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Avatar universal

Loss of erection during intercourse

My boyfriend and I use to share an active sex life however over the past six months he has trouble having an erection or maintaining them when he has one.  He is not on medication, his testosterone level is well within normal ranges, his doctor cannot find anything physically wrong with him and he is 26 years old. He has repeatedly said that it is not due to a lack of attraction but I recently found out that he looks at porn. Also, there have been problems with trust in our relationship since I found out he was lying to me about various issues.  There has been no infidelity as far as I know. Is this normal or should I give up and believe that it is me that causes this problem.
74 Responses
Avatar universal
First thing is to not blame yourself. People do stuff becuase they choose to do so. No one has a gun to his head and is making him look at porn. He also chooses to lie to you as well. Again, no one is forcing him too. Here is a couple of things that I can think of that might cause this (since the doctors can not find anything wrong with him). 1) Stress with work or school. Maybe he is unhappy with his job or boss. 2) Guilt. Having an affair or went to go see a prostitute. If you look at the STD forum, there are many men on there with a lot of guilt.

What ever the issue, I would not look at yourself as the cause of any of this. He's a big boy and old enough to know what he is doing (right or wrong). Good luck! I hope if I didn't sound like I'm preaching.  
Avatar universal
ok for starters... it is in no way your fault.... my exhusband used to have this problem also.... and he was about 24....... maybe you guys should try looking at porn together... just a suggestion... it's not for everyone...
as far as the lies and everything else... hang in there!! everyone has problems... there is no such thing as the fairy tale romance :)..

Avatar universal
Thank you for the advice.  It makes me feel better about myself.  Are there any guys that have experienced this?
Avatar universal
yeah, I'm a guy..
79258 tn?1190630410
Definitely don't blame yourself. First of all, *all* guys have this happen occasionally. However, erections are really, really sensitive to anxiety, and a lot of guys are anxious about their erections. So, maybe he lost his erection once and panicked, thinking it would happen again, which of course virtually guarantees it will. The porn/masturbation might be a result of that anxiety; he could be essentially reassuring himself that he still can get aroused, have an erection, etc.

Or, it could be a way of dealing with other issues in your relationship. You don't say what else is going on, but you allude to some trust issues. I think it might be a good idea to see a sex therapist together. S/he can clear up any misconceptions either of you have, as well as help you communicate and resolve your differences.
Avatar universal
I think it is pretty typical for men to go through this sometimes and I totally agree that if it happens once, then men worry so much that it will happen again and sike themselves out so much that it DOES happen again.
As for the porn, well don't let that upset you. Men function differently than women and can become aroused by site alone. Even if you remove the pictures or movies, all he has to do is close his eyes. They are also very good at the art of fantasy and can create a porn in their own mind just by seeing an attractive girl walk down the street. It is just human nature. Try not to take it personally. It doesn't mean that he isn't attracted to you, just that he is human. If it upsets you with the thinking that he should not need porn because he has you, the real thing, RIGHT in front of him, then I suggest that maybe you take some sexy photos of yourself or maybe even offer to make your own home movie that the two of you can watch together. This may also add a little spice to your love life.
I know, it's hard to NOT take it personally. We women are super sensitive and I understand that it can almost feel like he is cheating everytime he looks at porn, but I hope the two of you are able to get past this together, feeling closer through acceptance.
Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
I just want to add that there are instances of men (and women) that eventually become desensitized to "real" partners because of their involvement with porn. Evidently it can begin to affect the way the person relates to a real person and can cause perfomance problems.
Avatar universal
Hi, In reponse to your boyfriend he has look at so much porn till if you dont preform like he is use to seeing,or do not control your movements during sex in the same way of the females he is seeing.Then it is possible that he is losing intrest.I myself years ago use to look at a lot of porn and would look for females to act or preform in the same way .I however did not lose intrest in the female I was with but I can see how it could be a problem.He also may be jerking off to the porn and therefore when you are with him he has already had his fill,case in point!Maybe you should watch the porn with him and you and him have sex while or after the porn.Some women will not because they think the man is responding to the porn and not her.This is not true,and I would be with him or he may stray on you until he finds a female that will.Try for a while and it will improved and the porn will slow down and with time it will work its way out.Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hello, I am recently married to a wonderful man, and we have been together for 14 years previous to our marriage.  Our sex life has been amazing mutually throughout and I am very reassured that I satisfy him completely, by his verbal and physical reassurances.  He consistently even after all this time together is able to be so aroused when we are intimate and ALWAYS asks me if I came during intercourse, and states that he feels me everytime, just likes to hear me tell him I did as well.

