Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
Unable to sustain erection...erectile dysfn or not?
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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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Unable to sustain erection...erectile dysfn or not?

Hi Doc,

I am a 32 y.o male unable to sustain an erection for more than a few mins.  The erection usually subsides a few mins into the p-v sex and no amount of effort from either partner helps regain it.  Between 2000 and 2004 I was given to excessive and frequent drinking and smoking.  Until 2003 there were no side effects and my body did not show any signs of fatigue and my erection was normal.  Beginning 2004, I found that I either did not get sufficient erection to facilitate intercourse or the erection would subside almost immediately.  During this time, I was also down with freq stomach problems as I was eating out, partying late night meant I had an erratic sleeping pattern.  Since December 2004 I have not consumed alcohol or smoked 'em coffin nails.  However, since then I find it is only after prolonged stimulation that I get an erection but not long enough to culminate in ejaculation.  I masturbate regularly and during this exercise I get an erection which again subsides as soon as I stop rubbing my penis.  I have no psychological problems (anxiety, depression etc).  

I am extremely upset as during the last several occasions I have lost my erection a few minutes into the intercourse and has been a cause of worry and embarrasment.  Please suggest what I should do.

Thanks,

Michael
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hi Michael.

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. Most men find that once they leave their teens, they need more direct and intense stimulation. This is just part of life and doesn’t indicate any underlying condition to worry about.

As you age, 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. Sexual interest ebbs and flows as well, depending on other circumstances in your life. And the more stress you’re under, the less energy your body has to respond sexually.

Worrying about erections is a dead-end street. And trying to judge whether something is “normal” is also counter-productive. There’s no such thing as “normal” when it comes to sex—there’s only what’s usual for you. All this worrying and judging will do is make you anxious, which will make your penis very uncooperative. You’re still having erections and orgasms during self-pleasuring, which indicates that your body is functioning. I suspect that your anxiety and worrying is creating a self-fulfilling prophesy during partner sex: the more you worry, the less pleasure you’ll feel, which will definitely keep you from enjoying yourself.

And certainly your past heavy smoking, drinking, etc. can have adverse effects on your health—not just erections. If you’re concerned about this, I encourage you to see a urologist for a thorough exam which will determine whether blood flow to your penis is adequate, level of testosterone, etc.

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. For more information about male sexuality and sexual issues, I highly recommend the following book.  Dr. J

“The New Male Sexuality,” by Bernie Zilbergeld
3 Comments
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Hi Janice.

Thank you for replying to my query.  It's kindda hard to figure if the so called "performance anxiety" is the culprit especially since I have had a very active sexual life since I was in my teens.  Nowadays, even on days when I am relaxed I find I lose my erection during the intercourse.  I guess I became anxious after this repeated itself a few times.  Alcohol and substance abuse may be a more likely cause.   BTW, I am feeling better already!

Once again, thanks for taking out time to reply.

Michael :-)
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hi Michael.

Yes, anxiety may now be the culprit, although the original cause may have been too many recreational substances! It won't disappear overnight, but the more relaxed you are and less focused on erection, the quicker it will go away. And glad to hear you're feeling better! Dr. J
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