Sometimes, it happens.
You're in bed with your boyfriend, and you're wearing your new lace, cheeky underwear from Victoria's Secret that hugs your ass in the most flattering way.
You haven't eaten anything since breakfast, so your stomach, which normally carries a few pounds more than you wish it did, looks particularly flat right now — there's even an illusion of washboard abs.
And while you silently admire them, Jenna Jameson herself is whispering her top-secret love-making advice into your ear, urging you to show them off.
You feel like an unstoppable, selfless sex goddess.
So today, instead of assuming your normal starfish position, you climb on top of your boyfriend, grin sheepishly and prepare to do him proud.
To your dismay, your boyfriend's penis does not throb excitedly at the sight of your wonderfully pushed up boobs; it doesn't elongate to that familiar length you've come to yearn for at the peak of your horniness.
In fact, it does nothing. It remains limp. It lies flat, unenthused and sad on his stomach.
It's as pathetic and unprepared as a benched football player at the goddamn homecoming game.
Is your underwear not cheeky enough? Is your stomach not flat enough? Is your grin not sheepish enough? Is your dominance not hot enough?
What the hell is going on here? What did you do wrong?
In situations like this, when your boyfriend's penis refuses to respond to your irresponsible sexual prowess, you can't help but feel deeply and utterly insulted.
But it's not your fault! Sometimes, dicks just don't work the way they're supposed to.
Here are some real reasons things might go... soft.
1. He has stage fright.
No, your hotness isn't turning him off; it might actually be making him nervous.
This is a situation in which his insecurities and anxieties are psyching him out and causing a physical reaction.
According to WebMD, any of the following panicky thoughts can lead to the very real phenomenon of sexual performance anxiety:
- Fear that he won't perform well in bed and satisfy his partner sexually
- Poor body image, including concern over weight
- Difficulties in the relationship
- Worry that his penis won't “measure up”
- Concern about ejaculating prematurely or taking too long to reach orgasm
When sexual performance anxiety occurs, stress hormones in his body constrict his blood vessels, which mean less blood is flowing to his penis, making it harder to get hard.
2. He's on anti-depressants.
Depression can do pretty unfortunate things to one's sex drive. And anti-depressants in particular can cause significant decreases in libido and inhibit a dude's ability to get a boner.
While a wet noodle penis is an unlucky side effect from taking a mood regulator, wouldn't you rather have a boyfriend who's in a good mood than one who has to suffer through depression?
3. He's masturbating too much.
The fact that your boyfriend watches porn and masturbates isn't a problem in and of itself; it's only an issue if it's interfering with his work or his personal life, which includes your sex life with him.
And if he's watching too much porn and masturbating too frequently, his ability to achieve an erection with you will definitely suffer.
Dr. Elizabeth Waterman, a psychologist at Morningside Recovery Center in Newport, California, told Men's Health:
When people start watching porn, there is a huge flood of dopamine in the brain. Over time, the receptors that were once very sensitive become less sensitive, and normal physical intimacy does not produce enough dopamine to stimulate the dopamine receptors.
Luckily, there's an easy fix to this: Don't watch porn for a while, and try to resist the need to jerk off. In six to 12 weeks, his libido will be shiny and new and ready for you.
4. He's stressed.
Maybe he has a lot on his plate at work, or he just got into an argument with his mom.
Whatever it is, stress certainly plays a role in whether or not your boyfriend can get hard.
Plus, if his stress is stopping him from getting hard, he'll probably feel even more stress about the fact that he can't get hard. Then it just becomes a vicious cycle of stress that he can't escape, no matter how hard he tries.
5. He has whiskey dick.
It's always fun to go get drunk at a party with your boyfriend -- until you're ready to go home and do some boning.
When whiskey dick strikes, it's not fun for anybody. And after several beers, your boyfriend, whose emotions are already heightened and whose suave-factor is already amped up from the booze, will probably feel immensely shameful that he's unable to satisfy you, his drunk, horny girlfriend.
Drinking in moderation is fine, but when your boyfriend drinks in excess, the toxins from the alcohol that his liver couldn't break down make their way to other parts of his body, including his d*ck.
It's at that point that he, in his drunken state, will tug dramatically at his penis to try to get it to work.
Alas, however, it won't, and it will bid both you and him adieu until morning.
6. He doesn't understand his sexuality.
In 8th grade, I dated a boy who is now gay.
Well, no, he didn't magically turn gay, but he later told me he was struggling with "something" during our relationship and wasn't sure what that something was.
Turns out, it was that he liked dudes.
It's possible your boyfriend is like mine was, especially if you're young.
Maybe your boyfriend doesn't fully understand whom he's attracted to yet, so vaginas don't turn him on as much as other parts might.
7. He's thinking about someone else.
Maybe he was scrolling through Facebook earlier and saw a picture of his evil ex-girlfriend who cheated on him, and now he's having a momentary flashback to his relationship with her, which is making his penis angry and sad.
It's not that he doesn't love you, and it's not that you're not the sexiest thing he's ever seen right now.
It's just that sometimes we have unexpected, uncontrollable physical reactions to our own thoughts.
Unfortunately -- and especially if prompted -- the mind wanders where the mind wanders, even to places where we don't want it to go, even if that means to his stupid, ugly ex-girlfriend.
Rest assured that the moment will pass.
8. He feels guilty about something.
After his mind finishes fleetingly strolling down memory lane, he might feel guilty about it, which will make it even more difficult to get hard.
Or it may not even be guilt about something that massive.
Maybe you guys got into a fight the other day, and he's realizing how much of an assh*le he was, so he's currently feeling some remorse.
All of these intense thought processes could be going on inside his head without you even knowing about it because all you're seeing is the physical manifestation of them.
9. He's just not horny right now.
There's this weird idea floating around our culture that guys are horny all the time and want to have sex literally every second of the day.
But just like you sometimes aren't in the mood, sometimes he's not, either. Like you, he is a person with a libido that goes up and down, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes even in the presence of a hottie like you.
Don't take it personally. Just start touching yourself instead. That should fix the problem -- for both you and him.