Difficulty Ejaculating

Why Can’t You Come During Intercourse?

If you have delayed ejaculation you know what it means – you find it hard to reach orgasm and ejaculate during sex.

Couple in bedroom - man sitting on side of bed looking sad
Never ending sex? That’s delayed ejaculation!

Even though you have a good erection, and may be able to make love for as long as you want – you just don’t reach orgasm and ejaculate. Not inside your partner, anyway.

Or maybe you can get there, but it’s very difficult for you to come. You might even be faking your orgasm.

While this might seem very desirable to any man who comes too quickly, in reality it can be embarrassing and distressing to both the man and his sexual partner.

So why does this happen? And what can you do about it?

Let’s start at the very beginning.

How Many Men Have Delayed Ejaculation?

One group of researchers interviewed over 1,600 men about their sexual responses. First they asked about prostate problems that might lead to retrograde ejaculation.

Then they asked about other conditions, such as problems in partner relationships, and emotional and psychological issues such as stress at work, level of sex drive, the partner’s ability to climax (or not) during sex, any medical treatment in the past three months, and general physical health, looking for such conditions as diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

Among these 1,600 men, 80 men had some degree of delay in ejaculating or total absence of ejaculation. That’s around 5%, which I think may be on the low side. I believe as many as  10% to 12% of men have delayed ejaculation: about 1 in 10.

Although that’s a lot,  not much research has been done, there’s a shortage of reliable information available, and men who have this condition don’t like to talk about it.

If you have the opposite tendency – towards a quick finish – you may be thinking that delayed ejaculation sounds like a dream come true, but of course the reality is very different.

Couple in bedroom - man sitting on side of bed looking sad
Delayed ejaculation can cause problems in any relationship.

There are no real benefits to a VERY long build up to male orgasm and ejaculation (which may then never happen at all). In fact it makes lovemaking into hard work for both partners and tends to deprive them of any level of satisfaction.

But why does delayed ejaculation happen in the first place? That’s the question.

Well, lots of things control how fast or slow a man will reach his climax during intercourse.

“Frigid” Women vs Men Who Can’t Orgasm

But before we look at the origins of delayed ejaculation (or DE for short), it’s just worth remembering that many years ago a woman who was unable to achieve climax during intercourse was described as “frigid”.

attractive woman lying clothed on bed
No orgasm for a man makes us think there must be a problem. But what does it mean when a woman can’t come during intercourse? Is she “frigid”? And is it a problem in the same as it is when a man has this issue?

That was unfair. The truth is most women cannot achieve orgasm during sexual intercourse without additional 
clitoral stimulation from her own hand or her partner’s hands.

Nowadays, we think of this as normal. And that’s also true if a woman can only come in other ways, such as by self-stimulation (masturbation).

But when a man can’t come during sex it somehow seems very different.  In other words, delayed ejaculation is regarded as very different from female anorgasmia.

If a man is unable to finish naturally during intercourse, we do tend to regard him as having a problem – and so, of course, does he.

The tendency is to think of men with DE as having a problem.

dreamstimemedium_38539723A man with delayed ejaculation may feel like a failure in bed, and believe he is failing to satisfy his partner’s needs. And a woman is often certain that her man cannot reach orgasm because he does not find her attractive enough or arousing enough, or because she can’t satisfy him sexually.

Keep this information in the back of your mind as you read through this website, because it’s important to remember there’s a difference in the way we regard men and women who have orgasmic “disorders” of one kind or another.

In particular, if you are a couple dealing with DE,

  • ensure you are communicating properly about how you feel
  • make sure that the woman can say confidently when she wants the man to stop thrusting
  • make sure the woman gets extra lube during intercourse if she needs more to continue enjoying lovemaking
  • make sure the man can talk about his fears, frustration, and sadness or any other emotions
  • make sure the woman can voice her feelings

That is a very basic level of communication – but it is needed to ensure DE doesn’t cause a major rift in your relationship.

And of course better communication about the man’s sexual problem will remove the pressure from both partners and may prevent major disagreements arising.

*The good news is, most men get massive improvements from my self-help program at home.*

You can achieve the greatest success when both you and your partner are involved in the cure or solution, and you are both willing to explore any underlying emotional issues which are reinforcing the difficulties you’re having reaching the point of orgasm and ejaculation.

By the way, at the moment there are no drugs which can be used to increase the speed with which a man achieves climax.

Sidebar: find out more about how porn can cause DE and other sexual problems here.

What Does Sex Mean For You?

Most people think of sex as foreplay, penetration, and thrusting, followed by the man being carried away on a surge of increasing sexual arousal with little or no discrimination about the point at which he ejaculates.

And whether the woman likes it or not, when the man ejaculates, sexual intercourse is usually finished for them both.

This can be deeply unsatisfying – both physically and emotionally – for the woman.

For one thing, she may not be physically pleasured or emotionally fulfilled, and she’s almost certainly not had an orgasm.

So the end of intercourse produces an emotional break, a separation, from her partner.

Most women see the physical and emotional connection of lovemaking as important – as a sign of her love for her man.

So intercourse ending when the man achieves orgasm is considered normal, but can be upsetting for the woman.

Equally, for the man, his prescribed role as a lover tends to be more dominant, while she is more passive and yielding. And while most couples might prefer things to be different, the man usually doesn’t have much control over when he comes, and he’s grateful for any pleasure he gets and/or is able to give his partner.

But sex can be much better than this when the length, intensity, and pleasure of intercourse give the man a feeling of satisfaction and masculine power, and the woman enough stimulation to feel fulfilled and “satisfied”.

And if the man can choose when to “release”, and has control over the timing of his orgasm, then both partners tend to feel much happier.

Especially the woman, because intercourse will involve satisfying physical contact and emotional connection with her partner. And maybe even an orgasm.

And it’s true that some women find long lasting vaginal intercourse produces a deeply satisfying G spot or vaginal orgasm, which is a profoundly different experience to a clitoral orgasm.

But for most couples, delayed ejaculation is a problem. You can click here to get an effective treatment.


delayed-92*Two good research summaries which you may find helpful are a piece in Sandra Leiblum’s book Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, and a piece on the Treatment Of Retarded Ejaculation in the Handbook of Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders by David Rowland and Luca Incrocci, published in 2008.

*Delayed ejaculation treatment is conventionally regarded as quite complex, requiring the skilled work of systemic, psychodynamic, and cognitive behavioral therapists. As we shall see, that is not true.