Defining Delayed Ejaculation

Delayed ejaculation is a condition that refers to men taking an extended period of time to ejaculation (orgasm, cum, get off, bust a nut). Some men can not ejaculate during intercourse at all. Some men experience delayed ejaculation their whole sexual lives and others start having difficulty after having no trouble getting to orgasm before. Some men experience delayed ejaculation in specific situations, or only with certain partners.

Ejaculation is the physiological response to built up arousal ending in a release, while orgasm is the subjective interpretation of the pleasurable release of sexual activity.

Most people have struggled to have an orgasm at some point in their lives or during occasional sexual encounters. Orgasm difficulties from time to time are normal. The condition of delayed orgasm refers to ongoing difficulties.

Common reactions to delayed or missing ejaculation are frustration, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, and inadequacy.

Where delayed ejaculation comes from

You see orgasm in every movie that sex leads to both partners having orgasms at the same time. The actors are often very loud and explosive. Pornography also shows unrealistic expressions of orgasm that can leave people feeling like their gentle, quieter orgasm is not good enough. These expectations are confusing for people to not fully know what orgasm feels like or what they are really striving to achieve.

Myths in our society have limited sex to penis in vagina intercourse ending with the man’s ejaculation. While women are expected to have difficulty coming to orgasm during intercourse which has been normalized a lot more than the man who struggles to climax. The reality is that some men struggle to orgasm during intercourse and some women orgasm easily.

Men have a refractory period after orgasm where the penis becomes very sensitive to touch and they cannot regain their erection to continue having sex. Whereas some women are able to have multiple orgasms and continue to be sexual by switching up the stimulation.

Ejaculation of the sperm is also necessary for having children. If you and your partner want to have children, there is a lot of focus on your orgasm which may create more pressure and anxiety around why it does not happen for you every time or at all.

Delayed ejaculation can be a very difficult thing to confront individually and in relationships. While a lot of this article is from heteronormative messages, men who have sex with men also struggle to orgasm every time.

Some men developed the problem of delayed ejaculation due to relying on porn and fantasy (commonly referred to online as Porn-induced erectile dysfunction) or a specific type of masturbation (death grip, prone masturbation, etc) that does not translate to the same sensations when you are with a partner.

Others are so focused on their performance and their partner’s enjoyment that they struggle to get into their own body, feeling their physical sensations to increase arousal and help orgasm. Their sexual excitement simply comes from the amount of pleasure they can create for their partner, as opposed to from being touched. Remember, men are taught it is more desirable to last for a long time, and thus have trained themselves to delay orgasm. Many men, accidentally get too good at this, and lose their natural ability to be sexually responsive to stimulation. Additionally, cumming too quickly or premature ejaculation is mistakenly associated with inexperience or sense of masculinity. While the partner may react by thinking it is something about them adding even more pressure to get off.

Clinical Presentation

Delayed ejaculation can be caused by medical conditions such as chronic illness, surgery complications, or a side effect of medication. Some men experience different sensitivity in their penis or have testosterone deficiencies.

While the actual prevalence of men who experience delayed ejaculation is difficult to calculate, the American Psychological Association in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders 5 indicated delayed ejaculation is experienced by less than 1% of men. The qualifying criteria for fitting the DSM 5 diagnosis of delayed ejaculation is distress around the problem lasting over 6 months in 75-100% of sexual activity.

APA reported 25% of men do not ejaculate during every sexual encounter. Prevalence occurs across cultures and age ranges, but does increase likelihood for men above 50 years old. While, WebMD reported prevalence estimates less than 3%.

Treatment for delayed ejaculation

The strategies some men use to focus on not ejaculating too quickly are actually counterintuitive to what works to gain more sexual control while also promoting orgasm. Look into more about treatment for orgasm issues in men in the other tips or contact our specialized sex therapists for a consultation.

  • Redefine your Sexpectations 
    • Having an orgasm and sexual satisfaction are not always connected
  • Expand definition of sex to not end with ejaculation
  • Try outercourse sexual play to increase sensitive and your brain’s reward loop to enhance different body sensations
    • Plan a hands only sex night
    • Open up pleasure possibilities with oral sex
    • Focus on non-genital touching to find unexplored erogenous zones
    • Exploring anal pleasure
  • Masturbate using different touches

If you still have trouble experiencing pleasure beyond your specific masturbation preferences or want to continue to work on having an orgasm during sex, you may need help from an experienced sex therapist.