Delayed Ejaculation: How can I speed things up?

It takes my boyfriend ages to have an orgasm. We may have sex every day and it is only every third day that he has an orgasm. Is this normal? I feel uncomfortable about stopping sex without him climaxing, but he says it's not a problem for him. Can a man enjoy sex this way? --M


Dear M:

Your boyfriend is having what's known as delayed orgasm or delayed ejaculation, a condition that affects one man in 10. Often talking is the best treatment for this. Regular relationship discussion may be all you need, or you may want to try targeted talk therapy.

The first step is for him to contact a urologist or your local clinic where he can be examined. That will assure you and him that there's not some mitigating condition preventing his release. It may be that his body is producing a retrograde ejaculation, sending the fluids back along the urethral canal. Thus no ejaculate is present when he releases. A competent physician will be able to determine whether that is happening. But if he is truly not having orgasms with you, that's something else.

I suggest that you talk over with him how he feels about sex and orgasm. Despite the prevailing belief that men do not like to talk about their feelings, this is one issue that demands discussion. And you, his sex partner, must get him to open up, even if he resists. Research indicates that most men with delayed orgasm (or an inability to let go of their ejaculation during orgasm with their partner) may be demonstrating signs of mistrust in the relationship. They may fear letting go of control or revealing some other emotional issue. In these cases, the act of holding on feels safer than the release itself. So ask him. Find out about his sexual past. Was he hurt by other women before? Does he want to feel that closeness that only an orgasm inside of your body can provide or is this level of intimacy a little too much?

I also sense that you may not enjoy his continuing to penetrate you for long periods of time. That may provoke your feelings of sexual inadequacy and make you feel as if you are not enough. Let those feelings melt, if you can. Find ways to share pleasure, time and closeness as a couple before you begin sexual intercourse. Do let him know that long-lasting thrusting can be painful, irritating and dissatisfying. If all else fails, take breaks along the way and be creative about your shared lovemaking styles.

Also, your boyfriend may do well with sexual counseling or therapy, so check out the referral sites at the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and the American Board of Sexology.