Can’t Get An Erection The First Time With A New Partner?


I know, it’ an odd metaphor. But finding an image for this topic isn’t so easy!

Something very strange has been happening to me recently, and I’m not impressed. After years of battling premature ejaculation I’ve suddenly been hit by another sexual curve-ball.

Every time I’m with a new partner I can’t get an erection the first time we try to have sex. But that’s not all.

The problem only resolves when we sleep next to each other, wake up the next morning and try again. And from that moment on, everything goes back to normal.

How weird is that?

The first time it happened I didn’t put much thought into it, especially because alcohol had been involved. I just put it down to the beers and didn’t worry too much about it. But then it happened with a second, third and fourth woman. And every time the exact same thing happened.

What happens

Everything seems to be going fine at first. I’m with someone I’ve been dating for a while (sometimes). Things get steamy. We go back to one of our places and I’m happy as can be.

I don’t feel stressed or anxious on the surface, but I can’t get a full erection. Partial yes, sometimes even 75%. But not enough to have sex.

The annoying thing is that I’ve had to develop a coping mechanism for this weird phenomenon. I’ve accepted, for better or for worse, that it’s probably going to be an issue. And so I’ve decided the best thing to do is to talk about it openly in advance.

Obviously by ‘in advance’ I don’t mean over cocktails. But at least before we’ve spent several hours trying increasingly more frustrating ways to make it happen.

I realized it was important to take responsibility for it for one very important reason. If I don’t, then she might. And that’s really unfair and unpleasant for her.

I spoke to the last two partners about it, who both admitted in virtually the same words that they would assume they just don’t turn me on. And even when I told them it always happens, I could tell they were still doubtful.

You can’t exactly start telling them about all the times it’s happened. No woman wants to hear about the last 3 women you were with at the moment the two of you are supposed to be celebrating something magical.

But you still somehow need to convince her it’s just a ‘thing’ that happens, and it will pass. It’s a tricky one.

What caused it?

I did have a laugh to myself at first, thinking that in my efforts to avoid premature ejaculation through relaxation, I’d mastered it so well that my body enters a zen-like state in preparation for sex.

But I think the real explanation lies in anxiety, and probably in relation to my body. I haven’t spoken about it on this website until now, but I had testicular cancer several years ago (I’m fine now I’m happy to report) and it’s ever since then that this new problem has existed.

The treatment I had left me slightly scarred, and needless to say, a bit wonky downstairs. Whilst women tell me that all guys are wonky and scars are sexy, I think deep down I’m still anxious about their reaction.

Add to that the fact that I’ve had to deal with premature ejaculation for years, I think it’s natural to have developed an anxiety problem. Even though I don’t feel anxious on the surface, I do know I’m a born worrier, and that I’ve just learned to mask my anxiety with a well-trained sense of confidence.

I’m not the world’s greatest expert on erectile dysfunction, but I don’t think you need to be to come to the conclusion I have done. What happens next is still undecided.

First attempts at dealing with it

I think I’ll need to do some personal work on that anxiety – if I can get to the root of it on my own. I’d like to think I can, having managed to do so well in my battle with premature ejaculation.

If you’re reading this and have similar issues, then my advice to you is this: talk about it openly and with confidence. Take responsibility for it and don’t let her think it’s her fault. Otherwise you might not have the good fortune to wake up with her smiling and willing to try again.

After that, you’re in the same boat as me I’m afraid. A bit of internal self-work may be needed, either alone or with some professional help. Anxiety may or may not be the root cause, and it may be a while before I’m completely sure. I’ll come back and update this article if I ever do find out for certain.

1 year later: I think I’ve found a solution

Since I first wrote this article a long time ago, I’ve spent a lot of time reading the many comments from other guys with similar problems, thinking about their stories and theories and trying to come up with a solution.

And finally, a year later, I’ve had some success. I managed to get an erection the first night with the last 2 women I slept with, and also pretty much when I wanted to. The secret has been to boost my testosterone levels so much that it balances out the anxiety, nerves or whatever else is going on psychologically.

Basically, I started doing some research into erectile dysfunction and discovered a common suggestion is that it might be due to low testosterone levels. So me being the dedicated person I am, I decided to do everything within my power to boost the levels.

