Why am I experiencing dfficulty maintaining an erection?

A few years ago I was making love to my wife when for no known reason I lost my erection,

Now I'm In my early 30s and my problem has become more and more frequent. This is causing major problems for my ego and it's diminishing my self esteem. This has resulted in ongoing depression and tearing apart my marriage.

I am devastated and cannot find a cause for these issues. I am very attracted to my wife and want to express it in the bedroom like I used to.

What could be causing this, and what can I do about it?

Martin Hsia, Psy.D.
Martin Hsia, Psy.D.
OCD, Anxiety, and Insomnia Specialist

Assuming there are no medical explanations for this issue, many men I've worked with on this come to see it as essentially a form of Anxiety. There is a phenomenon called the Yerkes Dodson Law (see below; source: Wikipedia), which basically states that if we feel either too much or too little stress, pressure, or nervousness about a task, it will adversely impact our ability to do carry it out successfully. 


The ideal amount of stress/arousal is right in the middle - not too little and not too much. This applies to more things than we might often realize - from giving a presentation, to ordering food, to making a free throw, to driving, to sexual intimacy as in this case. A common suggestion that many men find helpful is initiating open and honest conversations with their partners about this issue, and for a temporary period of time, agreeing to physical intimacy and sexual pleasure in other forms, and without the expectation of intercourse. There are many ways to go about that (which are outside the scope of this blog article), but this can be a path to connecting intimately and renewing physical bonding without unhelpful anxiety - and over time, can lead back to intimacy in all the ways that have become elusive. Best of luck.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

View 4 other answers

More Answers