Great Sex? Awful Sex? It’s Up to Him.

This is one of the most oppressive lies in western male culture. This lie is told in movies, porn, popular culture, music, books and even unwittingly reinforced by many in the sexuality education world. It tends to go hand in hand with the first lie about rules for good sex. The lie goes like this: if it’s great, he can take the credit; if it’s bad, he’s to blame. He’s responsible for all sex.

Deconstructing this lie is almost overwhelming. The pressure on men to live up to this lie is almost always what causes Sexual Dysfunction in younger men. Sex stops becoming play and becomes a performance; judged just like the Olympics. I’ve had men insist that they just know the woman they are having sex with his is judging him and comparing him to every man she’s ever known. If he doesn’t stay hard for hours, if he doesn’t become a human jackhammer, if he doesn’t deliver innumerable earth-shattering orgasms, he is a failure.

The truth is, everyone is responsible for his/her own good time; you ask for what you need and your partner delights in giving it to you. One of the biggest sexual battles fought during the 20th Century was the right for a woman to own her sexuality. Right alongside the freedom to have sex without fear of pregnancy, women were finally allowed to own their own orgasms. Betty Dodson, probably the greatest sex pioneer of our era has been fighting for this her whole life. Men are not responsible for women’s orgasms! Women ask for what they need to get their own orgasm!

This concept should be very freeing to every man who has sex with women! He is no longer responsible! It’s not his fault! He doesn’t have to guess, figure out, pretend, or make it up anymore. Sex now becomes a wonderful playtime of give and take and sharing. Giving everyone a share of the experience is far more fulfilling.

When a guy can trust his partner to communicate openly and ask for what he/she wants, he is no longer performing. He is giving and sharing; that’s a whole lot less stress. One of the greatest gifts one human can give another is the space to express who he/she is sexually! Sex is no longer his job. It is their play!

Paul Nelson

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Paul is an AASECT certified sexuality educator and a clinical medical assistant.  He is president of the Erectile Dysfunction Foundation, and founder of, the largest online community for men’s sexual dysfunctions and maintains a private practice at  He works in New York City with Dr. Michael Werner ( as a patient/sexuality educator.  Paul is an instructor at the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment. He is an advocate for men’s reproductive health and has appeared on ABC News with Diane Sawyer, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, the BBC, and the New York Times. Paul is a member of the AUA, ISSM, AASECT, and SMSNA.
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