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. Chris Harris

    Hi guys

    I am at the start of my sexul life at 18 and have only slept with 3 girls all of which have been quite long term relasonships, I have had this problem with every girl and it has been great to read all of your stories and gain a bit of experiance for the future, i feel much better knowing I’m not on my own.

    Thanks
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris
      Thanks for your comment – it’s great to hear you’ve found the article helpful. You’re definitely not the only one, and I hope the article and comments have given you some ideas for the future.
      Ethan

  2. Hey,
    It’s kind of a big deal for me to even do some research on this. I’ve been so ashamed of and disappointed in myself.

    I’m 25yo and the last two girls I’ve been with I’ve really struggled to “keep it up”, and it plays on my mind so much now that if I accidently think about it during masturbation I usually lose my errection and cant finish.

    I’ve had a string of unhealthy relationships, but the one thing i had pride in was lasting a long time during sex… to the point that the partners I was with would “tap out” in an exhausted and euphoric daze.

    The last two girls I just struggled to keep it hard. I felt embarrassed and intimidatedand really uncomfortable while it was happening. Somehow with the first girl I managed to get it up again, and finish her off but immediately after i just went completely limp.

    The second girl i just couldnt at all until we woke up in the middle of the night and I was raring to go, and again in the morning.

    It plays on my mind a lot, and now my highschool crush (and close friend) is showing a lot of attention to me… and I’m just dreading that moment with her. I know I can do better, I’ve been perfectly fine a 50 times before. But I worry when I cant even keep it up during masturbation.

    Any specific advice?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Ryan
      To be honest, it sounds like anxiety as with so many guys here! It also sounds like my story, whereby it doesn’t work out initially, but then in the night or morning it’s fine – which makes me think anxiety plays a big role. My advice is to take the pressure off both of you. Don’t set sex as the only goal when you’re next with someone. If you redefine your goal for the night as just enjoying each other in a sexual way, whatever that might mean for you – manual, oral etc – and the sex will come along when it does, then you’ll hopefully feel less pressure.
      The key I think is not to show signs of panic, worry and self-doubt. Just stay confident, enjoy the time with your partner doing whatever it is that you feel like doing. Tell her if you like that sometimes it doesn’t happen the first night, but that’s ok. Make her feel that you really like her, and want to just get used to each other and take your time. Most girls will be happy to have loads of foreplay, manual and oral etc, and will wait for the actual penetrative sex to happen.
      Ethan

  3. Zack something

    Hello guys. I’m 19 and I’ve had a problem for a little bit. So like most men I stared masturbating around 13 and did it on average 6 days a week if not more. I began to notice this problem when I had sex the first time (17th birthday). I play baseball and have my entire life, even a little college baseball. Now I am extremely good with girls and getting them into my bed. Now Being 6’1 with a nice body and play college baseball, it’s not that hard to get girls. I just have this problem where is just goes soft. Extremely soft! I don’t have a small dick, I’m like 6 1/2 and I’ve got gurth too. I just don’t know what my problem is. I get morning wood about 80% of the time and I do workout, run, and I do not do drugs.

    I just went to the doctor about this for the second time, he told me that he thinks it’s anxiety. I told him I have no anxiety what’s so ever because I have confidence in myself. He ordered blood work and wanted to check on my testosterone (still waiting on the results). I also have problems when I have to poop, workout, or run. Whenever I do these things I get extremely “short”.

    I’ve done my research and I think it could be “porn indused ed” but my doctor doesn’t think so. I am currently on my 5th day not jerking off and I have felt so eager to do it.

    I am currently talking to this girl that I want to have sex with so bad. I need some help truly. Please help!

    1. Hi Zack
      Sorry to hear you’ve had these issues, just like me and so many guys leaving comments here. The thing with anxiety is that it’s often there even though we feel ok in ourselves. I often find myself in situations where mentally I don’t feel anxious, yet my body shows signs of anxiety. It’s annoying and weird, but something that’s better to accept – at least then you can try and work on it. If you refuse to recognise the possibility that there’s anxiety, then you’ll never do any of the things that might help. And at the end of the day, it won’t do you any harm to try those things – even if you don’t think you have anxiety, if that makes sense?
      So my advice would be to try to create a relaxing scenario when you’re with the girl. Take the pressure off of both of you by not rushing to sex, enjoying loads of foreplay, manual, oral etc. And if it happens that you go soft, don’t stress about it. Talk to her confidently about how it just happens sometimes, but you really like her – show her with your actions not just words, but giving her a massage and enjoying her body in other ways etc. If you can get her to stick around long enough for you to relax, hopefully at some point you’ll be able to get hard again.
      As for the porn, it’s possible it’s having an effect. I think it’s a good idea to stop watching it for now – as you are doing – just in case it’s also to blame.
      Ethan

  4. It happened to me last night. The first time that we were going to have sex and couldnt get it. I was drunk and very nervous cause i had not gone out in a couple of months. She told that it was normal and to not worry. She was obvious she didnt want a relationship me too but i like her and wanted to sleep her so badly. The goodbye was just a peck on the cheeck. Should i keep talking to her for a second chance?

