Lost your erection during sex.

Lost your erection during sex, but young and healthy?

Don’t panic—yet.

Thanks to commercials run by drug companies, the first thing we guys think of when we lose an erection is “ask your doctor about viagra”. Although true erectile dysfunction (ED) affects around 5% of men age 40, and 15-25% of men age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health, don’t jump to the conclusion that you have ED just because you lose your erection during sex now and then, especially if you’re under 40 and healthy.

Erections can disappear for many different reasons not having to do with the kind of true chronic erectile dysfunction that merits the use of a little blue pill. Although ED shouldn’t be ruled out completely, if you’re on the younger side of life—age 18 to 40, and have a healthy weight and lifestyle, consider some of the following scenarios and solutions first.

Was it your first time having sex?

Maybe you were just nervous and overly excited.

We often place a lot of anticipation and pressure on the event of losing our virginity. Relax.

On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from late-life ED, this scenario was ripped directly from countless forum postings—young guys embarrassed and in complete disbelief that their glorious erections evaporated at the very sexual milestone they had been anticipating feverishly and fantasizing about for years—losing their virginity. It had been on your mind since the day puberty hit, and whenever it was on your mind, you were probably hard. How could it possibly go away when you were finally about to make it happen?

Well, go back and reread the previous paragraph. That’s a lot of pressure and anticipation placed on that moment, isn’t it? And you probably jumped through a few hoops of some sort to get yourself into that coveted situation in the first place. Perhaps you’re one of those who has waited until his wedding night to have sex. That sense of pressure and anticipation goes double for that situation. There’s a voice in your subconscious telling you not to mess this up. What could go wrong?

Consider also that up to this point, sexual expression for you had been mostly a solo activity engaged in in private. Until now, you’ve only focused on the sheer joy and pleasure you were certain awaited you when you finally had sex, but you might never have anticipated how different it would feel to actually be sexual in front of another person. Suddenly, you find yourself self-conscious about things that you never felt inhibited about alone in your own bedroom, including just having your erection right there for someone else to see. Whether it feels silly and absurd, or exhilarating and liberating, it definitely feels new, and your brain can easily get distracted by those new secondary sensations.

What to do about it:

Relax. This probably doesn’t indicate a problem, it was a minor mishap. Give yourself a pass. The worst thing you could do is beat yourself up over it or worry that it will happen again. Losing your erection the first time you have sex isn’t really that unusual, and it shouldn’t be surprising considering all that we talked about above. All it takes is a quick look at the men’s health questions on countless forums such as answers.yahoo.com and Reddit to understand how common it is. And really, the first time you do anything isn’t going to go perfectly, and sex is no exception. Practice improves comfort level. It’ll be fine. If by the tenth time you try having sex you still can’t keep it up. Consider some other possibilities.

Was it your first time having sex with someone new?

Newness is exciting, but it can be distracting also.

Not unlike what occurs for some guys the first time they have sex, there’s an element of performance anxiety that can occur with a new partner. That’s part of the excitement of a new partner. In many cases, the excitement often results in somewhat the opposite—premature ejaculation, but it’s also quite possible for your mind to get distracted by the newness itself and thus you lose control in one way or another. Your brain, after all, is processing a lot of stuff all at once.

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And then there’s an element of performance anxiety. You want to make a good impression with this new person so they’ll want to do this with you again and again.

What to do about it:

Like losing your erection when losing your virginity, this isn’t so much a problem as it is a slight mishap. The advice is the same—relax, and try again another time.

Were you having sex with a stranger?

It might have been your brain saying, “abort the mission! Repeat, abort!”

This is a little different than just having sex with someone new that you’ve been dating—this is sex with someone that you just met or haven’t even taken the time to meet. Sometimes opportunities get the best of us and we go past a comfort zone we didn’t even know we had. Have you ever realized halfway into your fourth beer that you should have stopped after the second? Did you put your beer down immediately and switch to water, or did you keep going?

Maybe your brain pulled the plug on your erection because somewhere in the back of your mind a voice said, “wait, this hookup is a bad idea for so many reasons. Abort! Abort!” This is one of those times where you might want to read a little more into the loss of an erection. It may not be ED, but it may also not be something that you want to just blow off either.

What to do about it:

Reevaluate whether or not you are truly comfortable having sex with strangers and maybe even why it is that you are having sex with strangers. Some people are comfortable with the idea of it, but once in the situation, they aren’t as comfortable as they thought they would be. The loss of your erection might have been your brain weighing in on the matter—putting your penis in its place as far as decision making is concerned. Also, consider an STD test if you don’t know the health status of the person you hooked up with.

Had you consumed alcohol?

Booze reduces blood flow to the penis. No blood flow=bad erections.

Although a drink or two may boost your confidence in bed, the negative effect of even a small amount of alcohol can have on erections is well-documented. Alcohol is a depressant and reduces blood flow to your penis. As you should know by now, blood flow is what powers erections. Without excellent blood flow, your erections don’t stand a chance. Additionally, alcohol reduces the intensity of sensation, excitement, and orgasms.

What to do about it:

There’s no way around it—you have to choose between booze and great sex. Cut back on the booze in general, and if you think you’re going to have an opportunity for sex, abstain from alcohol completely. Wait until after sex to have that beer or glass of wine.

Are you losing your erection specifically when you use a condom?

Yeah, yeah…we know, but there are solutions. Don’t ditch the condoms.

The necessity and benefits of condom usage in certain circumstances are pretty well-known. It’s Sex Ed 101. However, it is also well-documented and noted that many guys (and women) are turned off by them because of the perception that the same barrier that protects them from disease or accidental pregnancy will also impair the very pleasurable sensations that are the whole point of sex. That perception is subjective, of course. There are plenty of surprise babies crawling around out there in the world as living proof that guys don’t always perceive a difference in sensation when a condom breaks.

That having been said, putting on a condom does introduce a medical/industrial object into an essential and delicate human situation, and it shouldn’t be completely surprising if doing so takes us out of the moment and can sometimes put the kibosh on a perfectly good erection. Once again here, we probably aren’t dealing with actual ED, but an annoying mishap. But, condoms are a necessity much of the time, so…

What to do about it:

  1. Masturbate with a condom. It may seem silly or too simple to work, but occasionally incorporating a condom into the way you masturbate can do two things. First, it gives you lots of practice and familiarity with the process of putting it on quickly, correctly, and smoothly. With plenty of solo practice time, you’ll be able to just slip it on quickly and accurately during sex so that it’s not a disruption. Practice makes perfect. The second thing that masturbating with a condom can do is cause you to begin to associate condoms with pleasure rather than perceiving them as a barrier to pleasure. When lubricated correctly both internally and externally, a condom can actually enhance the experience of masturbating. Many guys will sometimes masturbate with a condom just for this reason alone. You could also consider having your partner give you hand jobs while you wear a condom in order to further reinforce both your comfort levels with the condoms, as well as to build an association of pleasure with condoms.
  2. Make putting on the condom part of foreplay. Make putting on the condom your partner’s job. Spend some time showing him or her how to do it correctly, of course, and it can be part of teasing. After all, being touched by someone else feels better than touching yourself, so having a condom put on you can actually feel very exciting if done right.
  3. Choose condoms designed to enhance YOUR pleasure and lube the inside correctly. Yes, many condoms are ribbed for her pleasure, but if you are losing your erection due to a lack of sensation, nobody is going to enjoy any pleasure. There are condoms that are designed to actually enhance sensations for the guy wearing the condom. The Inspiral and Pleasure Plus both incorporate extra textured material that fits around the head and frenulum of the penis. Rather than trying to feel sensations through the condom during sex, the material of the condom moves with your partner’s body and glides back and forth over the head and frenulum of your penis—and it works quite well. It feels much more natural than regular condoms. Just be sure to add a bit of lubrication to the inside of the condom before putting it on. Also, the Pleasure Plus needs to be positioned correctly so that the pouch fits on the underside of the penis where the frenulum is for best results.

(Update: There is additional advice on condom situations down in the comments.)

Are you losing your erection or failing to reach an orgasm because you aren’t feeling much sensation during sex?

Do you need to release your “death grip”?

If this is happening with a regular partner and none of the other scenarios apply (including condom use), another possibility to consider is something that is commonly known as masturbation death grip syndrome, or just “death grip”. That’s the slang term. Clinically it is known as retarded ejaculation (a very unfortunate name) or delayed ejaculation. It’s a condition in which a guy becomes dependent on a style or method of masturbation that is unnaturally vigorous and dissimilar to the sensation of sexual intercourse such that he has difficulty achieving an orgasm during sexual intercourse. In short, you have trouble feeling the level of sensation that you need during sex in order to reach an orgasm, but you have no problem hitting your orgasm with your own hand. The term “death grip” comes from the (often correct) assumption that it is the result of gripping the penis too tightly and “jerking off”.

Although many guys who are suffering from the “death grip” or delayed ejaculation don’t actually experience the loss of an erection during sex, some guys perceive so little stimulation during intercourse that they don’t feel enough stimulation to keep the erection.

What makes this different from actual erectile dysfunction is that in the case of ED, an erection is difficult to achieve in the first place. With death grip, achieving an erection is not problem, but it goes away once sex commences.

What to do about it:

If you can rule out a few more common causes of temporary loss of erections, it may be time to take a look at the way you masturbate, especially if you have gone a long time without a partner (or are new to partnered sex) and have spent far more time masturbating than having sex—which is common for most guys, actually—masturbating for at least 4-6 years, if not longer, before becoming sexually active. And then there may be times where the need for more frequent masturbation resurfaces, such as long periods without or away from a partner, or during pregnancies and other life changes that make regular sex a challenge.

In Bed Magazine maintains a special mini-site (curedeathgrip.com) dedicated to trying to get over masturbation death grip syndrome. If you think you may be dealing with “death grip”, check it out.

Did you lose an erection during sex once, and now you’re so worried that it will happen again, it’s all you can think about during sex and the distraction makes you lose it again?

