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My Date Showed Up, But His Erection Didn't: What Should I Do?

Updated: May 30, 2023

My Date Showed Up, But His Erection Didn't: Now What?

What’s up, everyone? It’s Rich!

If you’ve been following us, you would know that this is part 2 of our recent post “My date showed up, but MY erection didn’t”. It went into detail on situational ED when going on a date with a new partner. It’s the viewpoint of what it’s like for a guy going through it and what he should do in the moment when he can't get hard and how to overcome it (make sure to read both).

This time, this post is for those of you on the receiving end of it. My date showed up, but HIS erection didn’t. Now what?

How do you help an erectile dysfunction moment? If you’re a male or female, it doesn't matter. This is going to be a valuable guide on what to do when it happens to your partner while understanding what’s going on inside his head when his erection fails.

We’re all adults. Let’s continue the talk, right here. Right now.

Erectile dysfunction Is Very embarrassing for A LOT of men

When a man has erectile dysfunction and you see him in that state, it can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Being limp is not how guys want you to see them when it’s the first time you guys are supposed to be having sex or in general. When a guy is flaccid, they’re a lot smaller than they are when erect (unless they’re a shower…guy who appears big when soft, but only grows a little when hard).

woman thinking about her man with erectile dysfunction

Guys have a tendency to feel stage fright (or shrivel up) when their penis is not in their best form for sex or it’s on “display” in front of you to be “judged”. They don’t know what’s going on in your mind when it’s happening. At the same time, penis size is an insecurity most guys have in general because of cultural society expectations, poor sex education, porn, negative comments about smaller penises, etc.

Having you see him naked and in this state is a blow to his self-confidence and esteem.

You can expect him (some men, if not more) to shut down, freak out and internalize his emotions. But, just know that his frustrations are not because of you, but because he’s fighting an internal battle with himself as to why his brain and penis are not working together.


It's Quiz Time!


Did He Lose His Erection Because Of You?

I’m not going to lie or “BS” everyone like most people would by saying “it’s not your fault”. Yes, it might be, but not in the way you’re thinking of it. You’re probably thinking it's about your sexual performance or your body. But, this is not what I’m talking about. If a guy is getting naked with you, chances are he’s very attracted to you otherwise he wouldn’t be there with you trying to have sex in the first place.

What I’m really talking about is the mindset or reaction that can make it, or “deflate” it.

If a guy is anxious before or during sex, it’s going to cause his erection to deflate or not happen at all. It’s nothing you did wrong sexually or performance-wise. It was already predetermined that he was going to be limp or fail at maintaining an erection before sex even began.

He could’ve been anxious because of how attractive you are, or if he could please you. Although sex isn’t perfect, some guys (if not more) think first impressions count and they want to make sure their first impression counts when it comes to you (not them).

Did you know one of the worst fears all men have is not being able to please their partners? Seriously, it’s not about your body or sexual performance. They’re attracted to you, but when he’s mentally psyched out, or overly anxious, his penis is not going to cooperate with him.

Your reaction (maturity) is key here to how he responds when it happens.

couple laying down discussing ED

Don’t freak out About His Erectile Dysfunction

It’s very common to have doubts about whether or not you're “hot” enough and accuse him of not being attracted to you. But, freaking out about this is like adding oil to a fire. He’s already freaking out about the situation.

The problem isn’t you. Sometimes sex doesn’t always go as planned for the first time. The ability to relax and be vulnerable with someone naked and in their true form is something that not a lot of people are comfortable with, especially the first time around.

If you stay calm when it happens you can take the next approach to make the situation much better.

Understand the Circumstances That Can Cause ED

Anxiety and stress are one of them. Erections can’t coexist with anxiety. If you’re getting to know him, at least you’re seeing him at his worst to understand him when he’s not himself. Anxiety could be “sexual performance anxiety” or anxiety and stress from things unrelated to sex.

Getting him to relax and calm down is the first step to making the situation better.

The next factor you should look at is if you guys drank too much? Alcohol is a sedative and can often “disconnect” a guy from getting an erection. If he’s a heavy drinker or drinks too much, chances are it’s going to be a situational problem that can lead to short-term ED.

banana shaped like a penis

Either you date a guy that doesn’t drink like a fish, or wait till he’s sober to perform. The last thing you want to do is have sex with someone and not remember because too much alcohol was involved.

And, situational ED is not limited to just drinking too much or having sexually related anxiety. Sometimes there are physical causes like health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. at play. These can make ED even worse if not addressed early on. Depending on how far along you guys are in the dating world, it would be a good idea to suggest going to a doctor for a proper diagnosis or to get evaluated for ED.

Most men are usually embarrassed to do so. You can suggest it and if he does go through with it, then it’s a good sign that he’s willing to try to find a solution.

The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Be Impatient With Him

Most likely he’s in a state of confusion just like you. Right now, he’s in a labyrinth in his mind trying to get out. You have to be patient and be willing to try a few different things before getting frustrated and quitting too early. Quitting too early definitely doesn’t help the situation and it will most definitely not help you in the future with another guy if the same thing happens with them.