    1. Hi Joe
      It’s up to you, but if you have nothing to lose, why not? Just perhaps don’t get so drunk next time! A couple of drinks can help with the anxiety, but too much can result in serious problems getting it up.
      Ethan

  5. Hi,

    I have had this issue since I was 18 or something (now 28). Almost exactly the same as the article describes. I am very happy that you wrote this article and would like to contribute with my story. Which might give you another perspective on this problem.

    For me it has always been obvious that this is a purely psychological issue since I don’t have a problem getting it hard myself or with someone I have been seeing for a while. I have tried to figure out what it is that is making it happen and I guess it is anxiety even though I sometimes feel pretty calm and confident. At this point I have more just accepted that it is what it is.

    For the ones of you that don’t meet women because of this I strongly advice against giving up like that. I have had sex with plenty of women even though this has happened almost every time. Not even once has it happened that someone gets mean or angry or anything like that. Most women try to make the best of the situation. The only times it has not been a good experience has been when I have made a big fuss out of it or saying I’m sorry or something like that. Then the situation gets hard to handle for the women and the vicious circle begins.

    For me the best way to handle it is to first just try and see if it works and if it doesn’t (almost never the first time I sleep with a girl) just say that it doesn’t work right now. It is hard to confess something like that with real confidence, so fake it if you have to. Now the women usually ask why and to that I just answer that I don’t know. The trick is to do it with confidence. Be calm and just tell here honestly that you don’t know why (after all it is true!). Make sure to also tell her that you really WANT to have sex with her and it is just that it doesn’t work. It is key to let her know that you want her. If you succeed in keeping her calm this actually puts her in a pretty good position. Now you can focus on her and she can just lay back and enjoy. Once you get her the view it like that you are fine!

    Having confessed that I can’t get it up sometimes solves the problem by itself depending on the girl. If it doesn’t work I usually just go down on the girl and try to make her come (she will only let you do that though if you stay calm and she feels that you think she is sexy). As long as you keep your cool you will usually succeed in this endeavour. When she has had an orgasm and I have confessed there is usually nothing left to worry about since she is happy and you don’t have the pressure of performing any more. Sometimes this solves the problem for me. If it doesn’t she is usually more than happy to try again since I didn’t make it into an awkward experience for her by overreacting to the situation.

    Now that I have been getting a bit older I have actually been able to get some serious advantages out of this condition. It turns out that if you keep calm and manage to keep things pleasant some girls will try the craziest things to get you hard! Once you get them to see it as a challenge the pressure is off you and on them 

    Another way to view it is to try to enjoy having some issues from time to time. Nothing is fun if it is too easy!
    Keep trying and remember that it is not the end of the world!

    PS:
    I realize that it might seem that I have always been confident about this. This is far from true! I understand how hard it can be to talk about and how bad it can feel not to be able to get it up. However I am living proof that you can get over it and that it is not as big an issue as you think!

    Confidence is something you get when you have failed so many times that you stop worrying about it. Keep trying!

    1. Hi Bruno
      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I think your attitude is spot on, and will hopefully prove really helpful for some other readers. I might actually add some of your ideas into the original article, because they are things I’ve also done, but didn’t really talk about in the article.
      Thanks again!
      Ethan

  6. I’m 41 and been single for the past 3 years, after coming out of a 9 year relationship where she left me, I’ve struggled with low self esteem and felt unattractive to woman.

    However there was a girl at work who I liked, she was easy to talk to, attractive but she was with someone, so I never considered her more than a friend.

    She left to a new job and I went on her leaving drinks, end of the night we got a bit close on the dance floor, no more than my arms around her and her head on my chest. But this was the first close female contact I’d had in a long time, I also didn’t realise she had separated from her boyfriend. End of the night we went our own ways.

    A few weeks later I get a txt asking how I was and if I wanted to go for a meal with her and her friends. I was pretty ill and declined.. only to find out it was for her 30th birthday! We exchanged a few more texts over the coming weeks, ended up meeting for drinks but still with the way I was feeling I thought it no more than friends.

    We got together for drinks again but this time both got pretty drunk. We ended up arm in arm and then kissing.. a lot. I couldn’t believe it, I was on cloud 9! I ordered her a taxi, when it arrived she says am I coming? Well I went with the moment and jumped in the cab.

    Got back to her place where she lives with her parents. She put some music on and before I got my jacket off she was half naked on the bed! She is super hot, I have this beautiful, athletically fit 30 year old woman naked in my arms.. I was overwhelmed, couldn’t believe it.

