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How can I help my partner maintain an erection if he has ED?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
Since good erections are all about blood flow, certain sex positions may be more helpful than others for couples dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED):
  • Increase foreplay: Or you may have to spend a lot more time on foreplay and getting yourself physiologically aroused. Try a sexual warm-up, a technique that helps generate arousal but intentionally does not lead to climax or ejaculation. The idea is that the process of getting aroused will increase the person's ability to generate more of the sex hormone testosterone later in the day or later in the week.
  • Get on top: When a man is on top, on his knees, or standing during sex, he may rely on the large muscle groups of his thighs and glutes. This tends to divert more blood to these muscles -- and effectively steals blood away from the pelvis and penis. Try switching things up by getting on top and letting him lie on his back. You also might try lying on your sides, either facing each other or spooning, to keep the blood flowing to his erection.
  • Try oral and manual stimulation: Some couples find that giving a man oral sex with suction acts very similarly to a vacuum pump. At the same time, place your fingers at the base of his penis and add mild pressure: This helps constrict the outflow veins in his penis, allowing more of the blood entering the corpus caverosa and spongiosum to stay in the penis, contributing to an erection.
  • Increase variety: ED is less of an issue when you're not limited to just intercourse. That's why it's a good idea to have a wide range of sexual activities to choose from. Oral sex, manual stimulation, vibrators, and other sex toys give you plenty of sexy options to choose from that don't rely solely on an erection for pleasure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.