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

photo of a drooping flower to suggest a drooping erection

Do you have problems getting an erection when you’re with a new partner? And no matter how much you’re attracted to them, it just doesn’t spring to life?

This started happening to me a couple of years ago (when I first wrote this article), and it proved to be a very frustrating and embarrassing problem.

What happens

Every time I got with a new partner, I couldn’t get an erection the first time we tried to have sex.

Everything always seems to go fine at first. Usually, I take someone on a couple of dates at least before we end up back at my place or hers.

I feel mentally and physically aroused as the passion builds , but then I just can’t get a full erection. I can get a partial erection – sometimes even 75% – but not enough to have sex.

I don’t feel like I’m particularly stressed or anxious to start with. But then when this happens, I definitely do get stressed.

Fortunately, the saving grace is that if we spend the night together, I’m absolutely fine in the morning. And while that’s good to know, I’d prefer it if the first night was as passionate as we both hoped.

My first coping mechanism

I soon developed a coping mechanism to deal with the inevitable awkward moment when she realizes it’s not going on. I accepted that it might happen, and decided the best thing to do is to talk about it openly in advance.

By ‘in advance’ I don’t mean over cocktails though. I find a moment during foreplay to bring it up, rather than leave it as a mystery and pretend I’m as surprised as she is.

Taking responsibility for it

I realized it was important to take responsibility for the issue: if I don’t, then she might. And that’s unfair to her.

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

It’s not exactly ideal to tell someone about all the times it’s happened though. No woman wants to hear about your previous partners on your first night.

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 used to have a serious problem with premature ejaculation. So I first wondered if by learning to last longer through relaxation, I’d gone the other way and become too relaxed.

But I think the real explanation lies in anxiety, and probably in relation to my body. I had testicular cancer several years ago (I’m 7 years all clear now!) and it’s ever since then that I’ve had these erection problems.

The treatment I had left me with some physical, and emotional, scars. And although women tell me that scars are sexy, I think they usually mean from motorbike accidents.

So 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.

First attempts at dealing with it

For me, a key step was to work on my anxiety. And that involved a combination of learning to accept my body now, worrying less about ‘performing’ on the night, and communicating better.

If you’re reading this and have similar issues, my advice to you is this: talk about it openly and with confidence. Take responsibility for it, but in a positive, upbeat ‘shit happens’ kind of way. And don’t let her get all self-doubting and think it’s her fault.

After that, a bit of internal self-work might be needed, either alone or with some professional help.

Anxiety may or may not be the root cause. But either way, I think it’s important to say the right things – both to yourself and your partner.

1 year later: a potential solution

I spent a lot of time thinking about this issue. It helped to read the many comments below from readers with a similar problem. I listened to their stories and theories and tried to come up with a solution.

And finally, a year later, I 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 – I thought – was to boost my testosterone levels so much that it balanced out the anxiety, nerves or whatever else is going on psychologically.

Basically, I did a lot of research into erectile dysfunction and discovered a common suggestion is that it’s sometimes due to low testosterone levels. So I duly decided to do everything within my power to boost it.

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 apparently help with 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 self-pleasure I was getting harder erections, particularly on the days I really focused on my legs in the gym.

Other than the gym work, I thought I noticed an effect from the L-Arginine supplements.

I’d read some research that found L-Arginine can help with erectile dysfunction because it boosts blood circulation to the penis (more recent medical advice suggests it may not be so effective though).

I also think my serious health and fitness regime helped increase my blood circulation and on a psychological front my confidence. So it looks like I hit the problem from a few different angles.

Trying Viagra in 2016

Since the last update, I had the same problem again. I think perhaps it was because I totally fell for someone, and I really wanted to things to go well, resulting in the old anxiety resurfacing.

So I decided to give Viagra a go, and it was very effective. I won’t be using it on an ongoing basis, as I’d like to try to manage the problem naturally, and it gave me headaches. However, it was interesting to try and a good confidence boost.

If it’s something you’re also interested in, you might find my Viagra review helpful.

2017 update

Since the last time I wrote, I didn’t try Viagra again. However, I did a lot of research into the issue of erectile dysfunction.

Interestingly, I experimented this year with not watching any porn for a month. And I’m sure it had a positive effect on how easily I get turned on in the presence of women. So it might be worth a try if you have a similar issue.

I also put a lot of thought into the annoying issue of condoms making your erection soft.

2018 update

This continued to be an issue for me from time to time. I now think it’s a blood flow problem, combined with initial nerves sometimes.

I tested a range of different treatments in 2018, and all the ones that are supposed to work by increasing blood flow did the trick for me.

That includes both brand drugs like Viagra, generic sildenafil and herbal remedies that affect your circulation.

This might also explain why stopping smoking and losing some weight while getting much fitter helped – not just because it boosted testosterone.

A penis pump helps

I also tested a penis vacuum pump, and that worked very well. But it’s not my first choice when I’m with a new partner – I think it’s more acceptable with an established partner.

So for me, my current way of dealing with it is to work on the psychological points, continue being healthy in general, and have a backup pill at the ready.

2019 update

I’ve been with a stable partner for a while now. So I don’t know if this original problem would still exist for me – nor do I want to find out!

But I thought it would help to share that I don’t have a serious problem with erectile dysfunction currently. Sure, I have good days and bad days where hardness is concerned. But on the whole, it doesn’t affect my relationship enough to be a major issue.

So if you’re worried about the future because of a similar problem to me, stay positive!

Your views

If you also experience this issue, what do you find helps or makes it worse? Feel free to share your story below.

327 thoughts on “Can’t Get An Erection The First Time With A New Partner?”

