Ask the Sexpert
Losing My Erection
Dear Dr. Kat,
I am a 43 yr old man. I am just out of a 9 yr relationship, the problem is about three years ago she started the rejection thing with me as far as sex. Not sure if it has anything to do with it or not, but it is hard to keep an erection. Through out foreplay it's no problem. But when it comes to intercourse I can't stay hard. With that said, if I masturbate I do not have this problem but it seems that sometimes I have to use a cock ring. Any suggestions of what my problem might be. Rejection, age, or what? Any help would be great.
There could be several factors affecting your erections. I would first suggest that you go get a medical workup by a doctor to rule out any health issues. Hormones and sexual function change throughout out life spans and it would be good to know if this is a factor for you.
Three years of consistent sexual rejection can be alot. And frankly many people get into "ruts" they can't quite break. Our minds are very powerful. If you somehow still have a "negativity tape" running in your head during intercourse this may be affecting your ability to stay hard. It is unclear to me how much of your erection issue is truly situational (just during intercourse), as you also say you sometimes need to use a cock ring during masturbation.
You might first want to keep track of exactly what your mind is saying to yourself during intercourse and masturbation -- are you focusing on negative thoughts? Are you able to just focus on the sensation? It might help to construct a new fantasy in your head where you are able to maintain an erection and play that out, replacing potential negative thoughts with positive ones. Beyond these suggestions it might be helpful to see a Sexologist or therapist to help you untangle all the variables.