoms with a new sex partner

You should never ever have unprotected sex with a stranger or new partner!

10,000 people between the ages of 13-24 were diagnosed were HIV in a recent study. Don’t be complacent about your sexual health! Safe sex always! Don’t risk it!


Not wearing condoms when you have anal

Someone said to me recently they didn’t do this with a new heterosexual partner because “anal means no baby risks so why wear a condom.”

You still aren’t protecting yourself against STI’s and HIV!

It’s time to destroy the myth that the anus is a simply tighter version of the vagina. No!

Having protected sex during anal encounters is even more important than vaginal sex because the anal lining is much thinner than the vagina and prone to breaking and  tearing more easily when friction occurs. This is expecially true if there’s nasty dry friction going on! The anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication like the vagina so if you aren’t using lots and lots of lube then you could be causing micro tears and making the anus bleed! Coming into contact with someone’s sexual and bodily fluids like blood is not safe sex!


Skip foreplay for the woman


A lot of porn is made by male directors for a male audience. Think of how in so many of film scenes any point of view scenes are usually for the male viewers joy.

There’s a LOT of scenes that consisently show foreplay for women is completely missing or only about 2% of the the amount of documented foreplay for the man. I think there’s even been academic studies to prove this. For every one minute in heterosexual porn of a woman receiving cunninglingus from a man there was probably 20 minutes of a woman sucking a man’s penis!

This isn’t real!

Foreplay is important! Stop seeing sex as just the genitals touching each other. Sex is every single part of your contact.

I totally get that foreplay will vary when you’re with a long term partner and sometimes quickies can be exciting, however if every single time you’re rushing straight past foreplay then stop!

The more foreplay the more the vagina lengthens, widens and lifts. The more foreplay the more orgasmic capacity the woman will reach. Why rush? What’s the hurry?



Ignore the entire body except for the genitals


I often laugh to myself that so many porn scenes could just be a floating vulva or penis in the air with perhaps a hand and that’s it. It’s so disconnected.

The entire body is an exciting erogenous zone. Stroking your lovers body, caressing and massaging it all over before even touching the genitals can open up a whole world of pleasure. Sex is more than just genitals rubbing together.  A lot of pornos just replicate these cultural ideas that prioritise reproduction way above pleasure.  Embrace a more holistic and nuanced view of sex where you’re not rushing to get to a destination.


Do something without checking in because you saw it in a porno and thought it was okay

Grabbing their head and choking them on your penis, slapping her or him, calling her or him a slut, choking her or him around the neck, ejaculating on her face- without her or his consent -all because you “assumed” it was okay because of all the particular porno’s you watch isn’t going to help you. Without their explicit and continued consent it is assault.

Unless she or he begging you to do that or has talked about it with you beforehand just don’t do it. Do not surprise someone with things like this. You need to discuss it first.

Consensual sex means that two people have to agree.

Consent is mutual, ongoing, freely given, informed and enthusiastic. It can be revoked at any point.

Asking permission is sexy and not a sign of weakness.

Sexual trauma occurs where someone feels pressured into doing something they don’t want to do or has the kind of sex they don’t want to have. This is especially done by the person who had more power in the interaction or relationship and when they don’t even care what the other person wants.

Just because there’s a particular few “standard” porn scripts doesn’t mean that’s what people like outside of that constructed film fantasy.   Sexual desire is complex and vast and extends far beyond the contrived world of porn that is let’s face it, made mainly by male directors. Women are all wired from their genitals to their brains very differently to other women and like very different things. Don’t assume anything about anyone’s wants and desires.

Just because you watch a lot of rough and nasty films that show women being disrespected and hurt doesn’t mean your sexual partners will be down for this treatment. Don’t assume anything.

If you go rough  on your partner without checking with them first that they like this or without them telling you that’s what they’d like to try- it’s not going to end well. This is not what consent is all about.

Verbal communication is super important during a sexual encounter. Remember that silence is not consent and you must ask and ask and ask some more! You could say, “Is this okay?” or “do you want to keep going?”

If a sexual boundary is accidentally crossed then rely on what should be your foundational skills for any sexual encounter- communication, negotiation and repeated mutual consent.

