4 Main Causes of a Weak Erection [Recovery Guide for Erectile Dysfunction]

When you notice that your erections are getting weaker and weaker it’s definitely a cause for concern, to say the least. For me, it was absolutely terrifying.

I’m a young man with a weak erection. Surely this is just an old man’s problem? I can’t be impotent already!

My anxiety shot through the roof because I didn’t know why I was experiencing a weak erection or know how to cure it.

I was desperate to find out if it could be reversed. I started frantically searching online until I stumbled upon some forums talking about sexual exhaustion and how chronic masturbation and a high ejaculation frequency were to blame.

It seemed to make sense to me at the time. I was masturbating a lot. Multiple times per day. And it looked like it had finally caught up with me.

I followed their advice and began a regimen of taking various supplements and amino acids in a bid to restore my body’s natural equilibrium, despite the fact that no one on these forums had actually cured themselves by doing just this.

But it seemed logical. There’s a chemical process involved in getting an erection and when we ejaculate we are depleting certain chemicals, so if we can just top it up everything should be OK, right?

Wrong. My erection remained a weak, limp, shadow of its former glory because myself and everyone else were missing a vital part of the puzzle.

We didn’t change the behavior that caused the problem to begin with.

And I’m not just talking about abstaining from masturbation.

Supplementing can definitely help speed up recovery, as has been evidenced by hundreds of guys in the forum, but without changing the damaging behavior that caused this you will get no where.

The first step to ensuring that you no longer suffer from weak erections is to…

1. Stop compulsively watching porn


So how can porn be the problem?

I had always been masturbating since a young age but didn’t suffer from erectile dysfunction or the myriad of other problems that developed until I became a compulsive porn user.

INFOGRAPHIC: Can’t Get Enough of That Porn

How porn causes weak erections


When you watch porn the dopamine reward pathway lights up


There’s a part of the brain that fires up when we do pleasurable things. When people develop an addiction that pathway becomes sensitized.


An overload of dopamine progressively weakens the nerve signals that would normally produce an erection, leading to weak erections (or complete impotence) without increasingly extreme doses of pornography.

Many try to treat this with drugs like Viagra or Cialis but those drugs don’t work on the brain circuits that the problem is actually being caused by, they work on the blood flow.

Those that are experiencing Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction find that they usually can achieve an erection with porn (albeit a progressively weaker one), but without any porn at all they cannot respond to normal sexual experiences.

Having correctly identified the problem I started to focus all of my energy on the solution: How to Quit Porn

Of course, porn is not the only cause of weak erections but it is certainly becoming more prevalent.

If you’re still unsure if your porn-use is to blame, take this Male Sexual Virility Test (opens new window).


2. Stop overdoing it with alcohol


Alcohol effects everyone differently and some people find that they are more sensitive to its effects, which can be a problem since drinking is a big part of our culture. From religious ceremonies, and celebrations to socializing and recreation, alcohol has always maintained a central role. This is perhaps the reasoning behind why so many dismiss their alcohol consumption as a cause of weak erections, since everybody’s drinking it!

The Department of Health states that men who regularly consume more than eight units of alcohol per day are four times as likely to develop high blood pressure. High blood pressure = blood circulation issues.

And if you’re someone that sometimes feels anxious before sex, a few drinks can really take the edge off, but moderation is key, as the trade-off for some new found confidence can be erectile dysfunction.

As alcohol is a depressant, in addition to causing weak erections it can also dampen your mood, adversely affect your sex drive and make it difficult to reach an orgasm.

A University of Washington study found that sober men could achieve an erection faster than those that were intoxicated, and some that had been drinking couldn’t get it up at all.

This is because alcohol decreases blood flow to your penis. This is a temporary thing as moderating your drinking will avoid this outcome, however, for long-term chronic drinkers the effects can be more pronounced and longer lasting.

Alcoholics have up to a 70% chance of experiencing sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and a loss of libido.


3. Quit smoking


As more researched has been conducted, it’s been confirm that smoking can cause erectile dysfunction, particularly for men that smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day.

A study conducted, which involved 65 sexually active male smokers – who wanted to quit – had three sets of measurements taken of their erection. The first measurements were taken just before they quit smoking, the second was taken half-way through the program, and the final set of measurements were made at the end of the eight week program.

About 30% of the men had successfully quit smoking by the end of the study and all of those were found to have erections with more girth and firmness than at the start, as well as now able to become sexually aroused more quickly. Some of these men also recovered from ED. Such improvements were not seen in the remaining 70% that failed to give up smoking.


4. Effectively handle stress & anxiety


When you are stressed a hormone is released called cortisol. An increase of cortisol leads to lower levels of testosterone. When testosterone levels are low, this can affect your libido, make your erections weak and make it difficult to achieve orgasm.

This is why it’s important to determine what it is that’s causing you stress, and take steps to reduce it.

If stress or anxiety starts to cause erection issues these feelings often progress and fuel themselves, stress causing a vicious cycle that can be difficult to escape.

I’ve written a post here on how to deal with Performance Anxiety.

If it’s mainly stress that’s affecting you then there are things you can do yourself to alleviate this:

  • Focus on problem solving
  • Ask for help
  • Express your emotions; don’t allow them to build up or burst out due to anger
  • Assess your beliefs and determine if they are right
  • Take responsibility for the situation
  • Eat and drink sensibly
  • Relax, meditate, yoga
  • Exercise
  • Maintain a healthy outlook
  • Seek and remove the source of stress if possible, or distance yourself from it
  • Maintain healthy relationships with others


Developing the right coping mechanisms ensures you can handle whatever life throws at you, without having to escape down a destructive path.


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