Okay so here is my question, recently he lifted a heavy item at work and hurt his back and one of his testicles were pretty swollen, well after a couple of days his testicle was back to normal, but now he is having a hard time keeping his erections? Is it possible that he was hurt or his blood flow is messed up as a result of this heavy lift at work? I try so hard not to put any more pressure on him about worrying that it may be me, but what more can I say I am a woman. When we make love it's amazing and he is so concerned about satisfying me, and it seems very genuine, but I will be performing falatio and he is enormously erect and then all of a sudden it's gone? this is just since the incident at work, he holds me so intimately and tells me over and over again how turned on he is by me, but I still have a twinge? can anyone offer any advice or suggestions? I would be ever so grateful to talk

Avatar universal
Hi ,your husband may have strain his lower back and cause him to have a a dullness in his groin.If this has happen when you preform oral on him ,oral being so intense that he is able to maintain.When you stop and go to normal sex the feeling is not as intense to him,and the dullness takes over and the erection takes a back seat.He may himself may not know how to explain what is going on.Also since he had swelling in his tesicle,then he very well may have incurred a prostate infection.If this has happen it would explain a lot.This can cause him to lose an erection,and not be able to preform.Also one last thought he may be having pain and not telling you about it,when he is receving oral he is relaxed and the pain is not so bad,but when he goes to do preform with you the pain then becomes intense and he loses the plump up!I would get him to see a doctor this could be cured with a little help.If he dont and it kepts happing then you will start thinking he is seeing other women.So make him go.Good luck!
Avatar universal
the fact that your boyfriend is looking at porn should not be an issue. he looked at porn before he met you, he is doing it now and he will continue doing it after you.( if u break up that is). it has nothing to do with u so dont personalize the issue. my wife and i have been together for four years and i still find her attractive and i still watch porno. at first she did not like it because she felt that the reason i was watching them was because i was no longer attracted to her. after i explained it to her she was okay with it and now we watch them together and she even has her own collection. as for your boyfriend losing his erection during sex i give this advise from personal experience: after being with the same girl for a long period of time sex becomes routine. what i mean is that you get to know what to expect from sex with that person. so you get a little bored. its like playing basketball with the same person every day, you still love the game but the challange is not there. sometimes porno is all you got that is different without actually finding a different partner. so my advise is next time u have sex do something different. something he would not expect. this will keep him interested and keep his willy from dwindeling. and for all the ladies RELAX it's just porno u want us to be faithful to u dont take everything from us.
Avatar universal
Hi..  I am writing this from personal experience and I am a happily married man.   My wife and I have had problems w/sex for about 3 years now.  I have been diagnosed w/low testosterone and we are seeing a sex counselor as well.  What I want to tell you is this.

1.  Don't blame yourself.  Men are built totally different than women and we are visual creatures.  We also like variety.  This is not an excuse for your boyfriend to mess around on you though.  Just wanted to give you some insight into the mind set of most men.

2.  Even though my Testosterone is low I still can have an erection but lose it  when my wife and I are having sex.  Part of the problem is my statement in #1 and part of the problem is that I have some resentment toward my wife.  I will not get into it but, it happened when we were first married and had nothing to do w/extra martial affairs.  My libido is also low and I attribut this to low T but, like I said I can have erections just fine.

Those two things lead me to this.  

1.  Make sure he is not harboring any anger or resentment to you.

2.  Is it harder to get him interested in sex than before?  If so,  when you do have sex how often does his erection go away?

If the answer to # 2 is "Yes" and "Often" then he might be losing interest in you.  I don't say this to hurt your feelings or make you feel bad but, it can happen.   I still love my wife dearly and am happy in our marriage except for sex.  My early years have probably made me this way.  (Looking at porn and being very sexually active) can over time mess w/your head.  This might be what has happened to him.  

