Dear Bearded Confidant,

Could our dicks be hard-wired to one specific guy? Could my dick be monogamous by unconscious choice? I've found it's hard for me to get hard with anyone else except my special someone who I've been with for five years - actually my first and only serious relationship. Mentally I've been aroused as hell in sexual situations (fetish dreams like fisting come true) outside my relationship but the switch just doesn't turn on in my cock. When it does it's more like forcing it and we all know that never works for more than a few seconds. Fortunately I've been only with guys who appreciate and respect my life-status and aren't discouraged by my flaccid dick. Still I feel like I'm lacking some basic functioning other guys with active sex-life have - guys who hook up and get down and dirty in club bathrooms with ease. BTW I'm 29, so still in an active age and so on.

Would be nice to read your thoughts on this one. Thanks for you advice!

Dear Duncan,

This is a fantastic question, Duncan, touching upon an issue that most men choose not to think about. The ideal, of course, is for one's dick to rise to any occasion, to be on-call for as much rampant action as a man can fit into his waking hours. Most men don't follow-up on enough erotic opportunities to realize that their dicks won't always jump on cue like a trained animal. No one wants to face this phenomenon, partly because it conjures worrisome possibilities of "erectile dysfunction" and perhaps mostly because we tend to associate throbbing erections with manliness and don't like to contemplate being sexually "weak" (the word limp being associated with lameness).

So what's going on with a dick that works just fine with a special someone but goes into hibernation when hot new guys enter the scene? Indeed, a dick can be in the habit of having only one official partner at a time. In other words, a dick can be monogamous, as you suspected. And this seems to have inspired the very idea of monogamy -- meaning that monogamy has a physical origin that predates philosophical overlays or religious rationales. Now it's obviously true that some men have no problem with promiscuity, because their erotic wiring is reversed -- while they can get it up for all men, they can't get it up for only one man, just as while you can get it up for only one man, you can't get it up for all men. It's two sides of the same coin. Your dick isn't wired for wild abandon, and theirs aren't wired to be tame. Sure, anonymous cruising, one-night stands, and frenzied orgies are living the dream of sowing those wild oats. (For a seminal novel about this, try John Rechy's Numbers.) But it's merely one dream, for seeds can be sown not only into a savage rainforest but also into a carefully tended orchard. One type of seed planting isn't better than the other -- the wild garden and the cultivated one are both vital to the world.

Now what's your solution? With men outside your relationship, explore fetish activities that don't rely on your dick being hard, like watersports, fisting, anal toys, or giving erotic massages to foster full-body orgasms. Direct encounters to take place in saunas or hot tubs so that the extra heat will help keep your libido at full speed. But here's my biggest suggestion: consider having a guy fit you with a chastity device, so that your not getting a hardon becomes a crucial part of the scenario. Let it be known that your partner allows you fool around on the side in any way you wish, only as long as your dick is locked away. Let your flaccid dick start the ball rolling in all new directions.  Good luck, and please do let me know how things progress!