Can’t stay hard with a condom? Here’s why!

Finding a guy who likes sex with condoms is no easy feat. “It’s kind of like the difference between eating your favorite meal, and eating your favorite meal when you are sick and can’t taste anything,” comments from one user on Reddit. Given how bad the reputation of condoms is, it’s no wonder that so many men have trouble staying hard with them.

According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which surveyed 479 men between ages 18-24 years, 62 percent suffered from condom-associated erection problems (CAEP). When men find it difficult to stay hard and protected at the same time, they often choose—influenced by the heat of the moment—to risk STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

But it seems that condom-associated erectile problems often have nothing to do with condoms. “Men reporting any form of CAEP were significantly more likely than men reporting no CAEP to also report erection difficulties during sexual activity when not using condoms,” states the study. Blaming condoms for erectile problems is like blaming firefighters for starting fires—just because they are there doesn’t mean they are the ones to blame.

This article lists 3 common causes of erectile problems and explains how you can best deal with each of them. We encourage you to be as honest with yourself as you can while reading this article. Achieving rock hard erections might take more than just throwing the condom away, but we probably don’t need to tell you that it’s ultimately well worth the effort.

hand with condom

Choose the Right Size

Ego is your worst enemy when it comes to choosing the right condom size. If it weren’t Trojan condoms wouldn’t control 72 percent of all condom sales in the United States. Their Magnum condoms, which started out as a niche product, have become a status symbol. Most men don’t even care that Magnums aren’t much bigger than regular Trojans—they just want to play in the big boy’s league.

In reality, only about 15 to 20 percent of men need larger condoms. This is further evident based on the number of search results in Google. The phrase “condom too big” returns about 945,000 results, but the phrase “condom too small” returns only 692,000 results. Evidently, men tend to purchase condoms that are too large for them.

Finding out that the condom has a tendency to fall off when clothes are already on the floor can be a soul-crushing experience, one that’s almost guaranteed to result in future condom-associated erection problems.

Luckily, the solution is simple: be honest with yourself and resists the urge to buy XL condoms just because it strokes your ego. Regular condoms won’t make your penis any smaller, but they will give you and your partner the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Give “No PMO” a Try

Heavy consumption of internet pornography has been linked by numerous studies with sexual dysfunctions. Physiologically, an hour or two long porn binge on the internet isn’t all that different from snorting a line of coke. With every new image or video, the brain is flooded with a sudden surge of neurotransmitters, ultimately resulting in down regulation of their receptors. While this also applies to real sex, internet pornography makes it worse because of its limitless nature. No matter what your kinks and fetishes are, you can indulge in them online and never run out of new material to discover.

Consequently, men often end up hooked on freakish pornography that has little to do with how real sex works and what most people would be willing to do in bed. It also doesn’t help that most consumers of internet porn use a very strong grip to maximize the pleasurable sensation when masturbating.

To undo the damage, it’s necessary to break the circle and stop masturbating to internet porn. “A few rare fellows recover very quickly, within a few weeks. It’s unlikely they had developed addiction-related brain changes. A few guys recover within 4–6 weeks. Most older guys, who did not grow up with the Internet, recover after 8–12 weeks of no porn, no masturbation, and no orgasm. However, they will continue to see improvements after their erections return,” writes Your Brain on Porn.

Get Rid of Your Anxiety—Not Condoms

Sex can be stressful, especially outside a monogamous relationship. We all have our own expectations, on top of what society perceives as good sex. Even the word performance, which we so often used when we talk about sex, conjures up images of tests, reviews, evaluations. It’s easy to develop an unhelpful mindset and see sex as something that must always be perfect.

In reality, it will almost never be. Sometimes you will be too tired, too stressed out, too sick, too worried, too horny, or too anxious. Accept this as something inevitable and don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t perform like a porn star every single time. Neither will your partner, and both of you will have a much better time if you avoid the pressure of trying to live up to unrealistic expectations, instead of just having fun.