Sex advice: Reservoir tips about staying hard in a condom

Q: I'm healthy and all but can't keep an erection in a condom. This girl I'm seeing will only have sex with me if I'm wearing one, but I'm having difficulty. She won't have oral sex without a condom either. I've been tested and am not seeing anyone else but she won't budge. Signed Frustrated.

Steve: You can't stay hard in a condom? Is it psychological? It makes no sense in terms of physical. You're either turned on or turned off. Spend some time working on it. Maybe her putting it on you in a certain way will excite you more. Have an open mind, explore things with her, relax and everything will end up fine. Stomp your foot, refuse the condom and, if she's a smart, quality woman, she'll dump you. Your choice.

Mia: It might not be the condom. It might be that you're worried about maintaining an erection and that's causing things to go south. My suggestion is that you forget about intercourse for awhile. Go back to just dating. Too many couples start having sex before they've really built up trust and emotional intimacy. When it's time for things to get physical, don't immediately start trying for intercourse again. Just stay at the kissing and petting stage. Have lots of foreplay before you even start thinking about moving on again. As you get to know each other better, you may become less and anxious and find your problem vanishes on its own. It may take a bit but the important thing is that you don't over think it. If you do, you run the risk of making this into a thing, which you don't want.    

Q: I've been let down quite a bit lately by men who led me on and then kicked me away. Why can't I see this happening before it does? Why do I keep making bad choices in men? Does this happen to everyone?

Mia: A therapist can answer that question better than we can. But for the record, it doesn't happen to everyone. Some women are good pickers. You aren't. Instead of trying to date right now, take a break and work on finding a good relationship coach to help you figure things out.      

Steve: Not everyone, but much of that is luck. The key here is getting to know the man as thoroughly as you can as soon as you can. Don't just fall in love because he's cute. Here's something simple. Ask the man this: What makes you sad? What makes you happy? See if you can get him to make a list. Had my cousin done that she might be alive today. Her boyfriend was friendly and handsome, but he enjoyed torture. He put two young cousins together, their arms out side-by-side, and dropped a burning cigarette on them. He enjoyed to see who pulled away first. He liked pain for children. And for others too. Dig in, get information. And if the new guy doesn't want to cooperate or share info, drop him fast.

Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or