[Guest Post] Hard Time Going Soft? How to Work with Erection Issues

By Christiane Pelmas and Rensselear Resch


We work with a lot of men (and their partners) who are suffering from erection and ejaculation issues. We’ve seen these issues grow exponentially in the last two decades.

In that time we’ve noticed an increase in mainstream marketing and even in coaching and therapeutic languaging that tells men that to win and keep a partner, you need to know how to f**k hard all night, become multi-orgasmic and figure out how to ravage your woman incessantly or you’ll lose her to the next guy who can…all of which requires one thing only—a big hard cock.

With this barrage of misinformation you and your partner(s) could easily believe that an all-night erection, or even an erection that lasts without fluctuation for an average 45-minute sexual encounter, is the healthy norm and should be expected. Contrary to the mainstream, we teach men and their partners something completely different.

It is absolutely normal, and often more pleasurable, for a man to get hard then soft(er) then hard again, several times during an experience of sexual intercourse.

Would it shock you to know that there are ancient traditions of sexual practice which invite men to encourage their cocks to get softer then harder then softer again throughout a lovemaking session, to even begin sexual intercourse with a soft(er) penis?

To start, the terms “erectile dysfunction” and “premature ejaculation” are erroneous and harmful. As veteran cock-lovers we find these terms dismissive, disrespectful and harmful. They connote judgement, and also encourage dismissal of curiosity as to what is actually happening for you—in your body and genitals, both of which are often more trustworthy than your mind.

It is our experience, working with hundreds of men, that these issues arise because of emotional (rather than medical) difficulties and therefore the process required is one of acceptance, investigation, curiosity and skill-building rather than pathologizing, filling a prescription and taking a pill that overrides your cock’s innate intelligence.

In our experience, most of the time a man suffers from erection and ejaculation issues due to unacknowledged fear, anxiety/preoccupation and/or shame. All of these emotions can and often do cause your erection to go away, not show up at all, or cause you to come faster than you’d like.

It is imperative that we acknowledge and address these emotions. If we simply medicate and pathologize them, we further teach men that your emotions are, at most, secondary in your experience of intimacy, further embedding the false belief that your hard cock and your capacity to perform-no-matter-what is your leading edge in relationship.

As a way of fighting back against the culture’s harmful expectations of the phallus, and in honoring its preeminence in deciding when, and if, it gets hard, we’ve got an invitation for you.

Right now….just hold your cock.

Go ahead.

Reach down and slide your hand in your pants and simply hold your cock.

Otherwise known as “cupping,” just let your hand hold your genitals in a way that conveys relaxation and safety.

Notice what comes up for you.

Do you feel silly?

Do you have stories in your head as you do this practice?

Most of us have been taught erroneous and limiting beliefs about what is normal and healthy vs. what is weird or unacceptable in our desire and behavior. Many of us hold a story that touching our genitals for relaxation (rather than for orgasm) is weird and unhealthy, embarrassing or even dirty.

Simply hold your cock and bring your awareness to your breath, to your physical sensation, to the stories that might be stirring (or screaming) in your mind.

There’s no way around it: if you want to find a partner who believes you are worth more than your cock’s all-night-long performance, YOU have to believe this about yourself FIRST. One way to start learning this is to touch your cock (and the rest of your body) at times when you’re not expecting to get erect, get aroused and come.

Another way to reprogram limiting beliefs of shame and worth is to educate yourself. There are many normal, and even preferable, times when your cock will either stay soft or get soft during sexual intimacy.

During foreplay and intercourse, if you experience intense pleasure in non-genital areas of your body (which we advocate and teach) it is normal for our genitals to get less engorged. In this example, awareness and sensation are flowing throughout your entire body so your physiological awareness and your circulation are not focused solely on your cock.

When men are learning about prostate massage and the intense erogenous zone that is the anus and the prostate, it’s often the case that they will experience an incredible “mind-blowing” orgasm with a semi-erect penis.

Once they’ve given themselves permission, many men discover their soft(er) cock has significantly more sensation than their rock-hard cock. And while most men (and their partners) have been habituated to expect and need a hard cock to feel aroused, it’s hardly a prerequisite to profound, long-lasting erotic and sexual satisfaction.

To further expand your erotic map and learn to accept all the permutations of arousal, practice allowing your cock to get soft while you’re self pleasuring (masturbating). In this exercise get used to the process of getting harder, then soft(er), then harder before coming.

Next, try bringing this exercise to your partnered sex. Start first by letting yourself get harder then soft(er) during foreplay. Then, let your erection get soft(er) while you’re inside your partner. This not only de-stigmatizes a soft(er) cock, it creates pathways for vast levels of erotic intelligence and help you build sexual stamina and curiosity. In practicing these exercises, you will be supporting yourself as an empowered and sexually sovereign man.

Contrary to all the sexual hype and endless techniques men are offered in this culture, being a sovereign man/lover is the greatest antidote to erectile and ejaculation issues.


Check out the following Smart Couple podcast episodes:

Check out Ren and Christiane’s course for men at http://www.magnificentlover.com/sex-ed/



Christiane Pelmas, MSW, CSB, is a psychotherapist, educator and guide in private practice for more than two decades. She is a Somatic Sex Educator working with couples and individuals in traditional and non-traditional hands-on settings. She is the founder of the pioneering work of ReWilding and the co-founder and principle facilitator for The Magnificent Lover Course for Men.

You can find Christiane at The Magnificent Lover and The Rewilding



Rensselear Resch, MS, CSB, is a somatic sex educator, certified sexological bodyworker and meditation instructor. She works with individuals, couples and communities in experiential and hands-on ways to discover the wisdom and power of the body and the innate generative energy that has us come alive and fully show up—not only in sex, but in our whole lives. Her depth and breadth of experience and skill allows her to serve as Guide and Muse for people from various walks of life.

You can find Rensselear at The Magnificent Lover and The Pleasure Practice




  • Christopher

    Reply Reply October 22, 2015

    Acceptance, investigation, curiosity, and honoring the cock’s innate intelligence. You’ve accurately touched the core of how men can fully step into their power and their sexual sovereignty. Thank you Ren & Christiane for such a powerful article.

  • Click Certain

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    Users should be careful not to take to ED pills and other cure for ED that promises instant relief but full of side effects.

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