It’s a vicious cycle.

Whether you know why you lost your erection last time or if it’s a total mystery, one thing is for sure—losing it once during sex can make you paranoid that it will happen again. Then, it become a vicious repeating cycle. Maybe you think you feel just a little less firmness for just a second, and that’s just enough to send your brain into panic mode. “Please don’t go down,” you think. You so badly don’t want to lose your erection at that moment. You don’t want to disappoint your partner and you want the full sexual release. At that moment, nothing could be worse than to lose your erection. Unfortunately, stress and worry kill erections…so it happens again.

This may be one of the most common non-ED reasons for erections to begin to chronically disappear during sex.

What to do about it:


Well yeah, it’s easier said than done.

This is one where you may need your partner’s participation. Talk to your partner and let her (or him) know what is going through your head and what your fears are. Ideally, what you need to hear from your partner is that the two of you will have a good time no matter what—that losing an erection doesn’t ruin things for them or the two of you. And you can ask for that reassurance. Before you start having sex, simply tell them, “I’m nervous because I lost my erection last time and now I have trouble not thinking about it when we have sex. It would help me out to know that we’ll have a good time no matter what.”

It could also help you greatly to experience success again. But how do you do that if you are losing your erection during sex? Again, this calls for involving your partner and getting her/his permission and participation. If you are able to sustain an erection during masturbation or during a hand job (which is a good indication that your vanishing erections are due to stress, anxiety, or some other non-ED factor), what you can do is either masturbate yourself or have your partner masturbate you right up until you are just about to have an orgasm. When you have almost reached the point of no return, resume sexual intercourse just in time to experience your orgasm inside your partner. This will help engineer a successful experience and might boost your confidence—as if to prove to yourself that yes, yes you can achieve and orgasm in your partner.

The next time you have sex, rather than focusing on the memory of the last time that you failed at having sex, your last memory will be of how good it felt, both physically and mentally, to succeed.

Were you tired from lack of sleep, stress, or from exercising?

Never, ever underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

If none of the above applies, one final set of factors to consider before going to a doctor, especially if you are young and healthy, is the possibility of exhaustion. Not getting enough sleep, stress from school or work, or even working out too much or too hard can make you just exhausted enough to have trouble keeping an erection. You may not feel absolutely exhausted, but there just might not be the energy reserves available to keep it up during sex.

What to do about it:

This is probably a temporary condition that can be tested easily. If you’re behind on sleep or have been working out quite a bit, get more sleep and take a break from the exercise for a while. Give yourself about a week to recover and rest, then see if you notice any change in your ability to keep it up during sex.

Don’t get sucked into a repeating cycle of being afraid of failure

Keep in mind that erections can float away for all sorts of reasons and that if it happens to you now and then, chances overwhelmingly favor that it’s not the sign of any sort of problem. If an erection goes away, it’s not the end of the world. You might be tired and maybe you aren’t going to get off through sexual intercourse right now, but it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean sex has to stop right then and there. There are still many, many ways to pleasure your partner—hands, fingers, tongue, toys—and perhaps you can still get off another way yourself. Perhaps changing positions will change your mindset and your blood flow. Go into sex with the goal of having fun together and getting off, and don’t worry about how it happens.

But if you continue to be worried…

Don’t be bashful about going to the doctor

Sex is too wonderful and too important to let the fear of a conversation with a doctor get in the way of enjoying it. Your doctor will likely ask about some of the same things that have been considered in this article. Be prepared to talk about your sexual history, stress, exercise, and family health history, as well as go through a standard physical to test your blood pressure etc. It’s also important to make sure that weak erections aren’t an indication of more serious health conditions. So yes, go to your doctor.

If you don’t have a regular doctor, try this Physician Directory from WebMD. If you have already seen your regular doctor, you can also search for urologists on WebMD.

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63 Responses

  1. MT says:

    I’m a pretty well endowed guy. The past 5 years, I’ve had major issues with being able to “finish” during sex with partners, or keeping an erection, even semi-hard. Even with masturbation, I rarely get totally hard without headaches, and I don’t cum a good deal when I do orgasm from masturbation. Is it a mix of performance anxiety & the “death grip” thing? Cuz I’m not older (I’m just about 30), and it’s really disheartening and frustrating cuz I feel like I’d be letting my respective partner down, even when they’re adamant about the contrary.

  2. Echo says:

    Hey there! Thanks for this post. I have a question though. This is gay relationship. So here’s the thing: If I am the “bottom” in our intimate time together, nothing seems to be a problem. He can get it me like not having any problem at all. But when I am the who’s going to insert my penis into his hole, I kept having a hard time, like I don’t know if it’s too tight or we haven’t done any foreplay properly beforehand until my penis becomes flaccid. But he told me that the head of my penis was already inside him and I accidentally pulled it out and had a hard time again. This is making me feel bothered now. Any tips on how to do it right?

    • Echo says:

      Correctuon: He can get “in” me like not having any problem at all.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      I imagine it’s the same issue in this situation with a same-sex partner as it would be with an opposite-sex partner—performance anxiety, based largely on worrying about disappointing your partner. You’re saying that you make an attempt at penetration when you are hard, and then it doesn’t work for whatever reason…we’ll say it’s because it’s too tight, and then you go soft and can’t make another attempt. That “failure” (whatever it is) is taking you out of the moment and your excitement for and anticipation of pleasure is being drowned out by some sort of worry or fear. I think you’ve got to spend some time thinking about what are those feelings that are taking you away from, “oh my God, this is going to feel so good…here we go”, which is what keeps you hard, to “oh no, now things are ruined”, or whatever you’re thinking, which is what makes you go soft. What is making you stop thinking about nothing but the pleasure you are about to feel?

      If you think back to the last time it happened, can you describe to yourself the feelings? Were you embarrassed? Scared? Humiliated? Frustrated? Angry?

      What were the thoughts that went through your head? Were you worried about what your partner thought? Were you worried that he might think you weren’t actually attracted to him or that he might think that you didn’t actually want to or couldn’t top? Did you worry that you weren’t actually attracted to him or that you couldn’t actually top? Did you feel like a less competent partner?

      If anything at all like the above is dominating your thoughts, obviously you’re going to have trouble staying hard. What you’ve got to be able to do is snap yourself out of that and give yourself permission to not care about anything but feeling good.

      Part of it could be partner communications. Just talking about it with him. Getting his verbal reassurance when it happens that it’s okay. Make it a practice that if starting that way isn’t working, you can move to something else such as mutual masturbation or toys or something, and then maybe you can pick back up with intercourse later when you’re feeling more confident.

      On the physical side of things, you could also try to snap yourself back into the moment just by stroking yourself or having him stroke you until you’re hard, feeling good again, and in a zone, and then maybe make another attempt. Let him stroke you for a while and get you extra lubed up, while you focus on lubing him up more down there. Don’t worry about, “oh no, then I have to figure out how to make this intercourse thing work”, just enjoy the feeling of what you are doing to each other in that moment and hey, maybe you cum just from that. If you do, enjoy it. Or, maybe you are feeling good and you make another attempt and it works. Or, maybe you try again and it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, and you were feeling good when he was just stroking you, go back to doing that and try penetration another day.

      As the advice goes for straight couples, unless you’re trying to make a baby (and you guys obviously don’t have that issue) what specifically you do to make each other feel good isn’t as important as just feeling good and having a good time. Everything else will fall into place as long as you both stop worrying about the how and just roll with what feels good in all the ways, both physically and mentally.

  3. AnonymousGirl says:

    My partner and i have been together for years and he is an anxious guy who doesnt last the longest once penetrative, im sure he gets down at times from his performance but it has never bothered me really at all (i know how to satisfy myself no worries and i know what i like and its not all about the penetration for me), but the last few weeks we have been doing a lot more foreplay where i have been stroking him, sucking him, generally playing with and touching him which drives him wild and almost becomes like “edging” in a way… but it seems the moment i take off my undies to “hop on” and finish him he goes soft… any insight here ? Im guessing it may be anxiety related to his excitement as he has to tell me to back off a lot or he will “cum” which i listen too… maybe i am teasing him too much… i just want him to feel safe and loved, i guess its just something i need to encourage him to talk about but he just says “oh, its gone” and im not sure how to take it ! If we go straight for penetrative sex he comes quickly and if we tease he loses the erection despite him getting me super excited… then i miss out haha at least on penetration, i dont have a vibrator etc.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      I think that his issue continues to be performance anxiety. Between him obviously enjoying and staying hard during foreplay, and his ability to have an orgasm during penetrative sex, albeit quicker than he would like, he does not likely have physical ED. I think what is happening (and this has happened to me plenty of times) is that as soon as you hop on top of him and penetrative sex seems imminent, that’s when the performance anxiety kicks in and kills his erection. Boys/men go through puberty often reading and being told the broad generalization that men reach orgasms very quickly and women take a long time, and therefore if a man can’t “last a long time” in bed, they are bad lovers, or not real men, or not good at sex, or women will be unsatisfied, or women won’t want to have sex with them again. This notion gets reinforced in porn, by comedians making jokes, and even just in locker room taunts, and it stays in mens’ minds the rest of their lives and for some it can really cause so much worry and anxiety that both performance anxiety and premature ejaculation become real issues.

      Although there may be some basis in truth to the idea that men, on average, can climax more quickly, a lot of that is based on misinformation and, again, incomplete sex education. That’s not your fault, obviously, and it’s not necessarily his fault either. It’s the fault, in my opinion, of absent or incomplete sex education and a continued social discomfort with talking openly and realistically about sex. In some ways, trying to make men more conscientious towards their partners is/was well-intentioned, but absent of additional support and sex education, it seems to have done more harm than good. Nevertheless, that’s the situation that is playing out in countless bedrooms around the globe all the time, so you two aren’t alone.

