I’d take everything people say with a big grain of salt, since with sex there is so much variation. But I can tell you what it is like for me as a man who had a vasectomy in December. I have not found myself pursuing my wife as much for sex and am much more ambivalent about it. Fortunately we are still having sex every week or so and enjoying it, and things seem to be improving slowly, but here are some things I have noticed. Sex hurts my balls. Pain is distracting. Orgasm is marred by foreign and unpleasant sensations. All of the above makes it hard for me to feel confident that sex is going to go well for both of us.
The desire for sex is a fragile thing. I think that’s probably by design. Mother nature doesn’t want us having sex unless the conditions are right, so for a lot of people things have to line up right. In particular, anxiety and distraction can prevent me from feeling like sex is worth initiating.
I’m a firm believer that there is a male “mode” and a female mode during sex. Couples can switch it up, with the female acting in the male mode, and the male acting in the female mode. But most of us are set up with the man in the male mode and the woman in the female mode. That is where most people find it easiest and most satisfying. This is “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” stuff.
The male mode is about things like: initiating, taking action, giving, performing, taking control. The female mode is about things like: being, accepting, appreciating, expecting, enjoying.
For a man, anxiety screws up the male mode. They are supposed to initiate sex, do a great job, make their partner have an awesome time. If the man is worried that pain may interfere with the show, it may tip the calculation of how worthwhile it is to start something that you can’t finish properly. If you can’t completely satisfy your woman, that feels like failure.
So does that make it a psychological problem? I don’t know what to call it. Does the woman who had a clitorectomy as a child and is not eager to have sex as an adult have a psychological problem or a physical problem? What she has is a physical difference that alters the psychology of having sex. Does the guy who lost the job he loves and feels depressed have a psychological problem? Maybe, but it has an origin in a real loss.
If what is going on has to do with anxiety, it may be the case that you can help by making sex something that is a low stress, no big deal thing for him. If he can’t perform in any way it’s no big deal. You offer him a cocktail. You initiate. You take care of making him feel good physically and turning him on. That puts you in more of the male mode, and him in more of the female mode, which may work for you both or it may not.
Meantime, try to make sex all about positive energy. Whatever he’s doing, the message he needs to hear from you is that you’re glad that you two are being intimate and you are having a good time.
I’m not a sex therapist, I’m an engineer, so take what I say with a big grain of salt. But talk to a sex therapist and maybe you will find a way of relating to each other that pushes your buttons and makes sex something that might not go exactly the same way as it did before, but it happens a lot more and it’s something you both consistently look forward to and don’t feel apprehensive about. And maybe with time the anxiety would become less and less of an issue.