Question: For the last two years, my partner of of 10 years hasn’t had an orgasm during sex. He says it’s no big deal and that I shouldn’t get so worked up about it, but, to be honest, I’ve never HEARD of a guy who can’t have an orgasm–the reverse is usually true, i.e. guys have orgasms too quickly. I told him I’d try whatever he needs to get off, but he says it’s not me. I’m getting ready to dump him if this continues. Help!
Answer: It isn’t you! I can assure you of this. The most important thing for partners of men who have difficulty with ejaculation and/or orgasm is to understand that it is nothing personal.
I believe your partner when he says “it is no big deal,” because I have clients who simply can’t climax in front of a partner.
What he is experiencing is called Inhibited Male Orgasm. There can be many psychological, medical and medicinal reasons why it occurs.
For example, I have seen Inhibited Male Orgasm (IMO) in many male sexual abuse survivors. Those survivors may be unconsciously holding back so that they are not enjoying the “abuse” – which is what sex with one’s partner can feel like if the abuse issues are unresolved. Sex with a partner feels to some like returning to the scene of the crime, with the partner taking the role of perpetrator. This can be worked through in therapy and the inhibited ejaculation will resolve as you become healed from the sexual abuse.
Psychological issues causing this include anxiety, depression, relationship problems and cultural taboos. I have seen many men who hold back their full pleasure because their religion and/or culture forbids homosexual sex.
There are also many medical and physical conditions which cause IMO such as diabetes, prostate infections and removal, and some neurological disorders.
Overall, inhibited ejaculation is harder to treat than premature ejaculation, where the man has an orgasm too quickly. Also, inhibited orgasm is associated with pee shyness, where men also state they cannot urinate in public bathrooms or can do so only in a stall when the bathroom is empty.
This again supports the idea that a man experiencing this is psychologically “holding back” in his genitals where other people are involved.
I suggest you find a sex therapist who can help you and your partner with techniques on how to resolve this. Usually this includes his self-stimulation in your presence with a gradual increase in how close you can be to him when he orgasms. It might start with you being outside the bedroom door or somewhere else in the house while he is masturbating. After several times, you might then enter the room and be near your partner by the door, moving toward the bed and then eventually laying next to him with your back to him.
It is a gradual process. But often orgasm can eventually be reached with the partner present.
If he is able to orgasm but not through intercourse, I would suggest trying oral sex if you have not already done so. I suggest you give him oral sex until he ejaculates.
If he cannot ejaculate even during oral sex, he can stimulate himself until he is able to orgasm into your mouth or anus (using a condom unless you both have been tested as HIV-) at the last minute–even if it is one second before. Practice makes perfect and the more you do that the more he will last longer and ultimately be able to orgasm during oral sex and/or anal intercourse.
Finally, even if all these attempts still leave him with the inability to orgasm during sexual contact with you, I would still wonder why you need to dump him.
I am guessing you said this because it feels like you are not turning him on, but that is far from true. If he is able to get and keep an erection then that is proof that you are turning him on.
While you can grieve over having a partner who does not produce ejaculate and orgasm in your presence, I trust that you can find other things which bring you arousal. All couples have to adjust to the other’s sexual limits and I believe you can do so as well.