15Jun

It may not be something you’ve given much thought to, but a lot of things have to go right for you to maintain your erection. Your blood pressure has to stay high enough, your mental state has to be perfect, and your partner has to be understanding.

And those things have to stay constant for however long the sexual encounter takes.

It’s understandable that you might lose an erection every now and then — but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk it ever happens again.

12 Tips to Staying Hard and Maintaining an Erection

Determine the Severity of the Problem

There’s a big difference between losing a single erection and having a chronic issue[1]. If it’s a one-time thing, your best bet might be to shrug it off and try again later.

In fact, the worst thing you can do is worry about it. Stress is a notorious boner-killer[2], so staying calm and relaxed is the best way to get good and hard.

You can also think about everything you did leading up to the problem. Drinking too much, having a bad day at work, or just not being in the mood are all potential culprits.

Your partner can also have a big effect on your erection. If you’re worried about impressing a new lover or you’re still mad about the fight you had earlier, it’ll be hard to get hard.

If the problem occurs most of the time, however, you’ll need to think about making more sweeping lifestyle changes.

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Blood pressure powers erections, and being overweight can limit how much blood flow gets to the penis. The healthier you are, the more hydraulic power you’ll generate downstairs — and you’ll have harder, longer-lasting erections.

That doesn’t mean you need the body of an Adonis. Simply keeping your weight within healthy ranges[3] for your body type should do the trick.

Also, check your blood pressure regularly to ensure it’s normal. If not, talk to your doctor — you may need to go on blood pressure medication.

What’s the best way to maintain a healthy weight and normal blood pressure? Well, there are two primary factors — and you need to be concerned about both of them.

Make Aerobic Exercise a Habit

A hard penis actually starts with a healthy heart, and a healthy heart requires regular aerobic exercise[4].

That doesn’t mean you need to live in the gym. There are many ways you can fit some aerobic activity into your lifestyle, and they don’t all have to be pure drudgery.

You can take up jogging, rowing, cycling, playing basketball, or anything else you enjoy, so long as it improves blood flow. The more fun the activity is for you, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Don’t worry about pushing yourself to the limit, either. All it takes is 30 minutes[5] of moderate exercise a day to improve your sex life.

Of course, a good exercise routine is important, but you’ll need more than that to perform at your best.

Watch What You Eat

If all you eat is fried food, you’re eventually going to have a problem with erectile dysfunction — it’s that simple.

Think about it. All that grease in the food has to go somewhere, and it usually ends up clogging your blood vessels — and that means blood can’t get through. Not only is that terrible for your heart[6], but it will sabotage your penis, too.

Consider switching to a diet that’s built around fish, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. The Mediterranean Diet is a good choice — and there’s evidence[7] it can improve erections.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is terrible for erections[8] (and we hear it’s not good for your lungs, either). If you want to improve your love life, giving up the habit is a good start.

Cigarettes can cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels the same way that fatty food does. What’s more, nicotine may lower your libido[9], further attacking your ability to stay hard.

We know quitting is incredibly difficult — but so is telling your partner, “Not tonight.”

Cut Back on the Booze, Too

Alcohol’s ability to kill erections is well-known, so much so that there’s a not-so-polite term for it.

It’s more than an old wives’ tale, though. In fact, one recent study[10] found that drinking too much is the biggest predictor of sexual dysfunction.

The good news is that this is one of the quickest problems to solve. By drinking less, you can immediately reduce the risk[11] of losing your erection.

You don’t even have to give it up completely. All you have to do is commit to only drinking in moderation.

Check Your T Levels

It’s incredibly difficult to get or sustain an erection without plenty of testosterone coursing through your veins. If you’re having problems, low T might be the reason why.

It’s unlikely that poor erection quality will be your only symptom. Some other issues[12] to look for include:

  • Lower interest in sex
  • Lethargy
  • Problems focusing
  • Muscle loss
  • Unexplained fat gain in the belly

Your testosterone levels will naturally drop off some as you age. They shouldn’t decrease to the point that your sexual health suffers, however.

If you suspect you might suffer from low T, seek medical advice. There are several treatment options available that can help.

Be Careful When Masturbating

While “be careful when masturbating” is good advice in general, there are a few specific things to keep in mind if you’re worried about erectile dysfunction.