      The reality, as you seem to already understand, is that different people—men and women—reach orgasms at different speeds via different methods. This is something that HE needs to understand too. He needs to get this notion out of his head that your sexual satisfaction—and really, the sexual satisfaction of both of you as a couple—is totally dependent on his ability to last a long time or even for him to keep an erection. Unfortunately, another idea that boys get in their heads during puberty is that penetrative sex is like the holy grail of sexual activities and it gets put up on a sort of pedestal, which adds to the performance anxiety around it. “Oh, I better not mess this up or I won’t ever get to do it again,” is almost literally one of the kinds of things that can go through a guy’s head before penetrative sex, which kicks in the anxiety and kills the erection.

      A few things you might consider trying…

      Try getting some of your orgasms first. Although this might seem selfish, this might ironically be a huge gift. Get him to get you off (oral, mutual masturbation, or consider some toys/vibes), or get yourself off with his help, and then when you move to penetrative sex to get him off, there is absolutely no pressure on that to be “the big event” for you. He can just enjoy the experience and cum as quickly as he feels it and not worry at all about you because he’ll know that you are already feeling good and happy from your orgasm. This doesn’t mean this is how it goes every time from now on, but this will help establish the idea that his erection or him lasting a long time will absolutely not be the determining factor in whether or not you are satisfied, and that’s a good thing. Hopefully, with some experiences like this, you’ll be able to move to penetration before you have your own orgasm and the confidence from earlier experiences will carry over.

      Similar to the above, maybe make it a game to see how fast you can make him cum, whether it’s via oral, mutual masturbation, toys, or penetrative sex, the goal becomes, “I want to see you cum and I want to see how fast I can make it happen”. Instead of it being something to fear, turn it into something to celebrate and be excited about. (Because honestly, making someone else cum is kind of a powerful and exciting thing, and the faster they cum, the more intensely you know they are feeling pleasure.) Again, the point here is not to make this THE way you two have sex from now own, but to have some experiences together that reinforce the idea that having an orgasm quickly is not a terrible thing—that it can be a really exciting thing.

      And finally, you said you don’t have a vibrator, but you might consider adding toys to your menu of things that you two can do to make each other feel good, and as part of an effort to downplay the importance of penetrative sex. Given your partner’s other anxieties, I can imagine he might be sensitive to this is as well, so you might have to be clever with how you roll out the idea. You could consider getting something small and have him use it on you, or you could consider a couple’s toy that you could use together, such as the We-Vibe, which my partner and I both recommend, or even the newer Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo. Again, the idea here is to deprioritize penetrative sex so that there is less anxiety about making it happen, thereby actually making it possible for it to happen more often.

      That’s really my whole point here—getting him to understand that wherever the road takes you during sex, there is no failure, just different ways of making each other feel good, and as long as the two of you are feeling good and having fun, there is no make it or break it dependency on his erections, his timing, or even having penetrative sex. You want him to forget about those things and just be in the moment. The rest, inclusing satisfying penetrative sex for both of you, will hopefully begin to fall into place.

      Good luck. This advice is from personal experience in my own relationship and I hope some of it is helpful for you two as well. Also, sorry for the delayed response. I got behind over the holidays.

  4. L says:

    This link has been most useful as compared to others.
    This topic applies to me “Did you lose an erection during sex once, and now you’re so worried that it will happen again, it’s all you can think about during sex and the distraction makes you lose it again?”
    And the comments are giving me the boost to focus on my wife and erection will come naturally. So it had happened couple of times in a row but then I got erection when performing oral on my wife. And then I finished off normally and then in my mind I went AHA, when I am pleasuring my wife, erection will come naturally so I’ll do the same next time. Well, my penis thought differently. It didn’t get hard and then in my mind I was like WTF. So again, because I’m thinking about unsuccessful times Right before sex, I’m so focused in my mind that whether it’ll get hard or not. So I’m going to focus on my wife for little while and election will come naturally. We are trying to get pregnant and it’s not really pressure but yeah, I need to finish you know.
    A few months ago it was the opposite, my wife wasn’t ovulating regularly but I wasn’t going through this phase and now that she is regular in ovulation, my soldier isn’t getting hard to needless to say I’m not finishing. Masfurbating together while porn is way too much out of box for my wife as she lived in India up until 24 and was very closed off in all sex matters. We’ve been married 7 years and she’s never finished me off orally. She starting performing oral on me after 4-5 years for a few minutes. Which has been okay I guess because she does it now.
    So yeah I purchased sensual massage oil and I was massaging her and I got hard but again it didn’t stay hard.
    I think my immediate next step is buying a vibrator for her.
    I do watch pornh sometimes and have learnt not to masturbate anymore as I used to but that never was a problem to have a successful intercourse session. I think I I’ll stop watching porn completely.
    After last time of unsuccessful attempt, I was “aching” to have an orgasm so I “had to” masturbate over porn which I think I’m gonna stop completely.

    • ThomasH says:

      So true! You are doing amazing work! Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts ❤️. A lot have this problem. Just different things trigger it. Masturbation does not cause problems with erection. Many guys have trouble getting or maintaining an erection at some point in their lives. Often, it’s caused by performance anxiety. I had the same problem before. So thankful I found in Google ‘Edstop247’ and got some magic help. Performance anxiety is the fear of being unable to please a partner. This anxiety can actually cause changes in the body that prevent a guy from getting or maintaining an erection.

  5. My husband is 37 and we have been married for two years. We have had sex 4 to 5 times a week since we’ve been married if not more. For the last week nothing has changed he is not on new medication and he does not do illegal drugs. He swears he does not watch porn but he does masturbate to pictures of me. For the last week my husband has been unable to get an erection for me. I have tried all of moves dressing up, playing out of fantasy, spending two hours with foreplay, giving him everything he wants and things he didn’t know he wanted as we are very open in the bedroom. My husband could still not become a erect. We are not a couple that watches porn however I wanted to see if he could get in erection with it and sure enough he became a erect and was able to complete by masturbating to porn. He swore up-and-down he did not have Morningwood this week but I checked today and he did have it at one point because of the position his penis was in it looked fully erect about was soft by the time I checked. I have read that people can wake up and go back to sleep so when they wake up they no longer have the Morningwood because they already had it the first time they woke up without really realizing it which he does frequently. We tried again, I tried everything the porn did and nothing worked. He watched porn again and was able to succeed so we tried having sex in the middle and he went soft. Turn on the porn again and he was able to ejaculate. Like I said he swears up and down that he never watches porn and I do believe him for the fact we are always together except for at work. What else could be the cause of this? This is hurting our marriage because I don’t know what to believe. If I question him he gets upset. We need help.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Obviously, without knowing exactly what is going on in your husband’s head, I can only speculate, but I think I can take a pretty good guess because I’ve been in his situation somewhat.

      Erections are as much mental as they are physical, and it sounds like he may be feeling a tremendous amount of pressure from you to produce erections that are caused by whatever you want them to be caused by, which can result in a lot of anxiety because he does not really have control over what causes an erection (outside of direct stimulation). Add on top of that the fact that your husband’s sexual response may be slowing just a little bit just due to age, which could be compounding the anxiety. We, men, feel a huge amount of worry and performance anxiety over erections and our ability to maintain them for our partners, and it’s a vicious loop because nothing kills erections faster than anxiety.

      You note that he is able to sustain an erection and masturbate to completion to porn and you seem worried that it’s because he likes porn more than having sex with you. But consider the possibility that with porn, nobody else’s happiness is dependent on him having an erection. If the porn comes on and he does not get an erection, nobody’s feelings will be hurt—a waiting partner is not going to be questioning anything or assuming about anything based on his erection.

      Think about it. You’re both there on the bed one day and for whatever reason—maybe because he was tired or had something on his mind—he’s slow to respond. He senses your frustration but he has no control over it and so begins a loop in his head, “please get hard, please get hard, or else my wife is going to get her feelings hurt”. And he’s sitting there worried about what is going on in your head while you’re watching him and waiting for him to get hard because everything—your happiness, your sex life, your marriage—seemingly rests on whether or not he just instantly gets hard or not. You can’t get hard when that kind of pressure is in your head. With the porn, that pressure does not exist.

      You made an attempt to do the things that were depicted in the porn, but it may not be the things that were done in the porn or the visual stimulation of the porn that caused him to be responsive to it, but rather the fact that it took his mind off of the pressure he was feeling to make you happy by getting hard. Instead of concentrating on the pressure and worry, he was instead able to focus in on pleasure itself. So, what I’d recommend the two of you do is remove the pressure.

      Don’t view his erections as an applause meter for your appearance or a gauge of your self-worth. That’s not what erections are for and that’s not the story they tell. In fact, completely remove the dependence on him having an erection from the equation of you two enjoying yourselves together sexually. It sounds like you took a step in that direction with the porn, but the problem is that you’re inferring meaning from it. Instead, how about just engage in some mutual masturbation with or without porn. Have him please you in ways other than penetrative intercourse, using fingers, tongue, or toys if you like. Tell him that it doesn’t matter if he’s hard or not, there’s no reason for the fun to stop.

      In other words, broaden what you consider sex to be, and make sex exclusively about enjoying sexual pleasure together in any sort or manner rather than having it be so much about validation of your attractiveness or sexual skill. Something as simple as the two of you masturbating together side-by-side and just feeding off of each other’s energy could be enough to change the dynamic—to remind him that you are his best friend and lover, and that all you want is for the two of you to have fun together.

      But remember, that sentiment has to be real. He can’t continue to feel like your happiness and your marriage are dependent on his penis getting hard on-demand for whatever reason you desire. He needs to feel like all that matters is that the two of you enjoy your sexuality together in whatever form is working on a given day, and I believe the rest—the erections and regular sex—will return naturally over time.

