Flaccid Frustration: Why Won't My Girlfriend Turn Me On

Erectile dysfunction is caused by a combination of things, both physical and emotional, and is not likely to be solely your girlfriend's fault.

Published Jun 22 2023 3 min read

You've found the perfect woman who meets all your needs — she gives emotional support, makes you laugh, and always has engaging conversations. Your relationship has progressed beyond casual dating and has become more serious.  

However, there's one issue - you're unable to get it up during intimate moments. Although this might not have been a problem in the past, it's unlikely that your girlfriend is the cause of this issue unless there's a specific action she does that turns you off or triggers anxiety or stress.  

Erectile dysfunction can occur in men of any age due to various emotional and physical factors. So, even if you haven't experienced this with past partners, it's highly probable that your partner isn't entirely at fault. Here are some of the reasons that you may need to check out: 

Physical factors and medical conditions  

One of the primary reasons for erectile dysfunction (ED) is the presence of an undiagnosed medical condition. Various factors, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, alcoholism, tobacco use, or low testosterone levels, can cause ED.   

If you have any of these conditions and are unaware of them, the anxiety of being with a new partner may trigger difficulties in achieving or sustaining an erection. This is because ED involves both physical and psychological components, and the combination of these disrupted processes can lead to the development of ED. 

Medication & trauma 

Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by factors unrelated to your partner, such as medication and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many medicines have side effects that can impact your ability to achieve an erection.  

These medications may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, high blood pressure medication, chemotherapy drugs, muscle relaxants, and others. Taking these medications for other health issues may increase your risk of developing or experiencing erectile dysfunction.  

Past traumatic experiences can also contribute to erectile dysfunction if you have PTSD. The severity of PTSD can vary, but it generally disrupts your ability to process and regulate hormones. As a result, your body may confuse the hormones released during sexual stimulation and trigger a fight or flight response instead. 

Anxiety and worry 

ED can affect men of any age, even those who are otherwise healthy, due to anxiety or stress. Once ED is experienced, it can lead to performance anxiety about achieving an erection, worsening the situation.  

This might explain why there are no issues with ED during masturbation or with previous partners. Stress outside the bedroom, such as work-related problems or other life stressors, can also contribute to difficulties in getting an erection.  

These stressors can interfere with the body's communication system, preventing the brain from sending the necessary signals to the penis to allow blood flow. 

Pressure to perform  

If you feel pressure to perform, especially being with a woman you care about and want to impress, the anxiety might be preventing you from getting an erection or keeping one. Nonetheless, if your significant other is causing you stress or anxiety regarding your sexual performance or even in other aspects of your life, this could also be a reason for your difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. If you believe this issue is specific to your partner, the best course of action is to have an open conversation with them about the relationship issues, your sexual preferences and dislikes or improve communication if you've been arguing. 


Erectile dysfunction is caused by a combination of things, both physical and emotional, and is not likely to be solely your girlfriend's fault. To address the issue, identify the root cause, seek medical advice if needed, and maintain open communication with your partner. Don't be afraid to seek help and take the necessary steps to treat the problem. 

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