Saying no to sex because of performance problems

Slack windsock © Rene Olsthoorn |

Our survey on why men and women say no to sex results show 11% of men say no because of premature ejaculation, and 11% say no due to erectile difficulty or fear of the same. There is probably some overlap, but even so one man in five is not having or limiting sex due to these problems. That saddens me a great deal.

I have been fortunate not to have to deal personally with either of these issues, but I have studied them, and all the new research on them, for more than two decades. I know both issues present challenges, but I also know that neither has to keep a couple from having a mutually satisfying sex life. Today I will discuss erection problems, tomorrow climaxing too fast. Even if you have never had a problem with erections, I urge you to skim what follows so you will know if it ever is a problem.

Erectile Difficulty, aka Importance, aka “Why are you doing this to me, mini me?!”

She says yes, but your penis says no – major bummer, major embarrassment. Some guys would rather go without than risk not rising to the occasion. Many turn to masturbation instead, leaving their bride confused and hurting. PLEASE do not just drop out of your sex life – there are solutions. First, let’s look at why.

  • Temporary: Drugs and alcohol can impair your ability to get an erection. Stress and tiredness can do the same. Emotional issues can also do this, especially relationship issues. If you have a problem suddenly, one of these is likely the cause. Tell you bride why you think it is happening – otherwise, she will probably blame herself. If she is hot and bothered, offer to take care of her by hand or mouth.
  • Medical issues: These generally happen slowly, although you may miss the early signs. Your erections become weaker and weaker until you are not firm enough to penetrate, or cannot stay firm long enough for full intercourse. Most of the medical causes of ED are things that can and will kill you, and loss of erections is the only warning sign for some of these. The message here is if your loss of erections cannot be tied to anything listed above or below, take it as a loud warning buzzer telling you to see a doctor before you make your wife a widow. If I am scaring you, good; this is serious.
  • Testosterone: This is the first thing most men think, or hear from a friend, but it is really not a common issue. Unless your T levels are very low, they are not going to affect your erections. Low T levels will usually end your desire for sex before they end your erections, so if you want it and cannot get firm enough it is probably not testosterone. Regardless, checking this is part of what a doctor is going to look at after excluding things that can kill you, so seeing your doctor is the way to go.
  • Age: Recent studies say impotence is not an inevitable part of ageing. However, age does change how our body reacts sexually, and some men misunderstand these changes and what they mean. When we were young, just the thought of sex meant an immediate, full erection that was going to be with us until we had completed the sex act – even if took a good while. With age this all changes. We do not get erect a fast, do not reach full erection as quickly, and may not get to what we once knew as 100% erect. It may take more than a “yes” or a bit of nudity to get us erect; many men will eventually need manual stimulation of the penis to become firm enough for intercourse. Additionally, erections tend to wax and wane far more as we age. You might get erect early on, and then lose most or all of your erection during foreplay. You might get hard and go soft several times during foreplay. None of this is a problem; it is just the new normal.
  • Porn: There are a growing number of reports of men who can only get an erection when they use Internet porn. Prior to the Internet, most men could not get enough porn to have this problem, but now there is an unlimited amount of porn of every kind. The brain just cannot cope with this, and after a while, it becomes impossible to get an erection without some new porn image. The solution to this is to go cold turkey – no more porn, period. It takes 30 – 60 days for the brain to reset and have erections apart from porn.

What you can do about it

  • Viagra® and other drugs can help most men, but not all. If you do go with pills, you may be able to cut your cost by getting the higher dosage and cutting the pills in half (you can get a splitter on-line made to cut the oddly shaped pills).
  • A vacuum pump will give any man who is still breathing an erection – as long as the pump chamber remains in place. If you use a pump to get an erection, a constriction ring will keep your penis erect. This results in an erection from the body out, where as a normal erection is the entire penis, with about as much inside the body as outside the body. Without this root being erect, the penis will tend to pivot where it joins the body. Some men find this a problem, many do not.
  • If you can get an erection but then lose it, or get only a partial erection, a support ring may be all you need. A common “penis ring” may do the same thing, but items designed for this will work better. Do NOT use a ring of any kind for more than half an hour.
  • You can also have intercourse without an erection by using a support sleeve that covers the shaft while leaving the head exposed.
  • Sex without an erection is possible. You can pleasure her in a number of ways, and she can bring you to orgasm without an erection. Oral sex is particularly good, but with practice, she can learn to bring you to climax with her hands as well. A powerful vibrator will also work.
  • Pseudocourse is a near intercourse act which can be done without an erection. You lie on your back, legs together; she mounts you as if you were going to have intercourse with her on top. Your penis is against your body pointing towards your chin, so that the underside is exposed. She moves so your penis comes into contact with her vulva, between her outer lips. She then either pushes against you (as if thrusting), or she slides up and down (parallel to the bed) the length of his penis. (Greater movement is possible with some erection, but even without she can slide some.) With her clitoris rubbing against the most sensitive part of your penis, it is possible for both of you to reach climax. Changing the point of contact and the amount of movement will change the intensity of the stimulation for each of you, making it possible orgasm at about the same time. If you climax first, she should start farther down the shaft; if she climaxes first, she needs to be more on the glans. Pseudocourse is more than just physically enjoyable; it has most of the emotional contact which many find missing in manual or oral sex.

