Avatar universal

Can't beat the mental barrier and maintain erection

I was in a long term relationship before this one where I was able to have regular sex without any problems. I'm 25 and able to get an erection, my problem is keeping it, or my not being hard enough for intercourse. With my GF a year now.

I'm able to get an erection but I cannot seem to maintain it. I usually lose it or begin to lose it around the time it comes to put on the condom. Sometimes I lose it before. It has happened so many times now that it has almost become a self fulfilling prophecy. She has been incredibly supportive to me, offering to talk about it, offering assurances to me etc but in the last few months she has become visibly more frustrated with it and she now is convinced that it is something she is or isn't doing.

I have taken Viagra on a few occasions because I was desperate to just feel like a normal couple after so many mishaps. It worked and we'd have lots of sex when I'm on it but it hasn't worked the way I'd like. I took it with the intention of relieving the pressure and easing myself into it but what it has done is make me feel almost like I can't do it without it.

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523042 tn?1212177895

Sounds like you're looking for some magic bullet to sweep away your anxiety. You're argued yourself out of all your options, so there's not much left for me to say. A major part of your problem is your attitude about sex, which you see as performing. You also have some idea that there's such a thing as "regular" sex. I'm not sure what that is, because everyone is different when it comes to sexual expression, so whatever is "regular" for you, is regular. Period.

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 such a narrow definition of what constitutes “good.”

Much of your problem is due to your attitude. Once you experienced anything less than a full erection, you 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. 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.

You've stated that you're generally an anxious person, and this has obviously affected your sexuality. You can choose to ignore this and continue feeling bad, or you can get help. There are therapists who specialize in anxiety. Once you learn relaxation techniques and how to control general anxiety in your nonsexual life, you'll probably find that you can begin to let go of these worries about sex as well. For more information about erection issues, attitude, etc., I highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available in paperback and is an invaluable resource which has helped thousands of men.

Relax, stop putting pressure on yourself and enjoy sex for what it is: pleasure. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever happens—and find partners who aren’t hung up on performances issues either. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Don't worry you're not alone -
I am going to tell you my opinion from a GIRL'S perspective, because I have been having the same problem not me but my BF has.  
I really think that the best thing would be:
1. Help yourself somehow not think about it so much
2. DO Yoga  
3.  Work out together
4.  Be honest with your GF about the problem

  Anything to relieve anxiety will help !  Look up some good anti-anxiety activities online but YOGA is especially helpful I've read.  Being more active in general and they say that the more active you are WITH your partner the better the sex.
My BF was a single guy for so long he got used to self-gratification (which is totally normal and was not use to the physical act with a real woman.  

Don't worry you're young

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm sorry, the second paragraph was unfinished. The fact that I find her so attractive is worse because I feel like a real idiot not being able to stay aroused around such a beautiful girl.

I have a history of anxiety problems so I find it hard to just "stop worrying about it" which I know I should do.

Sorry for the fragmented and scattered nature of this question. Any help is much appreciated as I'm driven demented by this at this stage.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Sorry, I have so much to say I needed to make this a 2 part post.

I have over-thought this to the point where I'm obsessive about it. A few possible problems I came up with are A) I masturbated too much, but then I gave up cold turkey and found myself a bit too sensitive. I'd have pre *** oozing out early and I'd probably be able to ejaculate with no more than a semi erection. B) my GF has more experience than I do in terms of number of partners so I worry I won't compare to the previous guys. C) I get really embarrassed about it so i find it hard to be honest with her about it (I certainly haven't said anything to her about part B because I don't want her interpreting it wrong and thinking that I'm judging her). I think I'm putting so much pressure on myself to just be able to do it and make it great that the enjoyment of the whole thing is going out of it for me. I love my girlfriend and I find her incredibly attractive so this is worse because she

This has happened so many times and a few times with other girls in the months before I got with current GF (alcohol related though) that I almost EXPECT it to happen.

I'm thinking of trying out positive visualization where I visualize myself being able to perform with positive outcomes. I really don't know what to do anymore.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
First of all, thank you for the replies.

Janie, I can see what you mean about the attitude and performance aspects of my problem. I have come to think of sex as something of an activity lately rather than something that I enjoy. I kind of feel a burden of pressure that I put on myself. I am desperate to please her sexually. Which has made me treat sex more like a task than something for us to enjoy together. Problem number one for sure right there.

I spoke to my girlfriend about it today and she asked me if there was anything in my sexual past that may have triggered it. The thing is, my ex, who I lost my virginity to, rejected me sexually after a point, maybe 2 years into the relationship. She started to avoid having sex with me, make comments about my looks (things like '"you've gotten fat recently" etc - I'm not fat!) and make me feel somewhat inadequate. She was pushing for us to be able to see other people also. That rejection did affect me. I realised that when I am intimate now I feel very vulnerable and particularly when it comes to putting on the condom/beginning intercourse I get a self aware feeling which is best described as the uncomfortable feeling you would get when a room full of people staring at you, despite the room being empty. I guess this was an avenue that I had not thought of before as a possible factor.

It has also been a problem with other girls since. It's followed me since my 1st relationship to be honest.

However I can relax when I do other non penetrative things, I can stay erect and climax, but when it comes to sex I find myself freaking out.

Regarding my idea of sex as "regular" - I did only mention that to emphasize that I had not had a problem before and had been able to do it without a problem in the past.

I appreciate the replies so far, the last few days have been an eye opener for sure.

Do you feel like any of this could be a factor?

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have this same issue and it happens with every partner. I can get an erection straight away from foreplay, but there's even times during oral stimulation that it inexplicably just goes away. It comes back again then we start intercourse and half way through while thrusting it just goes away..........SO FRUSTRATING!!! Then I get frustrated and feel embarrased and it is just a vicious cycle. I feel so bad about it and then it just makes it worse then all I can think about is that I can't keep it up. I get my partner so close to orgasm then my member decides to quit and I feel like such a loser. Then all I can think about before the next encounter is if I'll be able to keep it up. It is a terrible burden...........
Helpful - 0

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