The Facts About Delayed Ejaculation

How Come You Can’t Ejaculate?

The Physical Causes Of Delayed Ejaculation

One of the problems with research in this field is that there are few well conducted studies on long term delayed ejaculation causes.

That is surprising considering that there are so many men with the condition – estimates range from around 6% to over 10% of men.

Long term delayed ejaculation is not a consciously determined condition – in fact it is completely involuntary, and produces many emotional and practical difficulties for both the man and his partner. You can read more about the treatment of delayed ejaculation in this book.

One of the most challenging consequences is the failure to conceive because of the lack of male climax, but frustration and low self-esteem are also very important.

Delayed ejaculation is also extremely challenging for a man’s partner, as she may consider herself to be unattractive, undesirable, and possibly even a sexual failure.

She may believe that another woman would be better at satisfying her man sexually, and even if she engages in intercourse with her partner, she may be very upset about the extended period of thrusting that may be necessary for him to achieve ejaculation (if he is able to reach orgasm at all).

Ejaculation and orgasm are two separate events in the male body: the first is an event that occurs in the genitals, mediated by nervous pathways through the spinal column.

Orgasm is a much more widespread event, with sensations of pleasure originating in the brain, and possibly spreading throughout the body. The  so-called “numb come”, more scientifically termed “anesthetic ejaculation”, is an illustration of how the two events may occur independently.

The idea of anesthetic ejaculation is rather strange; if you’ve never experienced it, you may find it hard to believe that one can ejaculate without any sensation of orgasm, but it’s not uncommon. It’s usually due to a lack of physical arousal, while the reflex of emission and release of seminal fluid continues normally.

This lack of understanding is reflected in the Diagnostic and Statistcal Manual DSM IV, which categorizes reatrded or delayed ejaculation as “male orgasmic disorder”. Having said that, DSM-IV does offer a reasonable definition of delayed ejaculation:

A persistent or recurrent delay in, or absence of, orgasm in a man who has experienced sexual excitement and arousal during sexual activity at a level which would normally produce an orgasm in a man of that age and circumstances.

Unfortunately the DSM-IV definition also includes the statement that the clinician is the judge of what would be “enough” sexual activity to normally produce an orgasm!

This allows us to define it in a different way: delayed ejaculation is a condition where a man finds it difficult or impossible to ejaculate despite receiving adequate sexual stimulation, becoming erect, and desiring to achieve orgasm and ejaculation. It is a condition that can occur in sexual intercourse, masturbation or oral sex.

Another Definition Of Delayed Ejaculation

Bernard Apfelbaum thinks DE results from a man’s lack of sexual desire and sexual excitement.

He observes that most of his clients have difficulty in reaching orgasm with a sexual partner present, and suggests that such difficulty in reaching orgasm and ejaculating might be caused by what he calls an “autosexual” orientation.

In other words: a man is only stimulated to orgasm by his own stimulation (often when he is masturbating on his own).

But men with delayed ejaculation (DE for short) often have hard and long lasting erections. Surely this is a sign of sexual arousal? Well, possibly not.

The fact that a man cannot get sufficiently aroused to ejaculate with a sexual partner can be masked by a hard and long lasting erection. But his erection may be neither an expression of sexual desire nor of sexual excitement.

It’s merely a physical response, a bodily reaction, being used by the man to fulfill his partner’s expectations of intercourse.

Apfelbaum also suggested that it was unlikely that men with delayed ejaculation have strong feelings of hostility, anger or rejection towards women.

Shadow work and hostility towards women in sexual relationships

Shadow work can be a powerful tool for individuals seeking to explore and understand their unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including any hostility towards women. The concept of the “shadow” comes from Jungian psychology, and it refers to the unconscious aspects of the personality that are often hidden or suppressed. These aspects can include both positive and negative traits, emotions, and attitudes.

Here are some ways in which shadow work could help men who have unconscious hostility towards women:

Increased Self-awareness: Shadow work involves introspection and self-reflection. Engaging in this process can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, including any underlying hostility towards women.

Identification of Unconscious Patterns: Through shadow work, individuals may uncover recurring patterns or themes in their thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their hostility. Identifying these patterns is a crucial step toward understanding and addressing them.

Acceptance of the Shadow: Shadow work encourages individuals to accept and integrate both the positive and negative aspects of themselves. By acknowledging the existence of hostile thoughts or feelings, individuals can begin the process of self-acceptance.
Exploration of Root Causes:

Understanding the root causes of unconscious hostility is essential. Shadow work allows individuals to explore their past experiences, societal influences, and personal beliefs that may have contributed to the development of these feelings.

Developing Empathy: Through shadow work, individuals can cultivate empathy by exploring the experiences and perspectives of women. This can involve challenging existing biases and stereotypes, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges women face.

Integration and Transformation:  Shadow work is not just about awareness but also about transformation. Integrating the shadow involves consciously choosing to change negative patterns and behaviors, replacing them with more positive and constructive attitudes.

