Hello there Alice,

I have broken up for about a year and I have never had female problems. I am active (sexually) and never really had problems. But recently, I really started to miss my ex-girlfriend and I have been feeling kind of down. I can usually perform very well in bed, at least that's what my girlfriend says, and the thing is... I can usually have intercourse for two to three hours before coming but recently, I wasn't able to hold it in. I was wondering if it was my depression or something.

I also lost interest in my present girlfriend. She has the finest body a guy could want, but I am just not interested anymore. I kind of want some advice on my depression. Should I get in contact with my ex? Should I tell my girlfriend about this? I also want to know if there are exercises to train a guy to hold in his orgasm? Well, hopefully you can help me out. Thanks.

Signed,
Reconsidering

Dear Reconsidering,

Kudos to you for processing how you’re feeling and what you’re going through — it may hold the key to finding a way to alleviate what you’re experiencing. Depression, stress, and poor health may all have negative effects on sexual well-being. What’s more, feeling stressed out from thinking that you’re not performing up to par may cause even more guilt and negative feelings. Though there are physical exercises to help you last longer in bed (check out Premature ejaculation and Prolonging arousal/Lasting longer in the Go Ask Alice! archives for more information), it might be helpful to take a step back to first explore your current relationship concerns further. Clarifying your relationship desires may provide some insight as to how to move forward with your current girlfriend and address feelings about your previous partner, which may ultimately provide clues to what might be impacting your sexual performance.

As you dig a little deeper into concerns about your current relationship, you may consider asking yourself a few questions: What initially drew you to your current girlfriend? Beyond physical appearance, what about your current partner or your relationship do you value? Did something specific happen that may have led you to look elsewhere?

You may also think about why you’re missing your ex-girlfriend. Did you have needs (other than sexual ones) fulfilled by being in a relationship with your ex that aren’t satisfied with your current girlfriend? If so, what are these needs? Perhaps you can talk with your girlfriend about how you can work together to meet those needs. If that’s not something you want to do or something that works for you, you may try spending some time not being in a relationship as you sort through your feelings.

As you mentioned, it may be possible that the rekindled feelings about your ex could be contributing to some of your current issues. Alternatively, you may be missing your ex simply because of your current troubles (a “grass is greener” perspective). To explore these emotions a bit further, you may ask yourself: Under what circumstances did your relationship with your ex end? Is it still possible to resolve the issue(s)? Or, can you be friends with your ex, while healing yourself or while being in your current relationship? Depending on your answers and where you stand with your ex, perhaps it makes sense to contact her as a friend.

This process of self-reflection and sharing feelings can be challenging — reaching out for support may be helpful. You may consider talking with a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional to sort through your thoughts and consider options for moving forward. Talking with your partner about your feelings may also be in order. Ultimately, gaining a better perspective of what you’re currently going through may help you find some clarity about the next steps and perhaps help your body follow suit.

Hope this helps!

Alice!

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