I'm twenty years old, and I'm still technically a virgin. The reason therein is that every time my girlfriend and I try to have sex, I have a massive panic attack. I have no idea why I have these panic attacks, but it's happened at least six times over the past five months. My girlfriend says it's alright to take it slow, but we've been together for over a year, and I'm beginning to get the sense that my inability to have sex is making her feel disappointed and somewhat uncomfortable. What's going on, and how do I fix the problem?


2814 days ago
Hi MikeD,

sorry you're having a hard time. Do you have these panic attacks any other time or just when you attempt to have sex?? As you know anxiety temporarily takes away the ability to keep an erection and you're probably experiencing 'performance anxiety'. Are you and your GF able to engage in foreplay and maintain an erection as long as you're not having intercourse? When you're not having a panic attack, are you able to have an erection(as long as intercourse is not involved). I suggest for now, do just acts of foreplay and don't focus on intercourse.

I suggest you do some slow deep breathing exercises and try not to think about the act - think of something else. It's good you have an understanding GF and she's right about taking it slow. Does she know you're a virgin? I'm interested to know, if you can maintain an erection if she's simply touching your private parts?

So for now, put the intercourse out of your mind and just engage in foreplay - the idea is to take the pressure off your mind, so you can relax and maintain an erection. You can also focus on pleasuring your GF with foreplay, which hopefully will distract you. If these ideas don't help, I suggest you speak to your doctor - don't be embarrassed since this isn't an unusual problem.

2812 days ago
I do have panic attacks in other situations. She knows I'm a virgin (so is she), and again, I'm very glad that she's relatively understanding about it. I can generally maintain just through touching, though that has occasionally triggered a milder sort of panic.

I really appreciate your advice, and am glad that there are ways to solve my problems. I need to make a doctor's appointment for a physical sometime next week, and I'll probably ask him as well.

Again, thanks.

2813 days ago

I can tell you that you won't be like this for the rest of your life, and knowing that right there should be a pretty big relief. If you know that this is going to eventually end positive, you might as well try and have a sense of humor about this. Try to see something funny about it. There's something funny about wanting to do something simple like having sex but having your body say NO NO NO NO NO! every time.

With that said, I still get that this is a tough issue for you. Here's what I'd suggest you do. Break down sex into smaller stages and take 2 weeks to work at each stage. You can break it up like this:

Week 1 and 2: Touching

3 and 4: Kissing, licking, oral

5 and 6: Rubbing without clothes on

7 and 8: Just light penetration, no orgasm

9 and 10: More penetration, but no orgasm (pull out if you think you are)

At each 2-week stage, you might feel a little tense at the beginning, but practice. By the end of the 2 week period you'll probably feel a little more comfortable with the level of intimacy for that stage. When you move into the next stage, you'll feel apprehensive again, but that's okay and natural. It'll pass if you just take your time and be patient with yourself. You have 14 full days to just take it slow and practice. If you need to stretch out the later stages to 3 week intervals, go for it.

Give it a shot, Mike. And remember to have a sense of humor. :)

P.S. Virgin at 20 is no big deal. I was a virgin at 20 too, and also felt really awkward about having sex. It's normal, k? Remember that.

2812 days ago
It's good to hear someone taking me seriously on this. Your ideas were along the lines of what I had been thinking, and I'm glad to see someone agrees. Thanks a ton for the support, man.

2812 days ago
Any time.