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Erection problems at 20 years
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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 problems at 20 years

This is going to be a head-scratcher, but bear with me. I'm going to turn 20 years old next month, so I'm young. I have NO problems. No diseases whatsoever, and I'm healthy.. I don't do anything bad at all, smoke, drink NOTHING. I'm active too, playing basketball. No stress. Not tired. Nothing.

And yet, I cannot keep an erection for extended peridos of time. Don't get me wrong; when I initiate sex with my girlfriend, I have a rock hard erection. But foreplay is long, and after about 10-15 minutes, my penis just deflates. It goes all the way down. This is so embarassing. Then, when I try my hardest to get it back up, which takes a while, it stays up for about 2 minutes but goes back down again. And this cycle continues.

My erection is hardest and firmest when we initiate it but it just goes down after a while. It feels tired in a way....

Just as a side note, I used to masturbate alot when I was like 16, but I stopped for like 3 years and last year started having sex with my gf, and this is when the problems started.

Someone please help me out here.
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It's not a head-scratcher at all. In fact, if you read the rest of the posts, you'll find your concern is quite common, and it's quite easy to fix.

Welcome to your 20’s! Erections go up and down. You’ll find this happening all your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex, but you have to let go of worrying about performance.

Much of your problem is due to your attitude. Once your penis didn't act as you expected, you probably started feeling anxious and judging yourself, which can be a vicious circle. The more you worry about erections, the more your penis won’t cooperate. In fact, it can be downright rebellious!  Many men feel that if their erection goes down even a tiny bit, there’s something wrong with them. Where does this come from?

Men receive so many messages that sex is about “performance” and pleasing a partner, rather than just enjoying the pleasure of it. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. By being so goal-oriented, some men never get to feel the simple pleasures of touch, of kissing, of soft skin on skin. And, of course, if you can allow yourself to let go of goals and just enjoy, guess what? That erection will come right back. So don’t focus so much on penis-vagina (p-v) sex as the “end-all, be-all” of sex, but rather just let yourself relax and enjoy whatever occurs. And don’t have p-v sex until you’re ready.

The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure. Ask yourself whether you have any conflicts about being sexual—any old messages that might be lurking in your subconscious.

There are many other reasons why you may be inhibited with you’re your partner. I’m going to assume that when you say “sex,” you mean p-v.  This could be due to anxiety—either about sex in general, or about some aspect of your relationship with her. Since you’re fine with either manual or oral stimulation, perhaps the intimacy of p-v is making you uncomfortable? Why would that be? What does it represent to you—and to your partner? These are questions to ask yourself.  Or it might just be that some aspect of p-v creates anxiety

Or perhaps you’re not receiving enough stimulation during p-v, or you might be starting p-v before you’re turned on enough. I’m also wondering how aroused you are by your partner. You could be bored, or perhaps some aspect of your relationship isn’t satisfying.

One more myth to bust: self-pleasuring does not contribute to erection concerns. In fact, the more you know about your own sexual response, the better. However, if you have an orgasm during self-pleasuring just prior to being sexual with a partner, your body may need a bit of time to build up sexual tension again.

In addition to examining the above issues, I also highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available online, both used and in paperback and is an invaluable resource. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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