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20 of the Best Things to Say to Your Partner When You Can’t Get It Up

20 of the Best Things to Say to Your Partner When You Can’t Get It Up

Let’s start with this: A lot of men experience erectile dysfunction, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed when you can’t get it up.

However, it helps to know what to say when you can’t get it up to make the situation less awkward. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, roughly 30 million men in the U.S experience erectile dysfunction at least once in their lifetime.

When you can’t get it up, there’s usually a reason, whether you have a poor diet, suffer from medical issues, or are simply distracted or stressed out. Typically, this happens to older men, but younger men aren’t exempt from short-term erectile dysfunction.

Despite these facts, many men struggle with what to say because of the stigma attached to being unable to get hard. It doesn’t help when you have an unsupportive partner or feel nervous around that person.

We’ve compiled a list of what to say in different scenarios when you can’t get it up. This will allow you to focus on what’s important, as well as get help if you need it.


What to say when you can’t get it up: 4 of the best things to say to your partner when you tell them what’s going on and why you might be struggling to get or maintain an erection

Sex is vulnerable in its nature. If you’re able to commit to having sex with someone, you should be able to speak freely about your frustrations, challenges and expectations.
Your partner is more likely to understand and accept what’s going on when you’re honest about why it’s happening. Here are some examples of what to say when you can’t get it up and you want to explain why:

01“It’s the new medication my doctor gave me. This is one of the side effects I was told to expect, but I’m getting off it soon.”
All medication comes with side effects, and some men are just unlucky enough that their penile function changes. Some may have trouble experiencing orgasms as a result of medication, while others struggle with arousal.
In some cases, the feeling may be there, but the penis simply won’t comply. This is a good enough reason and if your partner cares, he/she should accept that.


doctor physician consulting male patients hospital
Photo by BlurryMe on shutterstock


02“I’m kinda stuck in my head right now. There’s so much going on, and it’s hard to focus on anything.”
It is good to say this when you are dealing with a lot of stress or pressure in your life. It will allow your partner to focus on other aspects of intimacy such as emotional well-being, which can help to overcome the issue.


03“Truthfully, sex is the last thing on my mind right now. We just had a huge fight and I’m still hurt over some of the things you said.”
Sometimes men struggle to get erections due to strong emotions. Fighting is one way to ruin the mood because your mind is elsewhere.


depressed couple after quarrel gray tshirt

Photo by Africa Studio on shutterstock


04“I have a health condition that can cause this to happen. With the right treatment, it should blow over.”
When using this, it helps to specify the health condition. This will give your partner the resources to support you, and get you back to perfect form.


What to say when you can’t get it up: 8 of the best things to say to your partner to let them know that you still find them desirable and want to make love to them – even if an erection isn’t possible at the moment

Watching someone struggle to get it up can be equally embarrassing for both parties. Your partner may feel like you aren’t attracted to him/her and feel insecure.
It’s very important to reassure your partner at this moment because you’re both vulnerable. Your positive attitude will also help to make the situation feel less awkward.
This is what to say when you can’t get it up and your partner feels undesirable:

05“We can try again later. There’s no need to rush.”
This is good to say because it doesn’t completely dismiss the idea of sex. It gives you both time to regroup and try again, which often works out for the better.


frustrated couple arguing having marriage problems holding chin

Photo by NDAB Creativity on shutterstock


06“Trust me, it’s not you. You look great. I’m just a little tired.”
It is good to say this when you don’t want to injure your partner’s self-esteem. It provides a logical reason for the lack of erection.


07“I’m a bit distracted right now. It was a long day at work, and I just need to unwind.”
Use this when your mind is far away, making it difficult to sustain an erection. This should prompt your partner to cater to your more pressing needs, which will bring you closer in the end.


huge workload nice smart handsome businessman exhausted

Photo by YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV on shutterstock


08“Haha, it seems I’m out of gas. You took me for quite the spin.”
It is good to use this when you’ve already had sex and your partner wants another round. It boosts his/her ego instead of making it seem like he/she is undesirable.


09“You’ve reached the dick limit for the day. Try again tomorrow.”
This is a funny way to say you’re too tired for sex. It lightens the mood.


