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Condom Shyness

Q. Years ago when I tried using rubbers with my partner, I would go limp immediately when she put them on. When I put them on alone when masturbating I would go limp. At that time I quit using them altogether. Now I have to start using them again for medical reasons. My partner and I have tried them with the same results… I have gone limp as soon as they have been put on. We have tried blow jobs, and hand jobs but they don’t work. I need help. Got any ideas !!!!!! Please!!!!!!

A. This is actually a pretty common problem. All of us know that we should use some kind of a latex barrier to increase safety during sex, but if what you want to do involves using your penis, and it refuses to play if you cover it, what can you do?

I have a couple of suggestions. The easiest is to use Viagra for awhile while you are getting used to condoms. Sometimes, this is the easiest way. Viagra is a safe drug for most people, however, since you mentioned in your question that you were using condoms now for medical reasons, you should check with your Dr. to be sure Viagra is OK for you. That’s pretty easy to do because you do still need a prescription to get it. No, Pfizer isn’t paying me to write this column.

The way Viagra works is by relaxing smooth muscle in the penis, which facilitates the erection by allowing the arteries to let blood flow in, which naturally puts pressure on the veins that usually move blood away from the penis and back to the heart. This results in an erection. It doesn’t work in the absence of sexual stimulation. If there’s nobody around that stimulates you, or you aren’t stimulating yourself, Viagra won’t do anything. It lasts quite a long time, and in many men I’ve talked to it works nearly 24 hours. You can manage lots of sex in 24 hours I bet. This gives you ample time to see if it helps your condom shyness.

My second suggestion would be to try other activities. You can do massage, oral lovemaking (with or without a barrier), use sex toys or whatever else you and your partner like. Try putting on a condom, and if it doesn’t work, do other things. Attitude is important here. Gleefully experiment with all of the other non-penis ways there are to make love. Once your penis gets the idea that you’re going to play with or without him, he may decide to suit up and get in the game.