The first is the type and amount of porn you’re watching. If you watch too much, it could turn into a psychological crutch[13], making it difficult to maintain an erection without it.

That’s especially true for guys who frequently switch between videos. Having sex with one person can be a letdown if you’re used to constant novelty.

Another thing to keep in mind is how you masturbate. Beware of “Death Grip Syndrome (DGS),” which is when you squeeze your penis so tightly during masturbation that regular sex can’t compare.

Not all medical professionals agree that DGS is a real thing, but many believe it’s a form of sexual dysfunction called delayed ejaculation[14].

If you’re worried your masturbation habits could be killing your erections, take a break from porn and ease up on your grip.

Examine Your Relationships

Relationship dissatisfaction can play a big role in erectile dysfunction. After all, if you’re not enthusiastic about enjoying a sexual activity with your partner, your penis probably won’t be, either.

Studies have shown[15] a link between poor conflict-resolution skills and erectile dysfunction. Being able to openly and honestly express yourself to your partner is key to performing at your best.

A relationship counselor may be able to help if you’re struggling to relate to a partner. However, it may be worth reconsidering the relationship as well.

Check Your Medications While You’re At It

Certain prescription medications can wreak havoc on erection quality. If you’re having problems, you might want to take a closer look at your meds.

That’s especially true of antidepressants. Sexual side-effects[16] are a common issue with most antidepressants, and it may be worth talking to your doctor about switching to something that won’t affect your sexual activity.

Of course, medicine can also help improve your erections as well. Most people think pills like Viagra and Cialis are only suitable for getting erections, but they can help you maintain one, too.

It May Be Performance Anxiety

Nobody said sex was supposed to be easy. There are a lot of things to worry about, like how you look and whether you’re pleasing your partner.

Once you start thinking about things like that, though, it’s difficult to perform at your best. Thinking about anything other than what’s happening in the moment is a great way to lose your erection.

In fact, experts believe that performance anxiety is the #1 cause of sexual dysfunction[17] among all genders.

Meditation has been shown to reduce performance anxiety[18]. You might also consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you reduce negative thoughts[19].

Wear Correctly-Fitting Condoms

While it’s always smart to practice safe sex, you don’t want it to sabotage your love life.

If the condoms you’re using don’t fit properly, it can greatly reduce the amount of sensation you feel. After all, it’s not easy to stay hard when you don’t feel anything.

Men wearing ill-fitting condoms are much more likely[20] to experience erectile dysfunction. Not only that, but a bad fit increases the chances the condom will break, slip off, or ruin the experience for your partner.

It doesn’t matter if the rubber is too tight or too loose; anything less than a perfect fit can make it incredibly difficult to maintain an erection.

Change Things Up

Variety is the spice of life, so don’t feed your penis a bland diet of same-old, same-old.

Changing positions frequently is a great way to stay hard. Not only does it offer you a variety of views and sensations, but certain positions can actually cause erectile dysfunction[21] in some men.

One good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the more strenuous the position, the more likely it will harm your erection. That’s because other parts of your body will need all the blood they can get — and your penis may get short-changed as a result.

How to Stay Hard? Above All, Relax

The tips and tricks above should help you stay hard during sex, but they’re not a magical cure. The fact is, most men[22] will lose an erection at some point in their life — and it’s not the end of the world.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself in bed that don’t require a hard penis, so be flexible and willing to improvise. The important thing is to relax, have fun, and enjoy your partner.

And who knows — if you don’t take things seriously, you may have so much fun that your penis decides it wants to join the party.


Sources:

[1] – https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/erectile-dysfunction#:~:text=Erectile%20dysfunction%20is%20defined%20as,erectile%20dysfunction%20of%2052%20percent.

[2] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23822751/

[3] – https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html

[4] – https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000048890.59383.8D

[5] – https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1517-86922003000200006

[6] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632424/

[7] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20487239/

[8] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4485976/

[9] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18331269/

[10] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917074/

[11] – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111https://www.rarereadmissions.org/jsm.12483

[12] – https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone

[13] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/

[14] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5002008/

[15] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11894797/

[16] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108697/

[17] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31447414/

[18] – https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022429418765447

[19] – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118510384.ch4#:~:text=Cognitive%E2%80%90Behavioral%20Therapy%20(CBT),exercises%20and%20sexual%20skills%20training).

[20] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20157178/

[21] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3129943/

[22] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17275456/

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