Here’s what I did:

  • Stopped smoking.
  • Started doing lots of work on my legs in the gym, particularly dead-lifts and similar exercises for the thighs, which I found out are key to testosterone production.
  • Stopped drinking protein shakes (apparently they can lower testosterone!)
  • Worked hard to improve my sleep pattern and get a regular 8 hours.
  • Started on a testosterone boosting diet.
  • Started taking L-Arginine supplements.

Within 2 weeks I noticed that even during masturbation I was getting harder erections, particularly on the days I really focused on my legs in the gym.

Other than the gym work, I’m fairly sure I also noticed an effect from the L-Arginine supplements. I’d read that researchers have found that L-Arginine can be effective in treating erectile dysfunction because it boosts blood circulation to the penis. And I did notice an improvement from taking it.

Update: trying Viagra & avoiding porn

Since the last update, I again had problems. I think this time it was because I met someone I really liked, so the anxiety came back with a vengeance!

So I decided to give Viagra a go, since I was in a country where you can get it in the pharmacy without a prescription. And it was definitely very effective.

I won’t be using it on an on-going basis, as I’d like to try to manage the problem naturally. However, it was interesting to try and quite a lot of fun. If it’s something you’re also considering, you might find my Viagra review helpful.

I also as an experiment decided to completely stop watching porn, just in case that was having an effect. And I do feel that I’ve found it easier to get turned on in the company of women since then.


212 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’m 25yrs and never had sex before, I get erection and able to maintain it whenever i wake up from bed or when thinking about having sex. I was with my girlfriend for the first to have sex, i was very aroused but I couldn’t get erection at all despite trying different positions but still I could get an erection, i was very disappointed and thinking my girlfriend may think I’m not man enough to have sex with her.. After that meeting, i was able to get my erection normally and even when thinking about having sex..

    • Hi Dunn
      It was probably stress that did it! Hopefully when you try again, it will be much better. Just try and do things to help you relax – take it nice and slow, set a relaxing scene, perhaps have a beer or glass of wine. Anything that helps you relax.

  • So I had performance anxiety as well last night with a really hot girl I’ve been on 4 dates with. I wasn’t in the most comfortable setting, her new coworkers house on the couch, in the living room. The making out heavy petting was really hot but I just couldn’t get a full erection. I sent her a friendly text this afternoon letting her know I was a bit embarrassed about it but assured her it was not at all her fault and that I really think she is super attractive. That was 8 hrs ago and she hasn’t responded. She normally responds within minutes to my texts so I’m a little bothered by that. Did I royally mess this one up?? I’m single, no kids, shes divorced 2x and has 4 kids, but again, I find her smoking hot! Am I the one really losing out here??

    • Hi Robert
      Sorry to hear you had this annoying problem! Hopefully she’s responded by now – it takes me a while to reply to people here, unfortunately. Considering the nature of your comment, I wish I’d been able to reply sooner! Anyway, I hope you had the opportunity to speak to her about it and see her again. Perhaps this time insist on it being a setting of your choice, and make it as relaxing and comfortable as possible.

    • I’m in the same boat other than I have a child she has 3. Hands down the most attractive woman I’ve had any sort of relationship with. We’ve been on dates, movie nights. I’ve stayed the night with just foreplay. Once a successful intercourse. But there are times it’s just not 100% erect and I can tell she’s frustrated. Doesn’t help with me watching porn. I bartend and my sleep pattern is off. I admit though my lifestyle hasn’t changed while I’ve seen other women. My most recent ex and I used to have sex just about everyday. Sometimes twice. She and I were comfortable with each others body and mindset in the bedroom. She was also a little more assertive. If she wanted it she made it happen nothing crazy but she was passionate. This woman seems to be used to the man taking action completely. Maybe it’s just comfortablity but it seems foreplay is not one of her things…