You have to remember this is a very common problem that ALL men face, regardless of age. ED is very complex and can happen from both psychological and physical causes or from both at the same time.

Right now, you have to be mature about the situation because if the roles were reversed, I’m sure you would want someone to be empathetic/sympathetic too.

couple on a date dealing with ED

You Have To Be Mature About The Situation

Be relaxed, encouraging, and try to minimize the awkwardness. Nothing helps more than having a positive and optimistic attitude about the situation. If you act like it’s a problem, it’s going to add to his list of doubts and make the situation even more awkward. If you act like it’s not a problem and that you’re on his side, then he may bounce right back sooner than you think.

But, what if he turns “mute” or doesn’t want to talk about it?

Some, if not most guys don’t really like to talk about their erection problems. It’s common (but bad) for him to shut down because society often tells guys to be “man enough” and have their “shit” together. Erections are something that society often ridicules that men are supposed to be like “light switches” and are ready to perform on command.

Erections don’t work this way…. It’s a mind, body, and mechanical process. If you throw off one of those connections, then the erection doesn’t happen or it takes longer to happen.

There is no best way to approach the situation, but if he doesn’t have it together mentally, then it’s time to step in and hold it together for the both of you. Be ready to listen when he’s ready to talk.

Let Him Open Up To You About ED

I know it’s hard to be patient, but let him open up to you. But, don’t let too much time go by. It’s important to listen to what he needs. You can try holding him and assuring him that you BOTH are okay. If he needs some space first, then let him have it. Tell him it's a safe space to talk about it and that it’s no big deal and that THEY CAN TRUST YOU.

Again, no guy is going to feel comfortable talking about ED unless they feel comfortable with you (trust you) to open up about it.

man opening up and talking about erectile dysfunction

When he does open up, just listen to him. Never force something that he’s not comfortable with. You can also let him know that you’re willing to try again with him (this is major) when he’s relaxed and ready. But, don’t make it sound like you’re offering pity sex because he couldn’t get it up. It’s about taking a moment to relax and then try again (so long as you want to).

Some, if not, most guys don’t like the idea of leaving their partners unsatisfied when they’re having difficulties with their erection the first time around. Knowing they can try again or that they can continue sexually with you will help them take their mind off of their erection problem and more on your pleasure.

If he can focus on the erotic aspect of pleasing you with his hands and mouth, his erection may come back (most likely it will if he focuses on you and is in the moment with YOU).

It really takes time and understanding of each other’s bodies, especially if you guys are new partners. Sometimes it will work and other times it might not. The point is you have to try and keep an open mind because psychological ED is a pain in the neck if anxiety is at play.

You just have to make sure he’s calm and relaxed. We mentioned in our post My date showed up, but my erection didn’t, that if he’s feeling symptoms of anxiety (body overheating/feeling hot) that his sympathetic nervous system is activated telling him to tense up in a “fight or flight” mode.

We also mentioned that a back rub can help relax and calm him down. Massages are a great way to get you back to a relaxed state of mind (activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help him get an erection).

Normalize The Situation And Say Goodbye To ED

There comes a point where normalizing the situation will lead to less shame and more action (not just action, but actionable steps for more action). If you guys talk about it, you both may come up with a solution on what to do if it happens again.

woman helping man with ED

It may or may not happen again. But, It’s important to know that guys have erection hiccups at least 20% of the time due to situational events.

For example, there might be a time when he’s too fatigued or too tired to perform and it may cause him to not be as stiff as he would if he got a full night's rest (yes, sleep is important for men’s sexual health). There might even be times he had too many drinks and he wasn’t able to get it up.

As a partner, you have the ability to influence the situation too. The goal is to keep trying and learning about it.

Nothing is sexier than learning about your partner's body (his penis) and being secure with talking about it (and the sex too). If you know all his sweet spots and how to get his mind in the game, it will lead you guys to improved/better sex overall.

BDEStyle Is Here To Help

ED cannot be cured. It happens to guys eventually and can be caused by many different factors (mentally and physically). It can only be managed and treated.

When a man suffers from temporary or short-term ED from a situational event like performance anxiety it can replay in his mind for a very long time. At the same time, it can hurt his ego, self-esteem, and confidence when trying to perform again.

Normalizing the situation and unlearning cultural stereotypes and expectations around erections is a good first step to helping you become a better sexual partner not just for his sake, but for society too.

Don’t get confused with thinking about feeding the male ego or catering to the “man”. This is MUCH bigger than sex. It’s about understanding each other’s flaws and finding new ways to improve sex for the better and not the worse (this includes your pleasure too). Knowledge is power and learning about erectile dysfunction in men is one the best ways to help someone in need.

BDEStyle is here to listen and help you find your inner confidence. We are advocates for sexual health and continue to explore topics that matter. Comment below your thoughts and feel free to share the article with someone who needs it!

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