In my teens, I got an erection whenever I wanted one – and a lot of times when I didn't. Now, the combination of age and medications sometimes makes it harder to get erect. My solution is to take my time, stretching out the foreplay, and not getting down if I can't get (or keep) it up. As you guys frequently and wisely counsel, not every session has to end with an orgasm to be intensely pleasurable. On my "Mister Softee" days, I just enjoy the ride and wait until next time to get where we all want to go. The buildup seems to make my erections harder and my ejaculations splashier when they do happen.
- age 62, Missouri
This Week's Wackiest Response:
Sometimes. I just make a little splint with a popsicle stick and medical tape. Watch out for splinters, though!
- age 32, Washington
Sure, I have trouble sometimes – I'm almost 60. However, using the "backhand" method I can have a fine orgasm. My penis is not always totally erect, but that doesn't stop either the orgasm or the good feelings, although the feelings are not quite as intense and prolonged. Some of the problem is caused by a medication that can lower the libido and make erections "iffy." However, when it's a question of mind over matter, the mind usually wins. Thank God!
- age 59, New Jersey
My mom took me to the doctor, who put me on medication to help me be less shy around people. I used to get real nervous whenever I had to talk to someone, so I just kept to myself a lot. Now I have a very hard time getting an erection because of the stupid pills, but I'm afraid to tell my mom, because she'll want to know why it's so important that I get an erection. I can't skip taking the stupid pills because my mom makes me take one in front of her each morning. The only person who knows this is my best friend. Sometimes we masturbate together. Seeing his penis get erect and watching him masturbate makes me get an erection pretty quickly, so that's about the only time I masturbate now.
- age 15, Oregon
I do have trouble getting an erection once in a great while, and what I usually do is use some erection lotion to help me get aroused. I massage it onto the head of my penis until it dissolves on the skin. When my erection finally takes effect, I start masturbating!
- age 30, Wisconsin
I don't have *any* trouble getting them! The problem is *not* getting them! It seems that every time I sit down, I pop a boner! Every morning I wake up with a boner, and that's embarrassing because my mom always pulls the sheets off my bed to get me up. I sometimes get them in the shower after gym class, but I always hide it with my hands or a towel. Once someone noticed mine and got one, too. Everyone laughed at him and he said he got one because he saw me get one. Then everyone called him gay. Sometimes I sneak off to masturbate when I get one. I masturbate two or three times a day and always have a boner before I start. Dang! I just got a boner again!
- age 14, Ohio
A few things work for me when I have trouble getting aroused. Sometimes, all I have to do is rub my nipples. Or, the thought of a man's tongue on my clitoris does it. Last but not least, opening my legs wide and letting a vibrator hum on low against my clitoris does it every time!
- age 45, Ohio (female)
I never really have trouble. If I do, I just kind of wiggle my penis around and think of sexy things. If I really can't (which is rare), I just don't masturbate that night.
- age 14, Texas
It used to be that my erection would precede the desire to masturbate. Now, as I go into another decade, it seems that the desire to masturbate precedes the erection. But with a little fancy handwork, my penis manages to pop up in short order!
- age 41, Florida
I generally become aroused easily, but I have a technique for when I want to become extremely aroused and then masturbate. I will be lying in bed at night, next to my boyfriend, and I wait until he is asleep. Then I start to rub his penis and it usually gets hard immediately. It excites me that he is so responsive while he's sleeping. His penis pulses and "jumps" when I touch and stroke it. If he wakes up, we will have sex, but other times, I can play with it as long as I wish – till the juices start pouring out of me. Then I masturbate. It arouses me a lot to know that I am teasing him and leaving him with a huge erection. Then maybe I can relieve him in the morning when he wakes up with a monster erection and super-sensitive penis!
- age 23, Washington (female)
As I get older, I seldom get erections without some manual encouragement. Usually, I just lightly squeeze around base the base of my penis and pull on my balls. When I start to get a response, I pump rather fast using both backhand and fist strokes. That usually firms things up nicely. Some tickling of my nipples helps to get the blood flowing, too. Occasionally, if I've been masturbating more than usual, nothing helps me get hard. So I just wait until the next night and try again. A night off never hurts anyone.
- age 57, Ohio
For some reason, I find it harder to sustain an erection and ultimately reach orgasm when I am standing up, such as in the shower. I'm not sure, but I think it may have something to do with part of my brain having to concentrate on keeping my balance, rather than just being totally relaxed on a bed or chair.
- age 19, Montana
Sometimes, I do have trouble getting erect. I wonder if it's because I ride my bike a lot. I've been reading in the news lately that bike seats can be a problem for avid male cyclists. Still, whether or not I'm fully erect, I continue to masturbate and have wonderful orgasms.
