Q. I am reaching 70 years old and find it difficult to get an erection. When I was younger my penis was about 9 inches long when it was erect, it is now only about 7 and a half inches when I eventually get hard, is it natural for the penis to shrink as men get older?
Bill Taverner says: What a great question! As a man gets older, it is perfectly normal for his penis to lose its firmness during erection. So, what may have been a raging hard-on in his younger years generally loses the same firm intensity as the years pass by. This is not quite the same as a change in penis size. In fact, the penis in its un-aroused (“flaccid”) state, should be pretty much the same as it was before.
The change in erection intensity comes as good news to a lot of men. Along with this particular natural change comes a general, overall slowdown of sexual response, allowing for longer sexual intimacy with one’s partner. Another common change can be seen in the way a man experiences ejaculation. Most people don’t know this, but ejaculation actually consists of two steps: “emission,” which causes the seminal fluid to approach the tip of the penis, and “propulsion,” which is the forceful expulsion of the fluid. When a man is younger, these two steps often happen in tandem. Many older men experience emission without propulsion. (And sometimes propulsion without emission.) All these changes are perfectly normal.