Aspects Of Delayed Ejaculation

Emotional And Psychological Causes of Slow Male Orgasm & Ejaculation

In the 1950s Masters and Johnson did some work on men who had trouble ejaculating. They listed the emotional and psychological causes of delayed ejaculation like this:

  • psychosocial factors (meaning behavioral patterns and relationships, life events, personality traits)
  • developmental factors (which means traumatic experiences around sex and problems with gender identity, difficult relationships within the family, and problematic or challenging attitudes towards issues of sex in the family)
  • personal factors (which means things like anxiety, depression, guilt, low self-esteem, lack of sex education, influence of cultural stories and beliefs about sex, and a poor body image)

Other people have suggested causes as varied as

  • fear of castration
  • fear of pregnancy
  • fear of relationship commitment
  • sexual performance anxiety
  • dissociation and spectatoring during sex
  • rigid religious attitudes and pressures which cause sexual guilt, avoidance of sex and hostility (towards one’s partner or oneself).

Relationship Issues: A Cause Of Delayed Ejaculation?

It’s obvious relationship issues are very important in sexual problems.

I mean, if you have doubt about your commitment to your sexual relationship, you may not want sex, you may not get very aroused, and might not even come.

Or maybe you unconsciously decide to stop ejaculating as a way to hold some power… And while that sounds a bit passive-aggressive, believe me, it happens.

Or perhaps a man who is emotionally “uptight” fears letting himself go – he must be in control at all times…. but the thing is, when you come, you have to let go of control. So – no orgasm, no loss of control. Simple.

But other researchers suggest the correct explanation for delayed ejaculation is the simplest – there’s not enough sexual stimulation for the man to reach orgasm.

This could be because the couple are just not exciting each other any more (and maybe they never did). However, many men have these ejaculation problems all their lives, so maybe that idea’s a bit too simple to explain slow ejaculation?


Bernard Apfelbaum believes that some men with delayed ejaculation are actually more interested in sex with themselves than sex with a partner. He calls this being “autosexual”. Are such men selfish? Perhaps not.  Perhaps men like this are TOO concerned with pleasing their partners.

Maybe they focus too much on their partner’s pleasure at the expense of their own. Perhaps they simply don’t know that they have sexual needs, or for some reason they can’t or don’t know how to take care of their sexual needs… but for some reason they always put their partner first.

And what’s more interesting is that because they are so focused on their partner, they don’t notice how much sexual stimulation they are receiving or how aroused they are.

That’s why Apfelbaum came up with the concept of “partner anorgasmia”: because some men only show symptoms of delayed ejaculation when they are with a partner. 

Yet we know men with delayed ejaculation often have a hard and prolonged erection. Strangely, they only have low levels of sexual arousal. Apfelbaum believes that this hard and often long-lasting erection is really some kind of automatic response to being sexual – and its function is more about fulfilling the needs of the man’s partner than fulfilling his own.

Apfelbaum says that men who have delayed ejaculation or are slow to ejaculate greatly desire to satisfy their partner before they satisfy themselves. In fact, they put their partner before themselves. They are just too responsible for their partner’s pleasure.

And that means the man cannot get sexual pleasure. As a result the man’s partner may feel unattractive and unable to turn him on.

And there is some evidence this may be right – research has shown that men who take ages are not very aroused.

So it seems this low level of sexual arousal is a key diagnostic sign in delayed ejaculation.

And of course, there are other explanations for DE. Maybe for some reason the man’s penis is not very sensitive. Maybe a couple don’t not have an ideal environment for sex. The man or woman may have some physical problem that spoils sex or prevents orgasm – an example would be painful intercourse (dyspareunia) causes by Peyronie’s disease or phimosis.

A complete medical examination might be useful whenever delayed ejaculation rears its head. But also check out your emotions, your physical condition, and the state of your relationship. They can all play a part in causing delayed or – as it is sometimes known – retarded ejaculation.

Personality Characteristics Of Men With Delayed Ejaculation

Men often want to believe there’s a physical cause for their difficulty in reaching orgasm because this is easier to cope with than the idea of an emotional or psychological cause.

Yet if you look at the problem, emotional factors are never far below the surface. For example, men with delayed ejaculation often experience is a sense of disappointment around sexual intercourse.

Why? Perhaps because me who have difficulty in this area have been brought up in an environment where sex was somehow “taboo” or there was shame or guilt associated with it in the family.

The outcome of such an upbringing can be very serious repression of a man’s  sexuality, so that he is out of touch with his own sexual feelings, and therefore out of touch with his sexual connection to his partner.

What tends to make delayed ejaculation more prominent is that very often there is the additional factor of a hard and unyielding childhood environment which forces on the kid a sense of psychological toughness.

When you think about this, you can see that a boy in this situation has to deny his own vulnerability.

But for a boy who denies his vulnerability and then grows up into a man unable to open up to a female partner, you can probably see how sex is not going to be particularly rewarding – or even possibly exciting. Being cut off from your own feelings is a handicap in every area of life, emotional, physical and sexual. But there are other problems in the origin of delayed ejaculation as well.

Most people can move between an erotic fantasy life and their everyday world reality – for example, one might just start a sexual daydream or sexual fantasy for no obvious reason, and then slip back into the normal, everyday world when something brings your attention back to everyday matters.

But some men looking to find a way to deal with delayed ejaculation find it quite difficult to make the move between their erotic internal fantasy world and the “real world” – probably because the internal sexual fantasy world is somehow threatening to them.

Now imagine that you’d been brought up in such a way that you found the whole concept of sexuality and entering into sexual feelings threatening. Wouldn’t you wish to avoid sexual contact, or anything which opened you up to a sense of vulnerability with your sexual partner? In fact, wouldn’t it be more likely that you’d want to avoid even having a sexual partner?

Because what could be safer than having sex with yourself?

No threat. No vulnerability. No need to open up. So there’s a kind of logic here which suggests that some men – though certainly not all – who have difficulty ejaculating (or who can’t ejaculate at all) haven’t had the normal experience of sexual development that goes along with being male in our society.

And in passing, it’s worthwhile noting that there are probably a lot of men who have had these experiences in childhood who develop premature ejaculation – which you can also see as the consequence of anxiety and anger and fear around sexual feelings and thoughts.

But what it all comes down to is this: delayed ejaculation problems usually indicate that a man is cut off from his own sexuality and his own capacity to be fully sexual and sexually confident.

He may not get aroused, and he may have negative associations with sexuality in general, or with male sexuality in particular. So how can he find a way to be sexually aroused and to relax into the sexual experience with female partner?

The Essence Of Delayed Ejaculation

The essence of the problem is that he can’t function in a relaxed, comfortable and confident way when sex or sexual contact is available.

And this can manifest in many ways: the simplest is not being able to ask for what he wants in a sexual situation. In fact, he may not even know what he wants in a sexual situation. And obviously one of the ways of dealing with this is to become over-attentive to the needs of his partner.

The very mechanism of a man’s sexual arousal might be blocked, so that a man who is being touched sexually by his partner doesn’t become aroused, even if he develops an erection. You see, what you have to understand here is that while the body can become aroused in response to physical stimulation, a man can remain UNaroused mentally and emotionally.