First things first: when people say ‘it happens all the time!’ I cannot stress enough just how true this actually is. Perhaps I’m wildly unattractive or extremely intimidating (lol ‘perhaps’ – I have been informed on various occasions that I am both of these things, but some men choose to fuck me anyway so I’m gonna work on the assumption that they’re not just making it up for lolz) but rest assured it’s reasonably common. Please trust me on this – I’m a big slag who has been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with dick. Most people I’ve shagged for any length of time have at some point found they can’t get an erection. I am not qualified to tell you how to magically make one appear, but I can give you some suggestions on what to do if you find yourself in that situation and you struggle to move past it.
Important health bits first: there are sometimes medical issues that may be getting in the way of your boner, so if it happens frequently or you’ve noticed significant recent changes in your erectile function then please do talk to your doctor about it. I promise they won’t bite, and they definitely shouldn’t shame you – they too understand how common erection issues can be, and will be able to check to make sure there isn’t an underlying health concern.
What I’m referring to here though isn’t ‘erectile dysfunction’ caused by heart issues, diabetes or any of that stuff. I am talking about occasional dick struggles that most people deal with at some point or another. Sometimes you can’t get an erection because of booze, sometimes it’s drugs, sometimes nerves. Sometimes the condom doesn’t fit right or you’re stressed and can’t get out of your head. I have a theory that unfamiliarity can sometimes play a role too. You’re less likely to get nervous about erections if you’re fucking someone you’ve fucked a hundred times before (including, for instance, yourself) – you know you can get hard in this situation, you’re living proof. When you’re with someone you’ve only shagged two or three times, though, inductive reasoning hasn’t yet kicked in.
It’s not always ‘erectile dysfunction’, sometimes that’s just how dicks work
Brief sidenote here on the phrase ‘erectile dysfunction’: I fully understand the importance of having a medical term for this, but I don’t like how often it’s used in a broad sense, to refer to individual instances where someone can’t get an erection. It is, of course, vital to pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor if something changes (for instance if you used to be able to get an erection fairly easily and you find there’s been a sudden uptick in how often you find yourself flaccid when you want to be hard). But the word ‘dysfunction’ isn’t helpful if we’re talking about the examples above where you’re drunk, stressed, high, nervous or what have you. A dick that won’t get hard when you’re off your face or in panic mode isn’t ‘dysfunctional’ – it’s functioning exactly as you’d expect!
It’s really important for me to emphasise that when people say ‘it’s common’, they aren’t making it up just to make you feel better. This is the key thing I tell people I’m banging if they can’t get an erection. And I mean it with my whole heart: it’s common. Don’t sweat it.
Please please please do not sweat it.
There are loads of things I, or you, or we can do if you can’t get your dick hard, and I’m willing and eager (as you’ll see below) to do plenty of different things to help both of us through what can sometimes be an awkward moment. I’m going to ask you to do one simple thing to make my own life easier, though: acknowledge what’s happening. Just acknowledge it. Say ‘I can’t get an erection’ plus whatever else you want to say – offer a reason, give reassurance, make a joke, say something kinky – your style will depend on your confidence and personality. But it’s your dick and your body, and I am not a mind-reader. So if we’re making out and you realise you can’t get hard, it’s extremely helpful for me if you try and call it before I do.
Not sure how to do that? The line I usually use when I realise things aren’t happening is…
“Shall we take a break?”
What to do if you can’t get an erection
Although my ‘take a break’ suggestion usually leads to exactly that – a break – there are plenty of other things you can do/say if you’re struggling to get a boner. Here are some ideas of things that would work very well for me (note: for me – you’ll understand why it’s important to note this somewhere around point 5):
1. Laugh about it
Say “lol fuck that’s the last time I get pissed before shagging/stay up all night before a date/have a wank two hours before we hang out – shall we grab some water/crisps/McDonalds and try again in a bit?”
This is absolutely fine, make mine a Big Mac.