My suggestion if you believe this is the case is get to a couselor.  If he truly loves you and wants to work it out he will go.  

Avatar universal

Hmmm... appears that serveral questions were posted as answers in this thread so, to make it clear, I am responding to Girl Friend in Hope...

While I very much agree with (and am hopeful, for your sake, too!!)  'complete' and 'cheetohead' suggestions I think it would be sugar coating to conclude that the situation is reversable, even in most cases.

Reality Check:  Some men, myself included, have failed to respond as passionately as in the 'magic phase' of a realationship as they are not 'in Love', rather 'in lust'.

As many women know (excuse the vugarity) Men often think with their dicks.  

When the 'lust_re' wears off, off they go.  Through NO FAULT of yours!!!  In the sad event that this turns out to be the case (lust not Love) please be assured of that!!  LISTEN to the assurances given here and by your friends!

Accept the FACT that you may have chosen poorly although not your fault as you were, perhaps, mis-informed, to put it kindly?

Accept the FACT that he is not going to be your LAST Love.

Accept the FACT that being with the wrong person when the right one passes by is more tragic that losing someone who didn't Love  you, by YOUR definition of Love, in he first place!

He IS out there... you may not NEED him but it's ok to WANT him!

Good Luck!

Avatar universal
i am having the same problem with my boyfriend of 10 months. he seems uninterested in sex. i have mentioned it to him on several occasions and he gets upset. ( he has told me that he masturbates frequently). he never tells me that i look nice and he rarely wants to kiss me anymore. he told me the other night that HE is not pleased with our sex life. well without waiting for any further explanation i lost it and proceeded to tell him how terrible he is in bed.?????????????????????
Avatar universal
hey. my guy had the same problem a week ago. I also was thinkinq that he lost interest on me. but I googled a couple of stuff. and I found out that it happens to every guy. im still not clear why he lost his erection. and I also heard that,that usually happends when guys "have cancer in one or two of their balls". I hope my guy doesn't have cancer.
Avatar universal
I am a 27 year old man.  I watch porn movies.  I still love and feel attraction toward my woman.  I don't smoke or anything like that.  However, sometimes I do lose my erection.  Why?  I like to control my ejaculation so that we can last longer in our intercourse. That is my case.  That is the only reason I would lose my erection.
Avatar universal
THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME FOR THE FIRST TIME. we have only been dating a little while so it kinda worried me. we were wtahcing  moving and kind of fooling around for a while before getting into things, but his erection was there the entire time. Then we started to have sex and when we swicthed positions he lost it. His ex girlfried is in town, should i be concerned/ is it in anyway related to the way i look?
Avatar universal
Hey everyone...I am a 21 yr old male. I have been told I am attractive and I am in great shape but I have had a terrible problem with loss of erections...seemingly ever since me and a GF broke up. We were having great sex for over a year, unprotected because I was clean and she was a virgin on birth control...after we broke up it was difficult during sex with other partners. I believe it's CONFIDENCE...I was nervous about going and having sex with a diff. person, and with a condom it feels different and I lost the erection. After that I was always worried it would happen again and it does a lot. It's a mental thing that I haven't been able to change yet. Though, the times I have kept an erection was with someone that I had been "talking dirty" with for a while and it was great.

One thing to note to the lady: It is def. not your fault!!!

Plus guys (every one of them does it, including me) watch porn or look at magazines with photoshopped gals and it's not that your not attractive but the guy gets used to fantasizing and that might be a problem. Here's a pointer that doesn't hurt anyone...whether your shy or not:

