Emotional & Psychological Causes

Emotions, Thoughts and Feelings

Many explanations have been put forward over the years for delayed (retarded) ejaculation (DE for short), including unconscious aggression, unexpressed anger, and resentment against the partner.

Which of these may lie behind sexual problems?

Can emotions cause delayed ejaculation? If so, which of these might be guilty of disrupting sex so much? Anger, sadness, shame, guilt, fear – and others, including embarrassment.

You might also be having sex when you don’t want to. That can disrupt things, too.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, since not being able to ejaculate during sexual activity can seem like a very mysterious problem, it’s also been suggested that fears of commitment, fear of causing pregnancy, and even fear of women, are possible causes.

And as long ago as the 1960s, Masters and Johnson were doing their pioneering research into human sexuality, and suggested there might be some association between ejaculation problems and sexual guilt, or shame associated with a strict religious upbringing.

Of course, the majority of men with a slow sexual response do not have a strict religious upbringing. But sex is still surrounded by shame and guilt.

But by looking at all the men who do have difficulty ejaculating during sex, it’s possible to put together a picture of relevant factors.

Another possible cause is use of porn or fantasy: there can be a big discrepancy between the sexual fantasy which a man has used during masturbation and the reality of sex with a relationship partner!

In fact, when you think about it, this kind of discrepancy can take many forms: the age, the body shape and size, even the sex, of the partner — all these and many other things (including the sexual activity that a couple are actually engaging in) may be different in a man’s arousing fantasy and in his sexual reality.

In other words – the reality just doesn’t turn him on enough to ejaculate.

Use of pornography may cause delays and difficulty in ejaculating in partnered sex
Can using porn cause delays in ejaculating?

These are simple ideas but they do explain why men with retarded ejaculation may lack a sufficiently high level of physical or mental arousal during sexual intercourse.

And because a man usually has a strong erection even when he has difficulty in ejaculating, it’s entirely possible he and / or his partner may see his erection as evidence of sexual arousal.

Think of this situation, which is somewhat similar: some men who are prescribed phosphodiesterase inhibitors type 5 (that’s Viagra and its brothers-in-arms to you and me) interpret the hard erection which they subsequently achieve as indicative of high arousal.

Yet often they aren’t sufficiently aroused – either psychologically, mentally, emotionally or physically – to reach orgasm.

(In simple terms, this means that Viagra is not an aphrodisiac – it simply generates an erection. And just having an erection does not mean a man is sexually aroused or turned on. A bit like men with delayed ejaculation. Probably.)

Lastly, one other factor that has been mentioned as a cause of delays in reaching orgasm or climax is sexual performance anxiety.

Anxiety can cause ejaculation problems
To what extent do you think performance anxiety may have a role to play in your ejaculation difficulties?

Many men experience anxiety around their performance during sex, moreso if they’re not particularly confident to start with.

It may stem from a man’s lack of belief in his attractiveness, or a lack of belief in his ability to satisfy his partner, or it may derive from the comparison the man makes between himself and other men.

Indeed, anxiety around a man’s very inability to ejaculate can cause performance anxiety which then prevents ejaculation. In every case, no matter what the source of the anxiety, the problem is that the mental state of anxiety interferes with the man’s understanding of the erotic sensations that he’s getting, both from his body in general and his penis in particular.

In turn this may mean he is not sufficiently sexually excited or aroused to achieve orgasm and ejaculation, even though he may be sufficiently aroused to maintain a long-lasting erection.

More Information About Slow (Or Absent) Male Orgasm


Accounts of delayed ejaculation from the social media
Accounts of delayed ejaculation from the social media

The social discussion forums can give you valuable information on people’s experiences of delayed ejaculation. Here are some typical threads which offer a degree of insight into what people have done about retarded ejaculation (and in one case, premature ejaculation).

Ejaculation problems – boyfriend has trouble coming

I am a man with retarded ejaculation

Answers from yahoo.com on retarded ejaculation

Sexual dysfunctions include the inability to control ejaculation

I can’t come during intercourse – and I’m a man!

Why can’t you come during sex?

Causes Of Delays

To understand delayed ejaculation (also known as retarded ejaculation), it is necessary to try and find an explanation for the variation in the latency period between different men – that’s the scientific term for the period between penetration and a man reaching climax during vaginal intercourse.

It’s obvious that this time period, this latency period, is controlled by biological, physical and psychological factors – not to mention behavioral factors.

How then, are we to incorporate all of these into a theory that explains the origin of delay in reaching climax?

