Miss Columnist of the Order of the Phoenix,
I seem to be having a dreadful dilemma. After six loving years of marriage to my red-headed delight of wife, I find that I am utterly incapable of getting it up. I was very active in the early years of our marriage, but lately, my poor penis just won’t stay hard long enough for us to engage in the act of love. We’ve reached a terrible point of frustration surrounding this matter. I am afraid that these unsuccessful attempts have begun to taint any sexual activity. We are both wildly anxious every time we have sex and depressed after every failure. It is the most desperate of situations—it’s so bad that I’ve begun to avoid sexual contact all together. I’ve tried every remotely useful charm I could think of, including Duro, Engorgio, and Wingardium Leviosa. However, nothing has been able to get it hard, big , or up. Help us in our desperation. Please, any advice you can give us would be great. I can already feel our marriage losing its magic.
The Boy Who Lived (but can’t get it up)
Have you been saying the spell correctly? I hear it’s “levios-a” not “levios-ar”. If you try that and it still doesn’t work, the first thing I recommend is going to see a doctor. A muggle doctor. You should rule out the possibility of a medical problem which can have more direct solutions.
Now, if your doctor explains that everything is physically in tip top shape, we must get back to the bedroom. Psychological blocks such as the one that you may be experiencing are fairly normal — some men have periods of impotency that are related to stress, change, monotony, etc. Your wand won’t get hard now, but you may find the magic back soon enough with some small changes to your routine.
Firstly, stop paying so much damn attention to your dick in bed. The reason you and Gin–, uh, your wife have fallen into this pattern of raging in anxiety every time you attempt to screw is because you’re basing the success of your sexual encounter on whether or not you have penetrative sex. In fact, this performance anxiety is probably one of the causes of the loss of magic in your wand. Just because you can’t get hard, it doesn’t mean that you two can’t be intimate, nor does it mean that you can’t have sex. Sex is many things — from penetration to pensive naughty verbalizations. Decoupling your ideas of sexual satisfaction from penetration will help you put things into perspective. Next time you have sex, focus your energies on sex acts that don’t necessarily require the use of your penis. Rubbing, sucking, verbalizing, fingering, dildo-ing and sex acts of that sort take the pressure off of you by taking the pressure off of your cock. You may also want to look into more the psychological sexual aspect like role play and kink. You can find my columns on non-penetrative sex, kink, and oral sex on the Phoenix website. Instead of concentrating on ‘hard penis’, concentrate on mutual pleasure and fun — that is, after all, what sex is about.
On that note, have you considered what your avoidance of sex is doing to your wife? You mentioned that she is also erotically frustrated and I think that your neglect of her sexual feelings is selfish. I know that seven volumes of tireless narration following your every move may have made you believe that the world is about you. It ain’t. Sex includes two partners (or more), not one, and two pairs of junk (or more), not one. Just because your broomstick won’t fly doesn’t mean that your wife isn’t looking to take off herself. Your first priority in this situation should be to provide your wife with the sexual satisfaction that you’ve been depriving her of because of your perceived shortcomings. Redirect your erotic goal to fueling your wife’s Goblet of Fire. I’m sure you’ll find that this will greatly reduce the tension in your relationship and will eliminate your wife’s anxiety surrounding your penis. A combination of an alleviation of performance anxiety/tension, witnessing your wife’s pleasure , and/or addition of role play maybe all you need to power up that Patronus.
To the columness of the Order of the Phoenix,
An unfortunate situation has inspired me to seek your advice. I’m almost too ashamed to inform you of the particulars of my situation, but I find myself out of options. My husband refuses to perform oral sex on me. He claims that my vagina is too malodorous for the act. He claims that he once got a Bertie Bott’s Bean flavored like vagina and the flavor made him awfully sick. He claims many things, but does nothing. I’ve tried to refuse him sex without first receiving oral, negotiating with him, and even arguing with him. He responds to all my attempts with aggressive jeering and the silent treatment. We have been married for quite a while and I don’t want to break apart our marriage for, what I see as, a resolvable issue. However, I am awfully upset with the situation and I don’t know how to address it anymore. Can you offer me any advice for potions, enchantments, charms, or spells to make it smell better? I was a top-student at Hogwarts and I am certain that a cure for this condition was not covered in herbology! I appreciate any help that you can offer.
Mousy Hair Downstairs Unexamined
I’ve gotten lots of letters this week from readers under the assumption that I have magical prowess. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am totally ignorant of any form of potions, spells, or anything else of the magical sort. I’m not a witch. No, no. I think you heard that word incorrectly. Witch, bitch, or otherwise, I can give you some nonmagical advice:
One of my favorite quotes about women states that girls are sugar and spice. Your husband may have missed the ‘spice’ memo and expected your cauldron pie to taste like Ton-Tongue Toffees and smell like daisies. Well, unfortunately for him, his expectations were unmet. Although vaginas do produce sugar in the form of glycogen and have a little bit of a sweet tang to them, they are accompanied by a little bit of a spicy smell. After all, any spot of the body that has a high concentration of sweat glands and is hardly exposed to air or sunlight is not going to smell like peppermint humbugs. I’m sure that the stank of his scrotum is not reminiscent of fresh butterbeer either. Part of being intimate with a lover is becoming accustomed to their smells and tastes. Junk, as I always say, is an acquired taste and it’s your lover’s responsibility to acquire it. Happiness can be found in even the darkest and sweatiest of places, if one only remembers to compromise.
It sounds like your husband is being a real Death-Eater about this. His childish aggression is telltale of his selfishness and his absolute reluctance to changing his mind. He is being aggressive because he wants you to be afraid of complaining about this so that he never has to come to a compromise on this issue. Any man that reacts this way to providing you pleasure is the kind of dick that you dump. But, seeing as you already married him, you must proceed with more consideration.
The first thing you should do is take a trip to the gynecologist. Make sure that you don’t have any condition that is causing a malodor. If you’re healthy, have a sit down conversation with you husband once more time. Explain to him that you expect him, as your only sanctioned sexual partner, to meet your sexual needs. Construct an argument that is focused on the point of compromise, acquired taste, and mutual sexual satisfaction. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to become aggressive or belittling — it sounds as though he will latch onto those behavioral modes. I know that may be hard, but this may be the only way of getting what you want. Err on the side of oral sex. If he responds with his childish aggression and refuses your proposals, you have a difficult decision to make. Is oral sex an absolute ‘must have’ for you? I know for many women, it is the cornerstone of sexual satisfaction. If you are one of these women, you may consider finding sexual satisfaction outside of your marriage. This can be realized in terms of a split-up or an extramarital contact agreement. You sound reluctant to end your marriage in search of this form of sexual fulfillment — this may mean that you are generally happy with your marriage, you have a lot invested in this relationship, or you have children to consider. Whatever the circumstance, you need to negotiate extramarital fulfillment in a way that works for you. Maybe your husband would grant you permission to see someone outside of your marriage strictly for oral encounters? It sounds outrageous, but, with his strong aversion to going down, this may seem like a great alternative for him. If he’s not in for it, you may want to seek this fulfillment without his permission or even consider a split. I know that these may seem like extreme alternatives, but the situation that you are in is rather unfortunate. When you marry someone, the assumption is that they will hold the sole responsibility of fulfilling your sexual needs if they expect monogamy. If he breaks his part of the deal, you may have to break yours too.
If you do break up with him and seek a new lover, practice some stuff you learned in the Defense Against the Dickheads. Please, don’t marry or even entertain sexually selfish boyfriends. Smaller molehills of problems become mountains in marriage. My suggestion is that you go out and find yourself a real wizard who isn’t afraid of a little Lady’s Snare.