REALLY Personal Problem

QUESTION: Hey guys...I have a somewhat embarrassing issue that I haven't really been able to talk to anyone about. I started dating a good friend of mine a few months ago. Things got pretty deep (which I have no problems with). We haven't spent one day/night away from each other the point where he gave me a key to his apartment and I damn near live there. But anyway, we were having sex like rabbits...great sex just about everyday...then more. I let a week go by without saying anything...but by week two, I'm like whats the deal? So I playfully mention it to him. He responds that this is something that has been on his mind as well. He told me that he doesn't know whats wrong and assures me that it has nothing to do with me. He said he wanted to go to the doctor because he's a little concerned since he's so young (24 years old) to have impotency problems.

I'm trying my best to be understanding to the fact that as a man...yes, that can be embarrassing...BUT a month has gone by....that we've not had sex. I'm trying to not let my imagination get the best of me by assuming that there's another woman, etc. He is a great guy...when he's not at work, he's with me...and again, I have a key to his the "other woman" idea doesn't last that long. However, I'm going crazy. I'm confused and don't know what to do to help him. This is the first time I've ever had this kind of "problem". Do you have any advice?

No Sex in the City

CHUCK: No Sex, thanks for the question. I'm glad that you decided to share this sensitive issue with us. I'm not even going to try to be glib with you, since it's obvious you're taking this pretty seriously.

You yourself don't think that your man is cheating on you, and given the info that you've provided, I don't think that's what's going on either. Any number of things can cause impotence in men: stress on the job, depression, a reaction to medication. A couple of serious diseases also manifest themselves by causing sexual dysfunction. I would strongly suggest that he go to a doctor to determine whether what is causing his problem is of a physical or psychological nature.

Men, and Black men especially, are so defined in society by our sex drives that if something should in any way effects that drive, it can be really stressful. And him being unable to engage you sexually right now is probably giving him feelings of inadequacy. He's probably afraid to initiate any sex right now, for fear he won't be able to follow through. Sometimes these things just feed on each other.

I would ask you to be patient with him. Try to get him to relax with you in intimate settings where the energy isn't entirely sexual, like watching a video together or something. If he feels as though he can relax with you in a pressure-free setting, he will probably get back to normal, barring any more serious issues.

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. I'm with Chuck on his answer, there are any number of medical conditions that could cause performance problems and on top of that, the very stress of THINKING of potential failure can lead to non-performance. So, yeah - let's get Old Boy to the doctor as soon as possible, his body could be trying to save his life.

But let me step outside the box here for a few, there could be some non-physical things going on too, and CHEATING isn't one of them!

Your guy is 24 and you've got the key to his place and you're there almost all the time. Okay, one thing that may be causing problems is simply too much of a good thing too fast! When guys are 24, MAD SEX is usually all we want to have and if its with a HOT young lady, then all the better. Now, I'm NOT saying that your friend is NOT FEELING you, because he may very well be - but what I am saying is that maybe he tossed you the keys to his crib a little sooner than he would have liked. You walked through the door and you brought your Great Sex with you and YOU STAYED, and stayed, and stayed.

At 24, very few guys are TRULY willing to give up large chunks of their freedom. Now again, I'm NOT saying he doesn't like you or want to be with you, but I am saying that he may just need his freedom back and he may need to reclaim HIS SPACE. Don't stress over "Why'd he give me his key then?" Because that's really not the big issue here. I'm sure he thought it was a good idea and he still might, but because you say you "DAMN NEAR LIVE THERE," I'm partly wondering if he's just stressing himself out because he wants some space. He certainly can't ask you for his key back because he's probably worried that that will chase you away, but I'm telling you - he may want it back AND THAT IS NOT A SWIPE AT YOU, it's just that 24 year old men, like a certain amount of freedom and privacy. And, HOT SEX tends to scramble their brains. Now he's got you [and the great sex] and maybe the stress of having SO MUCH OF BOTH is causing some anxiety and some system downtime.

After you get him to the doctor, you may want to give him some space, maybe spend half as much time at his place. Keep in touch with him and still date and all, but maybe try not to be IN HIS PLACE so much and see how that works, maybe even give his key back, I'm optimistic that the results will be hard to ignore.