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It's OK If Your Partner Doesn't Get Fully Hard

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Have you noticed that when you’re in the thick of things with your partner, getting really hot and heavy, that he’s only at half mast (or maybe no mast)? Does this upset you? Do you ask why he’s not hard? Does he get quiet and distant?

We need to have a little chat about penises and realistic sexual expectations. It’s OK if your partner doesn’t get fully hard. That’s right, here is your permission to be alright with it. It certainly doesn’t mean he’s any less into you, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of amazing sex.

Here is what you need to know about penises, hard ons, and why he isn’t always sporting a Hulk wiener every time you get frisky. It’s a touchy topic, but someone has to do it.

Not everyone gets rock hard every time and that’s a fact

There are incredibly rude double standards on both men and women when it comes to sex. For women, we’re supposed to somehow look like porn stars and magically have orgasms through P in the V sex alone. For guys, they’re expected to last a long time and stay super, super hard to give us these fabled P in the V orgasms.

In short: We’re all screwed and not in a good way.

The fact of the matter is: Penises do not get rock hard every single time they see a sexy thing, feel a hand on them, are put inside a vagina or anus, etc.

We have to accept this and stop being so absurd. There are a million reasons why a penis might not get totally hard. If this happens to your partner, work around it. It is by no means an indication of aroused he is. He can be 100 percent turned on, desire firing on all cylinders and still not be fully hard. It’s just a fact of life. Our bodies don’t always match up with our minds.

Maybe it’s medical, maybe it’s pressure

As we said, there are a million reasons why a penis might or might not get fully erect. When men age, hard ons become more difficult to achieve. They are often not as hard as they were in their twenties and thirties. This is just a fact. Even younger guys experience complications with getting hard. Every guy does!

It might be a medical condition, but it’s more likely Psychological Erectile Dysfunction. If you pressure a guy to have a hard penis, or he pressures himself, he won’t get hard. Feelings of inadequacy are the ultimate boner killer. It’s a vicious cycle: He wants to get hard, he doesn’t get hard, this makes him feel crappy, the crappy feelings only make getting harder, um, harder.

Perhaps we should stop getting so worked up and accept our lovers the way they are? Sure, if your partner is having regular issues with impotence you should seek medical help, but it’s probably nothing serious. We’re so quick to hit the Viagra button when a penis isn’t standing at full state, but that is just overkill.

Some guys need to get going to get as hard as they can

If your partner isn’t getting fully hard before having sex, just get going. Make foreplay a priority. Give him a blowjob, get some oral sex, do a little fingering and erotic touching. A half-hard penis can still go into a vagina.

Try getting into missionary and see if that works for you. It can take guys getting going with sex to get a full erection. Men sometimes need more stimuli than slow love making to be fully, physically turned on. If you like hard sex, try that. It really might the thing that gets him where he wants to be.

But again, if it doesn’t happen, chill the heck out!

Intercourse is not the only kind of sex there is

Now, if getting a penis hard is incredibly important to you, you might want to rethink what you consider “sex.”

Do what you can. If he isn’t able to get hard enough to have intercourse, do other things. Intercourse is touted as this incredibly crucial thing in sex. If you didn’t put the penis in the vagina, it doesn’t count. Wrong. All forms of sex are valid and no one is better than the other.

See more: Yes, Orgasm Anxiety Is a Thing—Here’s How to Overcome It

If you aren’t always able to have intercourse, enjoy each other’s bodies in different ways. You don’t have to cry and feel sorry for yourselves. You are capable of having a fulfilling, intimate sex life without penetration. I mean, have you ever tried a stainless steel dildo? No? Click here immediately.

We need to enjoy sex for what it is: Pleasure between two adult people. It’s not about putting anything inside of another person’s body (well, not always). It’s about touching each other, experiencing intimacy, and having lots of orgasms. Can’t we all just stop shaming everyone?

Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

Gigi Engle

The author Gigi Engle

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