Apparently, besides panicking, others start sweating [Photo: Shutterstock]

The general perception among most women is that men are generally randy, experienced lot who have an insatiable, greedy fascination for the forbidden fruit and are always itching for a bite. What, however, many women don’t know is that, odd as it may sound, most men actually fear getting between the sheets.

Some can stalk women for years, request, beg or even cry to get laid, but the moment she gives in to their advances and even insinuates she is ready for the ‘horizontal acrobatics’, they get thrown into panic.

Apparently, besides panicking, others start sweating or even wet their pants as they worry about many things like whether or not they will measure up to the woman’s expectations in as far as; the size of their ‘dudu’ is concerned; how long what she considers a ‘great love-making session’ should last; whether they have the requisite stamina, speed and styles to satisfy her. Is ‘69’ her favourite number? How do I bring it up or go about the accompanying stall talk without coming off as gross?

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SE&L talked to a couple of men, seeking to know some of the fears that haunt them before getting between the sheets.

Getting naked and politics of size

According to most of the men, fear of getting naked before a woman they have never been intimate with ranks very high. As one Brian says, the size and shape of his ‘dudu’ is always his main source of insecurity. This fear, he says, hovers on his mind, forcing him at times to insist on getting intimate only in darkness! Or undressing while already between the sheets!

“Most of us have at least watched blue movies and the kind of ‘anacondas’ some brothers pack in there make you never to want to get naked before a woman, because you imagine your tiny ‘cassava’ is the first thing she will notice and dismissively giggle before writing you off,” says Brian, adding that this fear is boosted by the erroneous perception that a man’s size is always associated with virility and his desirability among women.

“Like men, most women, too, watch adult movies and here is where they get the notion that a real man must have a nine-inch monster for a satisfying performance,” says Brian, insisting that it’s even worse if - unlike the ones in blue movies that remain tough as nails for hours, pointing at the ceiling - yours assumes a curve, ‘dies’ after two minutes or has some ugly circumcision scars!

Fear of performing below par

Fear of leaving their partners unsatisfied always makes men think a lot before getting intimate. Apparently, for the married types, this is one of the reasons they come up with fake headaches.

“The notion that big is better or lasting more rounds constitute great intimacy is what haunts some of us. You hit it, worrying what might happen if you don’t give her the desired toe-curling or moan-inducing pleasure as described in glossies she reads at salons,” says Arnold, further arguing that most men fear giving below-par performance because this can ruin their future chances with the woman.

“In such cases, your ego is always at stake. You don’t want to do it and end up ruining your social or bedroom ‘CV’ with her. Personally, the thought of a woman discrediting me on the basis of performance always nags my mind before the act. I always imagine that she might look for someone else who is better than me in the sack,” says Arnold. Many other men told this writer that a myriad of questions that come to their mind before the act include.

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“What if I hurt her while at it?” “What is she finds my styles boring or my wildness too much for her?” “What if I don’t make her climax as many of us men get accused of?” “Is my breath fresh enough to earn me a kiss?” This matter is further complicated by the fact that most women strongly believe a man’s performance is judged by the number of miles he walks between the sheets.

Little wonder then, that, more and more men, out of desperation to perform, now use libido enhancing pills. “I can bet, a good number of men get intimate with women not to enjoy intimacy, but to ‘outperform’ themselves or their woman’s previous lovers”, says Arnold.

Lacking porn star quality, styles

Seemingly, every man believes he is great in bed. Others keep improving and boosting their skills by watching adult movies, using it as a benchmark for great performance. Thus, each time before getting between the sheets, they ponder about being judged as lacking porn star quality or credentials.

Seemingly, the majority of the culprit in this category tend to be younger men, especially the college-going types. “Watching porn is a common practice when transitioning from a boy to a man. That is where we learn certain stuff like styles and go to try them out. When they backfire or we fail to accurately execute them, it’s always a cause for alarm. You feel like you are not good enough,” says James, adding that another thing that hovers on his mind is fear of coming off as inexperienced.

As many men confessed, there is always the pressure of wanting to be seen as ‘normal’ by their female partners. They pray and hope once they get naked, they will resemble other ‘normal’ men, both physically and in their sexual behaviour. No man wants to come off as odd or weird.

Failing to rise to the occasion

“The moment a woman give you a ‘yes’ or behaves in a manner likely to suggest she is ready for intimacy, there is always that fear of failing to rise to the occasion or not having a sufficiently stiff one, as it happens to some men. Or experiencing premature ejaculation while still ‘warming up’ even before the big game itself begins,” says Japheth, who also fears initiating the discussion on the use of protection.

For others like David, the thought of coming off as clumsy because of embarrassing stuff like passing wind while at it, or penetrating the wrong opening hovers on his mind a lot during intimacy.

Hear him: “I once accidentally rammed through the ‘other side’ in the heat of the moment during a wild romp and all of a sudden there was this awkward and embarrassing moment. How about accidentally releasing gas when your partner has gone down on you? The thought of such things happening scares many men.”

Unlike women, who put a relatively high premium on intimacy, a good number of men tend to be very casual about it. So when getting intimate, most worry about the resulting consequences like getting emotionally attached or clung on by a woman. According to a certain Moses, whenever he gets in bed with a woman, especially the random ones, his biggest fear is getting her pregnant or her clinging on him.

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Madly falling in love with good time girl

“Getting intimate to most women is a big milestone in a relationship, which is never the case with some of us. It really scares the hell out of us. There are women we just chase to satisfy our curiosities or to fulfil our wild fantasies. I, for instance, remember this girl we used to have fun with back in college, the second time we got intimate she thought we were a couple.

She became a commitment nazi, we were still in college but she even wanted to meet my parents and family! I freaked out and took off,” says Moses. For older men, especially bachelors, one question that seemingly nags them each time they are making love is whether they are impotent or are fertile. Knowing that you can bring forth a human being, even if there are no such plans is every man’s pride. Every man is always hoping that he doesn’t shoot blanks.

Some like Kalou, a Kenyan-based Nigeria, the shame of walking from one Chemist to another, looking for medication for an STI makes him think a lot before getting in bed with a woman. “This is one of the things that scare me to death especially if it is happening for the first time and maybe I hadn’t planned well,” says Kalou.