I Can’t Get it Up for my Girlfriend

I recently received an e-mail from a very worried young man. After having found a solution for his erectile problem together, he kindly accepted my proposal to post his story online. If you’ve ever wondered “why can’t I get it up for my girlfriend”, this story and the following solutions are for you!

“I have a problem with my erections and it really scares me. For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been unable to have erections (or to keep them) when having sex with my girlfriend. This has never happened to me before. I have tried different sexual positions and I have tried to do quick breathing exercises but to no avail. Nothing happened. This is making me very anxious and if I can’t get it up for my girlfriend, I’m afraid I’ll soon be single. I need help…”

Firstly, you should know that this type of issue is very common, regardless of age. The guy who wrote this message is in his mid-twenties. When we have a new sexual issue, it’s not rare for us to think that we are alone in this. After all, we rarely hear our friends talking about their problems in bed, right? But the truth is that nearly every single men will experience an erectile dysfunction at one moment of his life.

Let’s have a look at the main causes of erectile dysfunction and other penile troubles.

I Can’t Get it Up for my Girlfriend – Main Causes

If you are struggling with your erections and can’t get it up like this young men, it’s likely because of one (or several) of the following causes:

Performance Anxiety

The anxiety of performance can prevent an erection, in his message Pete (I changed his name) couldn’t get it up and was very anxious about it. Well, this doesn’t help! But performance anxiety can be the result of many things: a new relationship, a need to impress, a long period without sex or the first time, overthinking about your male attributes, poor physical image, history of abuse, etc…

Regardless of the reason, you will need to deal with your anxiety rationally. If you realize that your problem isn’t one, then you’ll need to incorporate a relaxing activity into your daily routine. Yoga, breathing exercises (Pete was onto something), meditation, exercise or any activity that calms you down will allow you to reduce your anxiety pre-sex.

However, if you don’t know how to deal with it or relaxation is not enough, consulting a psychologist or a sexologist will be needed.

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Tiredness, Stress and Depression

Among the big culprits of erectile dysfunction (ED), let me name those 3 very popular ones: tiredness , depression and stress. Unusual amounts of stress or a big sudden stress can affect your ability to get hard and stay hard. If this has been going on for a while, you will need to find a solution to deal with what’s causing your stress and manage it effectively with relaxing techniques, like the ones aforementioned.

Similarly, depression can cause ED. To find relief and a healing strategy, consult your GP who will refer you accordingly. (1)

Sleep is something we can’t live without. Unsurprisingly, during phases of exhaustion, some functions of our bodies can shut down. It can indeed prevent you from having proper erections. So, get some sleep when you can, even naps are good for you to catch up on some much needed Zzz!

Click here and enhance your dopamine levels if your mood is a bit low.

Physical Condition

If none of the above are plausible causes of your issues. Your cause might be purely physical. It could be linked to substance abuse, whether it’s alcohol, medicine, tobacco or drugs. In this case, refer to a professional as soon as possible, this could be extremely detrimental to your health.

For instance, cannabis can affect your erections and also lower your testosterone levels, read this article to know more.

Or it could be because of poor blood circulation, diabetes, an existing cardiovascular disease or something that hasn’t been diagnosed, yet. Don’t take any chances and book an appointment with a doctor urgently to get some tests done. Playing Russian roulette with our health is never a good idea. (2)

Now that you may have an inkling on what’s causing your troubles, let’s have a look at the solutions.

I Can’t Get it Up for my Girlfriend – Solutions

How to break the circle and get healthy erections?

  • To start with, you need to remind yourself that this isn’t an uncommon problem, you are not the only one who has to deal with it.
  • If you are on any medication, check the side effects and consult your doctor if something concerns you – an alternative can be found.
  • If your mental or physical health may be the cause, speak to a doctor. The erectile dysfunction might be the sign of other health conditions that need immediate attention.
  • Cut back on your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is known to cause impotence. If you suspect that your liver is unhealthy, direction doctor! The same goes for tobacco and drug abuse.
  • If condoms are the issue, try different brands and sizes to find something that suits your better. If your girlfriend takes a contraceptive, you can both check if you are STD free to have sex without a condom. Of course, if you are in a free relationship, this is not a good idea.
  • The practice of mindfulness meditation or any other effective type of relaxation techniques will improve your sexual life, even without the sex in it!
  • Communication is a necessary tool for sexual development. Don’t hesitate to talk to your partner if you have doubts about something or if anything bothers you. Even if it’s not related to sex!
  • Reassure your partner (and yourself) by telling them you do desire them and want to be with them. Although, if that isn’t the case, you may want to end this relationship.

Learn about Kegel exercises to get harder erections here.

This article was written by Michael King.

(1) Depression and anxiety in men with sexual dysfunction: a retrospective study. Rajkumar RP, Kumaran AK. Compr Psychiatry. 2015.

(2) Diabetes and sexual dysfunction: current perspectives. Maria Ida Maiorino, Giuseppe Bellastella and Katherine Esposito. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014.