I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about erections

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

We’re in bed, getting down to it, and usually my one-track mind is laser-focused on what it will feel like when he slides his dick inside me. At the moment when I realise that’s not going to happen – he’s slowly softening and the look on his face switches from horn to confusion or embarrassment – I remind myself how lucky I am that I don’t ever have to worry about erections myself. Twenty years ago, if a guy went soft on me, my main feeling would be heartbreak: he doesn’t fancy me enough. I’m ugly. Unsexy. Incapable of teasing a boner from him. Ten years ago, I’d be annoyed: did he have a wank before we met up? Has he had too much to drink? These days, frustration and sadness have (thankfully) made way for a different feeling: relief that the pressure isn’t on me.

There have been times in my life when my cunt hasn’t worked in the way I’d like it to – it doesn’t get wet. There are two key reasons why this happens, as far as I can tell: the first is that I’m an anxious, panicky mess sometimes, and when my mental health is broken, my cunt decides to join it in solidarity. The other reason is more emotional: often I get used to one particular person, and the novelty of a new guy startles my cunt into disobedience. My brain is horny for someone, but my body isn’t there yet, because it’s too used to the previous person and can’t get into this unfamiliar new pairing.

Luckily for me, lube exists. More honestly for me, I can always use spit to encourage things onwards.

I know, it’s not ideal. I remember back in ye olden days before I met my ex, there were quite a few casual shags which started with me popping to the bathroom to moisten myself a bit before we got down to the fucking, because although my brain was well up for a shag, I could guarantee my body wouldn’t be able to get into it until at least partway through penetration. So: spit, rub, pull knickers up, wash hands, exit bathroom. Voila! I’d be ready to play. Lucky me. Seriously: fucking lucky me.

Worrying about erections

Recently, Mx Nillin wrote a fabulous piece about erection difficulties, giving advice on how to help reduce the pressure on yourself if you struggle to get hard, and then an incredible follow-up about toxic masculinity. The ways in which ‘get hard, stay hard, fuck hard, cum hard’ has been so woven into our sexual discourse that it’s hard for penis-owners to consider they’re having good sex unless they fulfil all those criteria. Mx Nillin is non-binary, and their perspective on these expectations is really interesting: even for someone who isn’t a man, the sexual expectations that are usually pegged to ‘manliness’ in bed still linger and cause harm:

“it’s weird to me that the same cis male fragility socialized into me as a kid & teen persists in this odd, ephemeral form for me today. As much as I wish I could just completely shake it, I can’t. The conditioning really is that pervasive.”

It’s interesting – and heartbreaking – to hear just how deep-rooted some of these ideas are. That even for people who aren’t men, if you have a dick you must ‘get hard, stay hard, fuck hard, cum hard’ if you want to have good sex. It’s really shit. And if I’m honest it’s one of the trickiest things for me – a cis woman who likes getting fucked really hard – to talk about. I am a massive hypocrite, because much of what I write here plays very strongly into that narrative. I fetishise hard dick, and buckets of cum, and brutal penetrative fucking, and although I try to write about the other stuff I love too, I can’t really deny that a lot of my erotic writing (erotic fiction as well as the true sex stories) fits this exact narrative.

I am not sure what I should do. I know exactly what I shouldn’t do, though.

My old trash opinions

A long time ago, when I was a baby blogger, I was so keen to Have Loud Opinions that I didn’t always think through those opinions very well before I wrote them down. I don’t think I examined a lot of my beliefs and expectations through the lens of cultural expectation, and how that has simultaneously shaped my desires and also harmed the people I’m lusting after. I fetishise hard dick partly because I’ve been told that tangible physical response is a measure of my own desirability: someone’s lust for me can be measured directly by how hard their cock is, how desperate they are to put it in me, and how swiftly they spunk once we get down to serious fucking.

Because of that, my sexual drive was very focused on hard dick. If you want to see just how focused, here’s the trash post I wrote about erection difficulties back in 2011.