  1. I’ve been having this issue for over a year now and I’m pretty sure it’s something to do with my testosterone also. Unless I hold off on masturbation for a while I don’t tend to have a high libido which makes me think it’s testosterone. Unfortunately I haven’t been with someone a second time so I don’t know if it improves after seeing them the next time. I can get a strong erection on my own just from thought without even touching myself so it’s quite frustrating when I’m into someone and can’t get hard. It’s like an endless cycle of anxiety about losing the erection, not being able to get it back and then worrying more that they think I’m not into them. I also think it’s trust issues as well. I’m trying L-Arginine too and starting eat healthier/workout more so I’m hoping these things will help.

    1. Hi Luke
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, anxiety is a real trouble-maker and you’re right in that you can get stuck in a cycle of worry about the erection not happening. Hopefully the advice in the article will make a difference, as it did for me. But really, try to do what you can to relax about the problem and speak about it openly if it happens.
      Regards
      Ethan

  2. Ok,
    I know a guy for 8 months. He really wanted me, but I didn’t. Finally, he gets me aroused, and 4 months we fool around, always satisfied me, but he developed much more frequent P.E to where I hardly touch him, and he would cum, not even being hard! Well finally after several months, I let him inside my body, as soon as he was in, not even one hump, he came. He held me for a while, long while, said sorry, so sorry, wanted it to be so special. A couple of nights earlier, he about slipped and told me he loved me, when we were laughing and having a great time, he was so happy.
    Now, after he couldn’t please me, he will not talk to me . HE was so mad, and said he had so many fantasies all these months, then he felt he ruined it.
    I feel horrible I can’t get him on the phone. We also talked about possibility of me getting pregnant. He said he was fine with that. Well, after he came inside me, he and I talked what if I am pregnant, he smiled and said we would deal with it and seemed very pleased. He is 53, me, almost same age. Insane, I don’t have kids nor himself, so we had crazy thoughts I guess
    I left out a huge issue ..which is one reason I waited Close to five months He has a girlfriend. He is
    Making progressive complaints about her Marijuana medical use He has been with her 10 years though. Anyway, what’s your thoughts. I am tied in because I rent a room from him and her. I told her many many months ago about things brewing, and then told her . She has witnessed back when I first moved in his flirtatious behavior. I really ended up hating this guy, but he really ended up getting to me, finally achieved his end goal, and then hardly got it up, then premature ejackulation. Anyone here seen premature ejackulation WITH a soft penis??? It does exist.
    I am going on day 3 he just sends bizarre text to me, and will not call me or pic up the phone. I absolutely know he started falling, his behavior really became different, and we had a blast together. I tell you, my instincts say this would happen. I have been celibate for 8 years, and am seriously good looking,. I have suggested to this guy we can part, the situation is wrong, we don’t have to continue, but he avoids those texts, and brings up other stuff. He literally seems like he lost his mind. After sex, we saw some tv, and he didn’t spoon me, he rolled over with his ass facing me all night long, I had to beg for a kiss goodnight. I’m really depressed with this What’s anyone’s suggestions here? I think I know my answer, but he literally seems to be going out of his way to be an idiot now. I’m kind, and think this isn’t about me, he might seriously have real issues

    1. Hi A.S.
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you had this problem with the guy. It sounds to me like there’s one very clear issue in his mind – embarrassment. I imagine he’s pretty devastated to have fallen for you and then not been able to have sex with you in a way he seemed to have been dreaming of. Perhaps his current behavior is suggestive of some deeper or more complex issues too – I don’t know. My advice would be to give him some time to settle and recover from all the emotion that he’s been dealing with. It doesn’t sound like you have any constructive communication happening right now anyway, so just take a step back and give him some space to calm down.
      And then of course there’s the girlfriend issue. Perhaps this is spinning him out even more – he cheated on his girlfriend, but then disappointed himself in bed with you. So maybe he now feels embarrassed, guilty and just a bit bad about himself generally.
      Really, my advice would be to walk away for now. See what happens and if he calms down. And then of course, you need to work out how willing you are to engage with someone who has a girlfriend.
      It’s a tricky one!
      I hope that helped a little.
      Ethan

  3. Hi Ethan I’m having the mentioned problem here, it can’t get hard when try to do it. I was close to doing it, but when the time to put condom on came it just fell down. I managed to put it on once, but it still wasn’t hard enough. The issue may be connected to stress, because it’s gonna be my first time and I really want to do it with my partner. We had a lot of foreplay, but ever time when we want to go on to the point it’s just like “not today again”. I stopped masturbating some time ago, so it shouldn’t be the problem. I smoke, but not frequently, just from time to time. I’ll try some arginine supplies and tights workout, I thought about some pills for erectile dysfunction, but I think they will be a pain to get, because I’m still a student living with parents, they can be quite expensive and I don’t want to get into trouble with parents, because of going to a doctor with my issue. Do you have any ideas that could help me?

    1. Hi Mike
      Thanks for your comment and sorry you’ve also been going through this. I think the main thing is to try not to panic. As you can see from the comments, everyone gets better after a while of initial problems. So I’m sure you will be fine in time. I can’t really suggest much more as I’ve already listed the results of my attempts to deal with it. So I’d say try the tips, and believe thst you will be fine once you get that initial stress and anxiety out of the way. So I’d give it more time before even considering meds.
      Regards
      Ethan

  4. Thank you Ethan, for a great forum! -I love your sense of humour, by the way!

    I am that woman who, for some reason, has dealt with men having the same problem as all of you, and several times. At first, I was not questioning myself, as I could see that these men were all very into me. Still, I felt confused.

    It was comforting having one of these men explaining to me what was going on for him. Honestly. He told me how he really wanted to please me so badly that the pressure took the best out of him. It felt very good to me to hear that.

    Most women care more about connection than performance (for a certain period of time!). A confident man can express these types of things, and a confident woman will appreciate him for his trust and openness.

    As this type of situation happened to me again recently, with a man pretending that everything was OK (which is so confusing) I needed a little reminder. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    As women, we need to hear what is going on with you in order to feel in peace with ourselves in these delicate situations.