- age 50, California
I have trouble getting an erection if I'm afraid of being interrupted, or occasionally, within a few minutes of having previously masturbated. Also, if I'm masturbating in the shower and the water is too cold, that will create difficulty in gaining an erection.
- age 15, Georgia
Sometimes, based on monthly hormone level fluctuations, I find myself either particularly horny or particularly un-aroused. So, I would attribute any differences to biology. Forcing masturbation during an un-horny few days can only result in a disappointing session, so I usually just wait it out. On a non-biological note, I sometimes have trouble maintaining arousal when I think about my boyfriend, who recently confessed that he's been sleeping around. I could be working up a good orgasm, and then that scene pops into my head and WHAM! It's the Sahara Desert down there. At that point, I usually put my pants back on and cry into a bowl of ice cream.
- age 21, Tennessee (female)
Whenever I need an erection, I use a video camera to record myself in very "naughty" positions with lots of close-ups. After I'm done, I watch it on my television screen, 100% uncensored. Just watching myself do "naughty" things on my TV screen gives me a very firm erection. If you ask me, it's better than any old porn movie!
- age 14, California
Sometimes after a fairly lengthy period of masturbation, my penis seems to become rather numb and the erection partially subsides, particularly if I am distracted by something, such as a phone call. I merely concentrate and continue to stimulate myself until the erection returns.
- age 40, Texas
My problem is that I've *always* got an erection! They just seem to happen. So I don't have the problem of not being able to get one. Sometimes I wish I would.
- age 14, California
I seem to go through stages – or maybe cycles would be the better term. Most of the time, I can get an erection whenever I'm in the mood to masturbate simply by lying down and beginning to fantasize. But every now and then, I'll go through periods when it becomes difficult for me to get, or at least to maintain, an erection. Most of the time the problem can be solved by my just decreasing the frequency of my masturbation sessions – that is, waiting a day or two between sessions. If I'm really horny but still can't get a full erection, but I can get partially erect, I can eventually bring myself to orgasm, though not usually as fulfilling an orgasm as I'd prefer.
- age 47, Tennessee
If I have trouble getting an erection, I just start moving around a lot on my bed. I rub my body against it and eventually start making some noise. Then I start to get one. Either I do that, or I look at myself naked in the mirror and that makes it get bigger, too.
- age 15, New Jersey
Occasionally, when I've abstained for more than a week because of a hectic schedule, my penis doesn't respond as eagerly as it does when I masturbate every few days. When this situation occurs, I relax, read some erotic literature, or look at some photos of naked women and men while I gently fondle my penis. Soon, it will begin to stiffen, and my pre-lube will start flowing liberally. Once I begin to massage my semi-erect penis with my own natural lubrication, it quickly becomes fully erect. On those extremely rare occasions when it remains a bit soft, I stroke it using the "fist method," and it always becomes quite firm long before I begin to ejaculate.
- age 62, Michigan
Whenever I've had that problem it was because I was either tired or troubled. You know – school, family, or sports. I would barely get an erection and the result was always a poor orgasm or just plain lousy session. So now I just wait until I'm fully ready and enjoy it then.
- age 15, Florida
Several years ago when my cholesterol was higher, I had to work hard to get an erection. Because I am now on medication to control my cholesterol and also eating heart-smart, I can truthfully state that my erections come up quickly and I can focus on masturbating with total joy. This is just one more reason to be heart-healthy and eat a nutritious diet. In summary, I feel 20 years younger and can now enjoy masturbation much, much more.
- age 63, Georgia
When I've been drinking at a party or somewhere, I usually come home horny and want to masturbate. Sometimes, I can't keep an erection and it takes me a long time to finish. One time, it took me an hour just to reach orgasm. That is the only time I ever have trouble getting an erection.
- age 21, Missouri
I'm in the habit of masturbating two or three times a day. I usually wake up in the morning with an erection, so that is not a problem. Sometimes at night when I am getting ready for bed I feel the need for an orgasm, but have trouble getting an erection. If I have time, I will watch or read porn, which gets me excited and erect. If I don't have much time, I use an electric massager. It can bring me to orgasm within a couple minutes, even if I'm still soft. My parents gave it to me for relaxing my sore muscles after sports practice.
- age 14, New York
I came down with diabetes and there went my erections. I've been to doctors, tried Viagra, and none of them works. I still have the drive for sex and if it wasn't for my back massager (I use it on my front), I'd be out of luck as far as an orgasm goes. Intercourse is just a good memory.