    • Chris says:

      Im having the same problem with my wife right now the past couple of weeks we try to have sex but only to be in that upsetting awkward position when my dick gets soft .i hate it ,because I love my wife so much and im completely 100% into her and she turns me on but for some reason it gets soft mid sex..dont jump to conclusions and assume the worst that maybe its you .i garantee its not bcause im sure your a nice sexy woman that would get any man rock hard but maybe hes just exhausted tired or hes so worried and stressed about whether ur enjoying him or not and the stress in the mind might cause the dick to go down…i know its upsetting when you wanna cum so badly once you got yourself going but dont worry things will go back to bomb sex soon just talk to him see what he thinks it is or if he notices that he might be stressing worrying during sex ..good luck and always remember you can please yourself probably better than anyone can ….or you can hit me up and ill do you right im sure of that:)!!!;) let me know !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m about to be 22. I lost my virginity when I was 15 and had a very healthy sexual relationship with my partner at the time. Sometimes multiple times a day. We broke up and I had other relationships in which I had sex. I remember the first time I used a condom I got soft and it was a reoccurring problem until I fought through it. Well last year I was with another girl. She was younger and her dad was a state cop, so I think that resurfaced my anxiety about Sex at times. I was attracted to her and could sustain an erection but the first time we went to have sex I got worried because her dad was upstairs and lost my erection. This became a vicious cycle and I literally couldn’t have sex with her because of it. We broke up and I stayed single for about a year. I’m not dating the girl of my dreams. She’s amazing. I’m so attracted to her and I think I love her. However I’m still worried I won’t beable to please her. We have had sex once, but I was drinking a little that night. Anyways we went to go have sex again the other night but again I worried what if im not going to please her and I lost my erection again. I blamed it on being tired but the fact is I’m just scared I won’t be good enough and have another failed relationship with someone I actually care about. I have talked to my PCDr about this and he put me on an anxiety pill but I still have doubt in the back of my mind and I want nothing more than to overcome this and have fun with my partner because she’s the best. I need help though before it’s too late. Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      now dating the girl of my dreams*
      Also I get erections with her all the time. Sometimes even just when we lay together and kiss so I know it’s definitely just right before the main event. Like if I feel myself get a little soft I go into full panic mode like the article said and it’s a wrap.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      This is one of the main scenarios that inspired this article in the first place—losing an erection once or twice due to whatever reason, and then continuing to lose it in partnered sexual situations then after due to anxiety over possibly losing your erection again during sex. I had this occur even with a partner with whom I’d been having sex with for several years. I had a few off days where, for whatever reason—work stress, too much exercise, too much salt in a meal, maybe a bit too much alcohol—I don’t even remember or know why, I lost my erection a minute into sex. I felt embarrassed and frustrated. She was cool with it, but I was embarrassed, confused and frustrated inside. It had never happened to me before and I had never really thought much about erections beyond just all the good things that I associated with having them. But now, suddenly, all I could think about when I started to have sex was, “oh shit, please don’t go soft”. Yet, no matter how good it felt, no matter how turned on I was, exactly the thing that I was fearing would happen. I even lost an erection once right as an orgasm was about to happen because I was so worried that I was going to go soft before I would get there.

      This issue persisted for several months. I got to the point where I started to lose interest in sex because it became more about anxiety and embarrassment than pleasure. But—and I’m going to pull a quote direct from your comment because it was something along the lines what I was thinking, I wanted “nothing more than to overcome this and have fun with my partner”. Well, the answer that I found to the problem laid in those last five words right there in that sentence you wrote—”have fun with my partner”.

      Basically, I had to surrender to what I couldn’t control—my erections (we may be able to cause them for ourselves if we want, but our penises still seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to getting hard or going soft) and completely remove having an erection as a requirement to doing what was most important to me, which was having fun with my partner. More to the point, I had to embrace the idea that we could both still experience and enjoy pleasure regardless of whether or not I was keeping an erection inside of her. This, in addition with being honest with her about my performance anxiety helped remove the mental pressure that was killing my erections.

      So, what did pleasure without worrying about maintaining an erection look like? It meant kind of stepping back to some basics, like masturbating together, mutual masturbation (hand jobs), oral, and using toys on each other. I had to stop thinking of “sex” as meaning one thing—penis in vagina—and start thinking of it in its broader (and truer) definition of two people participating in one another’s sexual pleasure. If my primary objective was “to have fun with my partner”, I was determined to have fun with my partner whether my dick was hard or not.

      The sad thing is, many of us guys will look at all of that stuff and think of it as compensatory sex—not really sex at all, just stuff you’re doing because you can’t have sex and “aren’t a real man” or whatever, and that’s total poison. I mean, I understand why. We climb that latter when we’re sexually very young, with the ultimate goal being to finally experience actual penis-in-vagina sex, and once we do that, we look back at what we had experienced before as milestones rather than tools in our tool belt. What’s worse is that we were so focused on getting to the big moment of having sex-sex, that many of us didn’t really learn to value the other stuff at the time we were experiencing it. I too had to fight through that a little bit because I really had no choice—I had to surrender to what I couldn’t control, but also not give up on what was most important, which was having fun with my partner. And it worked.

      Stepping back and really learning how one another’s bodies worked not only fixed this erection problem, but it has made my sex life much better ever since. I learned how to give my partner incredible minute-long triple and quadruple leg shaking orgasms orgasms just using my fingers, and I’m not talking dumb teenage finger fucking, I’m talking actually learning how to please her clitoris and finding her g-spot. I discovered that watching my partner’s entire body succumb to climactic pleasure was almost as exhilarating as having an orgasm myself. (You never see what total bliss actually looks like when you’re on top of your partner. It’s incredible.) I went from going down on my partner being a foreplay thing to a thing that I could do so well that I could make her cum in under a minute. This took a lot of practice, but it was worth it. And finally, I went from just knowing she had a vibrator but never having seen it, to learning to use it on her and deciding she needed a better one and buying it for her and using it to take her to some new heights. I went from shy about sex toys to thinking they’re awesome for both women AND men. (Vibrators are your friend, get to know them).

      Interesting thing: one of the realizations that I had when I started down this road of taking my erections out of the equation is that millions of women have satisfying and hot sexual relationships with one another with absolutely zero hard dicks involved. (I’ve seen my share of girl-on-girl porns.) I knew it was completely possible to have fun and pleasure with my partner with absolutely zero dependency on my erection, so I developed the skills to do it, and it totally empowered me. I bet you weren’t expecting to see the word “empowered” in my response back to you, but I’m realizing now that it’s the perfect word for it. Once I had those expanded skills, my erections became steadfast during sex—practically uninterruptible. Why? Because I was no longer worried about the fun or the pleasure stopping if I did lose an erection. Instead of thinking, “oh shit, please don’t go soft, please don’t go soft” while having sex, in the back of my mind I knew that if I did go soft, the fun didn’t have to stop—I’d just switch to one of my other skills and give her at least as good of an orgasm (maybe even better).

      It was absolutely a game changer. Sex is a lot more than penis-in-vagina. There’s a whole world of pleasure for you and your partner within reach if you look beyond the narrow definition of sex that gets stuck in our heads early on. This is how you stop worrying about your erections and start having fun again, and this is how I fixed my lost erection problem for good.

      You may have some anxiety about talking to your partner about this, and I understand that. That’s a big part of what started the whole problem in the first place, right—”shit, she probably thinks I suck”. But you are a man, and this is how men’s bodies work. There’s a lot of mental stuff going on behind an erection and nothing kills an erection faster than worry and anxiety, no matter how attracted we are to our partners. (I swear, anxiety is more lethal to an erection than a bowl of ice water.) And at some point, part of growing up and maturing sexually involves owning your sexuality. (There’s a lot of talk among women about owning their sexuality, and I guess we all just think it’s a given for men, but not necessarily. We have a lot that we can and should learn from the opposite sex about sexual wellness.) Owning your sexuality, depending on your partner’s sexual education and experience, may include educating your partner about how your body works and how anxiety affects you (as it affects most men) sexually, and being totally honest about what is going on up there in your head, that is affecting you down there in bed. (See what I did right there? That was nice, right?) And really, what is sex without intimacy? And what is intimacy without honesty? If you’re serious about this girl, it may be time to start taking some chances.

      Whether it’s keeping your erection or taking a chance on being vulnerable for the sake of building an incredible and satisfying sex life with your partner, keep it in your mind that no matter what, you will always be able to find another way to have fun, one way or the other.

      I wish you the best of luck and I really hope some of this helps. Thanks for the question and for giving me a reason to write about this. Your words talking about wanting nothing more than to have fun with your partner makes me realize that we need an entire article here that focuses on strategies to overcome performance anxiety, not just little snippets about this and that. I’d really appreciate a followup here sometime to let us know how it went. This is a pretty popular article and a lot of guys are coming here for answers and it helps to hear from others.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey guys,
        So I can gladly say that my problem has pretty much gone away but it wasn’t easy. I had a lot of anxiety still before I could be open about this issue with my partner but after the problem persisted and she started to feel like she was the problem I opened up to her. Was honestly one of the scariest moments of my life because I didn’t know if she’d leave me or judge me or what. But I love her and she loves me so I went for it and was completely open with her. She took it so well and told me there was no pressure that she’d wait 10 years if she had to if it meant me conquering my anxiety and getting better. This took off a lot of pressure from me and honestly made me feel at ease. Now before I opened up to her the only time I could have sex with her was when I had some booze in me to take off the edge but obviously I didn’t wanna have to be drinking every time I had sex. One thing that I think will help a lot of people with this issue is just as you have said earlier. Get back to the basics. Have fun. I could maintain an erection during foreplay such as even getting a hand job so I would have her give me one and when I felt I was decently hard that’s when the time came to just go for it and it worked. This wasn’t cured over night. And at times I still have a little doubt in my mind but it is now overcome with just passion for my girl and I just wanna please her and please myself. I mean treat yourself right. But honestly whoever is reading this and feels like there’s no way out I understand your pain. This issue persisted for years with me. I had to see a doctor. I went on anxiety pills and I still felt hopeless. It got so bad I feared I would never have sex again and not even beable to have kids someday. crazy right? But the mind is a powerful thing. But so is communication with your partner. I can gladly say that for the most part my issue is gone and we have a sexual relationship alongside a real one. The two coincide. It’s okay to feel scared but the main thing is, if your partner truly cares for you they will understand whatever you bring to them and they will help you through this problem alongside any other problem you’d have in life. I hope this helps someone out who is experiencing issues. Just remember that sex is meant to be fun. It’s meant to bring you closer to your partner. So enjoy it! Get back to the basics. Can’t thank the in bed staff for all of the help by the way!

