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7 Things That Can Mess With Men’s Erection

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Equipment malfunction? Here’s your quick-fix manual for The troubles down there.

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Sure, you know when your sex drive stalls, but we often assume that men are pretty much always down for sex—and that’s definitely not the case. So if your guy is having a little trouble below the belt, there are several things that may be to blame. Here are a few common factors that can result in penis problems, plus tips on how to get him going again:

Unhealthy Habits

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Another study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests smoking can impair his arousal. And even if he’s not a puffer, excessive drinking, poor nutrition, and a lack of exercise can also explain why he’s limp, says Natan Bar-Chama, M.D., the director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital. Consider this the number one reason to clean up his act.

Stress

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Whether he’s worried about climbing the corporate ladder or unsure if he remembered to lock his door, anxiety can crush a guy’s libido—just like yours. This overwhelming feeling jumpstarts the sympathetic nervous system, which can make it difficult for him to get (or keep) his momentum going, adds Bar-Chama. If that’s his problem, rest assured. Phew!

A Super-Quick Finish

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Sad but true: the Mayo Clinic estimates that 1 in 3 men will suffer from premature ejaculation at some time—commonly defined as reaching orgasm in less than a minute or two. Plus, it’s a real bummer for your sex life and possibly your relationship, suggests another new study published in theJournal of Sexual Medicine. If a medical condition isn’t in his way, you can try de-sensitizing creams or condoms to slow his roll.

Too Much Porn

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 Don’t get us wrong: Lots of people watch porn during sex to spice up things up. However, too many X-rated videos and images can lead to something dubbed “the porn effect,” says Brandy Engler, Ph.D., the author of The Men On My Couch. When this happens, a guy can become desensitized to real-life sex because he’s hooked on what he sees online. Make sure he remembers that some things are only true in porn. It’s fantasy, after all.

Condoms

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Science confirms it: Some men do have condom-associated erection problems—meaning they lose their erection or start to lose their erection when putting on a condom or having sex with a condom. But if you’re worried about STDs or pregnancy, this is pretty much non-negotiable. According to new research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, men with this problem may need more time and extra stimulation to keep their flag sailing. And it may not be the actual condom causing the issue—the study finds that other distractions (like takingforever to put on a condom) can kill his buzz. So if your guy has this issue, try to amp up arousal and stimulation while putting on the condom, but definitely don’t ditch it. Plus, a separate study found that men and women enjoy sex withcondoms as much they do without them.

Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles

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We’re not kidding! Similar to the idea of Kegels, pelvic floor exercises can help boost a guy’s bedroom endurance in just 12 weeks, suggests research presented at the European Association of Urology in Stockholm. Granted, the participants in the study reported long-term premature ejaculation, but study authors note that these exercises are definitely worth a chance.

Distractions

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Does a paper-thin wall separate your mattress from your roommate’s? Turns out, a guy can lose his erection if there’s a lack of privacy, according to recent study published in theJournal of Sexual Medicine. Obviously, you can’t kick out your roomie, so make the most of the alone time you do have.

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