The laws in Australia have been updated.

Positive consent now means that:

  • there is a free agreement between all parties involved, with no coercion, force or intimidation of any kind; and
  • an individual will actively display his/her willingness to participate and consent to sexual activity. Consequently:
    • submitting to sexual activity, or not actively saying “no”, is not enough to demonstrate consent; and
    • the consent of the other party in a sexual encounter should never be assumed, and should be actively sought after and affirmed.

This brings us nicely to my next point..


Slapping your partners genitals

Unless they ask or beg for it. Just don’t. Watching it in a porno doesn’t mean your partner will like it. I’ve heard male, female and non binary clients both complain to me about a new sexual partner doing this to them. You can really hurt someone! Check first!

Start pounding fast and rough anal sex straight away

Porn stars spend copious amounts of time behind the scenes preparing their anuses for sex scenes and they still often sustain injuries. If you want to have anal sex start very slowly and gently and only once your body is very aroused and relaxed.


Be a selfish jerk and make the entire encounter only about your own pleasure


Especially if it’s a first encounter!

I understand in long term relationships you might play and do role plays where one person might only receive one time or what have you!  However, in general if you really think the sexual act is mainly about your own pleasure and trying to ram as many openings as possible then you’re missing out on so many other realms of pleasure. If you’re having a one night stand with someone and you’ve demanded they be stroking and sucking you for 99% of the time and you barely even touched their body then perhaps you should start to learn to dedicate some of your time to pleasuring your partner. It’s not all about you!



Only define sex as penis in a vagina or penis in something


This is a huge problem with our society. Sex is a much more expansive idea than this. I have written countless blogs about this over the past six years so won’t repeat myself about this here.
So there you have it! That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what you shouldn’t do in real life that you saw in a porno film!

I lose my erection when I have to put on a condom



Dear Cat,

I am a heterosexual male and want to embrace the swinging lifestyle. I’ve always been very sexual but I’m not into relationships but hate condoms.

As soon as the woman asks me to wear a condom my hard on goes soft or when I have to put the condom on I lose my erection. How am I supposed to have sex? Surely my partners should be okay with no condoms so that I can be hard?


Hi Perry,

Thanks for your question.

Safe sex is important if you want to embrace the swinging lifestyle. Australia has a huge STI problem right now so don’t even think of having sex with a new partner without engaging in safe sex. Using condoms and plenty of lube is everything if you’re having multiple sexual partners.

This is surmountable and you can have sex with condoms with a hard cock.

And no you should never ever expect or even demand a new sexual partner to expose herself to possible pregnancy or STI or HIV risks for you. You need to drop this right now.

It’s possible to stay hard when wearing a condom or when the topic comes up.

Firstly let’s expand your idea of sex.

There’s lots of sexual play and interactions you can have without putting your penis into something. Use your hands and play.

Understanding how distractions impact your hard on

Recent research revealed men could lose their erections if there was a lack of privacy.

Go shopping and do some condom research

Condoms shouldn’t be a problem. Try buying some different brands until you find one you like. They’re pretty thin and there’s some condom brands that have won awards for their thin sensation or the speed at which you can put them on.

Have a play with condoms made of different materials until you find one you like and try all different types of lubricants.

I started drinking coffee for the first time a few years ago. I still get a bit confused going into a cafe deciding between all the different types of coffees to choose from (fellow Australian coffee drinkers will understand). Finding condoms and lube is similar. There’s a lot to choose from out there. Try it all and settle on your favourites.


Fit the condom correctly
Condom use is almost 100% effective when used properly and fitted correctly. The condom should completely cover the length of your penis with enough room at the tip for ejaculate.

Make sure you buy specific larger or smaller sizes if you find the standard condom doesn’t fit you properly.

If the condom is too small it might break or be very uncomfortable.

If you’re very well endowed a standard condom will feel too tight.

If the condom is too big it might slip off.

Measure your penis when it’s erect to discover what condom size you need. You’ll need to measure the length and the width.

