Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
Erection problem
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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Erection problem

doctor, i have a weird patern of getting an erection. i'm almost 30 years old and have had quite a few girlfriends in the past.  it is always hard for me to have erection while trying to have sex with a new partner.  i always needed to have a few tries before really having intercourse.  lately, i noticed that i get worried sometimes while having foreplay with my girlfriend, and losing my erection right before intercourse.  but i'm totally fine if i'm masturbating.  
i'm a little worried that i will have erectile dysfunction or something like that.  is Viagra for people like me?
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Hello.

First of all, your pattern isn't "weird," but actually quite common. In fact, when it comes to sex, there's no such thing as "normal." Everyone is different.

However, I think you're asking if you have some sort of “condition” because it takes you longer to erect with a new partner. So let me put your mind at ease. Everything is fine.

Welcome to your 30’s! When you're younger and just beginning to be sexual with others, erections pop up everywhere--including when you don't want them! Post-pubescent men are highly excitable. After all, sex with a partner is new, and anything new is terribly exciting.

As you age, you'll find that erections sometimes take longer, and even come and go. This is not an indication if ill health, but just part of life.

Since you experience erections during self-pleasuring, it’s obvious there’s no medical or physiological condition interfering—it’s all in your head. Something about being sexual with a woman is causing you anxiety. What do you suppose it is? Is it possible that you’re worrying yourself into this problem? In other words, once you began to worry, you stopped being able to enjoy yourself, so naturally, your erections disappeared, and you created a self-fulfilling prophesy. Often, anxiety and nervousness create a situation in which you can't relax enough to feel pleasure.

Worrying about erections is a dead-end street. All it will do is make you anxious, which will make your penis very uncooperative. And remember you don't need an erection to be sexual, have fun, experience pleasure, etc. Relax, enjoy your own unique sexuality and stop judging yourself.

And stop worrying about so-called “ED.” There’s no such thing. People use this term to mean anything from “couldn’t get an erection on command after having a fight with my wife” to “have never had an erection in my life.” Viagra doesn’t alleviate anxiety, etc. All it does is open up blood flow to the penis. It’s for men who have a medical condition such as diabetes, which prevents blood flow. For more information about male sexual issues, I recommend “The New Male Sexuality,” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., widely available both used and in paperback. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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