Many of our members come to use because they want to create harder erections without medication. They ask us for tips and advice about how to get better erections. Another common question is if masturbation helps or harms erectile dysfunction. Every day millions of men around the world search Google for answers to these questions and more. Unfortunately, their digital journey often leads to product advertisements or blog posts and articles that provide unhelpful, inaccurate, or misleading information. The good news is that if you are here, you came to the right place!
It's worth asking, why do men resort to the Internet for answers to such important questions? Aren’t their medical health professionals better suited to help? Sadly, the short answer is, usually no. Primary physicians and even urologists know very little about male sexual health, erectile function, and sexual dysfunction. To make matters worse, when men are experiencing sexual problems, they often hide them. They don’t open up to their partners or reach out to friends. Instead, they log-on and try to solve the problem themselves.
Generally speaking, there are no simple answers to the sexual health questions that men are searching for on Google. There are often medical, behavioral, and psychological reasons why men are having trouble getting and maintaining an erection, prematurely ejaculating, or experiencing a drop in sexual performance and stamina.
That’s why I wrote this post. As one of the leading male sexual health professionals, my goal is to help men understand why they are experiencing sexual dysfunction. In the case of erectile dysfunction, there isn’t always a quick fix or simple pharmaceutical solution, but rather a series of actions, behaviors, and therapies that can help improve sexual performance.
To understand the origins of erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual performance, let’s first understand what’s needed for your body to create and sustain a long-lasting erection.
Your penis is controlled by a series of small muscles, known as the pelvic muscles. Unfortunately for men, they are weak to begin with and get weaker with age, resulting in soft erections, premature ejaculation, and reduced sexual performance. When exercised and strengthened properly, they create stronger, harder, and longer lasting erections.
Stronger and longer lasting erections are not only created by powerful pelvic muscles. The penis requires forceful blood flow and high testosterone and nitric oxide levels to create rigid erections. Just like the pelvic muscles, blood flow to the penis often diminishes with age, causing erectile dysfunction, soft erections, and loss of sexual performance. Testosterone levels in men also fall as we age.
Healthy penile nerve stimulation is critical for creating and maintaining strong and powerful erections. On the one hand, overly sensitive penile nerves help cause premature ejaculation and can stop you before you ever get started. On the other hand, lack of nerve stimulation can prevent an erection from properly forming.
Now that we understand the physical conditions needed to create and maintain a healthy erection, let’s explore the things you can do to help improve the rigidity of your erection and help increase sexual performance naturally:
When done correctly, masturbation is important and necessary. It serves many purposes, including keeping your penis in good working order. How you masturbate is more important than how often you masturbate. Dry, fast, hard, furious, and chafing masturbation can desensitize the penis and lead to erectile dysfunction. Using a high-quality lubricant is critical. Learn more about how to masturbate the right way in our informative article on this exact topic.
While mild consumption of alcohol can relax the body, improve your mood, and mentally prepare you for sex, but overconsumption of alcohol is an erection killer. It can reduce blood flow to the penis, desensitize the penile nerves, and impair your ability to ejaculate and achieve orgasm. Simply put, if you’re looking to improve the quality of your erections, don’t drink too much before sex.
No muscle system in the human body plays a greater role in producing strong, long-lasting erections than the pelvic muscles. This small, but important muscle system is responsible for forcing blood into the penis and keeping it from leaving. Over time, the pelvic muscles begin to weaken, resulting in soft erections, erectile dysfunction, and weak ejaculations. Fortunately, these muscles can be strengthened. Even better, when dramatically strengthened, the pelvic muscles can give you superior control, incredibly rigid erections, and significantly improve time-to-ejaculation.