Use plenty of lubrication

Try putting a tiny bit of lube on the end of your penis before putting the condom on and you might feel more sensation. Experiment with this on your own first so you only use the smallest amount which doesn’t stop the condom coming off.

Make sure you’re using lube with your partner during the sexual act and so the condom doesn’t rip or tear. Put some lube on the outside of the condom and on her vulva and vagina. Better still, get her to do it. Much sexier.

Look within
What’s happening with you right now shines the light on what our biggest sexual organ is- and that’s our brain!

I’d be curious to spend a few sessions with you exploring what’s happening mentally with you when your sexual partner asks you to wear a condom. What issues and memories do you have tied up with condoms and how do you feel when a woman asks you to wear one? I’d be asking you to challenge thoughts that were linked to this act that could be disempowering your sexuality and libido. It’s a matter of reframing this moment so that your mind interprets it as very sexy.

Start to associate the request for condoms as wild, confident and carefree sex. The problem with the word ‘safe’ is that in the heat of the moment some people love ‘risk’ and ‘thrill.’ You might need to retell this story for yourself- see wild, sexual pleasure as having a condom in place where you can really let go without worrying.

Is this part of a bigger problem?

Have you been losing your erections regularly regardless of whether the condom is involved or not? It would be vaulable for you to book a session with a sex therapist such as myself to assess whether there’s any deeper psychological issues leading to these losses of erection.

Various medications, anxiety and depression can cause erection loss. I’d also want to investigate your lifestyle and overall health. Smoking, drinking, nutrition and lack of exercise can impact erections.

Solo Latex Practice
Start with practicing with the right sized condoms alone. This can help break down the obstacle you might have against them in your mind. It can help you make sure you’re putting it on your erect penis correctly so you’ll be less likely to get flustered with a partner.

If you spend some time on your own self pleasuring and playing with getting the condom on you can check that you’re actually wearing the right size condom and turn it into a pleasurable game. You could masturbate wearing a condom to get used to the sensations and start to associate it as a pleasurable thing rather than as a barrier to pleasure.


It’s important to relax. It’s okay for men to lose their erections sometimes and not be 100% hard all the time. Breathe and focus on the awesome sensations when you’re with your partner. Things don’t always have to be super serious. You can have a laugh if that makes it easier or make a joke that it will come back soon. Anxiety around putting on a condom can make a man lose an erection.

Condoms for oral sex always

If you’re having multiple sexual partners it’s important to be wearing a condom when your sexual partner gives you oral sex for it to be defined as safe sex. Using condoms during oral sex can help you get used to the sensation of the condom during vaginal intercourse.

Don’t stop the stimulation

Keep stroking yourself with your hand or ask your partner to manually stimulate you whilst putting the condom on.

Change things around

If the stress happens when she actually says, “put on a condom” then when things are getting heated but still pretty early on just put on a condom on yourself just so that it’s on.

Try to stop only putting the condom on just before the sexual act requires it and see if this helps. This can take the pressure off.  You could say something like, “I”m just putting it on now for later…..”

Now keep doing whatever sexy things it was that you were doing before putting the condom on and try to forget you’re even wearing it.

Get her to put the condom on

This could become an arousing sexual practice in itself, perhaps she could put the condom on with her mouth or stimulate your shaft with her breasts or hands whilst opening the packet. Try to incorporate the act of putting the condom on into the sexual act rather than pausing all sexual contact and then resuming it again.
Use your imagination. There’s so many sexy ways to do this.

Try the female condom

This could be very liberating for you! You could try switching between male and female condoms on different days. Just don’t ever use them at the same time!

The woman can insert the female condom well ahead of time so there won’t be that ‘break’ in sexual activity that can lead to the distraction or anxiety that can lead to you losing your erection.

She can even put the female condom on before sexual activity even starts so there’s only freeflow continuity!

Alternatively she can put it on in front of you as part of sexy foreplay.

The inner ring of the female condom can stimulate the tip of your penis and the outer ring can stimulate the woman’s clitoris.

Some men find them more comfortable because they don’t fit so tightly around the penis like a male condom does and they don’t dull sensations at all.

Some are latex free so perfect if you or your partner has a latex allergy or sensitivity.