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A Labor of Love: How to Stay Hard After You Come

It’s a superhuman feat that’s a lot, er, harder than it seems

So you wanna keep the show going after you’ve completed your finale. Well, hats off to you — it’s a noble cause. Whether you’re with a partner who hasn’t finished yet or you just want to keep going like some sort of sexual Energizer Bunny, staying hard after you cum can be the penile party trick that keeps ‘em coming back for more. 

Unfortunately, this can present a bit of a challenge. Even if you want to keep boning after you splooge, it’s (usually) hard to get your penis to cooperate. This is due to a phase of the sexual response cycle called the refractory period, which Michael Ingber, urologist at Garden State Urology and director of COR Medspa, describes as a temporary state in which you “can’t get another erection and can’t orgasm.” This, he tells me, is because your body pulls the blood back out of your dick when you have an orgasm. It usually resolves itself within an hour or so, but it can last anywhere from a few minutes to a full day

Currently, there’s no concrete answer as to why our bodies do this to us, but prior studies on the refractory period in men have identified the hormone prolactin, which is released after orgasm, as the specific culprit of the phenomenon. However, in January, new research on prolactin in mice found that manipulating the hormone played no role in sexual arousal and likely doesn’t cause the refractory period at all. 

If there’s no known biological rationale, might there be a way to cheat the refractory period and stay erect even after coming?

On Reddit, lots of guys say that practicing edging and doing kegels help them stay erect after they cum. One wrote that he switched up his masturbation routine so that he was only jerking off before doing energized activity like going for a run, rather than masturbating before falling asleep. After a few weeks of this, he can allegedly stay hard after coming. And as we’ve written previously, some guys have found success with specific kegel moves like “ballooning,” wherein “one stimulates oneself near-climax and then backs off and performs kegels.” Others have reported that doing “reverse kegels” while incorporating “visualization and deep breathing” is useful. 

We’ve also reported that regular exercise generally helps with all things related to sex, and could be a solution for the whole “how to stay hard after you cum” conundrum. And obviously, try to continue being stimulated (i.e., looking at porn, touching your partner) after ejaculating — that’ll give you a better chance at becoming hard again. Tools like cock rings, which help keep the blood in your dick, and penis pumps, which help manually return the blood to your dick, might also be worth investigating. If you’re a cock ring newb, try something flexible, soft and squishy, like this one. If you’re well-accustomed to the world of cock constriction, you might want something a little more advanced, like a stainless steel ring. Either way, and regardless of your cock ring material, it’ll help you stay harder than you would be without it.

And yeah, I know what you’re thinking: What about my beloved Viagra, now available in conveniently chewable gum form? Nice try: According to Ingber, Viagra is no match for the dreaded refractory period — it simply makes it easier to get hard again once it’s over. 

Still, none of the methods mentioned above are gonna hurt you, so go ahead and give them a shot if that’s what your heart desires. Whatever you do, though, avoid the gas station pills or supplements designed to keep you perpetually hard. There’s nothing in them that’s actually proven to help with this. 

Lastly, try not to stress about it — losing your erection after sex happens to everyone; it’s practically a biological imperative. There’s absolutely nothing weird or wrong about it, and worrying is probably a sure way to make it even more challenging to get hard again. Chill out for half an hour, dole out some quality oral sex while you wait and try again.