    1. Hi Marie
      Thank you for your comment, your eloquent words, understanding point of view and most importantlyt the compliment about my sense of humor!
      In all seriousness, it’s invaluable to hear from a woman, and especially one who can confirm what I’ve been saying about the importance of communication. Hopefully your words will help lots of guys in the future to be more confident in talking about this issue and trust that it’s the right thing to do.
      Many thanks once again.
      Ethan

  5. Hey Ethan,

    I’m 19 and have 2 partners so far, the first I had trouble getting hard with but the after several attempts with her things gradually got better as she was understanding. The second girl I really didn’t have an issue, I remember it happening a couple times with her, but I figured that it was just normal. Now, I have recently made things official with this girl that I very strongly care about. I think I see a future in her, and to add to things we have really hit it off since getting to know each other. I asked her to be officially mine on Valentine’s Day and the day after she came to my room. Now because she means so much to me, I have been very worried about being able to satisfy her when the moment came, I was nervous about doing a good a job during sex. I was probably in between 40-50% of an erection during foreplay. (Mind you she hadn’t touched me or given me head up to this point, it was just me doing that for her instead.) I figured once she went down on me or touched me that I would get completely hard, but nothing happened, I stayed at that let’s say 45% of an erection and maybe even shrunk a little bit during the head. I REALLY don’t want this to continue as I think this girl is special and I don’t want this to get in the way of good sex with a great girl. I have read some of your and others’ suggestions, should I halt masturbation for awhile? Also, I of course do thigh workouts on leg day but do you think I should make these leg workouts more frequent? To add to that topic, I have been mixing protein powder with milk after workouts, I have no problem halting this, would you say I should just stop taking the protein? I’ll probably try to start eating better as well. I’m just so nervous about this and satisfying her, also I think talking to her straight up about it will help me, but how I don’t think I know how to say what I want to say if that makes sense. I don’t know what to tell her. Any help, guidance, feedback, or assistance will of course be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Julian
      Thanks for your comment, and sorry you’ve been stressing about this. I completely understand! I think that my tips are worth trying out – they might not work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot I think, at least for a week or two.
      I imagine it’s mainly nerves and self-pressure in your case. And so I think it will probably get better over the next one or two times you’re together. I think the main thing is just to stay cool about it, if possible, or at least pretend to be cool about it! And just to tell her you feel a bit nervous, but you know it will stop happening soon enough. There isn’t a magic way to say it, you just have to be yourself and let her know that you’re not stressed about it, so neither should she be. Suggest just relaxing together, and spending loads of time with foreplay, manual and oral. There’s nothing wrong with that. Then when you’re comfortable and ready, it will happen.
      Regards
      Ethan

  6. So I got the same issue but pushed to the extreme lol (you’ll see what I mean). I’m happily married, 2 kids, 35 years old. I had a few time some bad days were I couldn’t bring it up with my wife, often when exhausted, but also during our rough patch where I knew our sex life was one of the thing holding our couple together (pressure of performance to avoid or relieve tension of non sexual nature in our Relationship). 1 advice to all, find a very compatible mate cause sex does sort out a lot of issues! Truthfully, every time it happens, I was thinking about it right before… That’s the recurring factor if I realize it’s not starting to work, it won’t.

    That being said got comfortable and my marriage is very strong lately (and no bad days as well), so our sex life and to the point we were talking having sex with another couple for fun for a while (we met very Young never had other partners). So we went to swingers club just to see, 1 time, 2 time… having sex with each other only. But on the third time, we started getting intimate with another couple and boom… old demon is back. And we have the right mindset, no jealousy, we both enjoyed it and despite not being able to fully have fun. We tried a second time and same thing. We had great sex after at home so not a day thing really that instant. So right now considering a pill to help next round cause I really want to enjoy myself and my wife to enjoy herself fully and can’t seem to see an out. I don’t like that option but it did help me once in the past. The worse in all this is I’m told I got nothing to be ashamed of down there sizewise and my wife is great getting me into it but even her cant beat the stress of not performing when the idea enters my head…

    Anyway, though I shared for all the ladies questioning themselves face to men like us, you can be in the middle of an orgy and fully willing to realize all your fantasies and this can happen. And if you got any ideas to not use pharmaceutical. It’s not like you have many 2nd and 3rd shot with 1 night stand couples! Can’t exactly hug till morning hoping something happens…

    1. Hi John
      Thanks for your comment, and a fascinating one it is at that! I think it’s a good point you make though for any ladies reading this, that it’s not about them. And yes, I imagine hugging until the morning isn’t going to work at a swinger’s club!
      I guess only you can tell if a pill will help or not. It would be interesting to hear back from you in the future, especially since your story is so unique. Otherwise, I guess try hitting your testosterone levels and see if that helps!
      Regards
      Ethan

  7. Yeah I’ve had the same problem. Ever since I’ve been with the first girl I slept with we were together 4 years. Now anybody I sleep with it happens the same way everytime. I get really nerveous and anxious and start over thinking things and makes my heart race and on and on. But I’ve just talked openly to them like you had mentioned. And after a couple times of trying it has always gone away. I think it’s just a matter of getting comfortable.

