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Most men have a very intimate relationship with their penis. When they have reliable erections it helps them feel virile, strong and boosts their self-image. But what happens to men who don’t have reliable hard-ons?

I’ve talked to men who struggle with shame because they can’t depend on what their cock will or won’t do. This shame exacerbates the situation because it causes stress that makes getting or staying hard almost impossible. They feel betrayed by their penis and they feel like they’re letting their partner down. Physical and emotional intimacy suffers.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about inconsistent erections that don’t have a medical basis.

First and foremost, what I tell my clients is that sex shouldn’t be determined by how hard a cock is.

There are a lot of playful ways you can be physically intimate, get aroused and enjoy your own, and each other’s, sexuality. Even with a soft cock.

Second, it’s important to know that the penis is not meant to get hard and stay rock hard for an extended period of time. That’s why the TV ads say to seek medical attention if an erection lasts longer than 4 hours.

What’s perfectly normal and natural is to experience fluctuating levels of firmness. It’s hard (pun intended) for men to accept this when they’re bombarded by cultural messages suggesting that 1) your erection defines you, and 2) you should be able to get rock hard no matter what’s going on in your life, and 3) you should be able to get and stay hard for as long as you and your partner desire. This isn’t the reality of how cocks are meant to work.

When men are struggling with shame, we also talk about the importance of staying present and connected instead of withdrawing. This is huge. It’s important that both partners come together (again, pun intended) in understanding.

I’ve seen relationships suffer because he avoids sex and withdraws emotionally due to shame. I’ve seen relationships suffer because his partner starts to think they aren’t desirable anymore.

It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with either of you. What you need is to get in touch with the emotions you’re each feeling and the thoughts you’re having.

Intimacy is the gateway to great sex and love that lasts. Click To Tweet

And let’s redefine sex – it doesn’t have to just mean intercourse and can be amazing with a soft cock.

Find a sexologist you’re comfortable with. That’s what we’re here for. I help people work through the process of reconnecting intimately both in and out of the bedroom. If this resonates with you on any level and you want to chat about it, you can connect with me here or send me a direct email and we’ll set up a time to talk.


Dr. Gayle Friend

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