Performance shame

When I was 21 yo I met my first gay partner. I thought I had met my Prince, and that we will live happy together forever after. 

I used to believe that relationships operate the following way: you meet somebody who is a good match for you, then you start living together and then the rest comes: first the mortgage, then the children, the aspirational thing next would be maybe a second home…. whatever happens you stay together with that person. Separating would be a shame and a failure.

That is the unknown imprint that I was operating with. Passed to me over generations. I could see it in action: my parents together for 30 years, my sister always with the same guy and so my brother with his girlfriend. In some psychotherapy models they call them ‘life scripts’ and they live deep within you.

I moved from Spain to the UK when I was 20 yo. Got a great job, good salary for my age and the excitement of new surroundings and new beginnings. No surprise that in six months with that neutral canvas around me, I started questioning my sexuality. 

When I look at it I know that from a young age I knew I was different. I used to get really excited seeing men naked around me. I must have been about 15 years old, I had a bad back and the doctor suggested that swimming would help. 

In the local pool there was a swimming instructor always wearing white Speedos. Really hairy guy, he reminded me of a young Burt Reynolds. He was going to get changed at 1:45 pm. I would always make sure I was getting changed around 2 pm. By that time he was fresh out of the shower. He used to stand on top of one of the benches in the changing room naked while putting his clothes on. He must had devised a system: if he stood up on top of the bench he could manage not to wet the bottom of his trousers while changing, that meant that if I was changing next to him his cock and his balls were around the same height as my head. I used to take ages changing in that place. He also used to take ages getting changed. In retrospect I am sure he had an exhibitionist side: he would put his shirt on before even some underwear went on, his socks before underwear. Watching him dressing would get me ready for a wank in the toilet straight away. Sometimes I just fantasised stealing his speedos and sniff them while wanking, but that only happened in my imagination.

Despite of having those fantasies, I don’t think I fully realise I was gay till being 21, and being away from home. Shortly after realising yes, I got my prince, and had five years of a monogamous relationship (I could not even consider anything else was possible at the time). Unfortunately it was not a good finish and here I was single at 26. On one level super excited about the prospects, on another sad and hurt about the past.

The next experience I had was an short romance with a super-sexy guy in California. Much older and experienced. He actually introduced me to tantra and the short time we spent together would be life transforming…. but yes, the end was messy.


Back in the UK life as a single gay man continued. I really wanted to shag around and meet guys, but at the same time -in reality- I wanted to find a boyfriend straight away to keep validating my beliefs in ‘the one’. 

Not many shags later, I met another ‘the one’ and we spent seven years together. 

Sex was good, but I start being really anxious. I felt I could not hold it for too long. I always got a great erection that lasts, but I felt every time I was coming very quickly. My partner never complaint. However I felt inadequate.

This took me to see a counsellor, I worried that I was inadequate in bed. When I wanked using porn I also came so quickly. The more I wanked and the more I had sex the more I felt I was a rubbish lover.

Counselling helped me to start integrating the gay man with the rest of me. First was the ‘shame’ of being different, the damage of being bullied as a child, my strategies to cope, all the performance to pretend that I was ok while I was dying inside.

I had a great partner who was supportive and that helped. I loved him, however in reality I wanted to have sex with others. Another conflict. More psychotherapy to accept my feelings.

With the partner we bought an amazing home, my parents accepted him (and accepted me as a result), we had great holidays, celebrity friends, a beautiful life. However I was still not happy. Still getting from time to time some premature ejaculation. I felt I could not shake it.

We decided to open up the relationship but whatever we did away from the relationship had to be a secret. I was happy. I could have my cake (the home, the perfect partner) and still eat it (have other lovers) seemed the best arrangement ever. Two years later it did not work. I resented it. I didn’t like it, still the fear of premature ejaculation appeared every now and again.


So seven years later we finished the relationship, a very beautiful and wonderful relationship, but somehow not suitable for me. I moved out, I embraced the slut I thought I was and in my mid thirties I started having random sex, going to sex clubs, saunas and using dating apps. 

In the middle of an orgy in a sauna I met my partner (together for 12 years). We kissed while others were sucking our cocks. The kiss felt so good we left the rest of the men there. We had met naked, so there was a worry about how we were going to look like when we were dressed. Fortunately we both passed the test.

We became lovers and partners. We were both ready to accept the other for who we really were. Premature ejaculation ejaculation faded away.

It faded away with me being comfortable in my own skin. With being able to accept being in the moment. 

My tantric journey properly started years later to empowering me even further and allowing me to conquer the freedom from the life script that I had inherited from a straight society.  My mind thought that that was what I needed but my body knew differently, it was closer to the truth. Premature ejaculation was only my body talking what my mind wanted to silence.

Further thoughts:

If you feel yourself trapped in a spiral of sexual dissatisfaction, I really would invite you to look at your life with a sense of perspective: are you happy where you are?, what is the role that sex plays in your life?, is your sex life fully integrated in you or something is out of tune?, what is it?. For me the learning was that what happens in my sex happens in my life. 

In fact I feel that if you can transform your sex life into something that is fully satisfactory, beyond needs, scripts or projections in what sex ‘needs to be’ you probably are more than sorted.


  1. I have a partner of 12 years and I realized we can’t fulfill all of each other’s sexual needs. How do you suggest this is handled? I have a few fuck buddies, most of them in committed relationships, and we have a great time each time we meet. My husband also plays around, just we do it separately and we don’t talk about it.


    1. Many thanks for trusting me with your concerns. Please drop me a private message if you would like to carry on as a private conversation. In the meantime I have a few ideas that you may want to consider: what are your beliefs about sex and long term partners?, do you feel comfortable with your arrangement of having a husband and sex buddies?, do you feel happy not discussing things and why?. Do you feel your relationship allows you to keep growing as an individual?. Is there anything that you would like to discuss with your partner and you don’t?. Do you feel he is also happy with the arrangement that you both have at the moment?. Have you discussed it?. Only a few thoughts…. I don’t believe in relationships there is not a format that is right or wrong as long as both of you feel comfortable with it. Please feel free to keep discussing this with me any further if you wish. Lots of love, Pep xxxx


  2. I agree with Pep. “I don’t believe in relationships there is not a format that is right or wrong as long as both of you feel comfortable with it.” Each relationships is unique and different. Discover what works best for both of you. Being open, honest, transparent, and authentic, real is also essential.


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