Erectile dysfunction among men is common, especially as we age. But treating ED and improving your sex life doesn’t have to mean painful injections or expensive medications. Here are six natural ways to keep an erection, not dependent on drugs or surgeries.
Adapt a healthy lifestyle.
Sources find that erectile dysfunction may be a risk factor for heart disease, and that the risk factors for the two conditions are “almost exactly the same.” They include lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, diabetes, smoking, having high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure, and eating a poor diet.
The good news is that making consistent lifestyle changes for erection problems can help, and the things you do to improve your risk of heart disease can also improve your sexual health. Experts advise to:
- Eat a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables
- Get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- Maintain a normal weight
- Take active steps to stop smoking
Hit the road.
Part of these lifestyle changes involves getting more exercise, elevating your heart rate, and improving your circulation. Experts say getting this exercise can be as simple as walking. One study found that just 30 minutes of walking a day resulted in a 41% decrease in risk for erectile dysfunction.
This regular exercise can also help you trim down excess weight. The source reports that a man with a 42-inch waist is 50% more likely to have ED than a man with a 32-inch waist. In addition, excess fat can put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes and can interfere with hormones that affect your sex drive.
Move down there.
When thinking about how to keep an erection longer, you can work out your penis–and the area around it. Doing regular Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor, which can prevent incontinence and improve your sexual health. Kegel exercises can boost your natural erection by allowing more blood to flow into the penis and stay there throughout intercourse. One study found that doing regular pelvic exercises helped 40% of men with ED regain normal erectile function. It also helped an additional 33.5% significantly improve erectile dysfunction.
To do a Kegel, constrict your muscles as if you were stopping the flow of urine midstream. Hold the squeeze for 10 seconds, then release for 10 seconds, and repeat. Learn more about how to do a Kegel here.
Get in the habit.
Another answer to how to get an erection naturally is to simply make more of them. Having more sex increases your sex drive, and having more successful erections builds your confidence to have more sex.
If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, or you find that your erections are not as hard or long-lasting as they used to be, a vacuum therapy device, or penis pump, can help. Even if you aren't dealing with erectile dysfunction, an erection ring, an accessory used with vacuum therapy, can help you stay harder longer.
Penis pumps involve placing an acrylic penile tube over your penis and applying vacuum pressure with an accompanying battery-operated or manually operated pump. The vacuum pressure draws blood into the penis, creating an erection. Once the erection is achieved, an elastic support ring is placed around the base of the penis holding the erection in place.
A penis pump can make erections happen, even if medications have failed. They are safe, FDA-approved, and available without a prescription. They can boost your natural erection and put your penis back in action.
There are also natural erection supplements you can add to your diet that can drive big changes in the bedroom, helping you rebuild staying power and confidence.
Ginseng. Ginseng is the term used for 11 different varieties of perennial plants with fleshy roots. According to Medical News Today, the herbs consist of a “light-colored, forked-shape root, a relatively long stalk and green leaves with an oval shape.”
Ginseng has been known to restore and enhance normal well-being, as well as:
- Increase energy
- Improve cognitive function
- Act as an anti-inflammatory
- Prevent cancer
Ginseng also increases nitric oxide levels, which helps open blood vessels and arteries and promote blood flow. Based on this, ginseng is helpful in treating ED. One source asserts that ginseng helps improve:
- Penis rigidity
- Duration of erection
- Overall satisfaction
Another source indicates that in one study, ginseng helped improve sexual desire and impotence in 21 out of 24 men. It was also found that ginseng affects the dopamine system, so it can help women as well as men. One study revealed that the root plant improved sexual desire, satisfaction, and orgasm in 25 out of 34 women.
Ginseng can be taken in liquid, powder, or capsule form. To treat erectile dysfunction, experts advise to take 900 milligrams of the herbal supplement orally up to three times daily. Ginseng can be purchased online or at chain drug stores.
L-Arginine. Sources say another natural erection supplement is l-arginine, which is found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. This amino acid is known to expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. Experts recommend taking l-arginine in conjunction with other herbs to treat ED, or opting instead for l-citrullin, which is what the body converts to l-arginine.
Vitamin D. Experts also recommend Vitamin D, which keeps the endothelial cells that line blood vessels healthy. They say without Vitamin D, blood flow in inhibited, which can affect circulation throughout the body, including to the penis. One study analyzed 3,400 healthy American men who were deficient in vitamin D and found that they were also 32% more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
One of the natural ways to keep an erection you may not have considered is to approach the situation mentally and not physically. This means engaging your mind in the arousal process, and this can include talking dirty.
Talking dirty simply involves incorporating talking into your lovemaking to enhance the experience. There are no official scripts. It entails just going with your heart – and your libido – to say the things that turn you and your partner on. These tips can help:
Start by sexting. If you’ve never done this before, it may sound intimidating or you may be shy. To get you in the mood, it can be helpful to try “sexting” first. Text or email your partner during the day with flirty messages, just dirty enough to make your partner blush. Encourage reciprocation in the sexting but don’t put on pressure.
Compliment. Once you’re in the moment, a great way to talk dirty is to compliment your partner. Tell them how sexy or beautiful they look. But be careful how much you say. One source reports that if women hear the same words over and over again, the compliments start to lose meaning. Instead, add in compliments about how they taste or feel. Remember all the senses–and not just how they look.
Watch your words. As you start to talk more, go with your imagination and your gut about what to say. But keep it cool–there’s a fine line between saying something sexy and saying something disgusting. Make sure not to use derogatory words or comments that could offend your partner. At the same time, avoid using technical terms that can wreck the moment.
Ask your partner. If you need inspiration for what to say next, do not hesitate to ask your partner. Tell them what you want to do to them, but of course, ask them what they want you to do. If they're uncomfortable saying it, help them out. Then put words into action: Follow through and do it.
Read something together. Finally, if all this seems too much, you can always explore other ways to talk dirty. For example, instead of making up your own words, you can read someone else’s. Ask them to share a shade of Grey they liked or read from an erotic novel together. It will relieve some of the pressure, while giving you plenty of material to increase your arousal.
Getting consistent, firm, and satisfying erections doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. There are natural ways to keep an erection, and you can still have great sex, life. To learn more about enhancing your sexual health, browse our blogs and download our free ebook, How to Get an Erection Naturally.