        • In Bed Staff says:

          Thank you very much for sharing this followup with us and readers. Communication, honesty, and intimacy are powerful things. Congratulations and all the best.

      • Anonymous says:

        @InBedStaff fucking beautiful reply

  7. Bob says:

    I mastrubated 2-3 a day and sometimes during sex i go soft when changing positions. Could this be some kind of death grip? I almost always come during sex but maybe like 3% of the time i cant come. My problem
    Is more going soft during sex. I used to watch a lot of porn and i had a job as a chat operator where i would pretend to be a woman and chat with men who paid for it. I did this for like 3 months. Not proud of it but This was years ago. I am 23 years old now. Will cutting down on mastrubation help me regain my hard erections? I frequently have sex with prostitutes and while i go soft sometimes i once was so hard that the girl was actually in pain. She did a real good foreplay and that got ke going on. Could you be of any help?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      The same thing still happens to me sometimes—I may lose an erection in the missionary position and then switch to me on the bottom with her on top and it comes back. What I’ve found is that when it’s related to positions, my performance is connected to my general wellness. If I’ve been exercising and keeping my diet and blood pressure in check, and maintaining a healthy weight, I’m good, but if I let things slip a little and start eating a bunch of junk and not getting enough sleep, I start having trouble with maintaining erections in all positions. So, I’d take a look at overall self-care in addition to your sexual habits.

      As for cutting down on porn and masturbation, I think it would be worth hitting the pause button on that to see if it helps. Obviously you have something going on, so the trouble-shooting steps are to remove/change one thing at a time for a period of time and see if things improve. If things don’t improve, remove/change another thing and give it a while to see if things improve. This will be the case whether your issue is related to your general wellness or your sexual habits.

  8. Alex says:

    So am 21..slim tall and healthy…am about to have my first time sex but its becoming disapionting after two tries,i had always pray for this day to come but am screwing things up..i do masterbate wel and get full erection and even when am speaking with my girl on phone or when we at the store romancing but i loose it when we schedule it for my room and she’s mad over it please i need your help am about to loss my girl.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, i was making out with a girl a few weeks ago and everything was fine. I was really hard and wanted to go all the way but we didn’t have sex. After she went, i masturbated. Now a few days ago, i was making out with a different girl and i was hard. But when i went down on her, i felt the penis going soft. Then she gave me a blowjob during which i was hard and it felt really good. But when i tried to put it in the vagina, it went soft. So i tried to shake it and everything but nothing worked so i told her i was tired which i was, since i walked almost 15 kilometres that day and could not get proper sleep. So after a couple of hours, i felt my penis getting hard and we tried again, this time I was able to put it in but after a few mins, i went soft again. So i pulled out and slept without an orgasm. The next day she left, and i couldn’t get a full erection (80-90%) but enough to masturbate and ejaculate. After i woke up i realised my penis skin and head were slightly red because of friction burns because of slightly aggressive bj she gave me. Since then im not able to get proper erections. I lost my virginity that day and im constantly thinking about the limp dick and my inability to do anything about it. Im trying to watch porn and get erection so that im sure its not ED. But i can’t. Maybe its because of friction burns but it doesnt hurt or anything. Im worried about it. Im not addicted to porn and masturbate every alternate Day but since that day i can’t.

  10. John says:

    I’m in my mid twenties and I haven’t really been with a girl for 2 years so I just masterbated for the whole time , last night I got with this beautiful girl and we hit it off , we went to my place and had sex , she was enjoying it but I wasn’t really getting much sensation out of it so I went soft , after reading comments here I could guess it’s death grip ? I’m not sure I wanted to hear your opinion since I don’t really want to talk to my friends about this .

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Yeah, I would give death grip some consideration, especially if what you’ve been doing is the classic “jerking off” thing and nothing else for two years. Remember, jerking off is a totally different type of stimulation than the relatively gentle gliding friction that you experience during sex. Jerking off is basically a kind of deep tissue massage where you’re applying pressure to specific areas. It’s a very, very efficient way to reach an orgasm and it does feel great, but if you stick with that exclusively for a long time and continue to apply greater and greater pressure, your responsiveness to other types of stimulation can diminish. It can be walked back, but you have to change your masturbation habits so that you are varying the way that you masturbate and, more often than not, masturbate in a way that feels a bit more like what you feel during sex, such as by masturbating with personal lubrication with a looser grip and a gliding action instead of jerking off, or even switching to using a Fleshlight. This is stuff they really need to tell guys at a younger age in sex ed but adults are too squeamish and embarrassed to talk about the details like this. Check out also curedeathgrip.com

      • Anonymus says:

        I am 25 Years old had Sex once with 21it was with a prostitude. I was horny. But when she rode my dick after a short time my dick wasnt hard anymore. I masturbate like the way described above and i think that was the reason. I am often times now on partys and somehow i lagg confidence in taking the last step to go to a girl or to me because i think i have thoughts that this will happen again. I will try to use the the tipps to get rid of death grip exept i think i wont buy a flashlight.

  11. Zn says:

    Hi,when I met my girlfriend I use to sex her for long time with condom without me loosing erection but I won’t release after the sex. The first day I sexed her without condom,it lasted for a while,I released and I enjoyed the sex. Since then I kept on sexing her without condom because I do enjoy it more and always release.
    Now,I want to start using condom again but each time I use condom,my penis falls after few seconds of sex without releasing sperm. Please advice me on this.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      If sex with a condom is what you need to acclimate yourself to, my advice is to “train” in the same environment. Start masturbating with a condom on (using additional lubrication) exclusively. And when you masturbate, don’t “jerk off”. Instead, glide your lubricated hand over your condom-covered penis with a moderate or light grip (not overly tight) in order to simulate the gentle pressure and friction of sex as closely as you can. This will take some discipline, will require longer sessions and more concentration, might get a bit expensive, and might be a bit frustrating at first, but you have to decide how important it is to you to improve your enjoyment of sex with your girlfriend. I went from a relatively long relationship in which I wasn’t using a condom, to a new relationship in which I was going to need to use a condom. I masturbated while wearing condoms exclusively (no condom, no masturbation—which was the same policy on sex) for about a month, and the result was that I became so acclimated to using a condom that I was actually back to having to work at not climaxing too soon during sex even while wearing a condom. (That’s a good problem to have when you’re wearing a condom.) It wasn’t thrilling to masturbate with a condom on at first. There were probably a couple of times where I gave up because I wasn’t feeling much, but rather than resorting to old known-to-be-quick masturbation methods, I just got up, took a shower, and read a book or something instead. A bit like dealing with masturbation death grip, you have to lower your tolerance to sensations in order to regain sensitivity to feeling sensations through the condom. Doing so might require you to temporarily deprive yourself of direct stimulation for a while in order to build up a certain amount of yearning and uh…desperation for that feeling. (It’s kind of like how if you want people to shut up and listen over the phone, sometimes you can get them to do this by talking quietly so that they have to really concentrate to hear you. It’s like that, but with the nerve endings in your penis.) The results, in my opinion, are worth the discipline and the process. That sensitivity is a pretty valuable thing to me.

      Oh, and also, whether in prep for using a condom during sex or for practicing with one during masturbation, be sure to add a couple of drops of lubricant to the inside of the condom before putting it on, even if you are using a lubricated condom. This makes the inside of the condom feel quite a bit nicer and will allow some friction to occur between your skin and the inside of the condom itself. This can help increase the sensations that you feel while using a condom.

  12. No to Sure says:

    I’m 19 and had sex for the first time about a week ago. To be honest it was really disapointing felt hardly anything and while she was having a ball I was kinda acting. I think the problem was the whole deathgrip thing talked about here. I’m used to quite a bit of pressure is there a short term solution or does it just take time to change your bodys response by masturbating in a different way?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      If it’s the ‘death grip’, it could take a little while to adjust if you’ve been using a lot of pressure since you very first started masturbating and that’s all you’ve ever known. Have you checked out curedeathgrip.com yet? The site lists out a fairly long process, but results may vary. It could very well clear up for you more quickly since you’re so young. There are guys 40 years and older who are struggling with it. Maybe just stop “jerking off” for a while, get a decent bottle of lube, and go easy on yourself for a week. Take your time, use a loose grip, let the lubricated friction create the sensations instead of pressure. If you don’t begin to hook up to a feeling by doing that for a while, then maybe you need to take the longer and more disciplined route spelled out in the site, and/or consider using a Fleshlight exclusively.

  13. worried says:

    So I’m 19 and i never had a morning erection and for what i read it may mean i have a ED. Do you think it can be ? Like I’m still virgin so i don´t really have a sex experience, but i gt«et normal erections when i masturbate and i also have wet dreams a lot, but since i read the article about that i can t stop thinking about it. Help.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Don’t worry, worried! Not waking up with an erection is not necessarily a sign of ED. It could have to do with the sleep stage you are in when you are waking up, for example. Check out this article titled, Does a lack of morning wood suggest erectile dysfunction. Random night erections are related to REM sleep, and this article does a pretty good job addressing the matter. The fact that you get erections at other times and that you can easily maintain an erection while masturbating is a sign that you’re healthy in that department and that everything is probably working properly. You might be sleeping through your ‘morning wood’ or waking up right before it would normally occur. Do you wake up to an alarm clock sometimes? Alarms don’t care what stage of sleep you’re in—they wake you up when you need to be up.

  14. Toomuch says:

    I also add that if you masturbate a lot before sex, your cum is reduced a lot. So stop masturbating like for a week and recharge your cum/sperm/semen. You be a machine during sex.

