What To Do When Your Play Partner Can’t Get Hard

Mrs. Jones discusses male performance anxiety in the swinger lifestyle.

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We tout the lifestyle as a fun, sexy environment where we can meet new friends, have exciting erotic encounters, and live out some awesome fantasies. However, the reality is that we also sometimes find ourselves in stressful, high pressure situations where we have to make decisions on the fly—the kind of decisions that not only impact us as individuals, but also our partners. This becomes easier with experience, but sometimes the stress of having sex with virtual strangers can cause things to go sideways.

Listen, performance anxiety exists in the swinger lifestyle.

I’m not referring to a male diagnosed medical condition that can hopefully be treated. The type of performance anxiety that I’m addressing is a temporary physical issue brought on by stress or possibly another factor such as drinking too much alcohol. What I’m addressing is when a man has a problem getting or staying physically aroused in the heat of the moment during swinger sex.

If the root of the problem is that the gentleman was over-served alcohol or over-served himself by applying a bit too much “social lubricant,” there’s not a lot that can be done in the moment to salvage penetrative sex. Making out and petting could happen, but it’s likely a better idea to call it a night because alcohol not only inhibits performance, it also blurs the line of consent to a degree that can challenge the ethical part of ethical nonmonogamy. The good news? This problem is easy to fix for next time: Manage your alcohol consumption more diligently. This is a “live and learn” situation or, as Mr. Jones likes to call it, AFOG—“Another fucking opportunity to grow.” (That pun wasn’t intended, but I’m leaving it there anyway).

But let’s assume that the cause of the problem is not that the man over-drank. It’s still super understandable that men occasionally experience performance issues during play time.

Think about it: He is trying to impress and please a beautiful woman that he doesn’t know well. He has possibly never played with this couple before so he doesn’t know the secret triggers that will turn on this beautiful new lady. And then, at the same time, he wants to keep an eye on what is going on with his partner and the other man. Is that guy treating her with care and respect? Can he trust this other man enough with the love of his life so that he can relax and enjoy this new lady? That’s a lot going on in the mind (and we all know that sometimes the mind gets in the way of the body).

Sometimes a man just can’t relax enough in this unfamiliar situation to experience or keep an erection. The next thing that can happen is that the woman can start to worry that the problem is her. I have to admit that I took it personally the first few times this happened to one of my play partners. I convinced myself that I wasn’t sexy enough to turn this new guy on. I thought my age, my stretch marks, my cellulite, my (insert personal body image hangup here) was turning this guy off. He wasn’t into having sex with me.

What happens when the man has a performance glitch because he’s all in his head and then the woman starts to get all in her head? She hesitates, doesn’t know what to do, and pulls away physically or emotionally. This reaction crushes the ego of the already struggling male play partner…and the sexy fun is over. The combined lack of confidence keeps them from moving forward with playtime and finding other ways to have fun.

So what’s the solution?

Does playtime have to immediately end if the man can’t get or stay hard? If both of you don’t want it to end, then it doesn’t have to. Take the focus off getting hard and shift the goal away from penetrative sex to sexy play.

First things first, it’s important for the lady to realize that the struggle going on inside her play partner’s head most likely has nothing to do with her. Remember, he wouldn’t have agreed to play with you in the first place if he didn’t find you desirable. Remind yourself that he could be struggling with his own self-confidence issues or he may be anxious about seeing the love of his life having sex with the love of your life, especially if they are new to the lifestyle.

We can do our best to put the gentleman in distress at ease. There are other ways to have sexy fun. Suggest some things you’d like to feel. Let him know you’re totally OK with just making out and enjoying each other in other ways. Sometimes putting him at ease and continuing to play in other ways can rectify the situation after a bit of time, and sometimes not. The important thing is to be okay with it, either way—and make sure he knows that.

And finally, don’t be afraid to talk about it after the experience is over, especially if you are friends with this couple. We are all human, and body parts don’t always work like they should. Having a conversation among the four of you about the experience may bring about some strategies to employ in the future to put him (and other future play partners) at ease so that everyone will have a more positive sexy experience!

We are Mr. & Mrs. Jones, swinger lifestyle podcasters. If you like what you read here and want to learn more about the swinger lifestyle and/or We Gotta Thing, you can find our podcast episodes and much more at WeGottaThing.com.

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Mr. & Mrs. Jones

Mr. & Mrs. Jones


We are swinger lifestyle podcasters and we gotta thing going on! Care to join us? WeGottaThing.com