Send him texts while he's at work or you are before you both get home. Tell him you wish you could be "doing ........." to him or whatever you want. It's hot for the both of you to talk dirty and then instead of coming home and talking about your day, drop everything and ravish each other in the hallway! I bet it will help...hope everything works out!
Avatar universal
Im 25 and 3 out of the last 4 woman in the last 3 months I have not been able to maintain erection long enough to orgasm. I'm very healthy physically. Like the reader above said, Switch positions and lose it. For me I think it has alot to do with a condom. I HATE CONDOMS! Intercourse with a condom on doesnt feel good at all to me. Feels much better when my significant other gives me a HJ or oral. But after tonight I wonder if its really a condom , or is it something else im doing wrong? Am I masturbating too much (usually 2-3 times a day for many years), except yesterday I only did once cause I knew tonight I was going on a date. Is it too much smoking pot and cigs? ( been smoking everyday for 9 years).Or is it too much internet porn? ( I Have an obsession for internet porn and if i stop watching porn today will I naturally become normal without taking meds or therapy?) All the woman i lost erection with i found incredibly attractive and now my problem is so deep into my head i feel like i can never have sex again. Can anyone help me?
Avatar universal
i'm going through this erection trouble now, im a healthy athletic 18 year old student, love life, great friends and a girlfriend that's jaw dropping. i've experienced the problem of losing an erection wen coming to sex, and i can 100% say its phycological. i know why i cant get it up for sex..her ex boyfriend, she's told me he had a huge penis, he was great in bed, and made her orgasm regularly through sex. then theres me haha average ****, not bad in bed, and i only give her orgasms through oral sex, so when it comes to sex all thats going through my head is how i wont be able to satisfy her as much and that she'll be thinking it too. so it haunts me we really want to have sex with eachother but i cant. i start to blame myself even though its not, but i cant see myself getting over this. i just need to talk to her and find out how we can get through it, if anyone else has this problem just talk to your partner first and find your own way through it...everyone is different and likes different things, theres no easy way out.
941101 tn?1351177807

OK, now i want to begin by saying that guys, there is nothing wrong with you. i am a 20 year old healthy slim male (starting to sound like a dating ad now,) and i know that there is absolutely NO problem with you because i have had the EXACT same problem all you guys have described, which is that you cant get an erection when you need to or are 'expected' to and/or that you can get and maintain an erection through foreplay, (or masturbation when alone) but when it comes to actually having sex with a someone you go flaccid, your heart starts pounding, you have that dreaded cold sweat come over you with the realization that you are already down the road to failing yet again and will either have to explain to the person why you cant have sex, or lie to them, then constantly reassure them that its not them and that its you (which is true, its not them, and yet definitely not true that its 'all on you!') I came to this very page around 3 months ago worried as hell thinking i had a problem that could not be solved. i started to convince my self it was physiological, that is, that there was something physically wrong with me that was hindering my sex life. THIS IS NOT TRUE in nearly ALL cases, and you need to be aware whether you are saying the problem is physical because you genuinely believe it to be, OR that you are telling yourself this is the case, just to reassure yourself by putting a 'face to the enemy' so to speak, giving you the idea that if the issue is visible then it becomes beatable. if you diagnose it wrongly then you are chasing the wrong enemy. this is what i did for a few weeks and ended up only making it worse by seeking dead end solutions. when i realized this i changed my thinking. Now i can see that IT IS ENTIRELY PSYCHOLOGICAL! its all in your head. this then causes the physical effect you can see and feel, thus perpetuating your negative view of yourself and sex itself. NOTE: If you are considering using viagra, like i considered, to at-least temporarily solve the issue and perhaps even break thru the physical block you have so its just the emotional side you have to work on, then DONT! PLEASE! you will become dependent for sure. the ads are lies. there are no pill-popping solutions. you want the real solution? here it is:

TALK TO YOUR PARTNER. (if you dont have a partner then get one and solve the issue once you feel you have gotten to the stage where you can or even need to talk about it). Tell them everything. think about how you are going to say it, that is, what aspects you feel you need to shed light on. whether its feeling that you wont be able to pleasure them enough or reach their expectations (performance issues) or failing to get an erection due to the feeling of immense pressure of expectation, as if she is waiting for you to 'sort it out' and get hard (over-pressured) or simply that you have had bad experiences in the past that lead you to have a tainted view of sex in general.