  15. MikeWill says:

    Hi.. i masturbate to porn a couple of times a week. Some days more frequently than other days and i have a *rock solid* erection when masturbating . Today i tried to have real sex for the first time with a hooker i paid. And it was a total disaster. I had only two thrust worth of weak erection then i went completely flacid. Gettin it up was just impossible. Touching, stoking all failed. Im worried to hell. I dont know what to do

    • In Bed Staff says:

      It could be any number of things, including some of which we covered in the article such as nervousness over your first time (very common), along with it being the first time with a new partner. Though, have you already asked yourself how you really feel about using a hooker…especially for your first time? Not judging it, but maybe you thought it was a good idea in theory, but once you got in the situation for real you may have subconsciously not been as “okay” with it as you thought you were. Could that be a factor?

      Yes, when you masturbate it’s no problem. Involving another person is an entirely different thing. The first time you do it, it feels strange and maybe even vulnerable to suddenly be doing something with another person that you’ve ever only done on your own. It shouldn’t be surprising or alarming if an erection eludes you while you mentally process the situation. Relax. Don’t freak out or stress over it. Try again. (But maybe not with a hooker next time.)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey guys I’m 16 and I have experienced losing an erection. It was so embarrassing and humiliating and I feel like I’m the only guy that has done that but after reading all this I’m not. It was the other night we have kinda been planing the day out and we had sex kinda planed out for the night. We got there and we stared to do for play. I was hard and fine we stared to take clothes off then I got to putting the condom on and evreything Just went down hill from there. I have watch porn and masturbated I would not say a lot but I use to do like 5 times per week. Is that to much? One time I lost it during a blow job but with a different girl it kinda seemed like I was not interested so after that I have always had lossing a erection in the back of my mind. I don’t know what it is but I don’t like it

    • In Bed Staff says:

      A few things to consider. First, you said it went down hill once you put the condom on. Consider “practicing” on your own with a condom for a while—not just putting it on, but also masturbating with it on. This can help make putting on a condom during sex feel more routine and less of a disruption, and masturbating with one can help you associate condoms more instantly with sexual pleasure. Also, be sure to add some additional lubrication to the inside of the condom when you do this. This helps make what you feel from the inside of the condom feel nicer.

      And no, masturbating five times a week definitely isn’t considered excessive. That’s pretty average.

      Guys lose erections. It’s going to happen now and then. You aren’t a robot. You aren’t a machine. Forgive yourself for it. And remember that sex is supposed to be fun, not stressful and serious. Probably the least helpful thing you can do is worry about it. Just quit worrying and decide that even if it happens, you’ll keep having fun. Learn other ways to please your partner—fingers, tongue, toys, etc. Just because an erection takes a break doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Personally, I’ve found that when erections have disappeared due to worrying about it, switching things up for a little bit gets my mind off of it and suddenly things come roaring back to life.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So I’m 16 and just kind of got my first handjob. I was making out with my girlfriend and I was fingering her so of course I had an erection. As soon as she reached down and grabbed my penis I got nervous and almost panicked and went soft. She tried working with it but it was kind of a lost cause and I’m worried it’ll happen again

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Getting nervous is normal and common. It seems strange because having someone you’re attracted to touch you has been something you’ve probably desired and anticipated for a while—something you want very much. But at the same time, that’s a very private space and having someone else see it and touch it in an intimate way for the first time can feel very odd, unfamiliar, and strange at first, even if you want it and even if it feels good. Those feelings can all culminate in anxiety which can kill an erection. It’s like so many other things, it will just take some time to get comfortable and used to it.

      I know you’re afraid it will happen again, and it could. But you don’t have control over it, so there’s no point in worrying. You just have to relax and be in the moment. Also, a big part of intimacy—and even a seemingly simple handjob is definitely an intimate experience—is honesty. And both honesty and intimacy can make you feel more comfortable with another person. It can help to just talk it out and be honest about the fact that you’re nervous and that doing something like this is new. I think part of what makes us nervous is worrying about what the other person is thinking. Talking about how you’re feeling in the moment can help make that mystery and worry disappear—and just might bring the erection rushing back.

      Also, one thing that won’t help

      is staring at it and hoping it will get hard again. Try just closing your eyes, relaxing your shoulders, and just focusing completely on the sensation of being touched. It feels good to be touched even when you’re not erect, so just block out every concern and worry, and just enjoy what it feels like to be touched. See if you can “hook up” to that sensation and let your body respond how it wants to respond.

  18. Anon says:

    Hi, I’m a 19 year old male and suddenly I have a very low sex drive, I met a new girl who I really like and we went to have sex for the first time and as has happened with all my partners I couldn’t get it up for the first time, there’s been 7 others and it’s happened to all of them. Since then she’s been a bit off with me and I tried laying off the porn and masturbation in order to get it up next time, worked before. I used to do it 3-4 times daily maybe more but suddenly I don’t feel like it anymore. Even on my own I need to physically stimulate myself in order to become fully erect. I do have final exams next week but I’m very concerned about it all. Any advice please thank you.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      You said you’ve had problems getting it up with just about all your new partners. Was it just at the beginning when a partner was new, or did the difficulty continue even when you and your partners have become closer? Or, have you never continued with a partner beyond the first couple of times? Having nervousness with a new partner is very common and shouldn’t be surprising at all. We get the impression from porn that people are supposed to be able to just walk into a room, having never even met, and get right to it without a hitch. That’s just not how it goes for most people in real life. Every new partner involves a degree of vulnerability, risk, discovery, and evaluating comfort level. Sometimes “taking it slow” isn’t such a bad thing because we have a chance to get comfortable with someone and get physically intimate more progressively. Sometimes we run into one of those special people with whom we’re totally comfortable from the moment we meet, but often it takes some time.

      As for the sex drive, keep an eye on it, but sex drives ebb and flow with other things going on in our lives. A dip during exam time shouldn’t be alarming. You may also be a little discouraged from your recent frustrations. Sometimes your brain and body just need to take a little break. Take advantage of the break, focus on finals, and then relax. See how you’re feeling then.

  19. Bob says:

    Ok so I’m 16 and i recently got involved with this girl previously before I had gotten bjs and handjobs with no problems but with this girl things moved fast and on the first time we hung out she asked if I’ve ever had sex before and I lied because I didn’t want to discourage her so we tried to have sex but I couldn’t keep am erection. So we tried again next week and got the same results. I then talked to her and told her the truth and said how I just get very anxious and it’s the nerves and she was very cool about it and willing to help so I go without jacking off and no porn for a couple days then a take 2 shots before we hang out to try and calm my nerves more and sure enough I have no problems. So then the next couple times I do the same exact thing thinking that’s the only way until I finally decided I’m being ridiculous and I fucked her sober I got soft for a little bit but eventually was able to successfully fuck her. So now I have all this confidence thinking I am over this little bump and I got back to my normal routine of porn and masturbating and the next time we hangout we play around for a couple hours while I was hard the whole time and I mean really hard and then the second she says she wants to have sex and we start to take off our clothes I lose my erection right away and couldn’t get it back. Now I just have it all in my head I know it’s nothing wrong with my body because I’m always horny and constantly just getting random boners and always thinking about sex. Plz help I just want to be able to enjoy sex without having to worry about this issue thanks.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      First, let’s talk about your first time. A lot of people’s first times having sex are clumsy disasters. You’re going to have to forgive yourself on that one. Actually, I really think most people’s first times go poorly. You were nervous, you totally lied about your sexual experience to someone with whom you were about to spend a special and intimate moment, and then you lost your erection and felt like a tiny man. Yes, it was a total shit show, but shit show first times are the rule, not the exception. And why should we expect it to be any less in real life? You didn’t stand up and run when you were little. You tried walking and fell on your butt a couple of thousand times before you made your first successful steps—even then, you were probably holding onto the side of a table or something. Sex is a crazy mix of physical and mental stars all aligning but people downplay the first time as no big deal, but it’s actually a huge thing. We play it down when we’re teenagers because we’re all trying to be cool when we talk about sex, and then we play it down once we’re good at sex because we just want to put those awful first times behind us. But make no mistake, it’s the adult version of learning to walk and it’s big. You think you’re somehow prepared after years of masturbating and maybe watching porn, but involving another person in what has previously been a solitary activity is a totally different dynamic, as you’ve discovered. Again, #shitnobodytellsyouinsexed. So congratulate yourself on the fact that the loss of your v-card was, and continues to be (it’s a process), a perfectly normal hot mess, and forgive yourself for not being perfect the first time you try something.

      Unfortunately though, one of the things that went wrong during your first time—going soft—is the wildcard thing that you have the least control of. On the one hand, the fact that a penis just gets hard and commands attention is kind of magical and amazing because it’s like it has a mind of its own. Then again, having a mind of its own is kind of terrifying because you really don’t have control over it. Alright—well, you can’t control it, but you do know what it likes and doesn’t like, and chief among the dislikes is nervousness and anxiety. Essentially, since you lost your erection the first time you had sex, you’ve been worrying in anticipation of the next time ever since. Fear of failure leads to failure because fear causes the failure. It’s a nasty loop. You attempted (successfully) to alleviate that anxiety with alcohol, so you’ve tested and proven that it’s your nerves that are throwing you off. (Though, you’ve got to be careful with that. Not only do you not want to establish a pattern of using alcohol to self-medicate, especially in such formative years, but alcohol is another erection killer. A tiny bit might help ease some nerves, but much more than that will negate any gains in terms of keeping it up. “Whiskey dick” is a real thing.)

      So, instead of focusing on all the stuff that has gone wrong so far, focus on what has gone right. You wrote:

      “I finally decided I’m being ridiculous (depending on alcohol) and I fucked her sober. I got soft for a little bit but eventually was able to successfully fuck her.”

      The first awesome thing up there is the fact that you sucessfully had sex without alcohol. It was a little bumpy, but it is absolutely okay to round that up to total success. I (and I speak for the rest of the world) give you permission to call that fully successful. Take that success, put a ribbon on it, and wear it around your neck like a f*cking Olympic gold metal…in your head. This is where your focus needs to be—on your successes.