Performance anxiety. Every man has experienced it sometime in his life. The nervous feeling that overwhelms you right before you are about to have sex or just as you get started. You can feel it coming on, and as it does, there goes your erection. It’s caused by adrenaline, a powerful hormone released by the body when it feels afraid, threatened, or anxious. Adrenaline literally destroys erections by inhibiting blood flow to the penis. Sex can be a very stressful and scary endeavor in an of itself. Talking with your partner, mentally preparing for sex, meditating, and learning how to control your sexual stress and anxiety can greatly improve the quality of your erections and sexual performance.
Many prescription medications, including diuretics, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines can greatly impair erections. Anti-depression medications known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or (SSRIs) also cause erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, and can hurt libido and subdue orgasm. Learn more about the medications that impact sexual performance.
Practicing safe sex is important. Using the highest quality condoms can be the difference between keeping and maintaining a rock-hard erection or completely losing it. It’s absolutely worth the investment. Condom technology has changed dramatically over the last decade. New materials and manufacturing processes have resulted in better fitting condoms with increased penile sensitivity. The New York Times recently reviewed and gave its selection for the best condoms available now.
Strong erections require healthy blood flow, and blood flow to the penis is directly impacted by obesity and cardiovascular issues. Adopting a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking alcohol moderately, avoiding tobacco, minimizing stress, getting a good night’s sleep and taking the proper sexual health supplements may improve your overall sexual health and blood flow to the penis.
Find the sexual position that provides the greatest stimulation both physically and mentally. Whether it’s doggy style, reverse cowboy, or scissors, favorite sexual positions are truly personal preferences for many men. However, if you’re struggling to maintain a very hard erection during sex, get rid of the typical man-on-top missionary position. It involves using every major muscle group and draws blood away from the penis. For maximum blood flow, have sex by standing next to the bed with your partner's hips on the edge of the bed. Learn more about the best positions to combat erectile dysfunction.
Healthy penile nerve stimulation is critical for creating and maintaining strong and powerful erections. Exceptional lubrication not only heightens sensitivity and reduces unpleasurable friction, but it also maximizes performance. Whether you plan to go all night long, make quick passionate love, or just want to have fun together or by yourself, high-quality lubrication can not only help improve the experience, but it can also help you maintain a string and powerful erection. Learn more about the importance of using premium lubrication.
Finally, avoid products that make false promises. You know what I’m talking about. Those eye-catching, ornately packaged capsules displayed at the point of purchase at the gas station, convenience store, or local bodega. The male enhancement pills with names like Rhino 2500, PowerZen, Black Mamba, Super Panther, and Extenze. These products promise everything from the enhancement of penis size and width to providing explosive orgasms, better ejaculatory control, and rock-hard erections. They don’t work. And they can be very dangerous. Read our article about why you should avoid gas station erection pills, read this article.
Paul R. Nelson, CCMA, SE Paul Nelson is a nationally recognized male sexuality educator and advocate. Paul is a Member of the Medical Board of The Private Gym. He is an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator as well as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. He is president of the Erectile Dysfunction Foundation (501c3) and founder of Frank Talk, the first non-commercial online community for men with sexual dysfunctions.
He is a patient educator and sees men daily in a clinical setting with Dr. Michael Werner, a men’s sexual medicine specialist in New York City as well as the Mt. Sinai Hospital Men’s Health Center. His work goes far beyond simple information or helping men get erections. He put his years of teaching to use and educates men about every aspect of their reproductive system. He bridges the enormous communication gap between the medical world and the sexuality world and brings a holistic sexuality approach to the medical treatment men are receiving.
Paul helps men not only restore their lost abilities, he helps them take advantage of this process by teaching men to look at their sexuality in a way that goes far beyond physical limitations. Paul is an instructor at the Institute for Sexuality Education in Hartford, CT, an affiliate with the Men’s Health Network, as well as a popular presenter to men’s groups across the country.
Paul has been featured on ABC News with Diane Sawyer, the New York Times, National Public Radio, the BBC, and many regional media outlets. Memberships include: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists (AASECT), International Society of Sexual Medicine, and the American Urological Association