Awful, isn’t it? I almost didn’t mention it in this post, because it makes me cringe so hard. But I think sometimes it’s important to acknowledge the trash people we used to be, to show that growth is possible. Specifically, it’s important to me to tell you all that I am frequently wrong, and often need a clip round the fucking ear to knock me off my ill-advised soapbox.

Worry about erections: then and now

I can’t remember feeling the way I clearly felt when I wrote that post. That person is almost a stranger. Reading the words I put on the page, it seems like I felt as if erections were not only vital for fucking, they were also something I was literally entitled to. Like, I’m here ready to fuck you, your side of the bargain is that you have to get your cock hard. It’s part of the deal. Eugh.

Since I wrote that post, a lot of stuff has happened. Not just reading more from people who have been on the crap end of this expectation, but actually having sex with more people who have struggled to get hard. Whether through drugs, drink, stress, mood, illness, or just some random thing that popped into their head and killed their boner, I have had many more fucks with people who couldn’t get erections, and fucks which were not centred around someone with a dick getting hard. And you know what? It’s still been fucking great. Whether it’s getting fucked with dildos on sticks, being filthily used by sex machines, or even having men use my own strap-on to fuck me. I’ve even had guys who have actively played on the ‘erection difficulties’ thing to make a really dirty mood: telling me if I can’t get them rock-solid with my mouth in the next five minutes they’re gonna beat me so hard.

I’ve also experienced more cuntfails in the intervening time, and so developed a better understanding of just how lucky I am that if my cunt won’t do what I want I have far easier solutions. Conclusion? I am not disappointed or frustrated or angry or heartbroken if someone can’t get hard, I’m just relieved I don’t have to worry about erections myself.

I feel sorry for my past self, who felt unattractive or let down just because sometimes the person she was with couldn’t get hard. But far far more than that, I feel for dick-owners. Thanks to societal expectations about what counts as a ‘fuck’, and the thoughtless ramblings of arseholes like my past self, we’ve woven a really horrible trap that makes sex far less sexy. I’m really sorry about that.

I don’t think there’s an instant solution to the toxic beliefs we hold/nurture/reinforce around erections. But I think it’s important to reflect on ways in which we contribute to and shape this discussion, and change the way we think and talk about it when we recognise where we’re going wrong. This kind of conditioning is fucking horrible, and it lingers even when rationally we know that it’s based on absolute bullshit. But as Mx Nillin says in their excellent piece:

“It fucking sucks! But maybe, just maybe, with each passing generation we can weed it the fuck out.”



  • Hudelonn says:

    I remember this part made me wince when I originally read it ages ago. And it’s worth mentioning, as I think it tips over from the generalised entitlement you’ve thoroughly acknowledged in this post into something a bit darker:

    ‘Fair enough: good excuse. But if you’ve drunk so much that you can’t have sex, why did you come back to mine?… why do you think it’s OK to make promises you know you won’t be able to keep? If you can’t fuck, don’t accept my invitation to fuck – you’ll only disappoint.’

    Hard not to put too fine a point on it, and it feels crappy doing so in the context of a contrite, thoughtful post addressing the thing – but it’s fair to say that if the genders were swapped and a man were to write an article chastising a woman he has brought home too drunk to have sex with, then it would be rightly percieved as something a bit worse than bemoaning lack of sexual function. Hopefully it just read worse than it was.

    • Girl on the net says:

      You’re implying it was non-consensual, I think? I get that. The attitude was definitely shitty, but I can assure you that in the moment, I would not actually have said anything to the guy to put pressure on him, because even if my public persona was very ‘fuck you’, my actual persona has always been one that is entirely desperate to please men and frantically worried that they might not like me. Any guy who came back to mine in ye olden days too drunk to fuck would have been offered a walk to the bus stop, a portion of chips, or the opportunity to have a kip, depending on his preference. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t shitty of me to be annoyed, or to write a blog post about it, but I am a bit worried you think I might have literally *said this stuff directly to men*, which I wouldn’t have – see above about desperate to please. I also wouldn’t have brought a guy home if he was *obviously* really hammered – I suspect my frustration would have come mostly from surprise, because if I’d known someone was really pissed I wouldn’t have invited them back in the first place as it would have seemed like a waste of time – I’d have tried to arrange a second date nearer to my/his house instead, then done the fucking before we went to the pub. I didn’t (still don’t?) like men I don’t know well sleeping over at my house (or vice versa), so if someone was coming back it’d usually be stated fairly openly that it’s for shagging. Not that people couldn’t change their mind, obvs, just so that if they wanted to say ‘oh I’m too pissed/I have a bad back/I’m not feeling it’ then we could save on the tube fare. But I get what you’re saying and yeah, I am not in the habit of defending 2011 me – honestly, some of the things I did and said back then were fuckawful.

