Why Do I Keep Losing An Erection Before Penetration? | #MyCounselorSays

Josh Spurlock


“Four out of five times I lose my erection when I’m about to penetrate, no matter how attracted I am to my partner. What is the problem, or what may be the problem?”

Read more to find out what relationship expert Josh Spurlock has to say about anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction.

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Josh for online counseling.

Video Transcript

(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)


Welcome to My Counselor Online. I’m Cassie and this is My Counselor Says. My Counselor Says is where you submit a question, either for yourself, or for a friend,  and one of our incredible therapists takes their time and answers your personal question. So let’s go find out what My Counselor Says.

Josh Spurlock on Erectile Dysfunction

There can be a number of different things that could be creating erectile dysfunction.

But assuming that sometimes you’re able to experience a full erection, you have regular morning erections, and you’ve ruled out any sort of cardiovascular issues that may be getting in the way, there’s a good chance that the difficulty is psychological in nature.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy that Anticipatory Anxiety Creates

One possible scenario is at some point time we had a difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection in a sexual experience, and we don’t know what that’s about, but it creates anxiety and fear for us. And we begin having what we call anticipatory anxiety. That is, we get up in our head and begin to worry or be anxious about whether or not that will repeat, and whether or not we will have difficulty with an erection again.

That anxiety actually inhibits our erection or inhibits our bodies arousal. It gets in the way of us being able to achieve or maintain an erection. And so, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

And then, that negative experience reinforces that fear that we have, which increases the likelihood of us having that difficulty again.

So oftentimes we get stuck in this really negative cycle that is self reinforcing, and it can actually lead to complete impotence.

And so, if you find yourself stuck in a cycle like that, you definitely want to get some help from a professional that can help you break out of that mental trap that you may be stuck in, and enable you to be able to have a successful experience that can then break free and dissipate that anticipatory anxiety, so you can have a confident expectation of being able to achieve and maintain an erection that’s mutually enjoyable for you and your spouse.


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