In case you didn’t know: erection problems are incredibly common.

Studies have consistently shown that one in three people designated male at birth (AMAB) will experience erectile difficulties at some point in their lives. And as AMAB people age, that number increases to over 50%.

A big problem in our erection education stems from our downright miserable sex education and social understanding of what “sex” means. “Our social narratives about what sex is [and] how sex should look and feel is based on what happens to the penis, and of course the bigger story is that if a man wants to have sex, his penis should always be throbbing and hard, and getting hard at the drop of a hat, Lucy Rowett, certified sex coach and clinical sex therapist, tells TheBody.

Ironically, this short-sighted focus on the importance of erections probably plays a huge role in why so many people experience erection problems. The message the people at AMAB are getting is that if you can’t get a hard sausage, you’re not going to be good at sex. This can create performance anxiety.

We put too much pressure on hard dicks to make dicks hard.

But what about a world that focuses too much on hard cocks and not enough on fun? Enter gentle penetration. Yeah, and that’s exactly what it sounds like: penetrating with a gentle peen.

Now, this is just one of a long list of interventions that can be used for unreliable erections, but we thought it would be helpful to dive really deep here and give you all the best information we have. have on this very cool (although a bit weird -sounding) exercise.

Much of the information we have gathered on gentle penetration is based on clinically backed methodologies from the Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology (CICS) in the UK, where I am currently studying to become a psychotherapist. So you know we brought the goods.

Understanding the Science of Erection

The basis of this process is understanding exactly how erections happen and why they can sometimes stop seemingly out of nowhere. Erections are finicky beasts. They arise from incredibly complex physiological and psychological processes in the body and brain.

Let’s break down how this even happens.

The blood flows into the chambers of the penis and causes erection of the penis. During an erection, the blood flow stops due to the compression of the veins. Keeping blood in the penis is what makes the penis hard.

It is a complex process that originates from signals in the brain sent to the tissues. When the signal starts in the tissue, the tissue sends a signal to the brain, which sends a signal to the tissue. And so on.

When it’s time for the erection to say goodbye, a signal is sent by the brain that says, “It’s okay.” Go to bed.” And the erection falls.

Now, when it comes to erectile dysfunction, things get even more complicated. Because when we are nervous, ashamed, scared, worried, etc., the body gets a message from the brain that says, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!” IT’S DANGEROUS! GO AWAY, HARD PEEN! And it goes.

The basics of gentle penetration

So what about gentle penetration? It’s when you take a soft (or not fully erect) penis and let it enter a vagina or anus. This is usually used for vaginal penetration, as the anuses are very tight, but it can be used for both.

The logic behind this is relatively simple once you know how erections happen: gentle penetration relieves the need to “perform”. It helps clients gain confidence and control over their bodies and their pleasure.

You want to take the flaccid penis and “feed” it into the vagina or anus. “What helps is wrapping your fingers around the base of your penis and squeezing it, thus having a firmer top half of your penis, which can then be inserted into your partner,” Zachary Zane, sex columnist and sex pundit for PS Condoms, TheBody tells.

Be sure to stay mindful and breathe deeply throughout the practice. Remember to check in with your body, as it is important to communicate with your partner about how you are feeling. “Crash into each other and [enjoy] the other’s body and sexual energy,” says Rowett. “As the owner of the penis, focus on deep breathing and breathing with your partner. You can get hard or not, that’s not the point. The point is to connect and feel pleasure with each other. with the others.

Why It Can Really Help With Erection Problems

Learning how to penetrate a partner when it’s gentle can help you begin to connect with your body and feel more in control. It allows “a way to have penetrative sex without having a fully erect penis – and given how many men struggle to get or keep an erection, this is something more men should consider. when they want to have penetrative sex,” says Zane.

The practice of PIV (or PIA) gentle penetration can increase emotional and sexual connection in the relationship and reduce performance anxiety and goal orientation in sex. By practicing this, you have the potential to develop greater genital awareness, stay present in the moment, and begin to eliminate worries about getting or maintaining an erection.

We’d like to leave you with a message that’s always worth repeating: erections are do not the center of good sex. There are so many fun and pleasurable sexual things you can do without the presence of an erection (or a penis, for that matter). “As we expand our definition of sex, we begin to experience more pleasure and intimacy,” adds Zane.