Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
How come I never get morning erections?
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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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How come I never get morning erections?

Here are some facts about me...

**I'm 34 now...
**I have not had morning erections for YEARS!
**Sometimes I try going days with masturbation to see if that makes a difference.
**I quit looking at porn (thinking it may have screwed up my brain)
**Sometimes I tried drinking plenty of water before I go to bed but I always end up waking up in the middle of the      night to go pee (not waking up with an erection because I'm half sleep)
**I'm not a heavy sleeper AT ALL! Either my body is just relaxing while I'm trying to sleep or eventually I fall sleep but not into a deep sleep.
**I'm constantly thinking about anything and everything while I'm trying to sleep. It's not stress related stuff, I just have an imagination, especially a lot of sexual thoughts at night.
**I go to bed around 10-11 every night and my eyes open around 4-5am regardless (without a morning erection). From that point, I'm just relaxing in the bed and trying to fall back to sleep but I don't.
** I been to the doctors and my testosterone levels were low but still considered normal. My urologists would not prescribe more testosterone.
** I exercise, work-out, eat pretty healthy and drink 2-3 bottles of water a day.

Conclusion: I'm suspecting I never experience any morning erections due to my sleeping habits meaning my body never goes into a deep sleep. Is this the case?

Related Discussions
523042 tn?1212181495

First of all, since I’m not a neurologist or sleep expert, I can’t comment on your sleep questions. For a possible answer, I’d suggest you consult a urologist first and then perhaps a neurologist. Or you might consider getting a referral to a sleep lab to see if your suspicions are correct. If you’re not experiencing REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, it’s possible it’s affecting erections. In fact, if this is true, it’s probably affecting many other areas of your life, since your energy levels would be lower than if you were getting sufficient sleep.

In addition, some conditions that may affect morning erection are:

* Low testosterone (but you already know this).
* Inhibited blood flow to penis from:
• Diabetes
• Vascular anomaly
• Low blood pressure
• Heart issues
• Medications
• Psychological or emotional issues (stress, conflicts, etc.)
• Temporary condition that your body got used to and now it’s become a pattern or expectation

You might wish to explore these with a physician or a therapist.

But I have a question for you. Why are you so worried about morning erections? I can’t tell from your post whether you are enjoying your sexuality apart from this issue, but it seems to me that you’re an over-anxious person who perhaps has a pattern of searching for things to worry about. Of course, this can interfere with sleep, pleasure, etc. Without knowing more specifics about you, I can only give you the following general information.

Recent references to male sexuality seem to be limited to Viagra, penis mechanics, and such. If you listen to the radio or read the newspaper, you’re bombarded by ads from the pharmaceutical/medical industry asking whether you’re performing “up to par” (the inference being that if you’re not having “porn star sex,” you must be below par) and whether you want “better performance,” stronger erections (what IS a “weak” erection anyway?), to last longer, etc. The implicit message, of course, is that you’re supposed to perform like some machine, never, ever complain or question, and just be satisfied that you’re “getting some.” Pleasure? What’s that? Not only does this do a huge disservice to men, but it also leaves you vulnerable to exploitation by reinforcing the idea that what they’re selling is not only what you should want—it’s what you should NEED! And if you don’t, what’s wrong with you? Am I the only one who sees how self serving and manipulative this is? Do we really want to allow Madison Avenue to define our sexuality and turn it into yet one more consumer product?

Performance is the enemy of both pleasure and fun. The #1 cause of male sexual concerns is quite simply that many men focus on their performance rather than on their pleasure.

Picture this: You’re an actor, shooting a scene in which you’re eating a succulent gourmet dinner. You’re focused on your lines and technique, but not on the food. How much do you think you’d enjoy the actual meal? Well, sex is the same: if you focus on performance, you’re just working; and with an attitude like that, you’ll miss out on all of the fun.

Oh, sure, sometimes performing can be enjoyable; but eventually it’s just work. Have you bought into this model? If so, you might have discovered that sex is beginning to feel like a chore instead of fun. The first step in letting go of this attitude is educating yourself. Read The New Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld, a classic and still the best book on the subject. My male students swear by it. It will also help you to open up and share your concerns with a partner. I’ll let you in on a secret: some men assume their partners want them to perform, but that usually isn’t the case. You might find there’s more room for flexibility than you ever thought possible.

Let’s discuss developing erection reliability: Do you feel you always have to be in charge and it’s up to you to initiate sex? How does this make you feel? Are you comfortable telling your partner what you need? Try exploring any conflicts you may have about being sexual, including any past negative messages that have bothered you regarding any aspect of sex, especially issues that come up when you think about what being “manly” means to you. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that many men sometimes just want to be held, kissed and stroked. You should also ask yourself whether you’re angry at a partner or feeling resentful.

It might help you to know that erections can change over the course of a lifetime, and while they may be different, this does not mean you can’t still have a great sex life.

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. As you age, you’ll find that you need more direct touch and stimulation, especially if you use condoms, which can limit sensation somewhat. This is just part of life and doesn’t indicate any underlying condition to worry about.

Also as part of the aging process, you'll find that erections sometimes take longer, and even come and go. Again, this is not an indication if ill health, but just part of life. Have you ever looked up something on the internet and then got so distracted by something that popped up that you forgot what you were originally looking for? Well, like many other things, sexual interest ebbs and flows, depending on other circumstances in your life. Your medical condition can also affect blood flow to your penis, resulting in less firm or less frequent erections. Be aware that the more stress you’re under, the less energy your body has to respond sexually. In other words, stop worrying!

Worrying about erections is a dead-end street. All it will do is make you anxious, which will make your penis even more uncooperative. Don’t forget that 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 find partners who aren’t hung up on outdated macho ideas of what constitutes “good” sex. Most of us are more interested in a caring, sensitive partner than one with a “porn star” penis. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
1828226 tn?1323568848

**I have not had morning erections for YEARS, can't remember having any in my 20's!
**Sometimes I try going days WITHOUT masturbation to see if that makes a difference.
1828226 tn?1323568848
The reason I worry about them so much because I'm tired of reading over the internet how every man suppose to have morning erections and I never get them. I'm 34 now and don't recall getting any during my 20's. In fact, in my early 20's I never even heard of a morning erection so I thought I was fine. My sex life has always been on/off, with medication or without, or failing to keep it up or completing.

As far as the conditions you mention, my doctor tells me I'm in top-notch shape, absolutely healthy. I don't have diabetis, heart conditions, etc. But I will definitely look into my sleeping habits (once I get some coverage)
523042 tn?1212181495
In addition to sleep issues, I'd also suggest you consult with a neurologist just to be on the safe side and also with a clinical sexologist to explore why your sex life seems to be so "on/off." S/he can help you discover insights into whether there are some emotional issues which are also contributing. Best of luck to you and warm wishes for a joyous holiday season. Dr. J
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