The mood is set, the wine is drunk, and you’re ready to go. Only one problem, despite wanting to have sex, your penis doesn’t seem quite up to the task. Trouble keeping an erection is often depicted as a problem for older men, but factors other than age can affect a man’s ability to have and keep an erection. Here are 6 reasons why you or your partner may have trouble with their erections.


The rumors are true. Having too much to drink can interfere with a man’s ability to have an erection. According to Everyday Health, alcohol is a depressant. This means that, along with dampening your ability to think, speak, and move efficiently, it can also dampen mood, decrease sexual desire, and make it difficult for a man to achieve erection or reach an orgasm. This is because alcohol decreases blood flow to the penis. That not only may reduce a man’s ability to have an erection, but even if he is lucky enough to get it hard, alcohol can reduce the intensity of his orgasm.

Read: 4 Exercises To Treat Erectile Dysfunction For Men Struggling With Impotence

Some may use alcohol as a way to get into the mood and overcome some of the nerves associated with having sex, but too much of a good thing can actually backfire. In fact, having a long history of alcohol abuse may lead to long-term erectile dysfunction. As many as 70 percent of men with chronic erectile dysfunction also have a history of alcohol abuse.


Smoking has an adverse affect on nearly every aspect of your overall health, including your sexual health. Smoking both thickens your blood and can damage arteries. Because erections are caused by increased blood flow to a man’s member, decreased blood flow can lead to increased erection problems, Healthline reported.

A 2005 study found that smoking is the number one cause of erection problems in younger men. Thankfully, this problem is reversible: A 2011 study of erectile dysfunction among male smokers showed that giving up the habit resulted in better sexual performance for 75 percent of the men involved in the research.


While we may think the penis has a mind of it’s own, it’s actually heavily dependent to the brain, and too much stress can interfere with a man’s ability to obtain and hold an erection. According to Healthline, stress can interrupt how your brain sends messages to the penis to allow extra blood flow. Even though a man may want to have sex, too much stress can make this impossible.

Emotional Troubles

Along the same vein as stress, relationship troubles may also be at the root of some men’s erectile problems. Not trusting your partner, fears of birth control failure, or just genuinely not being emotionally attached to a partner could make it hard for a man to have an erection, The Huffington Post reported. Talking about issues within a relationship can help to resolve this problem.


Thanks to over a decade of primetime television commercials, most of us can name at least one drug that treats erectile problems. However, far fewer of us can name drugs that may actually cause the problem. In reality, MedlinePlus reported that there are far more of these, and even common drugs such those to treat depression and heartburn can make it difficult to get an erection.

It’s not just prescription medication that can make it difficult to have an erection. Many recreational drugs can also dampen your sex life. For example, MedlinePlus reported that amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and aforementioned nicotine can cause erection problems.


This may be the oldest excuse in the book as a reason not to have safe sex, but research has confirmed that condoms may interfere with some men’s ability to have and hold an erection. For example, a 2006 study found that, over a three-month period, about 37 percent of men lost at least one erection when putting on a condom, or during sex with a condom, reported.

However, having unprotected sex is not the best way to solve this problem. Using a condom of the right size, ensuring that there is enough lubrication both inside and outside of the condom, and even changing condom brands to something more suited for your member can make the experience more comfortable and prevent erection problems.

See Also:

The Psychology Behind Erectile Dysfunction: What’s Really Causing It

The Secret To Achieving A Good Erection, Plus Everything You Need To Know About Boners