Why Can’t I Ejaculate: The 9 Causes of Delayed Ejaculation

I just can’t come any more! When I have sex with my girlfriend, I need to thrust for a long time before I can come.  And even then sometimes I don’t come at all.

My partner is patient, but I know she is getting bored and sore. It feels like she just wants me to finish.  The harder I try, the harder it is to have an orgasm.  

~ Jim, 34 year old

 

Jeff is experiencing delayed ejaculation (aka retarded ejaculation), a condition which until recently has affected only a limited number of men. But over the last few decades we have seen a dramatic rise in the incidence, particularly in younger men.

Delayed ejaculation is “the persistent or recurrent delay in or absence of orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase…” ~ DSM IV.

Most men in this category can reach orgasm during masturbation, but what defines DE is the inability to have org in the presence of a partner.  In its mildest form, DE is identified by a difficulty in reaching orgasm after long periods of thrusting, oral or manual stimulation with a partner.  The second, more severe form, is when a man can still have an orgasm, but only when he is by himself.  And the most severe form, when a man cannot reach orgasm at all, is still quite rare.

 

Original Causes of Delayed Ejaculation:

Originally sex therapists and researchers believed the main cause of delayed ejaculation was a lack of enough, or the appropriate, stimulation.  While stimulation can be a consideration, new research shows that it is not that simple.  We need to look to other factors.

1.  Age:

A man can expect a certain amount of decline in sexual function with age.  In some individuals age may contribute to DE, however it is considered only a minor influence in retarding ejaculation, prompting me to use slightly stronger stimulation to affect the same result in sensation.

 

2. Fear of pregnancy:

While condom use can dull the sensation during intercourse, wearing no condom can be equally as concerning to men who are trying to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.   Delayed ejaculation could come out of a fear of impregnating a lover.

 

3. Fear of losing control:

Early experiences of shame, embarrassment or trauma around sex can cause both men and women to have difficulty “letting go” into sexual pleasure and orgasm.

 

4. Unusual Masturbation Pattern:

Sex therapists have found that many men who suffer with delayed ejaculation have become accustomed to one style of masturbation that is difficult to replicate with a real life partner. The sexual arousal cycle created with this patter of masturbation becomes ‘mismatched’ with real life partners.

 

Newer Causes for Delayed Ejaculation:

Why are more men experiencing issues with orgasm than before?  Over the last few decades aspects of our culture and technology have changed sufficiently to start interfering with men’s sexual arousal and orgasm.

5. Medication: Popular SSRI Antidepressants:

Popular drugs, such as serotonin-based antidepressants (SSRIs), can help depression, but the change in levels of serotonin can interfere with the orgasm process.  In fact, SSRIs are used to treat men who have the opposite issue, ejaculating too quickly.

6. Unrealistic expectations:  Sexy Pictures

The explosion of sexual content on the Internet and other media has made sex instantly accessible.  Because sexually explicit material  is commonly filled with images of idealized fantasies of sex, a real partner can pale in comparison.  Arousal in real-world scenarios often never reaches the arousal level that can be harvested from the inner-world.

7. Concern over violence toward women:

As men have become sensitive of women’s enjoyment of sex some of them will hold back their arousal during intercourse, worried that they may physically hurt their lover.

8. Condom use: 

HIV made us more aware of our need for safe sex.  Increased condom use has left many men wanting for sufficient feeling during intercourse.

9. Internet brain:

The endless, fascinating images and information found on the Internet has changed our threshold of what the brain finds interesting.  Online life is direct and stimulating, leaving real life experiences to feel dull.  This phenomenon is spilling over into sexual arousal, dampening the levels of excitement necessary to orgasm.

Causes of delayed ejaculation have one thing in common – lack of arousal. Most men, however, are unaware of this lack.  Once erect, they feel that their arousal is sufficiently high, and they put their attention onto their lover’s pleasure or other distractions that dampen their own excitement. Arousal never reaches the level necessary for orgasm.

 

What to do about Delayed Ejaculation? Read more on the  Treatment for Delayed Ejaculation.