February 2, 1998 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dear Dr. Love
My boyfriend can not reach orgasm when I give him oral sex. Even when we have sex he takes a while to reach it. Is there anything I can do?
Besides tired, you are probably suffering from lock jaw and/or a friction burn! Seriously. Your partner's problem is called 'retarded ejaculation' and it can be caused by physical and/or psychological factors.
Let's start with the physical possibilities. Diabetes is associated with retarded ejaculation. And, sedatives or alcohol reduce the sensations needed for orgasm. Orgasm can be blocked if a man has an unconscious fear of hurting his parter, making her pregnant, or if he feels guilty to have sexual pleasure.
Sometimes, a combination of physical and psychological factors operate at the same time. Other possibilities include, lack of adequate stimulation which can be due to not receiving enough friction during oral or vaginal sex. Many men learn to ejaculate while they masturbate and they have a hard time (no pun intended) adjusting to the softer touch of the vagina or mouth. If this is the problem, manual stimulation may need to be added to your sexual repertoire. Here's how this is done: The man is stimulated until he is close to orgasm before beginning intercourse or oral sex. Gradually the time spent touching manually can be reduced as the man trains his body to adapt to the other forms of stimulation.
Sometimes inadequate stimulation can be caused by a lack of focus. In other words, if a man pays too much attention to his partner's reactions, he can lose track of his own sensations, never reaching the high level of arousal required for orgasm. This can occur even though he is aroused enough to obtain and maintain an erection. Sensate focus exercises in which a man is trained to focus on his own bodily sensations can be helpful in such cases.
Another successful approach to this type of problem is to do exercises to increase a man's level of arousal prior to intercourse or oral sex. With this technique, you do not begin intercourse or oral sex until he feels on the verge of orgasm. In this way he learns to enjoy the sensations of nondemanding touching and arousal. Enjoying nondemanding pleasure is especially important to your guy because he is probably feeling pressured to come during intercourse and oral sex. Such pressure is sufficient to prevent orgasm.
In fact, many women become bent out over a man's inability to ejaculate because they read it as a sign that they are unattractive to their mates. When a woman becomes upset, pressure is automatically place on the man, and, as I said above, pressure is the kiss of death to arousal and orgasms.
At this point, I think you need to rule out all medical and drug-related causes. Then, if the doctor says he is fine, find a good sex therapist and do some bedroom detective work. Once the source of the problem is found, then exercises will be introduced so that you learn to give him the type of stimulation he requires and he learns to train himself to relax and focus.
If psychological factors such as guilt or fear are operating, then you can work these issues through by talking them out.
Don't hesitate to get help because this type of problem rarely improves on its own.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show