    1. Hi Shane
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think you’re right. Feeling comfortable, relaxed, calm but excited, and confident does seem to be pretty critical for dealing with this. And as you say, talking openly to avoid any awkwardness which can result in more anxiety.
      Ethan

      1. Hello Ethan, how are you? How’s the progress?
        I’ll try and be quick with this.
        I’m 21 years old and had 3 sex partners until now. With first girl, I had a hard time putting on a condom cause my penis would always soften while putting it on. I was 18. With the second girl, I was 20 and it was so easy man, she was a virgin and it was an hour long sex,we had sex many times past then and it was always perfect (keep in mind she was not so hot, and I still could manage to do great)
        With the third girl, I had a couple hookups, me fingering her, she blowing me and was perfect until we tried to have sex when I kept getting soft to enter her. She was really tight but I don’t believe it was causing my erections to go away. She then told me that it was my fault I couldn’t please her and that her last boyfriend was so much better.I think it affected me on a deeper level but tried to forget that. Just to make sure I could, I had sex with that second girl I mentioned, from like a first few minutes struggling to get it up, to great sex once again, and again couple times after. Then recently I went out with a new girl and was so cool, I was so hard all the time we were out. The second time I saw her I started fingering her and she was grabbing my penis over the pants, it was hard, but when she put her hand in my pants it kinda went down. I tried to get it up, but no way it could happen..It was like the thought of soft penis and disappointment was so strong I just couldn’t focus anymore on her. It really really bothers me when it happens. I know it’s stupid but it’s like that always. I want the earth to swallow me in that moment. And I played it cool, but now I’m thinking, what is the problem here? I have erections often, morning, night, college, bus wherever and whenever, but then this happens. And I know great ways to have sex, to please a girl but with this thing, I can’t even show it. I watch porn once a day and masturbate to it though, sometimes two times a day.But again with this specific second girl I can perform perfectly even with all that porn and masturbation so I don’t know. This is obviously psychological but I don’t know why it happens. I’m confident and so good at the game and seducing, so when this happens it really bothers me hard.
        Hope you understood this and hope you can help me
        Thanks in advance man!

        1. Hi Mm
          Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’ve lost your mojo temporarily, like many guys here. I think you’re probably right in it being psychological. I guess most of us here have kind of accepted that it just happens and gone with the ‘talk to her openly’ approach, whilst trying not to stress about whether it happens the first night or not. But I guess if you want to have that ability back so you can game, seduce and have sex on the first night, you’ll have to tackle that psychological issue. And doing that is still something that’s a bit of a mystery! I think when I, or someone else, comes up with the solution which can deal with the psychological issue once and for all, I’ll add it to the article. But for now, perhaps you’ll find it better to reduce your expectation for the first night. That way you’ll relax more, and if you relax more, maybe the first night will be fine anyway. A little bit of reverse psychology!
          Regards
          Ethan

  8. If you masturbate more & ejaculate your semen than there will be erection problem for sure.
    Stop masturbation
    Even stop ejaculating in time of real sex.

    Then your problem will end & your tool will be rock solid even in the road if you see a sexy girl there.

    This is the only solution

    1. Hi Gouranga
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think it’s the only solution, but it’s definitely one possible course of action, which might work for some guys. It takes a fair bit of self-control though!
      Ethan

  9. Ethan,

    I have literally the same problem. The first time I remember it happening I was 19 and on Aderall and I assumed that was the problem. Then it happened a second, third and fourth time. I too developed a coping mechanism. I wasn’t brave enough to just come out and say it like you, but I would try my best to communicate that for me having sex the first time we hooked up wasn’t an option. I always expected the women I was with to be turned off by that, but fortunately all of them were understanding. Sometimes we tried the morning after, sometimes we tried on our second or third date. By then, I felt completely ready and everything would go totally fine going forward.
    For me it wasn’t difficult to make the connection between this problem and my anxiety. I have always been anxious in social situations and I have always been aware of it, though like you I have learned to mask it.
    Tonight I was with a new partner. It’s been a little over a year since I’ve had sex and I have grown in many different ways over the course of this last year.

    For that reason I thought maybe it would be fine. So I went into confidently, without much of a plan. Things started off well, and for a moment I thought I would pull it off. Then, despite my best efforts, the anxiety set in and I knew I was doomed. It is a weird state of mind to be in. Usually my anxiety is very tangible for me, but in this situation it’s like it was buried underground, where I could sense it but not interact with it. I knew I wanted to have sex with this woman, and that she wanted me, and yet no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do it. I could feel the blood pooling inside my head, making it swim, unwilling to travel downwards where it was needed.

    Fortunately, she too was understanding. I believe I will see her again. I explained my situation, told her that I’ve come to find that I just need to trust someone before sex becomes an option, and that it seems to be out of my control. She was kind and her lack of concern over the issue made it possible for me to hold it together and even joke a little bit until she left. Once she did though, I grabbed a pillow and yelled into it at the top of my lungs for about 45 minutes I kid you not.

    God, what bothers me the most is that this time I really thought I would be in control. I didn’t feel consumed by worry like in the past. Now that I know that this can still happen to me even when I feel fine on the surface I am scared, because I no longer know what to do.

    Realizing that I would not be able to sleep tonight unless I reached out to someone, I started Googling. I found this site. I feel lucky. I expected to find lots of impersonal articles detailing something similar but not identical to my problem. I expected to have to make due with that. I did not expect to find this site, with a story so much like my own.

    I also don’t know if I will ever fix it. Perhaps the best thing to do is to accept that sex on the first date is simply not for us? Or perhaps we should keep handy a bottle of Viagra for these occasions? Or perhaps we could commit to doing the hard work of tearing down whatever mental block is causing this problem. That is surely the best approach, but also the most difficult.

    For now, I am just thankful to know I’m not the only one. I wish you luck. I’ll let you know if I make any progress.

    Thanks for putting this out,
    Francois

    1. Hi Francois

      Thank you for your comment, your kind words and for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had the same problem, but glad you found the article helpful.

      I can fully understand the screaming into a pillow thing! I’ve done something similar in the past, though wasn’t so thoughtful and just screamed generally out loud. My neighbors must have been a bit confused!

      It may be that you’re right and that we need to just accept that it’s going to be tricky the first night. I think most women are understanding of this. And your story does raise an interesting point – is it better to be honest about the actual problem, or simply say you like to feel trust with someone before having sex? At the end of the day we don’t owe anyone an explanation for why we do what we do. So perhaps your way is a good way to deal with the problem subtly without making a big deal of it. Or perhaps it just depends on the person.