  • Hello guys i ll tell u my side of story and i would like to hear your opinions,excuse me for any mistakes english is not my first language.Well i am 19 yrs old and i dont have much experience around sex(i ve been with 1 woman 1 time in my life) Well i met a girl in a club she “went” on me but i didnt like her though and i thought i would have just have 1 more exp.i had a lot of drinks but wasnt drunk,she came to my place i did everything on her but she didnt touch me much..Well i couldnt get an 100% erection but she barely touched me i wasnt feeling much comfortable with her i felt SO BAD i thought that it would be fucking easier that i would have full erection while i am fingering her or getting her licked but little friend didnt get aroused.It was the first time faceit a problem like this.In a strip club the striper got me aroused in 1-2 mins(u ll say that this is her job but ok) 2 months ago i was giving massage to a girl that i liked and i was erected but i couldnt do something more cause more people where on the house.BUT why i faced this problem with the other girl? I felt so fucking bad like i have erectile dysfucntion or i am gay(lol) i even took a sexuality test on internet just for fun and ofc i am straight but why? why me ? i talked to this to a friend and he told me that he had the same problem for once with his GIRLFRIEND and he wasnt feeling comfortable so i guess that i had the same problem..Sorry for shitty english and tell me if u ever had this

    • Hi John
      First of all, your English isn’t bad at all, well, apart from all the swearing!
      Anyway, I guess it could be because you need to be stimulated yourself to get erect, unless you really like the girl. You said yourself you didn’t really like her, so it makes sense that with no physical stimulation from her, you didn’t get erect.
      I guess the lesson to learn is avoid playing around with girls you don’t actually like!

  • Hi there,
    Ill start with the fact that this is the first time i speak about this in “public” and i only talked about it briefly with my ex…
    Since i broke up with my 4 year relationship ive tried to have sex with multiple very very attractive women, but i always failed to have a proper would always be like 40-70% but thats it…i was always devastated and it still hurts me because they where very attracted to me… i would get a 100% erection while masturbating or with MY EX….the girl i was with for 4 years….it still haunts me …i dnt know why…i feel like the only woman that i can enjoy sex with is my ex…it is killing me…ive been in love.with other women but i destroyed my relationships because i felt weak and unworthy….. any help..?

    • Hi Aaron
      It sounds to me like maybe you’re just not over your ex yet. Perhaps it would help you to have some time out to yourself, and avoid women for a while, to work out what you really want, find confidence in yourself again and be able to move on.

  • Hey Ethan,
    I’m having the same problem. I had sex with my girlfriend once away on a weekend vacation for the first time that was subpar at best. I think ever since then I’ve had it in my head that I’ll never be hard enough for my girlfriend. Recently she broke up with me claiming she didn’t love me but I truly think the bedroom issues have been the cause of concern for her. We tried another time where right before penetration she said she doesn’t know what to do with a limp penis. That really bummed me out. It hurt to hear especially with the prior experiences not being great. After that second time I felt she could do more to help me out and I think she took this as me blaming her. I know the reason it ended recently was 95% due to this sexual anxiety I’m having and was gonna chance one more discussion about it to see if that helped and maybe got us back together. We both really care about each other but I feel the not connecting on this sexual level has left us both doubtful about if the other person is right for us. When do you know it’s anxiety or something else? Is lack of effort/experimenting on her part a possible additional cause to my anxiety? I really care about this girl and we click mostly on every other level. I don’t want this to be the reason not to see how far this can go.

    • Hi Bill
      Sorry to hear things went that way for you. It’s difficult when a girl doesn’t want to stick around, and I think something that sadly happens too often. In many cases I think either they feel bad, thinking they don’t turn you on, or they just can’t be bothered or don’t know how to deal with a guy who has sexual problems.
      I think the worst thing is to start attributing blame in any way. It’s much healthier and more likely to fix the problem to focus on what might actually help.
      I guess the trick thing in your situation is how to convince her to have another go without that becoming a huge pressure for both of you. If anxiety was an initial cause, which I guess is hard to tell exactly, but seems likely, then you need to create a scenario which reduces the anxiety. Perhaps you could just talk openly, tell her you’ve done some research, think it’s just anxiety and the best thing for you is if you just spend some time together with no pressure to have penetrative sex. And if you can spend the night together, even better, as you’ll probably wake up feeling more relaxed. Then focus on other stuff – massage, foreplay, manual and oral etc. If it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. But try to avoid sex being the end “goal” and measure of success. If you can convince her of that, you’ll have a good chance. Otherwise, I guess you could just have one last go as you say, and maybe try a supplement or other med that might help!

