I'm willing to bet that nine out of 10 people who read this headline will think, "A dude who has trouble orgasming? Yeah, right." Difficulty reaching orgasm is typically thought of as a female problem, but that's an unfair and harmful stereotype. The reality is that male orgasm is not a guarantee.
If you have no problem attaining an erection, but struggle to finish, here's your new game-plan.
I know it can be frustrating to even acknowledge sexual issues, but it's important to take some time to examine the history of your orgasm. Have you struggled with orgasm for your entire life, or have there been recent changes? Has it been easier to orgasm with certain partners, but not others? Or at certain periods in your life, but not others? Is it situational, or does it happen every time? There are lot of potential causes for struggles with orgasm, and one of the best ways to start weeding out those causes is by developing a clearer picture of your specific history.
See Your Doctor
Medications and medical conditions can make it harder or impossible to reach orgasm. It's a good idea to book an appointment with your doctor to talk about potential medical factors. Some of the most frequent causes of orgasmic blockages include:
- Prescription drugs. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are the most frequent culprits, but anti-psychotics, high blood pressure medications, beta-blockers and pain relievers can all make it harder to orgasm.
- Depression (yes, both depression and anti-depressants can make it harder for you to orgasm)
- Anxiety (ditto)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid disorders
- Pituitary conditions
- Issues with your nervous system
Chill on the Partying
If you tend to only have difficulty orgasming after a long night of raucous partying, it may be time to re-examine your party habits. Sounds obvious, I know, but so many people fail to make the connection. Alcohol, amphetamines and cocaine can all make it much more difficult to reach orgasm in the moment, and long-term usage can lead to long-term problems. Do your dick (and the rest of your body) a favour: Practice moderation in your drinking, and quit the drugs.
Examine Your Masturbation Habits
There are a good number of men who can orgasm just fine on their own, but have a hard time getting there with a partner. In these cases, masturbation is one of the most frequent causes of orgasmic difficulties. A lot of men masturbate in the exact same way, every single time. Masturbation is great, don't get me wrong, but it's easy to condition your body to only respond to that exact kind of stimulation. We're all familiar with the "death grip" by this point, right? It's when you masturbate using an extremely firm grip. If you use the death grip, it can be a lot harder to orgasm if you don't have that level of intensity. The same goes for having one specific technique, or always watching porn in order to orgasm.
The best masturbation advice I can give is to switch up your routine as often as you can. Don't masturbate in any particular way more than 50 per cent of the time. Here are some specific things to try:
- Use a different stroke
- Use less pressure
- Change your stroke or technique
- Try using a male masturbator
- Use your non-dominant hand
- Try fantasising instead of watching porn
There are so many different ways to masturbate, so why limit yourself to just one?
You can also use masturbation to help out in the moment with a partner, by masturbating and getting yourself close to orgasm before getting it on. Or you can take breaks to masturbate. You can also teach your partner what gives you pleasure: Have them watch you masturbate then try to imitate your techniques.
Get in Touch with Your Emotions
We come crashing into more dumb stereotypes here; yes, guys do have feelings. When I'm working with a client in my practice, we do a lot of digging to try to get at the root of what's going on for that particular dude. More often than not, I find that there's actually a pretty understandable reason why he's having a hard time orgasming with a partner. Here are just some of those reasons:
- He's feeling guilty about having sex. Sometimes this is religious or moral guilt. Sometimes it's because he's doing something he knows he shouldn't, such as cheating on his partner.
- If his partner is female, he doesn't want to get her pregnant. Even if they have agreed to try to get pregnant, he may be feeling conflicted about becoming a parent.
- He's worried about contracting an STI.
- He's been sexually abused in the past. (Another stereotype is that men are never the victims of sexual abuse. That's just not true.)
- There's a lot of discord in his relationship. Sometimes his partner may even be mocking him or upset with him for having a hard time reaching orgasm.
- He's under a lot of stress in general.
One of the things I catch myself saying over and over again is, "Your penis isn't a machine. It responds to the dynamics going on in the rest of your life." Sometimes your penis is trying to tell you something by refusing to cooperate with your plans. If you can start listening to it, you can get back on the same page.
Ask for What You Need
I also work with a lot of men who have a hard time asking for what they need, or allowing themselves to receive during partnered sex. Some men are overly focused on their partners, and not very much on themselves.
We also have really dumb sexual stereotypes that say men are supposed to be able to get it on wherever, whenever, and women are the delicate flowers who need foreplay and mood-setting. That's BS. It's OK for you to want and need foreplay, focused or other specific types of stimulation. And your pleasure is just as important as your partner's — remind yourself of that in the moment.
Get More Stimulation
Oftentimes, all that men (and women, for that matter) need to reach orgasm is some additional stimulation. Your body needs something to respond to; it's not just going to orgasm out of nowhere. Here are some ideas to try:
- Get in the mood with erotica or porn.
- Ask your partner for a hand job or blow job. Some people need focused stimulation, where they can pay attention to receiving without simultaneously worrying about pleasuring their partners.
- Incorporate anal play, if you don't already. The anus and rectum contain a lot of nerve endings, so having them stimulated can create a lot of pleasure, and can help put you over the top.
- Try a sex toy. A vibrating cock ring or couples toy can feel amazing. Or try a butt plug.
- Watch yourselves in the mirror.
- Use lube — it can greatly heighten sensation. If your sex life includes penetration on your part, lube will also make things more comfortable for your partner, and allow the two of you to go for longer.
It's also important to focus on the stimulation you're feeling in the moment, and allow yourself to feel pleasure. It's natural to want to orgasm, but so many of us tend to forget that pleasure is not only the pathway to orgasm, but the reason why orgasm feels so great in the first place. The more you can pay attention to pleasure, the more enjoyable your sexual experiences will be, and the more likely you'll be to orgasm.