Intravaginal ejaculatory latency time.
Graph showing time to ejaculation after penetration vs percentage of the male population.

Well, if you consider that the delay between penetration and ejaculation, known as the ejaculatory latency period, is in any case naturally variable between men, and that it’s probably genetically predisposed, then it follows that the timing or moment of ejaculation will be affected by a number of factors.

You can see this is true because the time between the onset of sexual stimulation and orgasm/ejaculation can be very different during masturbation and sexual intercourse for the same man, and very different too in different circumstances.

So any explanation of the cause of DE really needs to integrate all the factors that might be affecting a man’s sexual response. This is a useful approach because it actually helps us to see how treatment for delayed ejaculation might be made more effective.

In short, every man has a genetic predisposition which determines the ease and speed of his ejaculation. That’s also a useful model in explaining premature ejaculation (PE), which has definitely been one of the more problematic sexual dysfunctions to treat.

Indeed, treatment of PE is rather tricky just because it’s extremely difficult to establish why a man comes too quickly – yet, if you see ejaculatory problems as genetically predisposed, it becomes a lot easier to understand them – and to devise treatments for them.

In other words, retarded ejaculation can be seen as caused by a number of interacting variables, including biological, relationship, cultural, social and emotional factors.

There’s an interesting model of RE called the “sexual tipping point” (“model” being scientific speak for a theory of how something works). This is a model is designed to explain how physical, psychological and social issues might cause a man to experience a delay in ejaculating.

You are unqiue - and so are your sexual reponses
You are unique – and so are your sexual responses

The model suggests that every man has an individual sexual tipping point: that is to say, he has a threshold of arousal at which he is going to ejaculate, even though that threshold may vary from one sexual experience to another.

Inhibition of his sexual response might occur on some occasions, and stimulation of it might occur on others: after all, we all know that it takes longer to ejaculate during sex on some occasions compared to others.

This is because the mind and body can either excite or inhibit our sexual responses.

If you’re not turned on, perhaps because you’re not that keen on the partner you’re having sex with, obviously it’ll take you longer to ejaculate; the same may be true when you’ve recently ejaculated or perhaps when you’re feeling tired.

So to understand the origin of a delay in ejaculation, it’s clear that it’s necessary to understand all of the influences acting on the man who’s in a sexual situation.

To start with, there are medical issues that might have a role to play in delaying ejaculation – particularly the acquired or secondary variety (that is to say, the kind that starts later in life, some time after your first sexual experience).

There may be prescription drugs affecting a man’s sexual responses, or there may be issues with his prostate or testicular infection, for example, which have a role to play. In addition, it’s important to understand how delays in ejaculation originally developed in each man who experiences them.

Did it, for example, have its roots in religious guilt and shame around sexual issues? Or does a man’s problem originate in idiosyncratic masturbation patterns during puberty?

A clue to the origin and the causes lie in an analysis of the things that make a man reach climax more or less quickly.

For example, if a new partner makes a man come more quickly, i.e. with her he experiences less time between penetration and ejaculation, it’s a fair bet that there is a significant element of “partner attractiveness” at work.

Other factors such as the use of fantasy during sex, anxiety about sexual performance, and the sex position that a couple use during intercourse are all relevant here.

Two of the key questions in understanding this dysfunction and formulating a treatment method are: How often do you masturbate? and How do you masturbate?

If a man’s been able to achieve orgasm in his past, and yet he suddenly develops delays in ejaculation, obviously some significant life events in the recent past may be playing a part.

Prescription Drugs

The most surprising drugs can inhibit ejaculation
The most surprising drugs can inhibit ejaculation

So if you have ejaculation delays which started recently, think about any new prescription drugs you have been given, or any change in lifestyle, or any new source of stress, and indeed any other things that may have changed.

This is often helpful in understanding how to treat the problem, and how it has developed. Based all this information an appropriate treatment method can be worked out, such as the one on this website, which is flexible and adaptable for use by all men.

The Numb Come

Almost everybody thinks that ejaculation and orgasm are the same thing, but they are completely separate events. Ejaculation occurs in the genital region, and the sensation of orgasm occurs in the brain, but it involves the whole body.

You might have experienced this separation yourself: if you’ve ever had a so-called “numb come” or anesthetic ejaculation – that is to say, ejaculation without any feeling attached to it – then you’ve experienced the separation of ejaculation and orgasm. Regrettably, men with delayed ejaculation seem to experience neither of these two events.