It makes sex feel like a marathon sometimes and means we don’t have sex as often as we might because quickies aren’t possible. Is there anything you can suggest that can help him to reach orgasm more quickly so that we’re both satisfied?
Once intercourse has started, most men ejaculate within four to ten minutes. Men like your partner, who are consistently unable to orgasm within about 30 minutes of vaginal sex, are described as suffering from delayed ejaculation (DE), a disorder that can result in the absence of ejaculation.
Like many sexual anomalies, DE is only really a problem if it causes anxiety for one partner or both, but it is confusing because about 75% of men who suffer from it can masturbate to orgasm without difficulty. DE can have a negative effect on relationships because, while men worry about it as a sexual dysfunction, a woman will worry that he’s not really interested in her.
DE can result from certain health conditions, or from surgery. It can be a side-effect of certain medications, substance abuse or psychological difficulties such as depression, anxiety, stress or low self-esteem. In many cases it is a combination of physical and psychological concerns. Sometimes men experience DE as soon as they reach sexual maturity. Others acquire it after a period of normal sexual functioning. The condition is split into generalised delay, which isn’t limited to specific partners or types of stimulation, or situational delay which occurs under certain circumstances.
You don’t mention desire for children but, in some men, fear of conception is related to DE during unprotected sex.
There are several theories as to why some men find it difficult to ejaculate during sex. Research by the clinical psychologist and sex therapist Bernard Apfelbaum has observed that some men with DE achieve an erection in the absence of arousal and this means they engage in sex before they are ready to.
Other studies have identified a disconnect between the sensations experienced during masturbation and the sensations experienced during vaginal penetration. Michael A Perelman, professor of psychology in reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, suggests that DE is more prevalent in men who use a firm grip, or who have idiosyncratic means of self-stimulation that can’t be replicated with a partner.
A qualitative study of sexually dysfunctional males by the psychiatrists Josie Lipsith and Damian McCann and sexual dysfunction expert David Goldmeier, found that negative thoughts during penetrative sex resulted in performance anxiety and anticipation of failure. Finally, research by Sally Ann Robbins-Cherry, from the Porterbrook Clinic in Sheffield, England, indicates men who suffer from DE find it very difficult to express their sexual needs.
There is no specific treatment and all interventions require couples to be very open and honest. You need to find a good sex therapist.
You also need to be committed to the relationship because things won’t change overnight. Sometimes men are advised to limit orgasm to partnered sex for up to two months. If a man masturbates in an idiosyncratic way, he may be asked to try a two-handed technique, or to use a sex toy. Gradual exposure therapy involves your partner masturbating in front of you, then letting you do it to him and, eventually, touching you and then penetrating you when he feels ejaculation is imminent. Other options include having sex as normal and then withdrawing and bringing himself to orgasm.
Watching porn before sex can help to boost male arousal. However, for men who watch a lot of porn, avoidance of porn is advisable. Because men feel free to fantasise during masturbation but often feel guilty about doing so with a partner, giving your partner permission to draw on his fantasies during sex may help. Lubrication in conjunction with a vibrating sex toy can increase sensation or using couple sex toys during sex may help.
Hypnosis has been found useful as has meditation.