The bottom line is not to let embarrassment and fear rob you, and your bride, of a great sex life. Even if you are willing to forego sex, you owe it to her to find a way to make it happen. I’ve spoken to a couple of men who said they had better sex after they become impotent because it forced them to really talk about sex and think about what they could do. A lack of an erection changes sex, but it only ends sex if you choose for that to happen.

Image Source: © Rene Olsthoorn |

9 Comments on “Saying no to sex because of performance problems

  1. We recently had to deal with and face these issues due to hubby needing blood pressure meds … so I called doc and said we need something to help him (and me) out … so she prescribed Viagra … but after over a year the side affects have waned a bit and he doesn’t need the Vitamin V every time :) I know one thing I really missed was the spontainiety of it all … in 21 years of marriage he NEVER had a problem until now … so his ego took a hit also … but I told him what did guys do a few years ago before Vitamin V and their companion meds? he-eh … I told him at least there is a solution to the issue and it WORKS :) Expensive … way expensive … $20 PER pill and NO insurance coverage for it :(

  2. Unfortunately, between my major disability, short cycles for my wife, irregular interest and unpredictable energy levels because of her wonky thyroid, my unreliability and only being able to achieve ejaculation independently with a powerful vibrator (while my wife assists in other indirect ways), our sex life has been less than stellar. Oh, we’ve had bursts of optimism where we really try to find satisfaction for a few weeks. But eventually each time the futility of the willing spirit gets crushed by the weak flesh and it is just easier to be roommates that sleep in the same bed.

    All that you suggested has been tried, weighing the consequences of side effects (such as ED meds or terribly sore arms and shoulders for weeks) with the benefit of an hour of trying to find physical pleasure in eachother.

    I don’t give up easily in life, but nothing has brought me closer to giving up trying to make something work like this issue.

  3. Hi Sandra, I had the same problem, I tried Cialis daily, 5 mg, I can cut them in half and they work fine. A $400 prescription lasts 6 months if I take it every day. I skip when I know we aren’t having sex (wrong time of the month etc.) and I get a little more than 6 months and it works great.

  4. Hubby hasn’t tried anything but the Vitamin V … and lately he hasn’t needed it … but he has said the intensity is diminished a bit, but at least the “ability” is coming back for us :) He was NOT happy having to take something to make things work. And this all happened three days before a vaca two years ago!! I had to call the doc after hours … lol … he wouldn’t do it … what can I say … I need him as much as he needs me … and sometimes more … so I didn’t mind telling the doc he needed some “help” :)

  5. Im going to send this article to my husband and hope he starts to see he’s not alone. I’ve been praying that he would seek help just to possibly get some answers. We’re very young (20) and he just brushes off his erectile problems. I think a lot of it has to do with him being to emberassed to see a doctor. Whenever I bring it up he just laughs it off and changes the subject. He also has a very low sex drive (Which may or may not be part of the erection problem). It’s hard for me because I want to be the understanding wife, yet I just don’t understand why he won’t see a doctor and would rather choose to leave me wanting for over a week time and again.

    • Yes, have him see a doctor … he’s pretty young to be having this problem … might be an underlying medical condition that needs treated … feel free to keep in touch with me privately

  6. Erectile dysfunction is an indicator of more widespread heart and artery problems. The solution is a whole-foods, plant based diet. Check out the movie Forks over Knives or the book of the same title. Terry Mason, MD makes the following comments about erectile dysfunction: “I would say that erectile dysfunction is the canary in the coal mine,” says Dr. Terry Mason a urologist and chief medical officer at Cook County Hospitals in Chicago. “When men begin to have erectile dysfunction it’s a sign that there’s more widespread disease and not just for the heart but throughout all the blood vessels in the body.”

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