Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
never get morning erections and can't figure out why
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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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never get morning erections and can't figure out why

Hi. I have had my problem since my young 20's and now I'm 35. Till this date, I NEVER get morning erections, not one time I can remember. I don't think this is normal and have been to the urologist before. One urologist told me it's because I don't drink enough water before I go to bed and then I discovered over the internet that this is a myth. I sleep good most nights and when I wake up still no erection.

factor #1I have a slim built but always had a protruding stomach. I exercise regularly and no matter what my stomach doesn't seem to go down much. I wonder if this has something to do with the issue. I been tested before and was determined that I did not have hernia. But I wonder if the parts inside my stomach may be playing a role with providing adequate blood flow to my penis.

factor #2 I have used cialis before several times and if I use it correctly (taking 5mg daily) I would get perfect erections. Without medicine, my penis usually does not stand upright on its own and erections aim downward.

factor #3 When I masturbate, my penis would get fully erect (to the point that I want to orgasm) and if I choose not to ejaculate right away my penis would start to go down INSTANTLY after ceasing stimulation.

#4 My testosterone level has always been in the low 400's and my doctor will never prescribe for testosterone treatment because I'm considered normal. I had my penile artery blood flow test one time and it came back as normal. (surprised it did)

factor #5 I don't get morning erections EVEN with the cialis in my system. I even tried taking sleeping pills just to see if there is difference from me putting myself in a heavy sleep. (for nocturnal emissions)

#6 I can't recall me ever being injured. I did over masturbate during my last 15 years and have recently cut back on it. I also cut back on watching porn.

This a physical problem? Psychological? Brain issue? Inadequate blood flow to the penis issue? I want to increase blood flow alone, no medicine.

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Hi Jason

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.You want want to consult a sleep lab to see if your REM sleep is sufficient.

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.There are urologists who specialize in sexual concerns, and I'd suggest you consult with one.

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
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Also, pertaining to #6, I recently went 60 days without masturbation, sex/orgasm and still did not get any morning erections.
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