Why do I fail to get an erection?

Monday February 3 2020


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I am married but to get an erection, I have to imagine having sex with my ex. Do you think it is charms at work? Byankabya

Dear Byankabya,
Something positive that one saw, felt, smelt, heard, or thought will compel nerves to send chemical messages to the blood vessels in the penis resulting in an erection.

Therefore, an erection just like sexual enjoyment, starts, continues and ends in one’s brain. So, your brain keeps recalling your ex’s positive attributes, most probably because these are still fresh in your mind, especially if the break up is recent.

Time heals and it is likely that with time this will disappear provided your wife does not compare badly with the ex, a factor that will keep making the ex’s picture vivid in your mind.

Many people immediately look for partners to fill the void left by their exs before they heal from the wounds inflicted by the previous relationship.

Sometimes this is done in revenge or as a way to feel wanted and fill in the void.


Sometimes, the separation may not have been on bad grounds so that the ex’s picture may remain on a person’s mind influencing how one behaves which then may call for serious counselling before it interferes with a newer relationship.

Any object without which one may not get sexually gratified is called a fetish. Fetishism though rare is a sexual perversion that calls for medical treatment and counselling.

This though may start as something simple may grow out of proportions with a man having to even look at an ex’s picture before erecting or worse still performing sexually and ejaculating.

Many men faced with psychological issues during intimacy are advised to recall their best sexual moments to invigorate their act and unfortunately these might be moments with their exs. This is not a serious issue unless one has to persistently and too often do this akin to an addiction.

So whereas counselling may help one forget the ex and get on with new life provided recalling the ex does not become an obsession it is welcome.

Time being the best healer, and counselling the best helper your kind of problem can be overcome unless of course it had reached fetish proportions when more serious treatment can be given.