- age 66, California
As I've gotten older, I've learned to distinguish when I want to masturbate versus when my body needs it. I might be bored and just feel like masturbating for no reason, but sometimes your body doesn't exactly have the energy for it or the need to. When I try and masturbate when just I want to, it can be difficult to get started and can take extra stimulation. Whether that stimulation is pictures or something else all depends. Sometimes, it just takes a little extra risk to be involved in the session and then I'm fine.
- age 21, Ohio
That's happened a few times, but not often – usually when I decide to masturbate spontaneously, rather than being aroused. If I just play with myself or feel around for a long time, I can usually get a boner. I've found that if I grab onto it when it's not hard and kind of move it around for a while, I usually becomes erect.
- age 16, Illinois
Thanks to that wonder drug, Viagra, I don't have problems any more. I developed erectile dysfunction when I was 32 and could not achieve an erection for almost a year. Although I could masturbate to orgasm, sex with my partner (other than oral sex) was impossible. During that period, neither sex nor masturbation gave me much pleasure. If I wanted to masturbate, it would take upwards of 20 minutes to achieve orgasm. Now I can achieve a partial erection (about 3/4 erect), and with plenty of lubrication, I can now pleasure my partner to satisfaction.
- age 36, Nevada
Occasionally, I do have trouble. This usually happens when I have masturbated frequently and recently. My guess is that I am just sexually exhausted. Because I have found no remedy for this situation and continuing to masturbate in this state is not pleasurable, I simply stop and wait for my sex drive to recharge.
- age 17, Pennsylvania
As I have gotten older, getting an erection takes much longer. When it takes too long to get an erection, sometimes I will place my penis between my hands and rub it as if I were trying to warm up my hands. Then I can achieve a climax within a few minutes, having never achieved an erection.
- age 55, California
It doesn't happen that often, but I can be wanking and I'll stop for a little bit to do something. My penis will go soft, but if I just keep wanking, eventually it will get hard right before the climax of my session – it's weird.
- age 15, North Carolina
There have been a few times this has happened, but it didn't worry me. First of all, it happens to everyone. I am not 15 anymore, with my hormones raging 24/7! Taking care of my health is essential: no smoking or drinking, no caffeine, no red meats. I sleep well, avoid stress, do cardio and weights, and take yoga. The biggest boost to my sex drive has come from yoga. The poses are meant to improve bodily functions, as well as strength. There are some men in my class who are in their 70s and 80s and say they don't need Viagra. If more men knew about the sexual benefits of yoga, they all would go!
- age 38, Canada
Oftentimes if I go into a masturbation session already stimulated – that is, having been aroused by any means beforehand – I will have no trouble engaging in an active experience. However, as most teenagers do, I sometimes masturbate merely out of habit... simply an "activity" on some nights, either to relieve tension or just because I have the time and vaguely feel the urge. Then I sometimes have trouble becoming erect or maintaining interest in what I am doing. These situations can be less satisfying than those that I enter with vigor, but they are still not necessarily negative.
- age 17, Tennessee
I have trouble lots of times. Solutions: watch porn, read sexy stories, imagine a good-looking woman in a tight sweater, very short skirt, and high heels. Sometimes I use a vibrating ring or stick a dildo into my anus. And sometimes, I just keep on masturbating and climax while I am limp.
- age 61, New York
When I masturbate it seems as if I am never as hard as I could be, but I have always been like that. So, I think nothing of it. I just got used to it and it doesn't cut down on the pleasure.
- age 15, Illinois
The only time I had any trouble achieving an erection was several years ago when I was taking an anti-depressant. Erections were impossible, but masturbation was still possible. It felt good and I ejaculated, but it is less pleasurable without the erection. Fortunately, I took those things for only a few months and as soon as the chemical was out of my system, I was back, erect as always.
- age 58, Tennessee
I must admit – sometimes the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak. I've noticed that since I turned 25, my erections are softer and less spontaneous than when I was younger. It takes more and longer stimulation to achieve what I call a "maximum erection." Most now fall into the 85 percent range. I've had to modify my masturbation routine. Before, I would almost always lie on my back, but now, my erections are soft that way. So I get on my knees and pretend I'm having sex, rear-entry style.
- age 26, Texas
I play a game with about 36 guys my age. We have something called "the list." It is a list – in no particular order – of places to masturbate in. It is a point-based game where the more points you get in a set period of time, the more "respect" you receive when you flash your check card at club meetings. Some of these places include on the tops of various buildings, while riding your bike around another player's swimming pool (that was incredibly hard), and in a restaurant while waiting for your meal. I find it incredibly hard to get an erection at times such as when I am getting my hair cut (one of the places out of 418 on the list, so far). I find that zipping up my pants and patting my crotch to get me semi-erect; and then doing the "Around the Clock" method works nicely.