Seeking Professional Guidance: Some individuals may find it helpful to engage in shadow work with the assistance of a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, who can provide guidance and support throughout the process. It’s important to note that shadow work is a personal and ongoing process, and its effectiveness can vary from person to person. Additionally, in cases where hostility towards women is deeply ingrained or severe, seeking professional help is crucial for a more comprehensive and tailored approach to personal growth and healing.

Another view

Men with DE might just be extremely self-controlling and conscientious about fulfilling the their duties as a sexual partner – the result of which is that they feel under immense pressure to satisfy their woman.

Never able to give enough, according to their internal belief system of how sex works, the man therefore also conveys the impression that his sexual partner is inadequate and cannot function sexually either.

The couple gradually withdraw from sex as a mutually satisfying experience into a world of autosexuality (at least as far as the man is concerned).

In essence, in this theory, delayed ejaculation is the result of a lack of sexual arousal.

And, interestingly, when men with ejaculation difficulties were interviewed in one study, they reported significantly lower levels of sexual arousal than men with normal sexual functioning, men with erectile dysfunction, and men with premature ejaculation.

So, in short, men with a slow, late or delayed climax appear to be characterized by a low level of sexual desire.

This sexual reticence, this delay in reaching orgasm, could be caused by both physical and emotional factors, including low penile sensitivity, a high ejaculatory reflex threshold, and the psychological issues that have already been mentioned.

The Meaning Of Delays In Ejaculation

During treatment, a sex therapist will interview a client to establish exactly how he feels about sexual activity.

He might, for example, ask whether the man experiences pressure to perform sexually even before sex begins, or whether these feelings may emerge later during sexual activity.

Or he may try to establish if a man is “cut off” or emotionally detached from his involvement in the sexual act, i.e., if he is slightly dissociated, a condition known as “spectatoring”.

A therapist would also want to establish the degree of connection between a man’s level of sexual arousal and his ability to gain an erection.

Other questions might include whether a man wanted to receive sexual stimulation from his partner, his level of and involvement in sexual fantasies, whether he had any feelings of guilt, and his ability to understand his own feelings and emotions during sexual contact with his partner.

That’s as opposed to having a focus on satisfying his partner. And it’s important to know about any sense of frustration or boredom during sex.

It’s important to establish how a man who can’t ejaculate understands his partner’s feelings, and what his level of anxiety about achieving orgasm during intercourse actually is (if he’s able to reach climax at all!).

It’s also critical to understand how a man with DE masturbates. This isn’t just about the technique that he uses to achieve orgasm with his hand, or in any other fashion, but also about the inner mental processes that he undergoes, and especially the fantasy imagery which accompanies his masturbation.

The biggest key, perhaps, to a man’s sexual functioning is whether or not there is any level of sexual fantasy about which he feels conflicted and which tries to suppress.

Another key point in analyzing DE is the fact that many men will continue attempting to reach orgasm during intercourse up to a point where they lose their erection.

This critical moment is worthy of close examination, because whatever happens at the point where the man’s erection begins to fade is clearly an important sign of the origin and treatment of his ejaculation problems.

Finally, it’s important to understand that this particular sexual dysfunction can be the product of side effects of drugs taken for other medical conditions.

Psychoanalytic View Of Ejaculation Problems

The psychoanalytic view of delayed ejaculation is that it is the bodily appearance of unconscious fears associated with sex in general, and ejaculation in particular: for example, ejaculation is associated with castration or death, or an unwillingness to “give” (that is to say, give his ejaculate to the sexual partner).

In psychoanalytic terms this is associated with anal-retentiveness.

In essence, something that is unacceptable to an individual is repressed into the conscious mind because s/he cannot allow himself to think or feel it.

Once in there it is transformed into an impulse which manifests in that person’s behavior.

In other words, a man’s reluctance to ejaculate is seen as a symptom of his unconscious hostility or resentment towards his sexual partner.

Apfelbaum has pointed out that there is another way of looking at this entirely: that is to say, a man who ejaculates in a very late fashion may be simply reflecting the fact that he does not want sex with his partner because he dislikes intercourse (or his partner).

In the absence of any justification or reason that will explain to his sexual partner why he feels this way, he instead adopts a pattern of behavior – albeit unconsciously – which involves rigid erections and long-lasting sex, whilst simultaneously and intensely resenting his role in (having to) satisfy his partner.

As Apfelbaum says, delayed ejaculation “is the mentality of the trapped… It is a foreign notion that he might need a good reason to refuse coital orgasms.”

Many men are accused of not wanting to “give” by their sexual partners. This suggests that the resistance to ejaculation is a symptom of a desire to “withhold” – an idea the psychoanalysts love!

But Apfelbaum suggests that this view represents the view of the partner and a generally held social consensus. There is no allowance in it for the fact that an individual man may actually not want to have sex, or that he may not enjoy sex if he does engage in it.

In general, it’s much more plausible to assume that a man who does not ejaculate during sex is in fact a man who is unable to “take, to be selfish, or responsible for his own pleasure, for the satisfaction of his own needs…..

Only when he is alone, masturbating without the presence of another individual, can he enjoy his sexual sensations and allow his desire and arousal to reach the point where he will ejaculate – mostly because he does not have to worry about the satisfaction of his partner.