Ask A Guy: What Is Going On If He Stops Being Hard In The Middle Of Sex?

Dear Ethan,

What if you are in the middle of having sex and your guy is no longer… um… hard? And he can’t stay hard? This has happened a few times with my boyfriend and I and I’m sort of freaking out. He swears it’s not me, but what else can it be? It happens a lot! How can I help? Help!!!!

Boy, do I know all about this problem.

…Uh, from friends, of course! Not because I have any personal experience with this, haha. I’m nothing but a stallion in the bedroom, just a regular stud — always have been, always will be…

Okay, the truth is, erectile failure happens to plenty, if not most guys at some point in their life (yes, this reluctantly honest writer included). The reasons for a soldier being unable to stand to attention can range quite tremendously, so it’s not possible for me to pinpoint the exact problem in your situation without additional information. It could be that he’s distracted by an unrelated issue, dealing with side effects from medication, lacking experience, or simply short on confidence (no pun intended). Generally speaking, such a condition is usually due to nothing more than a mental block.

In my case, “hard disk failure” would ironically only occur with certain ladies I was especially into. Once I began anticipating a relationship might be on the horizon, I’d put tremendous pressure on myself to perform. The nerves were bad enough, but the mere anticipation of a non-erection would ultimately result in total sexual shutdown. It takes a patient partner to help break this cycle of fear and failure.

If you’re doubting his sexual interest in you, know that if he wasn’t feeling it, he probably wouldn’t be able to get it up in the first place. (Again, not that I know that from personal experience… ) Explain to him that you’re not concerned and that you’re willing to take things as slowly as necessary. Invite him to discuss whatever might be on his mind, but clarify that he doesn’t have to talk unless he wants to, either. Ultimately, it may just be a whole lot of built up nothing that’s keeping him from “finishing the job!”

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. When not touring the country, Ethan gives weekly advice in the video series “Dude Seriously?”. For more on Ethan, visit


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Love Advice
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  • YouDontKnowMe

    So I have been dating this guy for about a year now. Sex has always been good. Until this last week. He would be laying in bed watching porn then come mess with me then go soft basically right after we start to have sex. We bought a “ring” and it worked really good the first time. The second time he went soft again with the ring on. Then we bought him a “light” for him to use. He used it last night and enjoyed it, then came to mess with me. And again, almost immediately went soft. But once he was playing with his new light and watching porn he was able to get hard again. Once my back was facing him he was able to get hard again. This feels like it is directly related to me. Because he is able to get and start hard while watching porn or plating wit his new toy or basically anytime he doesn’t look at my face… 😐

  • Faisal

    Hi, this is normal with the older men, like over 50 etc.
    And for this reason people use ED tablets. Such tabs give rock hard
    erection and long lasting.
    You can enjoy long time and at most of your favorite positions.

    I just love doing it with some kind of herbal medicines available locally.

  • The Older Guy

    The issue of pornography and masturbation was NOT addressed, but is probably the number one cause of erectile dysfunction. Regardless of how one feels about it morally, religiously, or ethically, regular masturbation and/or pornography use will make most men have trouble performing with a real woman. There is bad info out there to the contrary, but don’t believe them.

  • missemm123

    It’s normal! Can also happen if you’re having a lot of sex..

  • Sweettreat

    I didn’t even know this could happen, so now I have something new to worry about :’)

    • Lexxi

      I know right?! Same!

    • Mickey

      Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t happen all the time!