What should I do if my partner routinely loses his erection?

Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
If your partner routinely loses his erection, remember firstly that sexual responsiveness is a combination of hitting the gas (giving good stimulation through all sensory modalities, including emotion and imagination) and taking your foot off the brakes (removing threats of all kinds) So almost always erectile dysfunction is not about a failure of stimulation but about an overabundance of threats, often in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, or, in this case, a recent history of trauma.

Therefore the solution to ED, assuming it’s psychogenic and not straight-up physiological, is not about changing the stimulation.

Instead, confronting ED is about removing threats of all kinds.

This combination of realities -- that it’s not about stimulation and it is about threats -- tells us that the worst thing you can do is to take it personally or judge or blame or worry or sweat it in any way at all. If it’s problematic from your point of view, it becomes a source of anxiety, which is the opposite of arousal. I know you might feel like a failure or you might be inclined to take it personally. Don’t. Your attitude should be one of bright, optimistic curiosity about the things you can do sans erection.

Continue Learning about Erectile Dysfunction

Statins May Help Men with ED
Statins May Help Men with ED
Everything that goes up must come down—or so the saying goes. That’s certainly true of the stock market, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity, and the w...
Read More
How common is impotence in older men?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Impotence is psychologically and emotionally devastating. Recent data reveal that over 30 percen...
More Answers
What impact does physical activity have on erectile dysfunction?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for cardiovascular (heart and vessel) disease, diabetes, ...
More Answers
When Should I Call My Doctor If I Have Erection Problems?
When Should I Call My Doctor If I Have Erection Problems?

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.