Looking At Delayed Ejaculation

Causes of delayed ejaculation

Over the years therapists have come up with two main categories of reasons for delayed ejaculation: The first is the inhibition of sexual drive, and the second is a lack of sexual desire, which is also being called a desired deficit. Both of these approaches to explaining delayed ejaculation (DE) come from therapists who have worked in the area.

First was a woman called Helen Singer Kaplan, who was the originator of the inhibition model. The second was a man called Bernard Apfelbaum, who came up with the desired deficit or lack of sexual desire approach.

These look like extremely different approaches to the same condition. That doesn’t mean that either of them is wrong, because it could well be that the condition has more than one cause. So using the “inhibition of sexual impulses” approach, Kaplan suggested that one way to “encourage” a man to ejaculate during sex was to stimulate his penis with extreme force, getting it as near to his partner’s vagina as was possible just before he ejaculated, so that he could push it in at the last moment and ejaculate intravaginally. Sometimes it actually works. That could be because using force to overcome a man’s inhibition about ejaculation is actually an adequate approach for some men. It may get them over a fear barrier, perhaps, or it may simply allow them to experience ejaculation in such a way that whatever was causing a blockage to their ability to ejaculate inside their partner is removed. But it doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s quite aggressive.

Men who can’t ejaculate, and who are desperate to do so, would be delighted to have any treatment applied that actually results in them being able to ejaculate, regardless of whether it’s regarded by commentators like me as “aggressive” or not! But what about the men for whom it doesn’t work? Often a combination of therapies works better.

For example, some men have an unconscious fear of women, some men don’t like the partner they’re with, some men have great resentment towards women, some, possibly, have a fear of femininity. And certainly some of the men with delayed ejaculation prefer sex with themselves to sex with women or indeed any partner.

One key to this problem is looking back into childhood. Most men with delayed ejaculation don’t really want to look into their childhood for traumatic events that may have rendered them sexually incapable of finding how to delay ejaculation in adulthood.

For example, one approach that is quite popular is to sensitize a man’s body to the sexual stimulation that he is receiving so that he becomes more aroused more quickly. For the fact of the matter is that delayed ejaculation is almost always characterized by a man having a low level of sexual arousal during intercourse, no matter how long foreplay or intercourse may continue.

In fact it’s not that his point of ejaculatory no return – the point of ejaculatory inevitability – is somehow set to high: it’s much more that he can’t reach that point, because he simply never gets aroused enough.

That implies that the roots of delays to ejaculation lie in something that is stopping the man becoming sexually aroused. And that is very often a disconnection from his body, or disconnection from the process of sexual arousal. Again, that’s almost always the result of some kind of traumatic experience in childhood – abuse, whether it be emotional, sexual or physical, or unrecognized trauma around sexuality in childhood. For some men it may be sufficient to “retrain” their bodies to respond to greater sexual arousal. And this is done through a process called sensate focus. Now, I wouldn’t claim that it is successful in every case, but it certainly works for some men.

Video – How To Delay Ejaculation

And so do other techniques that are aimed at increasing arousal, like using porn, finding orgasm triggers on the body such as nipple stimulation or anal stimulation, or basically incorporating into the couple’s sex life those things which the man (and the woman!) find particularly arousing.

But of course this isn’t really going to work where a man has fundamental issue about the relationship that he’s in, or about sexuality, or about sex with a woman, or about femininity.

For those men and women who don’t want to explore psychological issues, it could well be that there isn’t a great deal of desire to restore or develop an intimate and loving relationship. It could even be of course that people in this situation don’t fully understand what an intimate and loving relationship is in the first place.

Densensitization As An Approach To DE

That’s probably why sex therapists have resorted so much to desensitization as a way of retraining a man in how to delay ejaculation.

This will probably work well if it’s applied with dedication in cases where there is a considerable level of anxiety on the part of the man. Because desensitization is an effective treatment for anxiety, and it’s certainly true that a great many men have a lot of anxiety around sex, which can be eradicated just by giving them confidence.

So desensitization would basically work by having a man masturbate to orgasm with his partner initially some distance away. Over a period of time, she will come nearer and nearer while the man masturbates to the point of ejaculation, although it’s absolutely essential that he takes the time and effort to learn relaxation and to ensure that his anxiety is reduced as much as possible by relaxation the nearer his partner gets to him when he is engaged in sexual activity.

Eventually, if this process is done carefully, he will reach a point where he can ejaculate with his partner beside him. And at that point, the next step may be the most difficult, potentially: to allow his partner to masturbate him to the point of ejaculation.

That can be tricky because men with delayed ejaculation often have a particularly “firm” way of masturbating which they learnt in adolescence. It follows that if you actually learn to masturbate using what’s been described as a “death grip”, it’s highly likely that you’re going to get accustomed to a high level of stimulation which will render you incapable ejaculating with either more gentle stimulation provided by partner, or the much less fierce stimulation of oral or virginal sex.

That’s why it’s absolutely essential for men in this situation not only to practice desensitization, but also to practice masturbating with a lighter touch. That process can be aided if they abstain from sex for some time so that their sex drive is actually higher, and if they find the orgasm triggers on their own body – angel stimulation being a particularly good one – which I referred to earlier.

More psychological issues around delays in ejaculating?

A lot of men who have delayed ejaculation turn out to be very controlling. This is a psychological mechanism which is actually all about protecting the man from situations which once upon a time damaged him in some way. The mind is a very generalized organ, at least as far as fear is concerned, so whatever frightens an individual in childhood has a very high possibility of continuing to live on into adulthood… and it may well generalize, so it is not only limited to the specific event that caused the original trauma, but anything vaguely similar to it.

It follows that a man who experienced any negative emotional experience at the hands of a woman (shame being high on the list) may well be wary of getting close to a woman in the future. And there’s no way of getting closer to a woman than sharing the intimacy of sex!

Hopefully this begins to explain the dynamics that can go on during the long, tedious, and often distressing dynamics of prolonged sexual intercourse were a man can’t ejaculate.

In essence, a man is shut off from his sexual drive, from his own feelings about the events and experiences that led to the shutdown. Exploration with a therapist is probably a very good idea, because only then can a couple restore both sexual activity and an intimate relationship.

One effective way of exploring this without going too deeply into the subconscious issues that might lie behind orgasm inhibition is to identify whatever it is that a man is frightened about, and then to find sexual situations and experiences that can either explore or bypass the fear or anxiety. The very act of exploring such fear or anxiety can often reduce the power of historic events, although some of these events might require a man to “find a way around them” so that his fears and anxieties are no longer stimulated.

When a couple work on this problem together, treatment is much more likely to be effective. For any intimate relationship to succeed it’s essential both the man and the woman are engaged with each other in mutual pleasuring – and here lies another fundamental problem – the isolated sense of men with DE might make them want to maintain their sexual activity within a very limited set of experiences of solo masturbation.

This is an orientation which has been called “autosexuality” by Bernard Apfelbaum. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se, but it does of course deny the man the opportunity to experience the growth and development that can come from an intimate partnership.

Another dynamic which is often observed during the treatment of men with DE is that they have a certain mindset about sex and their role within it: they often see themselves as good “providers” of the female orgasm, and having a great ability to pleasure a woman. (See Loving The Connection for more on this.) But it is true that some women in partnership with men who have this issue do report being multiply orgasmic. But many more, however, find the isolation and lack of intimacy to be very distressing – particularly since the man often chooses not to discuss the problem or seek treatment for it.