  • Ive had this problem recently as well, in my last relationship things started off slow. we struggled with sex for about the first couple months but then i was able to overcome it and give her amazing sex. A year later i am not with this woman anymore and have struggled with muliple women ever since. Im 23 and ive been with 5 women ever since my last relationship and ALL have been failures. But what ive learned from this is that you have to come to a state of self-awarness. Know who you are and be confident about it. Keep trying regardless of how many times you fail. This is what life is about.

    • Hi John
      Thanks for the interesting, positive and encouraging words! I think you’re right in that it’s good to remember that life is all about picking yourself up and not giving up in the face of difficulties. Nice one for taking a step back and seeing this issue in broader terms.

  • I’ve noticed an issue in my sex life recently. When I was with my last girlfriend 3 years ago, I had no sex drive the entire time we were together. It seemed like nothing turned me on. I was in love with her. And now I’ve met this girl that is simply amazing and the same thing is happening. My mind is telling me that it’s anxiety, because it seems like I have to try to be sexually aroused (but without avail). Any thoughts?

    • Hi John
      Sorry to hear about your problem there. Do you get aroused ok when masturbating? Do you have tastes that aren’t fulfilled by these women perhaps? It could be anxiety, as you say, but maybe also because the conditions aren’t there that you need to get aroused.

  • I’ve had this problem, and I’m only 18. It’s kept me from losing my virginity for almost a year. I’ve tried with three different girls on almost 10 occasions and I haven’t been able to maintain or get an erection at all. I think it’s my nerves, but I have no reason to be nervous, as the last partner I tried with was super understanding and we tried 6 times. Even with some alcohol to calm my nerves I still can’t get there if I’m with a girl.

    • Hi James
      Sorry to hear that – it must be very frustrating for you! Don’t give up hope though – I’m sure it will happen. Do you manage to get erections OK when you’re alone? Have you tried spending the night with a girl so that you can relax overnight and try in the morning? For me, that’s a crucial way to totally relax with someone, rather than hoping it happens in a few hours one evening.

  • I can get a hard on just fine even when i watching porn it jumps straight up and even when i think about sex i can get it up. Plz dnt laugh at me. Im abit worried im 17 about to lose my virginity and im very scared my penis will let me down. Its killing me.

    • Hi Daniel
      Sorry it’s taken a long time to reply. If it hasn’t happened yet, and you’re still worrying, there’s really no reason to. The vast majority of guys are absolutely fine! So try to put the fear out of your mind, relax and enjoy your time with your partner.

  • Hey Ethan,

    Glad I found you on here. I am 99% sure that my problem is anxiety, every time I’m about to go meet with a girl to have sex, I get so sôo so nervous and anxious. I start to think about what if I don’t get an erection..? And it messes me up. What do you think I should do? I’m 25 and really unsatisfied with my situation… thank you!

    • Hi Phil
      Good to know you like the site. Well, you could try the tips in the article – they seemed to help me! But also, I guess if you get that anxious you can try to work on your anxiety before you meet – perhaps doing relaxation exercises or anything you find helps you stay calm. It may be though, that you have to work on the anxiety when you’re actually together, which might mean giving it time for you to relax with her and not stressing if you don’t ‘perform’ instantly. And if nothing else works, having an alcoholic drink or two together seems to help!

  • I’d like to thank you for writing this! Not sure how many other women have read or commented.

    Had a similar experience as these with an amazing guy I’d known for over a year who unfortunately, seems to be too humiliated/beating himself up to even look me in the eye now. Which is a shame. The intimacy was incredible regardless.

    • Hi Christie
      No problem, and some women have commented in the past.
      That’s a shame – did you only try once and then he was too embarrassed to try again? Did you see him again to give him more time?

  • Hi,
    I have started a relationship with a woman who is sexy and gorgeous, and I have fallen in love with her. She is “the one” but I have trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Sometimes I can with no problem, but maintaining it is often an issue. She is so understanding, She is fantastic.
    I wonder if it’s because I think so much of her that I am having problems. Perhaps I am putting pressure on myself. Also neither of us have our own place so we have to make the most of opportunities that arise, which can put pressure on us I suppose.
    I am in my early 50s and have always had plenty of sexual stamina. What has gone wrong I wonder, now that I have met the girl of my dreams.


