My Partner Has Trouble Having An Erection

3 years ago

 Q. I have a partner who has real trouble having an erection. He feels severe pain in the morning instead of getting an erection and cannot even maintain a half erection no matter what I do- he just treats this as normal, and doesn't try anything. He has said a doctor has said everything is in working order. When we staid once at his parent’s house (also his main residence) he had no such issue.  

Is there any way of solving this, as I do not intend to live with him there.  

A. First of all I’m glad he saw a doctor to check on organic issues such as scar tissue, Phimosis or other infections, STI’s, cysts, etc. If you’re sure that there is no organic cause, than he needs to see a sex therapist or psychiatrist with who specializes in pscho-sexual issues, because clearly he has a substantial one.  

In the meantime, you say he won’t try anything. That won’t do if he wants to keep a relationship with you, will it? May I suggest you tell him that this is a form of closeness that you want and need, and that it’s important to you to be connected in this way? If he’ll see a sex-therapist, and I hope he will, they will give him a series of tasks/exercises meant to help him. You can also try using some of the exercises on my Communication and Sensate Focus Pages with him, which might start the process of connecting better. 

One question: is he amenable to other sexual outlets (such as giving you oral sex), and if so, do you have satisfying orgasms with him? I ask because your pleasure should be important to him, even if he’s having trouble achieving orgasm. If it’s not, something essential is missing. 

And good heavens no, don’t live with his parents! He needs to be alive, happy and functioning with you out there in the world, not locked in the home with ma and pa.

Be good to yourself. It’s worth extending your patience and kindness for a while if you care about him, but you also need to self-protect and affirm your needs and limits. Please be clear about what you will work with, and when you have had enough. You deserve good sex and passion! 


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Shain Stodt is the founder of Informed About Sex and the founder/moderator of the Facebook page Radical Women Talk Sex. A Sex Educator (IASHS), author, and community activist,  Shain became involved in sex education with the New York Women's Center, where she worked with the pioneering Abortion and Birth Control Outreach project and lectured on sex education in the public school system. Shain also developed sexuality workshops for the Women's Center and other feminist organizations, and hosted a local cable program on sexual issues in New York City. She lives in North Carolina.

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