      Anyway, I have had a little progress recently, and am going to write about it in the article soon. But just while I’m on the topic and yours is the first commment since I’ve had the progress, I’ll quickly outline it. Basically, the last time I had sex I managed the first night with no trouble, and I think it’s down to two things:
      1. I spent weeks chatting to the woman online, phone etc before meeting. We got to know each other really well.
      2. I spent the last month researching as much as possible how to boost testosterone. And I put into action just abotu every piece of advice I could find. And seriously, It’s been fantastic the results. Even when on my own, I feel I get stronger erections and feel hornier more often.

      So I’m going to write about this in more detail soon, but for now, maybe it’s something you could look into.

      Regards
      Ethan

    2. Hey Fran ..
      Dealing with the same kind of issue going on here with a new guy I’m dating ..everything is hot and heavy but then I go to “do stuff” to him and he can’t get hard ..I thought it was from the alcohol possibly but he told me that it’s hard to adjust to someone new (he was with his ex for 12 yrs and she’s the only girl he’s ever been with as well) so maybe it will just take some time for him to be comfortable in that way with me ..I think he really cares for.me too and he’s the sweetest guy I ever met so I’m willing to wait this out..I just hope this problem has an expiration date in a sense !

      1. Hey Amanda
        Thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear from a woman who is dealing with the issue from the other point of view. And it’s inspiring to hear that you’re willing to give your guy time to relax with you. That’s just what all the guys who read this article need to hear. So thank you very much for taking the time to leave this comment. And yes, I’m pretty sure that it will improve in time!
        Regards
        Ethan

    3. jimmy2shoes

      Have exactly the same problem, first time with a girl.. basically a washout.. can’t get it up no matter what i do.. but 2nd time with the same girl its like a rock.. its happened to me ever since i was 18.. im now 27 and ive just summed it up in my head its just one of those things.. might try hypnosis? i tell the girl the truth as were getting it on, 9/10 times girls are generally pretty good and understand.. they then realize your not a player.. so that helps, getting a 2nd go lol. Its a real pain when you’re having a one nighter (bit awkward).. usually drink is involved as well so that doesn’t help. but from what ive found the girls worth having some fun with will understand and wait till the next go.. aka morning lol.

      1. Hi Jimmy
        Thanks for your comment, and I completely agree with everything you said there. And it’s true that I think in a weird way it almost gives a feeling of security that you’re not a player. And definitely the girls worth being with will understand and stick around.
        Ethan

  10. I had a girlfriend and every time we’ve had sex i was able to get hard now i’m with a new girl and i went to her house today and i couldn’t get hard and lemme tell you, it was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened in my life, how can i solve this fast ?
    P.S. I get a boner very easily but in this situation i couldn’t.

    1. Hi Nick
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your frustration, believe me! It might, with luck, have just been initial nerves as happens with most guys who comment here. Try to take it easy, take your time with her, follow the advice in the article and comments, and hopefully the next time you meet you’ll be ok.
      Regards
      Ethan

  11. Hi there I came across your article while trying to reassure myself that things can improve. I recently started dating a special girl who I feel strongly towards. We had chemistry from the first time we met. Things were going perfect until we decided to have sex. We had a few drinks that night which made it impossible for me to get hard. She turns me on but I just can’t perform. On our second time I was completely sober and actually had an erection. However it was gone during foreplay. However I have noticed that I suffer from premature ejaculation and I’m scared that I will lose her. That night I confessed that I have been suffering from severe stress at work and it might be affecting my ability to perform in bed. She was totally understanding about it but things are not the same as before. I want to sort out my premature ejaculation but also have thought about letting her go as I feel ashamed with my condition and feel like I won’t be able to deal with it. It really is frustrating as I really like her and want to make it pleasurable for her. I’m really scared as I want to continue dating her but I keep thinking maybe ending it as I’m so embarrassed and feel like I will put her through alot if I don’t solve my premature ejaculation. It’s kinda making me ill as if pressures at work were not enough.
    Adam

    1. Hi Adam
      Thanks for your comment. I can completely understand your stress, having experienced personally both problems you talk about. I think though that it’s her decision whether she can cope with whatever problems arise, and that if you like her that much, you should allow her to decide whether she wants to work with you on it. I know it’s embarrassing, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on a great woman. There’s so much advice here on this website and in the products I recommend, that with some time and effort you should be able to get it under control. And if she’s that great, she’ll stick around and work with you on it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  12. Hi Ethan

    Female reader here. It’s comforting to read that attraction has little bearing on erection the first time.

    My problem as follows: I have been seeing a man for the last few weeks and we finally slept together at the weekend. I REALLY like this guy and feel like he could be someone that I could be with for a long time. I was convinced the sex was going to be wonderful because there was such a palpable chemistry between us. However, when we finally got into bed, he was basically soft and had to masturbate to get himself hard enough to do it. This took some time and we had to stop halfway through and relax for a while in order to make it happen.

    Now I’ve been with enough guys to know that stuff like this is normal (especially the first time) so this in itself didn’t bother me – I assumed he was nervous and did my utmost to make him feel relaxed/act like it wasn’t a big deal. However, we had sex three more times over the course of the weekend and each time it was exactly the same. Despite my touching him/giving him oral sex, he could not get it hard without masturbating for a while first. This kind of ruined the flow and made me feel very unsexy. (Worth noting that once it was up, he had no problem sustaining or finishing.)

    Anyway, I decided to talk to him about it at the end of the weekend just to see if it was normal for him. He said he wasn’t really turned on by oral sex and never had been. He said it was the prospect of sex that really got him aroused and that was what did it for him, above everything else. He also said that he liked a very “firm stroke” when I was touching him and that was what he needed to get turned on. Obviously I can take this on board and touch him harder next time. I asked him if he always had to masturbate to get turned on and he said “No I don’t – and I didn’t have to last night.” I assumed he was talking about the second time halfway through the night when we did it in the dark, but I know for a fact that he did have to because I heard it! Later on, I admitted I was nervous about the first time in the hope that he would feel comfortable enough to admit he’d been nervous too. (That would explain a lot.) But he said: “That’s funny, I wasn’t nervous at all…I feel so comfortable around you.” (!)

