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Me and my girlfriend are ready to have sex, but for some reason every time I put the condom on I cannot stay hard enough. We have been together for over a year and are perfectly comfortable and willing. What can I do?
Hi Mike. First of all, you're not alone. According to an anonymous survey of 234 men aged 18-25 at three Chicago universities in 2006, one in four reported losing their erection at least once while putting on a condom. It's happened to me too.
I did a little bit of searching for suggestions and while the sources were a little more graphic than I'm comfortable linking to here, a few suggestions really stood out.
One is to use a healthy amount of lube on the inside of the condom both to help it go on more quickly and easily and to make things feel more natural and less constricted once it's on. Another was to use the "sock" method for putting them on -- that's where you unroll the condom a little way (not all the way), add a dollop of lube, hold the mouth of the condom open with your thumbs, and slip yourself into it the way a lot of people slip a sock over their foot. Once it's slipped down most of the way you unroll what's left. So that's part one, what to do to help get the condom on without wilting you.
Part two is what to do to keep yourself from wilting after you put it on. A great recommendation is to recruit your partner. She can use her hands, maybe with some of that aforementioned lube, to maintain your erection while you get the condom out or you can keep yourself erect while she unwraps. Then she and/or you can work to put it on together. And of course once it's on she can continue stroking, holding, and kissing you till you're firm enough to begin whatever you decide your main act will be.
And just to reinforce that last little bit: Hey, foreplay doesn't just work one way! If your or your partner's main examples of how sex is supposed to go came watching industrial porn you'd think every man's already erect and raring to go before they hop off their Segway and ring the doorbell, leaving their partners nothing much to do except pretend they're impressed. Yeah, it does sound silly doesn't it? In fact real men aren't always ready and, in fact, it's usually as much fun for our partners to figure out how to get us ready as it is for us to do the same for them. So don't feel shy about inviting her to get involved in the project. You'll definitely both feel ready.
oh, and one final bit of advice: yeah, sometimes it takes a little time to get over the unfamiliarity of wrangling condoms. Take the time. Find ways to make it fun for both of you. Sooner or later (probably sooner) you'll discover you're both ready.