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6 Causes of Occasional Erectile Dysfunction and What You Can Do About It

A limp penis probably isn’t your idea of a good time. Especially when you thought about getting naked with your partner. The mind is willing, but the body won’t cooperate — sometimes. Don’t panic. Occasional erectile dysfunction (ED) happens to a lot of people and may have a simple answer. And whether it does or doesn’t, there are plenty of options to get around it (like using a penis ring) and ways to handle it.

Always talk to a medical professional about occasional or long-term ED as it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Dietary Choices

Dietary ChoicesEat a heavy meal that leaves you feeling full and sluggish? That could make it more difficult to get hard, no matter how turned on you are. If a meal leaves you bloated, exhausted, or in pain, let your body get back to a place of comfort before you worry about your erection. Your body is busy processing the food you just ate. Once it’s done, it can focus on what really matters.

Stress and Exhaustion

Morning wood is definitely a thing, and like many people, you’re probably waking up just as tired as when you went to bed. But that doesn’t mean being tired doesn’t affect your ability to get it up and keep it there. Add stress to the equation and finding penetrative sex difficult makes sense.

Mental Health

Mental HealthAnxiety and depression, which are more than typical stress, exhaustion, or sadness, impact all parts of the body. If you’re taking medication for either, the side effects can lead to occasional or long-term ED, as well. While not getting or keeping an erection might not help your mental health, be kind to yourself and remember that both the way you feel and your lack of an erection are temporary.

Alcohol Consumption

While not everyone is affected this way, plenty of people know what it’s like to have plans for sex, get drunk, and not be able to perform. Everyone is unique so you might not have to get wasted to have this experience. If you know sex is on the table for later, limit your alcohol intake.

Medications and Other Health Conditions

Medications and Other Health ConditionsWe just mentioned that medications for mental illness can impact your libido and erection. Those aren’t the only ones. If you take medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you may experience some level of ED from long-term to occasional. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes or Parkinson’s can also cause erectile dysfunction.


Exercise really is good for you, but if any added pressure is placed on your groin, nerves can be constricted and lack of an erection might be the result. This is especially true with cycling. If you feel numbness or tingling in your groin, adjust your seat or take a break. More than your sex life is at stake — penis injuries can occur.

How to Deal With Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

Always talk to your doctor about any issues with ED, occasional or long-term. Once you know whether you’re healthy or not, there are things you can do when the problem arises (or doesn’t, actually).

  • Avoid heavy meals and alcohol if you plan on having penetrative sex that day or night.
  • Workout, go to bed earlier, and find ways to relax in order to de-stress and sleep better.
  • Focus on other forms of sexual pleasure beyond penetration. There’s a lot that can be done with hands, mouth, and sex toys.
  • Use a penis ring to maintain your erection. A ring prevents venous leakage which leads to a flaccid penis.
  • Combine the use of a penis pump to get yourself hard and a penis ring to stay that way.
  • Remember that this is temporary. Try penetration another day or time.
  • And, of course, prescription medication may be the right solution for you.


ED doesn’t have to get you down (literally and figuratively). Try not to panic if it happens to you from time to time. Consider the reasons, talk to your doctor, and then work around it. Maybe you really need to go to bed instead of getting yourself off. Maybe (definitely) you can focus on other forms of sexual pleasure, alone and with a partner. And the right sex toys and methods can make sure you have the sex you want to have regardless of how hard you are.

Have you experienced ED before? Feel free to share what you learned on how to handle it in the comments below.


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