    Now I know for a fact that this guy feels very strongly for me, and based on the amount that he talks/thinks about sex, he is a very sexual person. This is so confusing to me. What is going on? I know he likes me but to be perfectly frank, this sex is just really bad and awkward! What can I do to make it better? I really don’t want to lose him but to be honest, I’m worried that it’s always going to be like this. I feel like he’s not turned on by me – but everything else about the way he acts says the complete opposite. What can I do??

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having difficulty with your man. To be honest, if he’s anything like me and all the other readers who have left comments here, it’s likely that it will improve over the coming days or weeks. Even if he says he’s not nervous, he might be but just doesn’t realise it. For example, it took me a while to recognise that nerves were causing the problem for me, and I like to think I’m pretty observant about this stuff considering the fact that I work on this website!

      And again to be honest, I’ve had a similar experience where I’ve needed to play with myself to get fully hard with someone. Especially the first few times I’m with them. I have no real idea why this is the case, as it’s happened with women I’m seriously attracted to and really like. The best explanation I’ve come up with is that the nerves stop me from getting an erection for a while, then all the trying and foreplay makes it even worse to the point that nothing helps. Then in the end I kind of have to resort to something which I’ve been doing for over 20 years (so let’s face it am an expert at!)

      My advice would be to just go with whatever he needs to make it happen, and don’t take it personally. It will probably change in time, and I can tell you from my experience that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get turned on by you.

      And if he continues to need to do it to get hard, then perhaps let him teach you how to copy what he does. The reality is that most women are not very good at giving manual sex compared to the guy who owns the penis and has finely-tuned the art of turning himself on over years and years. Most of the time women don’t grip hard enough, don’t do it fast enough or don’t know the right time and point to squeeze or apply a little extra pressure or whatever it might be. So you need to start from scratch, forget what other partners might have liked and learn from him. It’s pretty much the same as a guy giving a woman oral sex. All women are different, and so are guys.

      I hope that helps!
      Regards
      Ethan

    2. Hi Anon
      Ethan is spot on. Myself having experience also on the matter the concern gets frustrating to me as man. If I were in your boyfriend’s shoes I would feel as frustrated as him. You indirectly admit that you are not supporting him, you want to push the buttons & now that you both fail to perfect the situation you are frustrated. That would frustrate me more and I can see it is frustrating to you also. You mentioned everything is perfect with the relationship and this is the only big problem but this will now ruin everything.
      My advice is for you, 2 situations:
      If he is the one initiating sex give him passive support, nothing less nothing more. It will boost your partner’s self esteem. The only 2 rules to follow, very easy, do not suggest and do not touch or kiss his penis. That will make him feel more superior than you. When you suggest or touch his penis you are giving input, which is good for normal situation but very negative in this case because you are modifying what he initiated and this assures him that he lost control. You only need to respond to all his commands like kissing, open legs if he wants you to, bend over and so on so you let him dominate what comes next because it is his initiative, not yours, today you are his servant even if he has little powers you do exactly what he wants….. In few weeks you will be back to normal and your input is now very needed even if he initiated because it is like adding fun.
      However if you initiate, feel very free to ask him that you want to play with his penis and you only want him to relax and you are not asking for sex. If he seems interested to take control let him take over and you become only a servant if his penis is not erect but if it is erect then you can also touch.
      If the problem continues and you do not let him be the boss he will then feel very small and this will damage your relationship and you both lose.
      It is my opinion and you will be surprised when you let him dominate you he will gain confidence. I wish you all the best.
      Regards
      African

      1. Thanks for adding to the conversation African!
        I’m not sure I totally agree with your theory about not touching the guy’s penis at all. But the idea of letting him dominate is an interesting one – assuming that he enjoys being dominant as not all guys do! But I guess statistically, it’s more likely that he will enjoy it. I guess there’s not harm in trying your technique as an experiment. It’s a new idea to me too to be honest, so I can’t really comment on whether it would work or not. Perhaps other readers will have some thoughts about this?
        Regards
        Ethan

        1. Hi Ethan
          I hope I do not send a wrong message since there may be a thin line between right and wrong in this case.
          To all the gents, please, when I say dominate, please do not do things that will hurt your woman. You must always treat her with respect. If she says NO, you must STOP. The expression is to highlight that when the lady starts touching or giving advice, it is a fair indication that she needs the penis to be erect and perhaps penetrate her. Under the circumstances of no erection the man’s mind will unconsciously realise that things are not going well, advices and extra hands can not bring the needed erection which increases frustration and anxiety to the poor guy and the poor penis seems to get smaller and softer. Also if she expresses how horny she is, how much she wants to be penetrated, guess how much anxiety for the caring guy to meet the request. However if the situation is that the woman is not trying to assist and only calm waiting for anything like she has no clue what will come next, it is significantly better and comforting for a man’s mind not to feel pressured and I, as a man, kind of feel in charge even if results are zero. This is passive support a woman can give, kiss back, make moaning sounds but if too much can also bring disaster. But i guess each person may respond differently & days are not the same.

          What helps me also is that my woman let’s me try and penetrate her even if she’s not ready, but use a lubricant to make things comfortable, however it happens sometimes when she gets ready my penis starts to become flat.
          Regard
          African

          1. Hi again

            Thanks for the clarification! Ok, that makes much more sense, and kind of what I was thinking you might have meant. I do think that this could be a good idea, and might actually try it myself next time I have the problem, if I do.