3d illustration speedometer limit

Photo by microstock3D on shutterstock


10“Honestly, I’m not even in the mood. I only entertained this because of how excited you were.”
This says you’re not in the mood for sex, not because of him/her, but for other reasons you don’t want to talk about at the moment.


11“I haven’t eaten all day. Doing this on an empty stomach wasn’t a good idea.”
Even if this is a lie, it’s good to say because it won’t make your partner feel like it’s his/her fault.


12“This thing has a mind of its own sometimes. Show him who’s boss.”
This is good to use when you really want to have sex. It challenges your partner to try new things to heighten your arousal so you can have an erection.



What to say when you can’t get it up: 3 of the best things to say to your partner when you want to give yourself time to find the right treatment plan

If you’re experiencing repeated episodes of erectile dysfunction, it means something is wrong. The best course of action is to seek treatment from a medical professional, and not sex toys that claim to help with the issues.
You should also avoid abusing certain drugs such as Viagra, and others that act as a Band-Aid on the real issue.  Here are some examples of what to say when you can’t get it up and haven’t been able to for a while.

13“I’m not as young as I used to be. I can’t keep up with a nymph like you. I guess it’s time to start having these awkward conversations with my doctor.”
Age plays an important role in sexual functions because men can experience decline as they age.

close depressed man sitting on bed touching head
Photo by Andrey_Popov on shutterstock

Generally, these can be treated by a doctor, but it all starts with taking that first step. This tells your partner that you’re willing to work on a treatment for his/her satisfaction.


14“This is happening way too often now and it isn’t your fault. I’m going to see someone about this ASAP.”
It is good to use this when you realize you have a serious issue. It says you acknowledge the problem, and plan to do something about it.


15“I know you’re disappointed, but this is out of my control. I just have to find something to help with this problem, and things will get back to normal.”
Use this when your partner seems to be bitter over the decline in your sex life. This makes it clear that you’re not purposely trying to disappoint him/her.
It reassures your partner that you’re working to fix the problem.



Bonus: 5 of the best things to say if our sexual partner is just a date/friend with benefits

You’re more likely to get erectile dysfunction with a date or FWB because of nervousness or anxiety, but other factors still come into play. it can feel especially embarrassing when you’re trying to impress this person with your sexual prowess, so pay close attention to what to say when you can’t get it up:

16“Let’s take things a bit slowly tonight. How about watching a movie and enjoying each other’s company?”
This is good to use when your date hasn’t realized what has happened, for example, you went into the bathroom to put on the condom, and you’re still soft. It’s a great way to change the subject, especially if you’re really into this person.


young caucasian couple sitting on gray couch
Photo by blissblue_11 on shutterstock


17“We can have fun in other ways. What say we go out, have a few drinks, and have a good time?”
Use this when your date or FWB notices what’s going on. It says you don’t want the night to go to waste and you still want to show him/her a good time.


attractive young man woman couple love celebrating alcohol

Photo by Paloma Herbstein on shutterstock


18“This is so embarrassing. I don’t know what’s wrong. Trust me.”
Acting surprised is a great way to make the situation less awkward. Using this gives you a get-out-of-jail-free card for the night, but it won’t work with the same person twice.


19“Slow down, cowgirl/boy. I need some time to reboot.”
This is good to use when the person still wants to have sex after multiple rounds. It’s not uncommon for a guy to struggle with an erection after ejaculating multiple times.


cowgirl riding her horse barrel race

Photo by Timothy S. Allen on shutterstock


20“I know this is what you came here for, but I can pleasure you in other ways. Are you up for it?”
It is good to say this when you’re determined to give your date or FWB what you promised. There are other ways to be intimate without a penis, for example, toys or oral sex.



You won’t be the first or the last man to suffer from erectile dysfunction. It’s not the end of the world, and today, you have so many options.
After you figure out what to say when you can’t get it up, make a doctor’s appointment. Your penis is just like any other part of your body that must be treated by a doctor.
You wouldn’t sit at home with pain or spasms in your arm now, would you? Do the right thing and let a professional handle the matter.