Dear Dr. Faizal,

In the past, my fiancée and I have enjoyed sex but for the past several months, since our engagement, we’re having a difficult time in bed. I cannot stay hard. I can masturbate and get full erections and can even have sex with other people without any problems. Neither my fiancée nor I have any medical problems. Could she really be too big and I too small for each other? Why can’t I stay hard to enjoy sex with my fiancée?

– E.D. or Unhappy

Dear E.D. or Unhappy,

Medically, or physiologically-speaking, you cannot be “too small” or your fiancée’s vagina cannot be “too big” for you both to enjoy successful intercourse. The vagina is an anatomical structure which adjusts to length and circumference when penetrated. There should be adequate friction, regardless of how much she’s lubricating, for you to maintain an erection to orgasm.

So, if not being able to maintain an erection with your partner is not a physical problem, it may be a symptom of a relationship concern. Perhaps there’s a deeper, unconscious, reason behind your concern. You say that you “can have sex with other people” without problems arising. Do you mean that you, while engaged to marry your fiancée, are having sex with other people? If this is the case, is your fiancée aware of, and okay, with this? If you both have not agreed to an open marriage (in which both of you may sleep with other people), what does your behaviour say about your love and commitment towards the woman you wish to marry?

And this brings me to my next point: could you be having second thoughts about your upcoming marriage? Sometimes the body is a thermometer for emotional distress. In other words, if you’re having second thoughts, you may be feeling both guilty about cheating on your partner and resent her for, what I’ve heard some men say, trapping you into this marriage. Such an emotional situation could no doubt result in erectile issues when you’re with your fiancée.

I suggest you come clean with your fiancée. Have an open, honest and non-judgmental dialogue with your partner about your feelings about her, the wedding, and your relationship in general. Be completely open with her about your sexual interests and your fears about not fulfilling them with her. A heart-to-heart talk is what this doctor has ordered; clearing the air may be something that gives you back the sexual confidence with your partner you’re searching for.

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