- age 17, Florida
Since developing erectile dysfunction, I have found that the use of new or different masturbation techniques can relieve the situation. Moving away from grasping methods (standard 3- or 5-fingered holds) I find that techniques such as "Skin Flick" or "Drummer Boy" work really well and my orgasms are as strong as ever – indeed, they tend to be better. Experimentation is the key; don't despair.
- age 60, Canada
This usually occurs only when I'm drunk and tired, just tired, or when I've already masturbated recently. My reactions are varied. Sometimes I can't be bothered, and just drop it (pun intended), but if I know that the tension will be bugging me later on, I try to think of something that really gets me going. A good fantasy about someone I know or a really good story I've read – that and some good old-fashioned tenacity do the trick almost every time.
- age 20, Sweden
When I masturbate, I admit that I think about my friends naked, or something like that, which will give me an erection. But when I think of someone that turns me off, my erection suddenly just goes right down.
- age 13, New Jersey
I know I masturbate in two different ways and for different reasons. The first is simply when I feel like some pleasure, so I get a desired physical response and orgasm from rubbing myself. The other isn't really sexual. When I'm sitting reading or watching TV, I often put my hand in my pants and fiddle around with no intention of climaxing. It's like some people fiddling with their hair or biting their nails, I guess. I just find it comforting. Rarely do I get aroused in this type of activity. It's not that I have trouble, it's just that arousal isn't the cause of what I am doing nor a desired effect.
- age 35, United Kingdom (female)
Sometimes when I'm really tired, I have trouble, but I persist. I usually just pump the PC muscle down there (the muscle that stops urine flow), and for some reason that seems to send more blood into my penis, helping it become erect. In conjunction with that, I shake it up and down. I'm not sure how that helps, but I certainly enjoy it.
- age 15, Florida
Over time, the darn blood pressure medicine has made it very difficult for me to get an erection. I've learned a couple of things: It is quite possible to masturbate with no erection – not quite so satisfying, but still amazing that it works. Certain porn helps me. Waiting more than a few days is dangerous to my mental health (this was surprising). I tried skipping the pills sometimes and although that helps, it makes for other problems (high blood pressure). I've recently lost some weight on the Atkins Diet and that has *really* helped (surprisingly). I'm going to continue that and get to the point where I can get off the pills.
- age 49, Colorado
I started masturbating to wet orgasm at the early age of 10, and the least of my problems was not getting an erection. In fact, my penis was erect or semi-erect for most of the day, despite my masturbating the first thing every morning. However, I noticed about two years ago that I would sometimes reach ejaculation with an almost completely limp penis. This was still very pleasurable but somewhat worrying. Very recently, I have joined a "club" of 3 school friends who masturbate together after school every day in one of my friend's bedrooms. This has completely cured my problem. Like my friends, I find that literally within a few seconds of taking off all my clothes, I get a full erection even without touching my penis. We all get extremely excited watching each other become erect, especially when our penises just pop up without any manual stimulation.
- age 16, Iceland
I simply use a vacuum pump cylinder and ring to get an erection. I do follow the directions and use it only a half-hour at a time, though.
- age 66, South Carolina
When I get interrupted, I stop (obviously) and my erection goes down. Afterwards though (about 5-10 minutes), it'll be really difficult for me to get my erection back and it feels like I've ejaculated when I have not. I just keep trying, thinking of how much fun I'll have when I get hard again. That usually takes another 5-10 minutes though!
- age 17, United Kingdom
As a woman, I find that I never have any trouble getting aroused. I find that for me masturbation is so enjoyable I look forward to going home during the day as I work. I live alone and love to look forward to cooking, eating, showering, and masturbating. What a joy to leave work knowing that the evening will be filled with a warm shower, warm food, and a warm bed to lie on and enjoy being a woman. My husband has been gone now for many years, and this is the only time I can remember the wonderful sex we had together.
- age 66, Florida (female)
Yes, I have experienced the odd human quirk. I find that if I can't manage a stiffy, then it is better to just leave it for a while and come back to it. When I have had this problem, I simply wait 30-60 minutes and try again. I have never had a problem after waiting, because I have found time and time again that it could just be the mood I'm in or the day I have had.
- age 19, Texas
At my age, yes this is a problem. The erection hardens and then I go soft again. I am usually in a hard state or almost so when I have my orgasm. Of course, if I choose to be hard all the way through, I take a Viagra 30 to 45 minutes before starting. It does take away the spontaneity, though. All in all, I'm pleased that I can still have very satisfying orgasms, hard or soft, at my age.
- age 63, Oregon