REMEMBER: be caring, loving and gentle. reassure them constantly. being told this is sure to be a blow to them too, but necessary for you to develop further in this area. i met a girl 4 months and 2 days ago, we dated a while, then we started to move toward having sex. first 4 times in bed together, i 'failed', crushing me every time, and she became worried with thoughts of unattractiveness etc. (she once broke down in to tears saying i dont want her or find her attractive) which is ridiculous as she is beautiful and amazing. in the meantime i beat myself up, became self-loathing toward the thought of sex, feeling inadequate and sometimes even in tears when alone. i decided next time there was potential for sex between us i would go for it, and if it failed, i would tell her everything. when that time came, i couldn't go through with having sex. i had to tell her. and i did. she was so understanding it astounded me. i told her about a very bad first sexual experience i had (which is obviously the truth as you there is no benefit from lying anymore) and that i dont want to disappoint her, that i feel pressure as if she expects me to be able to have sex which makes me anxious thus causing the loss of my erection, and that i feel less of a man because im unable to provide what 'real men' should be able to provide. afterwards i said: "all we need to do is keep setting ourselves up in these situations and try it each time. i dont know how long it will be before we succeed. please be patient and understanding and not to feel like you are waiting for me. lets just see how it goes." (*all the while reassuring her its not her that is the problem!*). she did everything i asked. The next 2 times we tried to have sex, i didn't manage to, yet she was so supportive. then we made it half way thru sex,  me having a full blow erection :D but my erection died down half way thru :( .....but to my surprise we actually laughed at the situation we were in, seeing it as more a funny situation than an 'issue' to overcome, and it suddenly became a much less daunting task to overcome as we were moving through it together with absolutely no weight on either of our shoulders and with the feeling of having all the time in the world! 1 hour later, the same night, we had sex. great sex! all the way thru! it was the most relieving feeling for both of us. we had sex 4 times that night alone! ME! the guy with the so-called 'problem'! solved! now we have sex all the time, experimenting, having fun, its opened up our whole relationship. both sexually and emotionally. I can honestly say we have a stronger relationship now having moved through this than we would have if we have sex straight away as there is more trust and better communication. who would have thought it! benefits to such a difficult sitiuation! And all because i simply TALKED TO MY GIRLFRIEND.

You MUST do the same. it concerns both of you, which is the very reason it seems like so much bigger-an-issue that it really is. You are worrying about your partner as well as yourself, which is double the pressure. And for and for what reason?? believe me, worrying about it is wasteful energy which you carry around with you always. wouldn't that time/energy be better spent talking about it and moving thru it together? if you feel you are unable to talk to your partner about this, you should question both who you are with (i.e. the trust you have in them), and also the resistance you have inside YOU that makes you uncomfortable at the idea of talking about it. openness in a relationship, and in life, is the key to peace and happiness. Remember that 3 months ago i was in exactly the same position as you, then i came to this site, went away, a while later sorted it out, and came back here tell you all HOW TO MOVE THROUGH IT! I've have now been having great sex with an amazing girl in a perfect relationship for the last month, which will it only get better. And you can have the same. Plus i know i will never have this problem again. please ask me any questions you want on this issue and i will give the best advise i can, having been in exactly the same position you are in now and pulling through.

Remember: YOU are in control of your out comes. you CAN change your thinking. Take responsibility (without pressurizing yourself), dont beat yourself down, man up, and stay positive!

email me directly for any questions or comments on: ***@****

its now time to relax and take action


peace x
Avatar universal
I have read most of these blogs, and I can speak from experience. I am a 47 year old male and I have had my share of erection problems. I have been to urologists and I have been diagnosed with prostatitis. The erection thing will come and go, no matter how old you are. The psychological ramifications for men and woman vary. From a mans prospective it can be devastating not being able to satisfy your partner. From the woman’s prospective they start to think they are not attractive to their partner or their partner is losing interest. These are all normal reactions and always make matters worse. No one knows for sure why this happens from time to time. Sometimes it’s physical and you should be checked out by a urologist, most of the time it has much more to do with your state of mind. Stress, anxiety, depression and the simple fear of losing an erection can be the cause. For the woman out there, do not take it personally the best thing you can do is be supportive and reassuring, this lessens the anxiety and the embarrassment. Above all this problem for the most part will come and go. The way it is handled will be the best cure.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, lossing problem was started.
Avatar universal
My boyfriend has the same problem but we can have sex once then we try a second time but he can't keep his erection and I don't know why that happens... Could it be that he smokes menthol cigarettes cause we never had a problem until he satarted smoking or is it me??
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