Advice For Couples

When A Man Can’t Ejaculate, Is It Because Of Inhibition Or Lack Of Desire?

Two theories which explain why a man might not be able to ejaculate involve, first, the inhibition of sexual impulses, and second, a lack of sexual desire (a “desire deficit”).

Helen Singer Kaplan came up with the inhibition model, and Bernard Apfelbaum came up with the desire deficit model. And the treatment strategies for these two theories are very different.

Kaplan’s method of treating retarded ejaculation was to encourage the man to ejaculate intravaginally by using strong stimulation of the man’s penis, gradually bringing him nearer and nearer to his partner’s vagina, before finally having him ejaculate inside her.

This has been criticized as “aggressive”. And indeed it is.

Yet an approach which simply consists of trying to understand the psychological forces at work in the man’s subconscious might also be criticized because delayed ejaculation is partly a couple’s problem, not the man’s alone.

So any effective treatment program requires a suitable combination of approaches which work together effectively.

The first thing that a sex therapist might suggest is “guided stimulation techniques”.

Techniques To Achieve Ejaculation When A Man’s Unable To Ejaculate

But first….

A video worth watching if you experience the inability to ejaculate

If delayed ejaculation is an unconscious process, caused by something that inhibits the man’s sexual responses, one approach to solving his ejaculatory difficulty is to find a way of enabling him to drop his excessive control.

And also increasing the sexual stimulation he’s receiving so he can reach the point of ejaculatory inevitability.

The first option to do this is to use a desensitization process that helps him ejaculate intravaginally.

And this might be combined with guided stimulation exercises using sexual play and sexual fantasy which take the man’s mind off his fears of failure and reduce his performance anxiety.

A graded series of desensitization exercises might start from a man’s existing sexual capacity – which might be, for example, masturbating on his own in private – and lead up towards the goal of intravaginal ejaculation.

Desensitization has to be done creatively. So, for instance, if a man is only able to ejaculate without his partner present, then the first step may literally be that: self-stimulation to the point of ejaculation in the absence of his partner.

The next natural step would be to have his partner somewhere in the house, an adjoining room, perhaps, and then finally in the same room.

Of course the man has to have a high level of sexual arousal throughout the process, so techniques to increase this, and to reduce his anxiety, are essential.

A couple could use as many steps as they need to allow the man to finally feel comfortable with the idea of ejaculating his partner’s presence, and from there might move to sexual stimulation by the sexual partner until the man is near to climax.

At this point, the “bridging maneuver” can be used. This involves the man receiving stimulation until he’s close to orgasm and ejaculation, and then promptly inserting his penis into the vagina, where he experiences his orgasm.

Sexual stimulation of the nipples, anus, prostate or testicles can help achieve this.

Diagram of the prostate location should you feel moved to try prostate stimulation.

diagram showing location of the prostate gland
Location of the prostate if you feel inclined to try prostate massage.

Because the man needs to feel comfortable with what’s going on, he is often instructed to be “selfish” and experiment with sexual techniques, to ensure he feels comfortable in “using” his partner only for the purpose of sexual gratification.

There is much more information about how this technique can be adapted to use at home successfully in the treatment program.

One of the key factors, though, is that the man should only engage in sexual intercourse when he is adequately aroused (i.e. likely to have an orgasm).

Remember, low arousal is one of the characteristic features of delayed ejaculation.

A great approach to treatment is to combine desensitization exercises with some kind of approach that reframes the man’s beliefs and attitudes towards sex.

So, for example, this might be about getting a man to acknowledge his true feelings around sex (for example, does he really want to have sex with his partner?) and also around his lack of sexual arousal (what really turns him on?)

But it’s also important to deal with fundamental aspects of delayed ejaculation like the belief that a man should be “more giving” to his partner during intercourse.

All the other faulty myths and false beliefs that men hold around sex can inhibit their sexual expression and ability to ejaculate.

That means one objective of any treatment program must be to draw these out, examine them, and reframe them into more realistic beliefs and ideas about sex.

So, for example, if a man believes that he is unable to give sufficiently to his partner during intercourse, he may be encouraged to see that the problem is actually that he’s unable to take his own pleasure in sexual interactions with his partner.

Similarly, the reasons for his need to have excessive control over his own emotional and physical release during intercourse can be examined and reframed. Is this a bigger issue of a need to be in control generally?

The partner should be involved in this because she often believes that the man’s delayed ejaculation is somehow a form of rejection.

In fact, when a woman can understand that her man is actually trying too hard to have his own orgasm for her benefit, she’s much more likely to be sympathetic and ready to assist with treatment.