This forum is for questions and support regarding relationship issues such as: Abstinence, Arousal Problems, Birth Control, Cohabitation, Commitment, Communication, Couples Counseling, Desire /Lack of Desire, Sexual Technique.
I am 35 years old. I have a problem maintaning an erection. Rarely I get a rigid full erection. Mostly it is only half way hard. Sometimes not at all. I never had this problem when I was maried. Now divorced for 2 years this problem is chronic. I have a understanding girlfriend but don't know how long she will be understanding about it. What can be done ?
First, take a deep breath and relax. You're 35, and your body is changing.
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 exciteable. After all, sex with a partner is new, and anything new is terribly exciting. Once you get into your 30s, you may find you need more direct touch and stimulation. 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. For instance, the more stress you’re under, the less energy your body has to respond sexually.
You note that when you were married, erections weren't a problem. Part of this may have been due to age and the comfort of having a familiar partner. I wonder if being single again has in some way affected your comfort level? It's also possible that once you experienced a lessening of erection, you began to get anxious, and this created even MORE anxiety, which, in turn, affected erections and made your penis less cooperative.
Think about the issues in your life that might be affecting both your energy level and your attitude about sex, as these may also be contributing.
As for possible physiological causes: if your morning erections are firm, then you can be pretty sure you're OK physically and the cause is emotional/psychological. If not, then your next step is a thorough urological exam. There are many potential physical conditions that can interfere with erections, among them diabetes, heart disease and drugs.
Please also remember you don't need an erection to be sexual, have fun, experience pleasure, etc. Relax, enjoy your own unique sexuality and don't be so hard on yourself. Dr. J
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