  • J says:

    I remember reading that when I first found your site! And thinking ‘Yikes, you better be sure you’re going to be able to bring your A game if you invite GOTN home!’

  • Phillip says:

    I’m not going to read that old blog. The internet never forgets. What a curse. If I knew I was going to die in five minutes, I would delete my Email account as an act of kindness for those too curious.

    Maybe worse than having the boner wilt is being really hard and more than too ready and BOOM, five seconds and it’s over. The cure may be the same for both. Twenty minutes or so and give it another go!

    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha yeah, the internet never forgets =) And to be honest it’s something that I frequently panic about. But I also think it’s far better to be able to embrace the fact that I used to be a dickhead in many ways, because it helps me to try and recognise where I might be slipping into that tendency today. And frankly it’d be rubbish to read back on decade-old blog posts and find they were exactly the same as what I’m writing today – what a waste of ten years!

      And yeah I totally get why that must be frustrating, especially if you were looking forward to a long session! I have a bit of a thing for that though – I very much enjoy it when someone comes incredibly quickly, because (although I know this is not always the reason) it makes me feel like I am super-sexy and mind-blowing =) Even if often it’s just cos it’s been a while since they had a wank or something.

  • S from W says:

    The other problem with erections is you get them at the worst possible moment. My ‘thing’ is that I invariably wake up with one – regardless of where I’ve fallen asleep. In bed at 7am on a morning is one thing, but sat on a train pulling into the terminus is another. There’s a good reason some guys wear big shoulder bags when commuting!

    I did read your earlier post and the contrast is the amount of empathy your current writing has. I think if we’re all turning into nicer people as we age, then we’re definitely doing something right in our lives.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah yeah, I fully get the shoulder bag thing! A guy I was with for ages always insisted on shoulder bags because he frequently fell asleep on trains. Naturally I found it extremely hot when he explained why =)

      And thanks – I think you’re right. The aim, I think, is to always try and be better people tomorrow than we are today.

  • Kenny says:

    As much as my partner reassures me that me cumming isn’t the be all and end all, I still feel that pressure if I don’t, even when we’ve had a great session. Brains are bizarre.

  • Faustian says:

    She’s a grower and a show-er. :)
    I think you’re too harsh on yourself but it’s nice to see someone change their mind for the better online.

  • Stuff'n it in says:

    Hello – I’m a new reader of your blog. I just wanted to thank you for this post. As a person with a penis and getting up there in age, my stuff isn’t working as well as it once did. To compound this, I’ve just emerged from a string of mostly dead bedroom relationships and into a new one with a woman who I might characterize as some kind of succubus/sex goddess. It’s like that fucking Twilight Zone episode where the nerd just wanted to read books, but as soon as he had the time, he stepped on his glasses. I get hard, but then it just goes away. Or, I get hard, but it’s not -super- hard. I’ve messed around with Cialis, and it doesn’t do a lot. I think it’s all in my head, but who knows. Regardless, she and I have still been having a lot of fun. She knows what works for her, and I enjoy her pleasure regardless of my role in it. We end up grinding a lot with penetration when I’m not fully hard. It’s pretty good. I still feel weird about it but am slowly getting over it. I still worry that eventually she’ll get sick of not getting the brutal penetrative fucking she wants and that I want to give her. IDK. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for talking about the topic and having a thoughtful opinion on it. Makes me feel a little less bad.

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