I am a 35 year old man, and I have a real problem reaching orgasm during sex. I am married, and have to bug my wife constantly for sex. When we talk about it, she says she would be happy doing it once per fortnight, whereas in my ideal world, we'd do it every night! So we compromise and end up doing it, on average, a couple of times per week. So I spend all week looking forward to those rare nights, and when the day comes I find myself on-edge, anxious (that she might put it off again), but excited. Then finally the time comes, the kids are asleep, so we get into bed (she never wants to do it anywhere else) and we have sex. It is fantastic, and I am really turned on, but I just can't orgasm. I go at it for up to an hour, by which time I know my wife is tired, bored, and probably starting to hurt. So I stop, and we go to sleep. Then I start thinking about the next time, and looking forward to that with anxiousness and excitement, and so the pattern repeats itself. It is making me thoroughly miserable. It makes me so angry with myself and depressed, I hate myself. The thing is I don't have any problem at all when I masturbate, it is only when we have sex. And it makes my wife want to have sex less, because she says it takes so long! Please help, it is really getting me down.
Asked by anonymous
15th August 2010 (in Sex)
Response from Men's Sexual Health:
From what you describe, it appears your difficulty stems from a kind of performance anxiety. Although you obviously are highly aroused having sex with your wife, the thought that you are doing something she does not want to do is most likely interfering with your ability to climax. The more you want to orgasm and don't, the more you worry about it. The more you worry about it, the less likely it is to happen, resulting in both parties finding the end result frustrating. Even if your wife was in the mood to start with, regular, hour long sex sessions that don't end in climax when that is the desired goal, might leave her feeling like she is doing something wrong as well.
There are many things to consider here. You and your partner have different sexual appetites. This problem is not uncommon. Many couples find their sexual needs differ, or change from being the same to another level. The fact that you have talked about your differing needs implies the two of you have open communications and a willingness to work together. You have reached a compromise, which is a good start. These are all signs of a healthy relationship. You have a great starting point.
Try to remove pressure from yourself to orgasm when you do have sex. You know you can orgasm, you can do it when you masturbate. What makes it better when you are having sex with your wife? The joy of being intimate. Spend some time concentrating on the pleasure of being together, instead of the end result. Focus on the pleasure of being intimate with your wife, enjoying each other. Better yet, why not have a few nights thinking more about what your wife finds arousing in bed. She may open up to you and ask for a massage with scented oil, a night of jut being held and stroked, or kissed, who knows what she really wants? You will if you ask. If you are worried an activity will go on too long (because there is no 'finish' as in orgasm), agree with your wife beforehand about how long you will spend being intimate; that the goal isn't to reach orgasm, but to enjoy feeling good together.
It is also worth noting that men and women can be wired quite differently when it comes to sex. Where men are usually very visual, thus the sight of your wife may be enough to turn you on, women tend to be more sexually motivated through emotional closeness and harmony. Generally, men compartmentalize sex from everything else in their life; women see everything connected to everything. Give her more emotional intimacy before sexual intimacy. This can be done through simple things like affectionate looks and embraces, or even making a cup of tea! Things you may take for granted could be taking up her whole day: cooking, cleaning, work, children, making it difficult to switch to thinking about her own physical needs, whereas you've been thinking all day "Tonight's the night!" Help her with things, bathe the children and put them to bed, giving her time to relax before getting into bed with you. You may find it makes a world of difference! Eventually, she may find she's looking forward to your intimate evenings together, wanting them more often!
As I said, there are many things to consider, but I hope this has given you a starting point. If you have more information you would like to share about your situation, please do so and we will try our best to help!
Answered by team member Mara
16th August 2010
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