June 24, 2010 | 8:44 pm
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
My friend told me today that she is not sure if her boyfriend is orgasming or not. How common is it for a guy not to be able to come? When she mentioned it to me, I realized there’d been some times when I didn’t know either.
I consulted a number of people for help with this answer, because on first glance the answer seems obvious: if there is cum, he orgasmed. Most of the time with men there is evidence of the orgasm because it is marked by ejaculation. You can check the condom or wherever else for this mark of pleasure.
But, as I asked around and read on, I learned that it is actually common for a man not to ejaculate or orgasm during sex. The factors are many and complicated, ranging from spiritual self-control to emotional blockages, lack of attraction, excessive drug and alcohol comsumption, depression and more.
He could be faking it, click here for a list of ways he might do it. Or, there is a condition called “Delayed Ejaculation” which refers to taking 40-45 minutes for a man to ejaculate, both manually and via sex. If he has this condition he might quit before he comes, just out of shame or sympathy. According to Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D., potential causes include:
-Trauma to the pelvic nerves.
-A side effect of certain medications, including some antidepressants
-Excessive alcohol use or illicit drug use
-Neurological diseases, such as stroke or nerve damage to the spinal cord
But the most common cause, he says, is psychological. There are a number of reasons a man might not feel ready to let go in bed. There could be old issues, ie trauma, sexual abuse, general shame surrounding sex and more, or new ones, fears of STD’s, fears of impregnating a woman, and/or lack of trust towards his partner.
There is a myth that men are like cowboys in bed, once on the horse they know how to ride. In truth, though, men DO have feelings, emotions, body image issues and more. Step one is acknowledging the humanity of the male species so as to cue into their sensitivities, many of which can keep them from coming.
As always, the first remedy is to talk to your partner about sex. Ask him about letting go with you, about how pleasure feels for him and about how he knows when he orgasms. Tell him the same about yourself. Does he enjoy it? Etc. Some men are accustomed to holding back, and might need some coaxing, a la Frankie and Johnny where Michelle Pfeiffer convinces Robert DeNiro to scream and yell in expression of his release.
Other men have different capacities. One friend informed me that “it’s possible to orgasm w/o cumming – it’s called multiple orgasm, it’s a play between your muscles and timing. There is a brief window where its possible to ‘hold it in’ so to speak, but the orgasm proceeds anyways. It’s rare and/or takes a lot of practice.”
Or, this dude who seems so subdued in bed might be a tantric practitioner and never comes and always enjoys. Basically, you never know what is going on until you build lines of communication so that eventually he feels safe enough to either a) let go or b) share his thoughts and feelings on the thresholds you are crossing together.
Ultimately, like a woman, for a man to let go in bed might involve some tenderness, some affection, maybe even some new crazy bedroom moves. Shame is also part of their sexual education, so do your best to uneducate. Bottom line: check in with your partner and see how he is feeling, maybe even every step of the way.
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