2. Take a Viagra
Sometimes if I’m horny but my cunt won’t play ball, I nip to the bathroom before we fuck so I can spit-and-wipe to kick things off. It’s more complicated and expensive for you dick-owners, but there is a similar option: blue pills! They’re available over the counter in the UK these days – I literally keep some in my bedside drawer.
You don’t have to make a secret of taking Viagra either, because having problems getting hard is not a shameful thing (remember what I said at the start? This genuinely does happen ALL THE TIME and it’s TOTALLY OK and COMPLETELY COMMON I promise). The act of taking a blue pill can in fact be really horny in and of itself. For example: “There’s something really satisfying about how hard I get on blues, and I want to absolutely destroy your cunt so I’m having one – brace yourself.” Or, from a subby perspective: “I want you to ride my dick like I owe you money, and it’s yours for the whole night so I’ve just taken some Viagra – go to town.”
3. Wank me off
Tell me you’re super-horny but your dick isn’t doing what you want it to, and ask how best to give me a hand job (or, for people who like head, give ’em head). Only do this if you genuinely care though, and if you’ll truly be into it. If your cerebral horn is there even though your physical horn’s absent, make that clear and plunge into a hand job the same way I often dive into sucking your cock.
However, if the lack of boner action has killed your horn altogether, please don’t just ‘sort me out’ like I’m a chore to tick off your to-do list. That attitude/feeling is exactly what makes me so sad about the ‘determined soft cock foreplay’ that so often happens when you can’t get an erection but you don’t want to acknowledge it. You struggling to get hard is – again, louder for the people at the back – NOT A BIG DEAL. However, you ploughing grimly on with the attitude of someone who has long since forgotten I’m a person? That kicks me in the teeth. If you offer me token action as a desperate sop to try and perform horn when you’re not feeling it? I will notice, I will stop you, and I will go home worrying what I’ve done to give you the impression that I’m so scary you can’t admit when you’re not in the mood.
Are you worried I’m going to shout at you because you can’t get an erection? Weep on you? Fucking eat you? I promise I won’t. Your consent matters, cis dudes! Please don’t try to fuck me unless you really want to.
4. Tell me you’re not going to fuck me
You know how sometimes we’ll be partway through a bit of making out or foreplay and I just stop touching your dick and say ‘god that’s hot, but I’m gonna make you wait for it. Let’s get a drink/change the music/talk about things we find sexy’? I do this sometimes because I’m too in my head to actually get fucked. Because something’s putting me off, my cunt isn’t paying attention and getting wet yet or I’m nervous about how I’m going to slide sexily out of these goddamn skinny jeans and I need a bit more time to strategise. Sometimes I do it because a song came on the playlist that reminds me of a particular guy and I’m not confident I can fuck you while it’s playing. Sometimes I just do it because it’s fun to make you wait.
The point is – you’re allowed to do this too! You’re allowed to do this any time you like, for any reason you like! If we start making out, and you start fingering me, but then your brain goes ‘oh fuck my dick’s not getting hard, shit shit shit shit how are we going to shag?’ then why not just… not try to shag me? Tell me ‘you’re a horny little bitch, aren’t you?’ then pull your fingers out of my cunt, make me suck them clean, and order me to go get you a beer or something.
5. Kink it
Tell me ‘suck my fucking cock’ and shove me down there, let me try to get you hard with my mouth. Tell me ‘if you want to get fucked then you’re going to have to earn it – face down, ass up, I’m gonna beat you till my dick’s hard.’
I acknowledge that this is a very risky strategy, one you only want to take if we know each other very well indeed. But I’d argue that it’s still a far less risky plan than just continuing to make out with me while buzzing around your own head like a panicked fly, refusing to acknowledge something that we both know is happening.
6. Blame me
If you thought the above suggestion was risky, this one will feel like basejumping off Clifton Suspension Bridge but I promise you it’s been done before, to excellent effect.
“I really want to fuck you up, but your pathetic begging is putting me off. Shut the fuck up, that’s it. Good girl, keep your mouth shut. Kneel on the floor, get your fucking tits out. Look at me/don’t look at me, you needy slut. Give me five minutes and if I can’t get hard I’m gonna thrash you till you cry.”