            Regards
            Ethan

    3. I to had a similar situation my bf and I had this problem at the beginning of our relationship but once we were comfortable with one another and our relationship it improved a ton. We still have mishaps from time to time because he has not been circumcised and he has issues with sensation, but we have found ways around this problem. He to did not care much for oral so I did some research to find ways I could please him in this area since he does have the uncut penis and its been totally helpful. With time in sure things will improve .one weekend or a few times having sex isn’t really enough to determine the outcome of a potential relationship. Hang in there: )

  13. Hey ethan,
    I’ve been seeing this woman on the side (we’re both married) and we just recently started being very physical. The past 2 times I haven’t been able to get very “hard” with her and I’d even lose my erections. I don’t have this problem with my wife but I’m extremely attracted to this other woman in every single way I even love her. Why am I having this issue? I’m wondering if it’s because the first woman I’ve been with sexually other than my wife in over 8 years. I think I’m too worried about what she’ll think and too concerned with impressing her. Thanks for any help.

    1. Hi Rob

      Thanks for your comment. I think that like many guys who have left previous comments, it could be a combination of nerves and the worry of impressing the woman. It might naturally get better in time as you relax more with her, which seems to be the case for a lot of guys. If you haven’t already read through the comments, I would do as there’s lots of useful stuff here from guys who have also been in a similar situation to you.
      Regards
      Ethan

      1. Now, I am no player and I had a dry spell for a very long time. Mainly because I went through some rough times. I was going out with a girl who I really liked, and when I was about to have sex with her it would not get fully hard. Not enough to penetrate. Lamentably, it was the first time and I didn’t know what to say. She ended it and now I am not sure if I have an erectile disfuntion.

        1. Hi Sam
          Sorry to hear about that – she probably wasn’t worth it after all if she wasn’t willing to stick around. I guess you won’t know whether it was a one-off until you next meet a woman. Hopefully the ideas in this article will give you some help.
          Regards
          Ethan

  14. I used to have erections as often as possible and be able to have sex without any problems in the past but I notice of late that my penis shrunk and I have really bad erections, somewhere around 50% and this makes me not have confidence to try having sex with a girl. I had a varicocele and operated on it recently, penis size increased but erection isn’t back a hundred percent 3 weeks after the surgery. Is this normal and do you think this change is happening as a result of my low T ? How do we know when confidence is the issue? Any nice clues will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Leogastby

      Thanks for your comment. It might be that you just need a little longer to recover from the surgery. I think that any surgery around the groin can take a while to fully recover. I’d suggest talking to your doctor about it and see what they think.
      Regards
      Ethan

    2. mornings only

      I have been going thru some issues of my own, maybe its related, I have a lot of trouble getting it up at night.
      No problem in the morning, strong wood, strong drive.
      At night, no drive, no wood. Really pisses the wife off because she just doesn’t want it in the morning, she won’t even get close to an O. Of course it gets worse because she is not very compassionate about it at all, just blurts out “whats wrong with you”. I know its not her, because it happens if I get some stranger too.

      1. Hi there
        Thanks for your comment. Maybe it has something to do either with just being tired at the end of a long day, your testosterone levels in the nighttime, or your state of relaxation.
        It’s a tricky one indeed and it’s a shame your wife isn’t being understanding about it. Does it happen on days when maybe you’re not so tired, or are relaxed?
        Regards
        Ethan

  15. Hey, lot of comments on here and I don’t have much time right now to read through, so I figured I’d just comment.
    I am so frustrated with myself, as well as confused. I am 19 years old, and slept with handfuls of women, nothing I’m proud of or anything, but I’ve never had a problem.
    Now I’m seeing someone that I actually really like and picture myself being with. Well last night we were going to have sex. I was dully erected through all of the foreplay and all, but when it came down to putting a rubber on and having sex I nearly instantly lost my erection. Extremely embarrassing and can really knock down a guys pride and ego. Is there anything you can suggest ? I figure maybe I was just too nervous, since I actually like this girl. But who knows. I tend to over think and over analyze absolutely everything. Any input is helpful, thank you so much.

    1. Hi Brad
      It sounds like nerves are probably a big factor, like they have been for most of the guys who have commented. To be honest, my best advice really would be to find some time to read the comments. There’s loads of really helpful ideas and advice running throughout the various conversations. I think that reading them will shed a lot of light on the problem.
      Regards
      Ethan

  16. Hey, Ethan. I’m a 17 year old boy and I have been with y current girlfriend for around 7 months and in the past 2, we have tried to have sex. I am the first person she has been with too and we don’t do it often. She does seem to be relatively tight but only recently has it gotten easier after I “popper her cherry”. I don’t know if that might impact it but she thinks its because she is still new to it and feels she isn’t loosened enough for proper intercourse. The first two times were awkward as expected but since then, only one out of 3 or times have I managed to keep a full erection while having sex. I am extremely attracted to her and she is the first person I’ve had proper sexual relations with. During making out and foreplay, I am erect and stay so until I finish but once we start having sex, it seems to soften up a bit during the process. This usually happens if it slips out (from me backing off) or us changing positions. I have no problem keeping an erection through anything else but this seems to happen every time. The only instance was late at night after a BBQ and we did it quite easily. She said to me she could feel it pressing against the wall of her Vagina (at the back) and I do enjoy it but it makes me embarrassed. I don’t finish that easily either and I feel so embarrassed about it I actually broke down in her arms. I don’t masturbate that much (once, twice a week if that) and I do think of her but I don’t understand why I can’t keep it up. If size counts, fully erect I’m around 6.8 – 7.5 inches and I am really scared that I might not be able to fully please her.
    Can you offer any advice on what to do to help?
    Very much appreciated!

    1. Hi Bakaron

      Thanks for your comment. To be honest, when you first start having sex it’s very normal for it to be a bit of hit and miss until you work out what works best for you both. And that happens even after years of having sex and many different partners. Every time I have a new partner for example, it can take a while of having sex before we start to understand what we like, what works and what doesn’t. I try to see it as an enjoyable period of discovery and adventure, even if it’s sometimes a little awkward.