      The second awesome thing is that you recovered mid-sex and continued. From time to time, your head might drift out of the game for whatever reason. Recovering is a skill and you have it now. You’ve done it. You can do it again if you need to. Relax. Focus in on what you’re feeling down there, and let everything else drift away. Feeling good is all that matters. If you have to stroke yourself with your hand for a minute to get back into the moment, that’s okay. There’s no rule that says hands can’t be part of sex.

      Also, another thing that can help alleviate performance anxiety is to embrace the idea that as long as you both are feeling good and having orgasms, there is no such thing as failure in sex. A lot of things constitute sex, not just PIV (penis-in-vagina). Fingers, hands, toys, and tongues can do amazing things for both partners. Maintain confidence that even if PIV isn’t working out, the fun doesn’t have to stop. And this attitude is sort of a cornerstone of real-world sexual happiness. It comes in handy not only if you lose your erection, but also (and more often) when you climax faster than your partner. Sometimes your partner is going to cum first, and sometimes you are. Simultaneous orgasms are kind of rare. When you cum first, you’ll just switch to something else to get your partner off because your dick is going to be out of commission for a while, right? Well, if your penis needs to take a break for whatever reason, you can pull from that same box of tricks to keep your partner going. Keep that in mind. If you lose your erection, the world will not end, and you and your partner can still go over the finish line. So just don’t worry about it.

      And while we’re talking about “real world” sex, we might as well touch on your mention of porn and masturbation. You said that after your success…

      “I got back to my normal routine of porn and masturbating and the next time we hangout we play around for a couple hours while I was hard the whole time and I mean really hard and then the second she says she wants to have sex and we start to take off our clothes I lose my erection right away and couldn’t get it back.”

      As I said earlier, involving another person in what has, until recently, been exclusively a solo activity, is a total shift in dynamics. It’s one thing to sing in the shower when you don’t think anyone is home, it’s another thing to have someone say, “come up here on stage and sing something with me”. Masturbation is, as you know, a totally normal and healthy thing. It is, and always will be, part of your sex life. But, earlier I described losing your virginity as a process rather than a one-time event. I wrote that because it’s true. You’re still getting used to the dynamic of having another person involved in what was previously a very private thing. It takes a little while to get comfortable with it. You want it, you crave it, you desire it—but you still have to get used to it. During this adjustment period, it might be a good idea to at least change the way you masturbate.

      First, I’d take a break from porn for a while. Porn is third-party passive entertainment at best, and totally fake and unrealistic at its worst. This is a period of really developing what’s in your head and discovering all the nuances of real-life sex. Shift to using your imagination for a while instead of porn when you masturbate. Close your eyes and think back to your successes. Take yourself back and remember that time when you successfully had sex without alcohol. Or. you can even think about the times that you did use alcohol and focus in on what it felt like—the actual sensations you felt when you were inside of her. Think about what it felt like when you came. Just focus on the sensations and the pleasure, your memory of it, and your anticipation of feeling it again. Let those personal, intimate, first-hand memories fuel the mental aspect of your imagination rather than random, detached porn.

      Also, if you haven’t already, get some lubricant and masturbate in a way that feels more like sex—with gentle, lubricated, gliding, friction. Jerking off—moving the skin or foreskin of your penis up and down—feels nothing at all like sex (it’s more of a tissue massage). Plus, jerking off exclusively and excessively long-term can sometimes lead to what a lot of people call “masturbation death grip” which can contribute to a perceived loss of sensitivity and thus the loss of erections during sex as well.

  20. Elena says:

    I met a guy recently and it happend to our first sex .At the first , everything was great but the moment of intercourse, he lost his erection. He said I’m really excited and just wanted to get u satisfied , he said I normally do sex with girls who I don’t love and care them , so I just did sex but with u I wanted u get the maximum satisfaction and it makes me nervous.
    On the other hand, I have a tight vaginal and he thought I didn’t want him and get panicked.
    Actually, it made me sad cuz It was the first time I see a man who lost his sexual interest towards me. We are 36 and 37 years old and I’m taller than him.
    after that we had sex but I felt that he was nervous again.
    Does he tell truth? Or cuz he had sex with many girls , he couldn’t have sex with me.

    • In Bed Staff says:

      It’s hard to know for sure whether he’s telling the full truth—he may not even really know why he lost his erection or he might be embarassed—but I’d give the guy the benefit of the doubt until you two get to know each other better and spend more time being physically intimate. All the things he mentioned—it being your first time to have sex, being excited and nervous, being primarily concerned about your satisfaction, and having strong romantic feelings towards you—can all contribute to performance anxiety, loss of focus, and overall nervousness.

      Don’t automatically feel offended or assume it’s something that is wrong with you. Penises aren’t machines and erections are very sensitive to nervousness. I suggest staying calm, patient, and confident. Consider just getting each other off with your hands or toys a few times to help both of you get more comfortable with being intimate, and to take the pressure off of his penis needing to be hard and in your vagina in order for you to enjoy one another sexually. It’s not a failure if the two of you both have orgasms or have a good time. With some other successes under your belts, it might be an easier transition to full-tilt sex.

      If you like him, give it some more time. But, if he’s unwilling or unable to talk about it (sounds like he’s talking about it though) or unwilling to work on it, obviously it’s your call. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing sex in your life and there’s nothing wrong with expecting a partner be sexually into you and able to participate in the activities you crave—especially if you’ve done everything you can or are willing to do in order to help them get past their initial nervousness.

  21. Worried says:

    I am 24 and can hardly keep an erection if I’m not touching my penis. What is wrong with me?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Are you losing your erection exclusively during sex, or do you have trouble maintaining an erection even during masturbation? Also, do you still experience erections during your sleep or when you wake up in the morning—”morning wood”? There are a number of things, as mentioned in the article and additional links, that can contribute to the loss of an erection during sex, or even trouble getting an erection or maintaining an erection during masturbation. In general, if you’re still experiencing erections during sleep or when you wake, it’s probably less likely to be due to problems with blood flow or medical-related ED, and more to do with energy level, lifestyle factors, or—in the case of erection loss during sex—performance anxieties. However, your sexual health and interest can be a barometer for your overall health. Start with a basic assessment of your wellness. Are you getting enough rest and sleep? Do you exercise? If you do, are you over-exercising? What’s your diet like—fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, or processed junk? Are you a healthy weight? How’s your blood pressure? Do you drink or smoke? Are you under a lot of stress from school or work? Are you depressed? What medications are you taking? See if there is anything obviously out of whack in your life or lifestyle. These are among the questions that a doctor is going to start with anyway, so you might as well start thinking about it now.

      But, we aren’t doctors or medical professionals by any stretch of the definition, so if things don’t improve from basic lifestyle adjustments, or if it’s not just performance anxiety, by all means, see a doctor.

      Search for a urologist on WebMD.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I had sex first time..first drive normal but I can’t go for a second round due toh softness in peniss.. What i do ??

    • In Bed Staff says:

      It’s called the refractory period, and it’s normal, but the duration is different for different people depending on age and other factors. The average duration is about a half hour. Some 18 year-old males experience a refractory period and short as 15 minutes, while men in their 70s may need up to 20 hours.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday, i brought this girl that ive known and am good friends with back to my house to “study” we both knew what we were gonna do, i shaved, i got everything ready, i looked at some photos just to get the blood going down there, everything was great, the foreplay was awesome, but when i took out her panties started to eat her pussy and finger her i felt my dick going softer, by the i was done and it was her turn, she grabbed it and it just shrunk, right in her hand she just left…. I was traumatised by this, and today i cant get a boner, no matter how hard i try, this never happened to me before and thank you for the tips but im just scared bcs ive always got a erection when i wanted to and when i didnt want to aswell.. Now i just cant get one, is it trauma?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Take a deep breath! This happens. It’s not uncommon. I bet it’s just performance anxiety.

      So, first of all, you said that you’ve known this girl for a while and that you two are good friends. Although you’ve been interested in having sex with her, you undoubtedly realize that you just don’t know how having sex will affect your friendship. So, that might be contributing to some subconscious nervousness that can kill an erection.

      Also, have you been anticipating and hoping to have sex with your friend for a while? When you’ve been thinking about it and hoping for it for a long time, you’ve put a lot of pressure on yourself (and your friend) for it to all work perfectly when it happens. And that pressure can also contribute to a lost erection.

      If this girl truly is a friend, try talking to her about the nervousness you felt when you two were about to have sex and why you felt it. And help her understand how you are feeling now. Intimacy, honesty, and vulnerability are part of what real sex is about. If you’re comfortable enough to go down on someone and comfortable enough to get naked with them, you should be comfortable enough to talk honestly about how you are feeling about what you’re doing. You might just be amazed by how quickly the blood can come rushing back to your dick when you feel completely comfortable being honest, flawed, and 100 percent real with another person.

      What have you got to lose? The worst has already happened. Just try talking. “Hey, so I’ve been thinking about doing this for so long, and when it really happened I just got nervous because we’ve been friends for a while…”

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m about to sleep with someone and they don’t know I’m a virgin, I’d rather keep it that way too,
    I want to make sure I last long enough for them to at least climax or get something, any tips?
    Should I masturbate the day before?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      You didn’t mention this, but I’m guessing you’re a guy…? The short answer is “sure, might as well”. Honestly though, I don’t know how effective it’s going to be. There are so many sensory things going on during sex beyond just what you’re feeling at the genital level—and that actually amplify the already new and amazing things you’re feeling physically, that you shouldn’t expect a quick fap the day before to make you someone you aren’t with experience you don’t have. I mean, a Fleshlight might help a little more, but even then…actual sex is a multi-sensory experience.

      I point this out because I hate for you to go into your first sexual experience feeling all this pressure to keep a secret and have things turn out a certain way. Part of sex is intimacy and just being in the moment and having fun. But, I do understand just wanting to lose your V-card so you can have the experience and feel some confidence. (That was me too.)

