performance issues for gay men Tom Bruett Therapy

Performance issues for gay men

Performance issues for gay men in the bedroom can be a symptom of other problems in your relationship.


I’m certainly no biologist or medical doctor, but I do know there can be biological issues that can cause erectile dysfunction.  So first things first, check with your doctor about ED as it could be an indicator of more serious health problems.

However, often problems in the bedroom can be a symptom of other areas in your relationship that need attention.

Compartmentalizing sex and intimacy

There are still a number of places in the world where it is quite dangerous and even illegal to be gay or have sex with another man.  In our own country, it wasn’t that long ago that Matthew Shepard was tortured and killed in Laramie, Wyoming for being gay.

Anonymous sex

Cruising and anonymous sex have been a part of gay sexuality for a long time.   While most of the cruising has moved online to apps like Grindr and Scruff, the appeal of random and often impersonal sex is still alive and well in our community.  And there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you like.

If you want more connection or intimacy, it can sometimes be a struggle to make the transition.  We can become so good at compartmentalizing things that it becomes hard to keep sex exciting as we become more comfortable with our partners. This can be especially true for those of us with a history of combining sex and drugs or with a history of sexual abuse or trauma.

Not sure how to talk about it

Without the language to talk about your internal emotional world it can feel impossible to talk more openly about sex with your partner. You might not want to disrupt the cart or risk losing all the great stuff in your relationship. And as with most things around sex, the more pressure you put on the topic, the more difficult it can be to break through the old patterns of connecting.


If you grew up in a religious or conservative family, it makes sense that there would be a link between sex and shame.  Sometimes, just growing up gay in a heteronormative world can lead to a link between sex and shame.  And shame can make it hard to communicate openly about sex.

Think about it for a minute.  Are there parts of your sexuality or desire you find difficult to talk about with your partner?

Other issues in the bedroom

It is no shock that if there is tension or conflict in other areas of your relationship, your sex life can suffer. Being able to understand, communicate and share about your internal emotional world can actually bring you closer and increase the amount of sex you have.

If you’re struggling with any of these issues, I recommend seeking out an experienced couples or sex therapist to help you make some progress.

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist with an office in San Francisco, CA. Tom feels passionately about helping people have better relationships. The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice or to take the place of working with a mental health professional. For more information please visit the homepage.