What can I do to help my partner maintain his erection?

Ducky Doolittle
Profile Picture of Ducky Doolittle Ducky DooLittle is a sex educator from NYC. She is also the author of "Sex with the Lights On: 200 Illuminating Sex Questions Answered". Ducky has appeared in the New York Times, HBO's "Real Sex", "The Morning Show", MTV, NPR, "The Howard Stern Show" and Playboy TV, to name a few.  Full Bio
Q:My guy has a difficult time staying hard. What can I do to help him?
A: Issues with his erection are almost always a side effect of a greater problem. The No.1 thing that has an impact on the health of a man's erection is stress and fatigue. The second thing that affects his erection is health and well-being.

There are a few things you can do. You can be patient. You can be kind, and you can be accepting and have honest conversations with him about it. You can let your partner know this is a common problem that is often temporary and reversible. You can encourage him to be proactive. You can find ways to have affection and play that don’t require an erection. You can have a healthy sex life with yourself.

Beyond that, it really is his issue to tackle. He has to have the desire to want to change his relationship with his body and he has to do the work. Here are some steps guys can take to build strength and stamina in their erections:

  • Try to let go of any feelings of guilt or inadequacy. Erectile issues are not uncommon. No one is to blame. Addressing the issue may actually help you and your partner become closer.
  • Seek the cause. Ask yourself questions. Are there times when your erection is solid, like during sleep or when masturbating? Are your condoms too tight? Assess the stress in your life, the medications you take, or the possibility of chronic illness like heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Also consider that the problem could be a combination of physical and psychological factors.
  • Eat well and move your body. Studies show a diet that is not good for your heart will also have a negative impact on your libido. Avoid fat and fried food. Eat fruits, vegetables, grains and heart healthy fats. Be active. Keep your weight at a healthy level. Healthy men have healthy sex lives.
  • Indulge in moderation. Smoking has an impact on your circulation and lung capacity. Alcohol numbs all of your senses and can lead to a temporary loss of erection. Excessive drinking can make it very difficult to attain and/or maintain an erection.
  • Play. Do things you enjoy and play with your partner as well. Be sure to share non-sexual affection. And if your erection is not up to the task, use your other tools like your hands and mouth; touch, caress, kiss, lick and try toys. One toy that may also help enhance your ability to stay hard is a cock ring. Give it a try! (Learn all about how to use them in Curious About Cock Rings?)
  • Don’t masturbate too often. If you masturbated the same day you are having sex it can limit the amount of time it takes for your erection to spring back.
  • See your doctor. Your doctor will be able to give you insight. Have a physical. Ask them to test your blood pressure. You might also want to have them test your testosterone levels. After the age of 50 a man’s testosterone levels begin to slowly decrease, but this can happen earlier for some men.
For more tips on how to get more from your body and lots of practical exercises you can try, check out "The Multi-Orgasmic Man". I have found it to be one of the best books ever written on male sexual response.

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