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How to keep an erection while bottoming during anal sex
#Anal Play Advice#Queeries#Sexual Health

Softwood Bottoms: Why Some Folks Can’t Get Erect While Bottoming

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2023 / By Bobby Box

Struggling to get hard while bottoming? Is it normal for bottoms to lose their erections during sex? Our resident anal expert Bobby Box spoke with Dr. Evan Goldstein about flaccid penises and share some possible solutions to maintain erections.

I'm fortunate enough to have curated a community of folks who are comfortable chatting with me about uncomfortable topics. From performance anxiety and pain after sex, to poop and concerns over the appearance of post-coital assholes, I can confidently say nothing surprises me these days, and I'm always happy to help in any way I can.

Something I see regularly in my DMs are concerns about erections when bottoming. Numerous people have written to me asking why they can't seem to get an erection when they're being rectally rammed. They insist they're enjoying themselves immensely, but their penises don't get stiff, no matter how fast and hard they stroke. And because erections are regarded as a monolith of arousal, the absence of one can send the wrong message and make people feel insecure.

Before going further, we first need to normalize that our penises aren't going to be rock-hard every time we want them to. We can help do this by having conversations such as these, responding respectfully when a partner's soldier isn't saluting, and exploring alternative ways to have sex. We do ourselves a disservice when we perpetuate unrealistic expectations rooted in toxic masculinity.

With that out of the way, let's get to the nitty gritty of our erections and bums with the support of Dr. Evan Goldstein, anal surgeon and CEO at Bespoke Surgical and co-founder of Future Method.


The reasons you may not be experiencing an erection while bottoming can be psychological, physical, or a combination of the two.

Psychologically, you may be concerned or anxious about factors such as pooping yourself or getting over the discomfort that can occur during the initial stages of anal sex. These concerns can be intense and override signals to your penis. Besides that, anal penetration combines a number of highly stimulating sensations that can overwhelm your body, distracting you from your penis.

Physically, the culprit is likely the pelvic floor, which bolsters both the muscles for your hole and your erections. It's a big job and sometimes the pelvic floor can't whole-ass each of these responsibilities simultaneously, and will sometimes half-ass the job, costing you your rock-hard erection. This is also why some people who typically shoot long distances when ejaculating may not when they're bottoming.

"The anal/rectal muscles, along with the muscles that make up the pelvic floor - in many people - are the keys to their erections," Dr. Goldstein says. "When you are bottoming (and are open and gaping), you lose the necessary contraction and either stay fully flaccid or have a semi-hard on."

"Additionally, when you are being penetrated by another person or toy, it's similar to creating a bowel movement reflex, and that is inhibitory towards getting and maintaining an erection," he explains. "With both of these in full force, we can now understand why people cannot override their desired end-game."


You're probably wondering if this concern can be remedied. And in some cases, it can. But for some, try as they might, they just can't make it happen. And that's totally OK. It's simply their anatomy and that's that. Of course, you won't know unless you try, so here are some ways to get hard while getting fucked.

Practice makes perfect

Goldstein recommends that people work with toys and become familiar with the aforementioned reflex inhibiting your erections. Doing so is easy. Toss on some porn, use your favorite anal toy (we have some lovely prostate massagers), and explore your hole. See which angles and sizes work, and which ones don't, to get you where you want to be.

Progress takes time, so don't rush things. This is a golden rule with all things anal-related. "Remember that sex is physical, mental, and neural," Goldstein says. "It's how we are all wired, and it can take time to understand how these all need to work together so that we can truly reap the benefits."

Try ED medication

Medications can help in these cases by improving blood flow to the penis, though this should be explored under medical guidance. It might be a good idea to half-dose medication in the beginning while seeing what works with toys to get your desired result. You don't want to become dependent on these medications, so it's best you don't rely on this method every time.

Put a ring on it

Cock rings can also help, as they are designed to trap blood inside the penis without allowing it to escape, so you may want to put one on when you're half or fully erect prior to penetration.

Silicone cock rings are great for beginners that are struggling to stay hard during sex
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If you're inexperienced with cock rings, choose one made of a pliable material like the silicone cock ring set above. Save steel, hybrid toys like a cock ring butt plug combo, and other hard materials for the pros.

Find a good top

The issue may not even be you at all, but instead, a partner who isn't prioritizing your pleasure in the experience. Perhaps they skip foreplay and don't take their time to help you relax, maybe they aren't respecting your boundaries, or they're inexperienced. A considerate and communicative partner could be the solution.


As mentioned before, some people will be able to work through this issue and get erections while they bottom. "The key is to understand your pelvic floor and how it works with your mind and soul," Goldstein says. "By gaining this knowledge, we can hopefully guide you to better practices and/or supplementation that allows you to see the pleasures and results you desire."

But if you can't, know that this is super common and keep your spirits up. Deep down (in your soul and in your rectum) you're still that sexy power bottom you, and everybody who's been inside of you knows you to be.

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