      I think that in your case there are a few things going on:

      1) It may be that she is a little tight. In which case get some lubricant and use it. The stuff works wonders. You can also just spend more time on oral and use your fingers until you can feel that she’s ready to take you.

      2) It does sometimes happen that position changes can result in erection loss. You can either try the human origami of staying inside while changing position (if possible), or just change as quick as possible.

      3) If it softens during sex – are you using a condom? And if so is it taking away a lot of the sensation? If so, try experimenting with the ones which are thinner, ribbed or with natural feel. You may find that helps.

      4) You may find, like many guys here that over time the erection problem gets better. As you learn to relax with her, it will hopefully improve naturally anyway.

      5) I’m not sure where the feeling bad and embarrassed is coming from. Do you know why you’re feeling that way? Are you embarrassed about not finishing, or about having sex, or something else?

      Try not to worry too much about it. You’re young and it’s very normal to have a it of a shaky start to your sex life. Hell, even after 20 years you can still sometimes have far from perfect sex for one reason and another. Don’t let it get to you.

      Regards
      Ethan

  17. I’ve been dating this girl for the past 6-7 weeks now, last night was the first opportunity we had to have sex and i blew it – We would go for it, i’d get erect 50-75% but just couldn’t get it fully up. I’ve not had sex for 2 years now (I’m almost 21). I really do like this girl, she’s attractive with a great personality. I’m pretty sure she thought the worst but i did compensate by spending the day with her to re-assure her that it wasn’t anything to do with her.

    I’ve got what i’d consider a relatively average penis (5.5-6 in length depending on arousal) But i get an overwhelming sense of anxiousness whenever it comes to taking our pants off and it completely dies on me.

    Anything I can do to overcome it? Or do i simply have to ‘man up’ and try and conquer the issues in my head?

    1. Hi M.

      Thanks for your comment and it sounds like the same problem as most guys who have joined in the conversation here. To me their is one key thing you said which gives you hope “…with a great personality”. Hopefully that means she’s the kind of girl who will be understanding and patient with you. So my advice would be to talk to her about it, if you haven’t already. Tell her you feel a bit anxious but that you find her really attractive. Rather than manning up, I’d suggest it’s more a case of being patient with yourself, accepting the fact that you have anxiety, and waiting for it to naturally reduce as you spend more time together sexually. If it continues to be a problems after a few days of trying, then perhaps speak to your doctor about it. But you’ll probably find you relax and everything sorts itself out soon enough.
      Regards
      Ethan

  18. hello Ethan your article boost my confidence level but same thing is with me I’m unmarried and never been into sex. i do have female friends which are quite attractive, i like them but I never got feeling for them like other guys get maybe because of my shyness. i do get erections but sometimes. I’m 25 years old, in my religion I cant have sex b4 marriage its a sin but I’m worried that everything is alright with me or not.

    1. Hi Nauman
      Thanks for your comment. To be honest I can’t tell you if everything is alright with you or not. Until you actually have sex, you won’t know if everything is normal or not. My advice would be to not worry about it until you actually have a sexual partner. Worrying about it in advance will only make it more likely you have some anxiety issue or another. Many guys have perfectly happy sex lives with no problems. So the chances are you’ll be fine.
      Regards
      Ethan

  19. Hi I’ve just recently separated from a 18 year marriage and never had any problems with this issue, I meet a new partner and when we meet up and have spontaneous sex in the car all exciting and good and everything works as it should but as soon as we in a more normal setting ie a bed I get an erection through for play but as soon as intercourse starts it drops off and then I cannot get it back, then hours later after feeling quite guilty and beating myself up the morning come round and I wake with a really hard penis and everything is back to normal, I don’t know weather I’m putting to much pressure on my self to perform or it’s more of a medical issue, but I hate the feeling I’m not able to do what I should I feel useless

    1. Hi Steve
      Thanks for your comment. Your situation makes me wonder if perhaps it is pressure, but when you’re in a place where you feel really turned on and excited, you forget about that pressure? Just a thought based on something I’ve noticed about myself: for me to get turned on, I’ve come to realise I need to see and feel really passion from the woman. If I think she is really into it, making noises and generally being squirmy with excitement, that gets me going. On the other hand, if we’re on the sofa just gently kissing and being all slow and soft about it, I just don’t get an erection the first night usually.
      In fact it’s become so apparent to me, that I’ve intentionally tried to create an atmosphere and energy of passion if I’m with someone who is more laid-back.
      Having said all that, the fact that you get turned on then lose it during sex makes me wonder if it’s something different altogether. Like, do you use a condom for sex, and then just don’t find it stimulating enough? Is the sex just a bit boring for you in bed? Have you met a woman who gets very wet and so you don’t feel so much? There are so many possible explanations!
      In terms of what to do…well, stay patient and hopefully it will get better. Think about some of the stuff I’ve mentioned, and also read all the comments from other readers. There’s lots of useful ideas in there.
      Regards
      Ethan

  20. Wow, I never actually thought someone would have issues so close to mine. I too had testicular cancer last year! I have a nice scar too. I’m recently divorced and have tried with two new partners since my split in July… Both times I couldn’t even get hard let alone get to the point of attempting to use a condom. I really hope I can learn to relax soon. It’s starting to get to me, and the anxiety that comes from consecutive failed attempts seem to amplify each time I try with someone new…

    1. Hi Jake
      Thanks for your comment, and sounds like we’re brothers in this particular situation! I hope you’re recovering well though:-)
      Did you eventually manage to have sex with either woman, or was it a case of one night trying and didn’t see them again? If you’re anything like me and any of the other guys who have commented, it might be that as well as learning to relax, you need to learn the art of saying the right things to keep the woman around long enough for you to relax. That and the art of picking the type of woman who you think is understanding enough and likes you enough to do so.
      All the best!
      Ethan

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