    • Hi Will
      I imagine pressure could be an issue there – many guys have reported having more problems when they really like the girl. Add to that the problem of having to seize the moment, and it’s even more pressure, as you say. Hopefully it will settle down in time, but I’d also try the tips in the article and the comments here.

  • I have this exact same problem. Unfortunately I’m very physically active and get pretty regular sleep so I’m not sure what it could be. I’m incredibly sexually attracted to my partners. Very confusing.

    • Hi Greg
      It could be because of anxiety then, as is my case and many other guys here. You could try some of my ideas, but it might also be a case of dealing with it by taking ownership of the issue with confidence and making sure they stick around for long enough that you can get through the difficult start.

  • It has been helpfull, however its my first time of experiencing such a thing… Till date she kept telling me that i didn’t find her attractive that’s why… I simply told her, that i was over joyed and so suprize that she had love me the way she did….nothing is wrong with me physically, am a ladies guy…but that fatefull day…!
    It has never happen and now am even scared of trying it with another woman… I felt dissapointed that i couldn’t look her in the eyes again.

    • Hi Johnson
      I totally understand, as I’m sure do many other guys. I think it’s important not to allow yourself to miss the opportunity to be with someone because of a bad start. Many people have a difficult beginning to their sexual relationship. The key is to be confident about it, telling her you know it will get better, and to satisfy each other in other ways until you do relax enough to have sex. Don’t be scared to be with someone else!

  • Not sure if this thread is still going but I’ll give it a try. Every time I try to get with a woman my penis lets me down. I’m not sure if its performance anxiety or what but I’m never able to maintain erection if I’m able to achieve one at all. Stopped watching porn with no success and I’ve done pretty much everything people say you’re supposed to do online like the test boosters and hitting legs more at the gym. Help if you can!

    • Hi Bill
      Yes, the comments here are still open!
      Sorry to head you’ve had this problem too. Have you tried everything I listed in the article? Does the problem only happen at the beginning when you’re with some, or does it continue happening?

  • Say you need a pee, go to the bathroom and have a pull. Back to bed and pump away! Once it’s hard your laughing. Worked for me.

    • Hi there
      Not a bad suggestion! So I guess you go in soft, then suddenly re-appear with an erection? She’ll probably be wondering what you were doing in there to get so aroused, but hey, hopefully she’d soon forget about it…

  • I can’t ejaculate when I masturbate. im 36 neither have I ever had sex, for moral and religious purpose. I’m worried. I do have good erection.

    • Hi Sam
      You may, though not necessarily, have what’s called anejaculation. If you look it up online, you’ll find information about it on medical websites. But equally, it could be that you’ve never found anything which really turns you on enough.

  • I had this problem a few days ago… Naturally she assumed she was in unattractive .. Note this a girl I’ve had feelings for . For more than 6 years we just never had the chance parent problems kept separating us and now we can finally enjoy personal time like no other but when it all came down easier said than done. This girl is beautiful not sexy straight gorgeous this a girl I would do anything in the world for not a one night stand but it just won’t work.. Doubt I’ve only had one shot but I’m feeling it’s bound to happen again is there a solution I’m extremely attracted to this woman but it’s more than likely my anxiety . Even though no anxiety is felt . I’m sure it has to do with the effect that I’m not just getting horny because of looks I’m attracted to this girl in every way possible any comments.?

    • Hi Shane
      Sorry to hear that! I can completely understand. The good thing is that you think it won’t be your only shot. My advice would be to try and take all the pressure off the situation. Don’t set yourself up with sex as the goal and getting an erection the measure of success with this girl. Try and get into the frame of mind that you’re just going to take it real easy, enjoy each others company, spend loads of time on foreplay and other stuff you enjoy, and if it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it’s no big deal. There’s always the next morning or the next day. Tell her she’s beautiful and sexy, and that you’re just nervous. Ask her to just relax and enjoy time together and that it will definitely happen once you’re gotten used to being with her and the anxiety and excitement reduce.
      Failing that, try out all the ideas in the article I recommend – you never know if it will work for you too!
      Best of luck

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