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5 Reasons You’re Unable to Get a Hard-On With Your Partner

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Arousal is both a simple and a complex formula, in which you learn how much control you have — and don’t have — over your hard-ons. It’s not as easy as “Have a hot partner and always have great sex!” But with a wake-up call and a few tweaks, it’s often possible to get your boner back. Here are the top five reasons you’re unable to get hard with your partner:

 

1. Your penis isn’t a dildo.

There’s a cultural myth — often propagated by media, porn and your friends — that healthy cocks can always get hard and stay hard when needed. If you want a stiff penis on demand, go buy a dildo! Healthy human penises will always have variations in their arousal, and sometimes they’re unable to get hard. As you age, expect even more of this. You will experience far more penile let-downs and will often need more stimulation. And you may need to expand your sexual maturity by not seeing sex as solely penetrative and penis-focused.

 

2. You aren’t sexually compatible.

Yup, it’s a huge bummer when you find a partner super sexy and super cool but you lack sexual compatibility. Attraction isn’t always enough to get hard, as sexuality is far more complex than “hotness” or a great ass. Sexual chemistry is a mysterious formula that is outside of our control and cannot be created or willed into existence. Acknowledge your partner’s beauty and just be friends, or date with a less-than-desired sex life.

 

3. Commitment kills.

High arousal leads to the best boners. Familiarity and consistency are the killers of high arousal, but monogamy and commitment are built on these foundations. Less sexual desire and a bored penis are expected side effects for many monogamous couples. This isn’t a disorder but a systemic outcome and a truth. Throbbing cocks thrive on newness and novelty, and single, non–monogamous/open couples all benefit from this. Commitment and monogamy have many important benefits, but can also be penile punishments.

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4. You’re boring (sexually).

Working off of the above hard truth, some partners will be far too vanilla to get you and keep you rock hard. They are “one position or role only,” not into kink, only like sex at night or in a bed, find pee gross or wont eat your ass — so they will never be your dream sex partner, which makes your penis sad and unable to get hard. Again, physical attraction does not promise sexual chemistry or sexual compatibility. That’s why I promote having sex sooner than later, as this important level of intimacy matters, and its lack has ended many relationships.

 

5. You lack penis pride.

Penis pride is an often-ignored aspect of arousal and sexuality. Our sexual self-esteem will greatly impact our ability to relax and experience full arousal. At any point during sex, our psychology can override our stimulation and kill arousal and erections. If we are not comfortable or confident with our bodies, then our sex will suffer. Sexual self-esteem is impacted by how desirable we find ourselves to be to others, general levels of sex phobia and sexual confidence in the acceptability of our turn-ons.

 

Dr. Chris Donaghue is a lecturer, therapist and host of the LoveLine podcast, a weekly expert on The Amber Rose Show, and a frequent co-host on TV series The Doctors. He previously hosted WE tv’s Sex Box and Logo’s Bad Sex. He authored the book Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture and has been published in various professional journals and top magazines, from The New York Times and Newsweek to Cosmo and National Geographic. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.