Incredible, isn't it? The idea that men might not be able to come during sex?
Yet this bizarre situation is more common than you might think. It's hard to know how many men can't come during sex, because, perhaps understandably, there seems to be a great deal of inhibition about admitting one has this issue (or problem, if you see it that way).
And maybe that's not surprising. Coming during sex is an issue of male pride! So to admit that you can't ejaculate during sex with a woman? What would that mean? That you're not a real man? That you're a suppressed or repressed homosexual? That you don't like women?
Well, this is an issue that affects gay and non-gay men alike. So we have to look deeper....
Even so, the silence around delayed ejaculation does make a bizarre contrast with the openness and honesty about sexual difficulties which seems to pervade every area of our lives these days.
And this silence can - and does - produce a sense of abnormality.
By contrast, talking about it produces a sense of connection and openness which can really help men.
The same is true for women, of course.
Before the Internet many women lived with a sense of sexual isolation and "difference" because they had no way of exchanging information about sexual problems or finding out how common sexual difficulties were.
And in the context of that openness, you might well say "Why hasn't delayed ejaculation become more well-known?"
In my guess is that it's actually to do with the nature of the condition.
That there is something inherent about the psychological issues which produced delayed ejaculation that naturally make a man who has it less willing to be open about it and talk about it.
What might those issues be? Well how about things like emotional inhibition, or a lack of trust in others? How about an unwillingness to communicate sexual experiences? And perhaps more fundamentally, how about a lack of understanding of the factors that cause delayed ejaculation?
If you think about these things you can begin to build up a picture of the psychology of delayed ejaculation. I'd say, based on my experience as a therapist, that one of the key factors behind this condition is a lack of trust.
Because at some point in his life, a man has been betrayed, let down or abandoned. And that betrayal, disappointment or abandonment, no matter what matter what form it may have taken, is now directly related to a man's inability to invest himself sufficiently in a sexual partner as an adult.
And of course you could probably assume that there would be a sexual flavor to this betrayal and lack of trust, because that's where the problem is manifesting.
Think of the deeper issue at work. The lack of trust (or a lack of ability to trust others) due to some childhood experience means that the man can't sufficiently give himself to partner to ejaculate during sex.
Now of course interpersonal relationships take many forms, and sexual relationships are only one aspect of them.
Even so, for me, having studied this subject for many years, it's not at all hard to see how the inability to reach out and connect with others in life in general could manifest in a one-to-one relationship as an inability to connect sexually.
In other words, an inability to connect sexually in a way that allows the flow of energy necessary to move from low arousal to higher arousal all the way to ejaculation and orgasm.
By its very nature "lack of trust" is not something that people who experience it are aware of.
Sure, you could say that about many psychological and emotional issues – they are all things a person considers to be normality, so how could they be aware of any problem?
I have worked for many years in the field of personal development, and what I see is that a lack of trust seems to be the issue which people have least awareness of. It could even be that low awareness about one's own low level of trust is in itself a defense mechanism.
But this is speculation, and what's needed for men who have delayed ejaculation, at least as I see it, is some way to establish communication with a partner. A way to express his feelings and thoughts in a more trusting fashion to his sexual partner.
What Causes Delayed Ejaculation?
Delayed ejaculation is the product of withholding – not necessarily withholding the ejaculation as the classical psychoanalysts believed!
Their model was that the withholding of ejaculation was an act of anger or passive-aggressive hostility against sexual partner.
I don't see it that way at all. I believe the withholding of ejaculation is a lack of "extension of self" towards another person.
I believe men with delayed ejaculation have a firm boundary which can't be crossed. For a man who cannot ejaculate, that boundary is much tighter than it might be for a man who is willing to engage in a close relationship with a sexual partner.
If that's true, then the cure lies in gradually increasing trust.
Which is why a series of sensate focus exercises can be so helpful. They allow a man to discover that sexual situations don't need to be threatening, and in fact they can be safe.
They allow a man to discover that he can be naked, exposed and intimate with a sexual partner and not come to any harm.
And eventually, they may allow man to relinquish his need for control during sexual activity. (His control makes him feel safe.) And by that I mean relinquish control of his sexual responses. The over-control which prevents ejaculation.
This will allow the energy to flow through him
in a natural way, leading to higher arousal, and hopefully orgasm and