      For whatever it’s worth, my advice to you is to take as much pressure off of yourself and the experience as possible. You’re already thinking in that direction. Start with the physical…relieve some sexual tension on your own ahead of time. Don’t just do a dry fap…that’s not even the same type/method of stimulation you feel during sex…use lube and a slow, gentle, gliding friction so that you feel something a little closer to what sex feels like than the “jerk off” method. Will you be using a condom? Have you ever played with a condom on your own before during masturbation? If not, do that. Practice putting on condoms until you can basically do it with your eyes closed or in the dark. (Remember to put a couple of drops of lube in the tip of it before putting it on.) Practicing like this will help to keep that from tripping you up and stressing you out when you’re about to have sex. Then, masturbate with the condom on (again, with plenty of lube and a gliding action) so that you’re used to what that feels like. The first time you have sex should not be your first encounter with a condom if you want things to go smoothly at all.

      Next, work on relieving the mental pressure. Don’t think of cumming too fast as the end of the world. It’s not. Even guys who are sexually experienced can lose control, especially with a new partner they are excited about. Heck, I’ve probably had sex thousands of times and there are still times when I fight desperately to not go over the edge in 30 seconds. And sometimes it happens. So, not lasting long enough is not something that just happens to virgins or guys who are not very sexually experienced. It will be better with experience, especially with a long-term partner, but it’s not a total telltale sign that a guy is a virgin.

      Help relieve that pressure to perform by having a backup plan if it does happen. In reality, most people don’t cum together during sex. More times than not, someone’s got to cum first. Sometimes it’s the guy, sometimes it’s the girl. (Fact: 75% of women can’t or don’t orgasm from penetrative sex alone.) If it’s the girl, sure…that works out a little easier for you because if you’re close too, you can probably finish pretty quick without being annoying. But often, the guy finishes first. And when that happens, a guy still has several options to give to his partner sexually.

      Do your homework on the clitoris. Read up on techniques for manual stimulation (here’s a pretty good video on fingering) and oral sex. Here’s a good article about oral for women, by women…the best source. If you aren’t cool with going down on a girl after you’ve already cum inside of her, you aren’t ready for sex. Man up. But it matters whether or not she is cool with it. Just ask, “how about I go down on you” and see what she says. Or, you could continue with, “or do you have a favorite vibe or something you’d like me to use?” All of this is part of, or will become part of, your sexual toolbox. You may not need to move to this plan, but having a backup plan and some familiarity with the mechanics of the backup plan can help take some of the pressure off of you to perform. And relieving that pressure just might help you perform, seem more experienced, and hopefully enjoy yourself more.

      A few words on actual sexual technique though. Remember, if a woman is going to cum from penetrative sex, it’s most likely going to be from pressure against her clitoris. Your penis simply going in and out does a lot for you, but not for her. You want to make sure the upper base of your penis and the top of your pubic bone are making contact with her clitoris. Just be aware of that. Guys don’t see this happening in porn much because it doesn’t make for exciting porn. Exciting porn shows the guy doing these long thrusts where he’s pulling away from her vulva quite far (so you can see) and never making firm contact with the woman’s clitoris. But in real sex, making sure your thrusts are resulting in pressure against her clitoris is more likely to cause an orgasm than if you do whatever you’ve been seeing in porn. Plus, making your thrusts shorter and more firm might slow things down for you a little bit.

      Hope some of that helps. But again, just relax. Most people’s first times are either ho-hum or a total disaster. It’ll be memorable and thrilling just because it’s your first time, but don’t fear it being a disaster because that’s not abnormal. You’re just getting started. You didn’t stand up and run on day one. You crawled, tried to walk, fell, bumped your head, and tried again. You’re already ahead on the sex thing by doing some research and thinking about it. Just don’t overthink it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot, I stopped because it was or has became a habit of me which I knw itz not good at all. At any slight erection I do it even if iTry to resist, so then come the faithful day I noticed I’ve stop having erection & was because I wanted to masturbate (u see what I’m telling u, no erection but I wanted to masturbate), then follow that killer worry that why am I not hard to the extent that I used to felt that I’m not having anything in ma pant ☺ when I’m walking on the street. So I decided to stop after kinda overcoming that killer thought before I wound myself. Tho now, I’m getting the hardness back bit by bit. You know what? Bros, porn ain’t good stuff, you get addicted to it and very difficult to stop watching as itz very easy to get everywhere you turn to… thanks to Almighty God I’m overcoming that bad attitude. A very big thank you once again for your comprehensive response

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m in my early 30s and never had sex, though I used to masturbate and sometimes 3 to 4 times a day for like a straight week or more but recently I stopped and go like 3days without it or porn which is very hard as I use to get horny all day. Just last week, I suddenly stop having erection even if I wanted to. Though I have stop watching porn and masturbating since but up till now I can’t even use my mind to raise my penis. Any advice? I’ll be glad if I can get reply via email too, thanks in anticipation of your anwer… I’m not over weight, in short I’m slim and healthy, I don’t smoke nor take alcohol and I exercise almost daily

    • In Bed Staff says:

      Hmm…it could be so many things, Anon. You said that you used to masturbate frequently, but recently stopped. Why did you stop, and does this timing correlate with the drop in your sex drive? There’s some debate in the medical science community about the “use it or lose it” theory. Check out the article from WebMD here. A 2008 study seemed to indicate that going without sex and masturbation could contribute to ED and/or a loss of interest in sex, and that masturbation plays an important and healthy role as a form of sexual exercise that keeps you sexually responsive. I’ve been reading more and more chatter on the internet about guys intentionally trying to stop masturbating, and I swear I’m also seeing a lot of guys talking about exactly the same thing happening to them that you’re describing. I don’t know if it’s coincidental or not—I don’t have any data to put behind it—it’s just an anecdotal observation, but I can’t help but wonder if this goes back to what they were talking about in that study.

      I don’t know that I would say that I’ve ever hard-core quit masturbating, but I’ve tried some short term abstinence when I started having some trouble with losing erections during sex. My theory was that if I built up some degree of desperate sexual hunger, surely I’d stay hard as a rock and highly sensitive the next time I had sex. But, I quickly found that abstaining from masturbation made a small problem a lot worse. It sort of put this negative spin on sexual feelings and what’s worse, it actually put even more pressure on me to perform during sex and resulted in even worse problems with erection failures. Instead of sex just being another opportunity to feel good (in addition to masturbation), during sex I started thinking, “please don’t go soft, I can’t go soft…this is the moment I’ve been waiting for…this is my only opportunity (that I’m allowing myself) to feel this kind of pleasure…if I fail, I’m going to miss out…please don’t go soft.” And then there was the worry I was having about what she was thinking while I laid there struggling with this—too embarrassed to share what was going on. With that kind of pressure dominating my mind, I didn’t just lose my erections—they crashed and burned. It became this self-fulfilling cycle of failure.

      Somewhat ironically, it was renewing my enjoyment of masturbation and even incorporating a Fleshlight that helped me get my groove back. Not only did I start thinking of masturbation more positively and as an exercise to help keep me sexually engaged with or without a partner, improving the quality and enjoyment of masturbation took the pressure off of sex with a partner to be this one and only source or opportunity for that next-level (beyond the average fap) sexual experience. And with that pressure gone, and without all that worry about failure and without overthinking things in my head, I started to keep my erections. If I did start to go a little soft from getting distracted, I just relaxed, remembered that if it didn’t work, I could get her off in another fun way and then I’d get myself off later if I needed to…it was all good. With that being my dominant attitude, I could focus in on the sensation instead of my worries, and the blood would come rushing back full-tilt to carry me and my partner both to full PIV-no-hands orgasmic glory. I also started to get my random when-the-wind-blows erections back.

      So, I don’t know if it would be the same for you or not, but I wanted to share that experience since you mentioned that you have purposefully stopped masturbating. Why have you stopped masturbating? What aspect of your sex life were you hoping to improve by doing that? It just might be the wrong strategy in your particular case. I know it was the wrong one for me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Omg i never seen such a great response. I am exactly in the same situation (viscious cycle of nervousness )and yoour response makes me feel relaxed and will try ur suggestions thanks a bunch

      • Anonymous says:

        Just to follow up on my previous reply…. Your suggestion worked like a wonder….. Thanks again…. I followed your advice and once i regained my confidence with the help of my partner … The rest was Breeze

  27. Jhon says:

    I have problems keeping it up and ejaculating I have been without a girlfriend for several months and used a large amount of porn to satisfy my needs me and my girlfriend had sex last night and I had to lie and tell her I cam which I never achieved. Thinks it’s the porn ?

    • In Bed Staff says:

      I don’t think that porn itself, alone, is a harmful thing if indulged in moderately, but I think you have to look at what is different or what you’ve been doing since you were last engaged in regular sexual activity, and I think you’ve outlined that for yourself already. If I were you, I’d back off the porn for a while and see if things get better. Porn is strong medicine for the mind and like anything else that we expose ourselves to that elicits a psychological and physiological response, it’s wise to do so in moderation. Remember, your mind is the biggest and most important sex organ. You want to “feed” it a healthy diet and you want it to have a strong imagination. You want it to be open to new ideas and new experiences rather than guide it towards a narrow range of specific expectations. The problem is not relying on porn as a sexual outlet now and then so much as it is allowing your internal sexual imagination to become passive and your fantasies to be replaced by prepackaged experiences created by other people. Use porn to inspire your sexual imagination, not supplement it. So yeah, back off the porn for a while and see how it goes.

      Also, was this the first time you’ve had sex with this girlfriend? It could also have been nerves—at least partially.

  28. John says:

    It could also be heavy porn use in combination with masturbation.
    Heavy porn use appears to be ‘numbing’ your sensitivity and pleasure in bed.
    Try a few weeks without porn.

    • In Bed Editor says:

      Great comment! Porn use is definitely something worth considering. Get back in touch with the basics and get your body and your own imagination working together again. It’s sort of in the same vein as Death Grip. Porn can be fun in moderation, but it is to your sexual imagination what processed snack foods are to your diet. Thanks for taking the time to contribute.

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