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Question
Posted by: Sarah | 2019/07/23

Boyfriend with erection problems

Hi doctor, I’m in a new relationship and my partner has erection problems. The first time it was particularly bad but I thought I’d give it some time. We’ve had sex 5 times now and it’s still bad. His penis is never fully erect. Even when he ejaculates, he is still soft. Penetration is a problem and he only likes one position that I don’t really like but even in that position he struggles to keep his erection and also struggles to climax. I somehow feel like part of the problem is that he is easily distracted but it worries me that his penis never gets really hard, which makes me wonder if there is a physical problem there as well. He is only 36. I love sex but I’m started to get frustrated (also because I’m not getting much pleasure from this either because my focus is on him) and don’t know how to raise the issue as it can be a touchy topic. What should I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSex expert
- 2019/07/23

Being able to get an erection, but not maintain it, can be frustrating. Your boyfriend might feel like he cannot last as long as you would like, or like there’s a timer counting down as soon as sexual activity starts.

Here are a few tips for understanding some possible underlying causes, along with some solutions that could help.

One-off problems

There are several reasons why he might find it difficult to keep an erection during sex. Most people find that they face this question at some point in their lives.

Most of the time, this is absolutely nothing to worry about. Losing an erection is very often due to common, everyday factors like:

  • stress
  • tiredness
  • anxiety – e.g. ‘first night nerves’
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • the side effects of a drug 
  • too much porn
  • performance anxiety longer term (as the issues compounds)

Some people will experience this much more often than others.

Signs of underlying health problems:

If he regularly loses his erection during sex, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. This could be a physical or an emotional health condition, and may need treatment in the form of medication or lifestyle changes.

The main physical reasons he might lose his erection during sex are:

It can also be caused by psychological reasons (some as mentioned before):

  • Stress
  • Performance anxiety
  • Emotional or mood problems
  • Not having sexual desire, or not being aroused

If he's concerned about losing his erections during sex, he should talk to his doctor for advice or possibly seek counselling.

I know it is a touchy subject, but you do need to talk about it if you are ever going to have a chance of resolving it. Be gentle, supportive and non-judgmental in your approach.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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