    And that’s when I realised my dick wasn’t cooperating.. nothing! We tried a bit of foreplay but I became embarrassed and eased off. I said I was sorry and it wasn’t her, I blamed drink and nerves. I’m so gutted, I can’t stop thinking about it. When we were kissing earlier I got hard, but at the time I needed to it just wouldn’t happen.

    Next morning it wasn’t very comfortable, she dropped me home. I txt her and said again I was sorry and that I really like her and find her very attractive and that I’d like to see her again. But she replied that she was in an awkward place, still getting over her ex and that she shouldn’t have put me in that position, she said she was embarrassed and very sorry.

    This all happened a week ago and I’ve thought about it and her every day. I think I’m struggling over a few passionate hours with this girl as it has been so long for me and that I know her. I’m worrying about my performance or lack of, it has really hit me and I feel sad.

    I guess all I can do is leave it with her, if she calls great, if not then I need to properly get back on the dating game, although I’m now worried of repeat failures.

    Thanks for reading

    1. Hi Simon
      Sorry to hear you had this experience – I can understand your frustration! It was probable either the alcohol and/or some anxiety after such a long time without. I guess the main thing is to try to get that second chance going. Perhaps if she still hasn’t replied by the time you read this (sorry it took so long), maybe try to see her again but without making it about hooking up. Invite her on a date, or for a drink (not too many!) and see if things naturally go that way. Try to take the pressure off, and allow nature to either take its course or not.
      Ethan

  7. Hi, well my story is quite unusual. I’m 20 years old and still a virgin. I’ve had 2 girls on my bed and one of them more than twice. I’ve always wanted to get intimate with a woman and please her as much as possible. I started watching porn and masturbating at the normal age of 12-13. I don’t know, however, if i overdid it with the masturbation and porn to the point that certain things turn me on. I can get a strong erection in one position and in the other it’ll go away. So after trying my first time I was obviously embarrassed. The foreplay was great but once It came to the part where I put the condom on, my little friend got scared :(. That first incident was 2 years ago. Now I’m with another woman and it happened again. I’m guessing it’s performance anxiety and every time it’ll happen because I’m worried of not getting it up. I’ve also wondered if it’s my level of testosterone. All the males in my family have a beard and I’ve yet to grow one. I also go to the gym but don’t focus on legs as much, it’s something I’ll have to try. Anyway, after being disappointed so many times, I have no choice but to take a sex pill and try my luck. Do you have any tips or guide on how to control anxiety or a testorone meal plan?

    1. Hi Paul
      I understand your frustation, believe me! I think putting a condom on has the capacity to cause many guys erection problem, myself included. I’ve found a few tricks for dealing with that: firstly, only attempt to put it on when you have a 100% rock hard erection. If it’s only 75% for example, it tends to lose it. Once you get a totally hard one, you just kind of know that it’s there to stay for a while. So just stay relaxed and enjoy the foreplay, and don’t rush to put a condom on until you know it’s going to stay. The second thing is to get the girl to put it on for you. The fact that she’s playing with you while doing it – if she does it right – can help keep you stimulated. And finally, put it on while standing up or kneeling on the bed. The downwards pressure of blood flow can help maintain the erection.
      Otherwise, in terms of controlling anxiety – you could read through all these comments if you have time – there are some good ideas here. You could also read my article about sexual performance anxiety. As for testosterone, if you search online you’ll find lots of nutrition experts with advice about that that’s better than what I can give you. But yes, do those leg exercises too – it works!
      Ethan

  8. 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..

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  9. 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??

    1. 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.
      Ethan

    2. Bobby James Salazar

      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…

  10. Hello guys ill tell u my side of the 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 don’t 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 didn’t like her though and i thought i would have just had 1 more exp. i had a lot of drinks but wasn’t drunk, she came to my place i did everything on her but she didn’t touch me much. Well, i couldn’t get a 100% erection but she barely touched me i wasn’t feeling much comfortable with her i felt SO BAD i thought that it would be easier that i would have full erection while i am fingering her or getting her licked but no..my little friend didn’t get aroused. It was the first time to face 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 couldn’t do something more cause more people where on the house.BUT why i faced this problem with the other girl? I felt so bad like i have erectile dysfunction or i am gay (lol) i even took a sexuality test on the internet just for fun and 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 wasn’t feeling comfortable so i guess that i had the same problem..Sorry for english and tell me if u ever had this.

    1. 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!
      Ethan

  11. 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 erection..it 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..?

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  12. 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.

    1. 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!
      Ethan

  13. 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.

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  14. John Hendricks

    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?

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  15. 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.

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  16. 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.

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  17. 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!

    1. 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!
      Ethan

  18. 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.

    1. 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?
      Ethan

  19. 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.

    Will

    1. 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.
      Ethan

  20. 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.

    1. 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.
      Ethan

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