Q. : I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 5 months now. On 2 or 3 occasions since we met, he has lost his erection during intercourse. He’s hard when penetrating but along the way, he loses his erection. Also, when we’re making out, he doesn’t always get an erection. Sometimes I need to stroke his penis before that happens. This does not occur all the time, but enough times to make me wonder why. One thing I have noticed is that when I get excited and start to moan, it usually gets him going and makes a difference in his arousal. Other than the 2 or 3 times he’s lost his erection during sex, he’s maintained his erection and reached climax. We have a pretty intense sexual relationship and can’t wait to get at each other, so I feel a bit confused when he’s not always hard or able to stay hard. So, my questions are: (1) Is it normal to “not” get an erection through kissing? (2) Why would he lose his erection during intercourse? I’ve talked to him about it as gently as possible, and he says it’s psychological. He says it’s not because he needs to concentrate or focus, he just wasn’t 100% there at the time. Does this make sense?
A. One, yes, it is completely normal. Two, there are far too many reasons to provide an adequate answer. Sex for humans, has a very large psychological component. If you are not already doing so, talk to each other about sexual fantasies. These are usually deep secrets because people are afraid of being rejected or laughed at. Try and include the things that he finds arousing in your sexual times together. Notice that when you “moan” he has had no problem. Obviously, he finds your behavior to be arousing. Read all that you can about sexuality. This could help to calm your fears. Have long talks about sex with your partner so that you both can learn all that is possible about each others sexuality. Any more questions, just ask.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2006
Randle, K. (2006). Boyfriend has problems getting an erection or maintaining one. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/01/13/boyfriend-has-problems-getting-an-erection-or-maintaining-one/