Sex life suffers if a man’s pals and partner are too chummy

New research from Cornell University and the University of Chicago suggest that a man's sexual life may suffer if his girlfriend, wife or otherwise monogamous partner is too close with his friends. The study leaders analyzed a survey of 3,005 people from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project to reach their conclusion.

Researchers used the term "partner betweenness" to describe situations in which a woman is closer with a man's friends than he is himself. This may cause the man to feel as though his partner is a wedge between him and his social network, causing a rift in the relationship.

"Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex," wrote professor Benjamin Cornwell, one of the study authors.

The heart of the issue of partner betweenness lies in masculinity. According to the researchers, "autonomy and privacy" are essential for men to feel secure in their masculinity, and the perception of a partner moving in on his social network may make him feel emasculated.

There are a number of ways men who are struggling with erectile dysfunction can overcome the issue. According to WebMD, talking about sex and any issues one has in the bedroom can help, so counseling is definitely a viable option. Couples can also look into using a pleasure condom to enhance the bedroom experience.

While it may not be a good idea for a woman to be closer to a man's friends than he is, the researchers pointed out that shared social networks are still beneficial for couples.

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