Difficulty maintaining erections
Some men find that when they’re aroused they become erect initially, as they’d typically expect. But then they can’t maintain an erection long enough for sex.
If you have problems maintaining an erection or your penis won’t stay hard whilst you’re aroused, this is also a sign of erectile dysfunction. It might just be moderate ED, as opposed to severe ED where you can’t get an erection whatsoever.
Losing an erection during sex can be a symptom of both physical and psychological ED. You can address the physical problems by improving your overall lifestyle and general health. Some men try pelvic floor exercises to improve ED, but how effective these are hasn’t been well studied.
If you’re unable to maintain an erection and you think the causes may be psychogenic, try and talk it through with your partner. Problems with libido or difficulties in a relationship can often cause psychological ED. If you think the problem may be to do with the overall state of your mental health, you might want to consider speaking with a counsellor or sexual health expert.
If you still have problems maintaining an erection after you’ve tried these steps, it’s best to see your doctor and talk it through with them.
How long does an erection last?
The length of time an erection lasts varies from person to person.
And how long you have an erection for can depend on what you’re doing (such as whether or not you’re having sex).
If you are having sex, erections invariably end at the point of ejaculation. And it’s virtually impossible to get one right away afterwards (this is called the refractory period).
One study on 500 couples found that the average time it took to ejaculate was around 5-and-a-half minutes. But what about maintaining an erection when you don’t ejaculate?
Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), colloquially known as nocturnal erections or morning glory, are erections that occur in sleep. For healthy men, they’re entirely common and are said to last between 25 and 35 minutes at a time . They can be experienced between three and five times a night.
But the length of time you have an erection for is also partly subjective and down to what feels comfortable and fulfilling for you. If you’re unhappy with the length of time you can keep an erection, you might try and practice erection control exercises, including pelvic floor exercises.
You can also try the ‘edging’ technique, an orgasm control practice. Edging refers to reducing sexual stimulation at the point of climax, to stop and prevent ejaculation in that moment. You’ll wait for an amount of time that feels comfortable, and then start having sex again. The edging practice was originally designed as a treatment for premature ejaculation in 1956, but is also thought to help with ED.