Losing an erection for any reason can be an intense and emotional experience. There’s a lot of stigma around it, and in our culture there’s a sad number of jokes and sitcom plot lines around it. A lot of people worry what their partners will think, or who might find out. Sometimes, these worries can actually be what reduces someone’s erection!
Everyone with a penis will lose erections once in a while, and it doesn’t mean you’re not into someone. There are also many things that can help!
Does losing my erection mean I’m not into something?
Don’t sweat it! Lots of people can lose their erections when putting a condom on or during sexual activity. Sometimes penises can lose their erection even when people are horny and excited. This doesn’t mean that sexual enjoyment or attraction is no longer there. People can still enjoy themselves if they lose their erection.
You can share this with a partner, or let them know if you’re actually not enjoying it. Sometimes, partners will feel unattractive or like they’re not good in bed. Reassuring them can help! It can also help keep things going, or find other kinds of sex that don’t need an erect penis.
Focusing on sensation and pleasure
Most often, people get softer because they’re worrying about risks and being good in bed. So, try letting yourself relax and focus on enjoying the sensations, rather than on getting or staying hard. Talking with your partner about these worries can help for some people. You can even ask them to put the condom onto your penis, which can be a real turn on!
There’s a lot more you can ask your partner to do while you’re putting on the condom:
- Touch other sensitive parts of your body
- Make out with you
- Have other kinds of sex, liking giving them oral or getting anal play
- Touch themselves while you watch
These not only keep sexual energy flowing, they might keep your brain from worrying. Many people complain that condoms pause the action, but they don’t have to!
Finding the right condom and lube
Some people might lose erections because condoms are the wrong size or make too much friction. This can be uncomfortable or even painful. In these cases, losing an erection might be your body’s natural response to pain.
When putting on a condom, you can try putting a couple drops of lube on the inside. This helps reduce friction and make the condom feel more comfortable so you barely feel it. The condom will keep the lube right where you’re most sensitive, so it might even feel better.
Different brands of condoms will fit in different ways. So try different makes and styles until you find one that you find comfortable.
Figure out what works for you
Everyone finds different things arousing, so don’t be afraid to experiment! You can always talk to your partner about what might be hot for you.
Sometimes, people have such trouble with condoms that they think of avoiding them completely. Before you do, remember that other birth control, like the pill, doesn’t protect the penis from STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It’s a good idea to try everything you can before putting yourself at risk!
Check out the resources to learn more!
Condom kills erection – Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice answers a question about losing erections while putting on a condom and gives specific reasons why this may be happening and ways to keep an erection during this time.
Condom basics – Scarleteen
Scarleteen explains the basics of condom use.
A foreskin foray: Questions, concerns and clarifications – Scarleteen
This article talks about the functions of the foreskin, how it affects sex, and some problems people may have with their foreskin. It also discusses putting condoms on uncircumcised penises.
Condom Sizing – Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice’s article explains the basics on condom sizing, how to find a condom size that works, and how to prevent breakage. Also tells you how to measure a penis to see what size would work best.