[A similar tone can be achieved by dismissively putting some porn on, and simply telling me to ‘ssssh’]
Naturally, these suggestions are not for the faint hearted, or indeed for anyone to spring on a partner by surprise. The degradation/humiliation of being told that I’m the reason you can’t get an erection is devastating to me, and therefore devastatingly hot to me. But that’s a very personal thing – I really enjoy playing with taboo, and I enjoy that most when it’s right on the border of something genuinely traumatic.
When someone can’t get an erection, what’s usually running through my own head is ‘argh I’m not sexy enough/fun enough/good enough at blow jobs’ and I’m working double-time to try and keep that panicked feeling down. So hearing you tell me that it truly is my fault, but crucially not because I’m ugly/terrible at sex, rather because I’m a degenerate slut whose begging is putting you off your game, and who therefore needs to shut her fucking mouth and do exactly as she’s told before she gets dicked? GIMME.
The key thing to do if you can’t get an erection
As I say, the list above is my own, so I don’t go recommending you spring all these tips on a partner in the heat of the moment. Your own response will depend on your mood at the time, your and your partner’s needs and sexual styles, and what will work best for you both. As ever, sex is improv, and I’m just chucking out suggestions for you to riff off. If you do struggle to get hard occasionally though, why not try having this chat with your partner in a quiet moment? Rather than leaving it to crisis management time when you’re already stressed and worked up, cock in hand and heart in mouth and worrying that you can’t do it, send them this post and have a discussion when you’re not in the middle of trying to get your fuck on. My examples are personal, but you might be able to come up with new ideas for what you could do when the inevitable (REALLY COMMON, SERIOUSLY) happens to you. Then chuck ’em in the comments, please, so I can profit off your genius.
Above all, though, no matter what the scenario, here’s what I think is key: if you can’t get an erection at any moment in time, acknowledge it. Ideally before I do. Be the one to say ‘you’re not getting fucked/I don’t think this is happening right now/calm yourself, you massive slag, I need more foreplay than that.’
I don’t think I get overly sad these days if someone can’t get hard – there’s plenty of other fun to be had in life, after all – but I struggle with the fact that I’m usually the one who ends up calling it. Saying ‘let’s take a break’ when it’s long been clear that things aren’t going to happen. As a result, occasionally I’ve had to be the one to alert men to safety issues if they repeatedly try to thumb in a soft cock with a condom insecurely draped off the end of it. Or endured the odd humiliation when someone’s been desperately trying to get hard while simultaneously, silently performing for me as if I’m a stranger. When this happens, I promise you I’m not sad because I’m thinking mean things about your dick – your dick is behaving in a completely reasonable way for one which is attached to someone who’s drunk/high/nervous/tired/wearing an ill-fitting condom. It’s not about your dick, my dude, it’s about us as two people who are meant to be fucking friends. If you’ve made it to my bedroom (or more likely, my living-room sofa), I’m not an audience to whom you’re performing, I’m a person you’re meant to connect with.
It isn’t possible that I’m noticing this before you – you know your body better than I do. You know your mind better than I ever can too. Based on the responses from men I’ve shagged when I say ‘let’s take a break’, 90% of the time they were already thinking ‘this isn’t going to happen,’ but were waiting for me to actually call it. And I know it can be tricky, and I know it’s often embarrassing – no shade on you for feeling the monstrous pressure to do it. Society has LIED TO YOU about how common this is, so you think somehow you’re an outlier rather than a normal person who’s going through some stuff. I’m happy to hold your hand and talk you through the tricky bits, if you can promise you’ll try and be the one to call it first. If you start panicking that your dick won’t get hard, I am begging you to say so.
If what I wanted was a solid rogering with a dick that never lost rigidity, I’d crack out one of my many many dildos. But when you and I are fucking, I’m here to connect with a person. So connect with me, baby! Tell me your woes! I promise on my life I will not bite.
Unless, of course, you think that might be helpful.