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Man Can’t Come

Q. I’m a 39 year old male in a relationship with a wonderful lady that I love very much. She is smart, beautiful and extremely sexy and making love with her is always wonderful. I do have a problem though in that I’m having a difficult time reaching orgasm. I could understand it if I were having some difficulty maintaining an erection, but that certainly isn’t the case. I love the sexual chemistry we have and that she wants to make love as much as I do.

She is so wonderful about this and has been a great partner trying pretty much anything from oral sex to different positions to get me to climax. But for the most part, in order for me to reach orgasm, I have to masturbate myself while she watches. You need to know that this has happened in previous relationships but I was always able to hide the fact that I didn’t reach orgasm during sex even though my partners would.

So, I don’t know where to turn with this problem and since this is the lady I want to spend the rest of my life with I need some help. Because I love her so much I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get me through this.

A. As you probably know, last semester a man wrote me who was experiencing something similar. That column generated more comments than any other single thing I’ve ever written. There are a couple of major differences between his experience and yours, and those differences change my recommendations entirely.

Sexual dysfunctions generally have in common something called “subjective discomfort”. This means that if you have a problem with it, it’s a problem. If you’re OK with it, then you don’t. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but in general, it’s your feelings about what’s happening that determine whether or not something is a dysfunction.

What you’re describing affects about 10% of those with penises at some point in their lives. It is fairly easy to treat, and I think you and your partner can probably do it by yourselves. To start with, I would suggest that you try Bridging.

Bridging is similar to Edging in some ways. In this case what I mean is to engage in an activity likely to result in orgasm, in your case self-pleasuring, and then when you are very close to coming, your partner would pleasure you. This can be done in a variety of wonderful ways, but given what you’ve said in your question, I would suggest that she continue to pleasure you with her hand to start with. The trick to this is to COMMUNICATE. You need to be able to let her know when you are very close to coming, and she needs to continue to stimulate you as similarly to what you were doing yourself as she can.

Like many types of sex therapy, this treatment is gradual. It might not work the first time, or even the second. It is likely to work, though. Once you can come with her pleasuring you in that manner, try switching a little earlier. Continue with that until it’s easy and comfortable. You can try the same thing with other activities at that point. Pleasure yourself until you are close, and then your partner can continue to stimulate you orally or in whatever ways you and she like.

It sounds like you and she are already communicating well, and that you’re being honest with her about your experience. Good luck, and let me know how it works. I’ve got other tricks up my keyboard if necessary.