Another Definition Of Delayed Ejaculation
Bernard Apfelbaum, a sex therapist with a lot of experience of delayed ejaculation, thinks it results from a man's lack of sexual desire and sexual excitement.
He observes that most of his clients have difficulty in reaching orgasm with a sexual partner present, and suggests that such difficulty in reaching orgasm and ejaculating might be caused by what he calls an "autosexual" orientation.
In other words: a man is only stimulated to orgasm by his own stimulation (often when he is masturbating on his own).
But men with delayed ejaculation (DE for short) often have hard and long lasting erections. You might ask – surely this is a sign of sexual arousal? Well, possibly. But then again, possibly not.
The fact that a man cannot get sufficiently aroused to ejaculate with a sexual partner can be masked by a hard and long lasting erection.
But his hard-on may be neither an expression of sexual desire nor of sexual excitement.
It's merely a physical response, a bodily reaction, being used by the man to fulfill his partner's expectations of intercourse.
Apfelbaum also suggested that, based on his experience, it was unlikely that men with delayed ejaculation have strong feelings of hostility, anger or rejection towards women.
More likely they were simply unable to be "selfish" enough to make their needs and wishes known to their sexual partners, or to stand up for their own sexual desires.
In other words, men with DE are actually extremely self-controlling and conscientious about fulfilling the their duties as a sexual partner – the result of which is that they feel under immense pressure to satisfy their woman.
Never able to give enough, according to their internal belief system of how sex works, the man therefore also conveys the impression that his sexual partner is inadequate and cannot function sexually either.
The couple gradually withdraw from sex as a mutually satisfying experience into a world of autosexuality (at least as far as the man is concerned).
In essence, in this theory, delayed ejaculation is the result of a lack of sexual arousal.
And, interestingly, when men with ejaculation difficulties were interviewed in one study, they reported significantly lower levels of sexual arousal than men with normal sexual functioning, men with erectile dysfunction, and men with premature ejaculation.
So, in short, men with a slow, late or delayed climax appear to be characterized by a low level of sexual desire.
This sexual reticence, this delay in reaching orgasm, could be caused by both physical and emotional factors, including low penile sensitivity, a high ejaculatory reflex threshold, and the psychological issues that have already been mentioned.
The Meaning Of Delays In Orgasm
So how to get to the bottom of all this?
During treatment, a sex therapist will interview a client to establish exactly how he feels about sexual activity.
He might, for example, ask whether the man experiences pressure to perform sexually even before sex begins, or whether these feelings may emerge later during sexual activity.
Or he may try to establish if a man is "cut off" or emotionally detached from his involvement in the sexual act, i.e., if he is slightly dissociated, a condition known as "spectatoring".
A therapist would also want to establish the degree of connection between a man's level of sexual arousal and his ability to gain an erection.
Other questions might include whether a man wanted to receive sexual stimulation from his partner, his level of and involvement in sexual fantasies, whether he had any feelings of guilt, and his ability to understand his own feelings and emotions during sexual contact with his partner.
That's as opposed to having a focus on satisfying his partner. And it's important to know about any sense of frustration or boredom during sex.
It's important to establish how a man who can't ejaculate understands his partner's feelings, and what his level of anxiety about achieving orgasm during intercourse actually is (if he's able to reach climax at all!).
It's also critical to understand how a man with DE masturbates. This isn't just about the technique that he uses to achieve orgasm with his hand, or in any other fashion, but also about the inner mental processes that he undergoes, and especially the fantasy imagery which accompanies his masturbation.
The biggest key, perhaps, to a man's sexual functioning is whether or not there is any level of sexual fantasy about which he feels conflicted and which tries to suppress.
Another key point in analyzing DE is the fact that many men will continue attempting to reach orgasm during intercourse up to a point where they lose their erection.
This critical moment is worthy of close examination, because whatever happens at the point where the man's erection begins to fade is clearly an important sign of the origin and treatment of his ejaculation problems.
Finally, it's important to understand that this particular sexual dysfunction can be the product of side effects of drugs taken for other medical conditions.
Psychoanalytic View Of Ejaculation Problems
The psychoanalytic view of delayed ejaculation is that it is the bodily appearance of unconscious fears associated with sex in general, and ejaculation in particular: for example, ejaculation is associated with castration or death, or an unwillingness to "give" (that is to say, give his ejaculate to the sexual partner).
In psychoanalytic terms this is associated with anal-retentiveness.
In essence, something that is unacceptable to an individual is repressed into the conscious mind because s/he cannot allow himself to think or feel it.
Once in there it is transformed into an impulse which manifests in that person's behavior.
In other words, a man's reluctance to ejaculate is seen as a symptom of his unconscious hostility or resentment towards his sexual partner.
Apfelbaum has pointed out that there is another way of looking at this entirely: that is to say, a man who ejaculates in a very late fashion may be simply reflecting the fact that he does not want sex with his partner because he dislikes intercourse (or his partner).
In the absence of any justification or reason that will explain to his sexual partner why he feels this way, he instead adopts a pattern of behavior – albeit unconsciously – which involves rigid erections and long-lasting sex, whilst simultaneously and intensely resenting his role in (having to) satisfy his partner.
As Apfelbaum says, delayed ejaculation "is the mentality of the trapped… It is a foreign notion that he might need a good reason to refuse coital orgasms."
Many men are accused of not wanting to "give" by their sexual partners. This suggests that the resistance to ejaculation is a symptom of a desire to "withhold" – an idea the psychoanalysts love!
But Apfelbaum suggests that this view represents the view of the partner and a generally held social consensus. There is no allowance in it for the fact that an individual man may actually not want to have sex, or that he may not enjoy sex if he does engage in it.
In general, it's much more plausible to assume that a man who does not ejaculate during sex is in fact a man who is unable to "take, to be selfish, or responsible for his own pleasure, for the satisfaction of his own needs…..
Only when he is alone, masturbating without the presence of another individual, can he enjoy his sexual sensations and allow his desire and arousal to reach the point where he will ejaculate – mostly because he does not have to worry about the satisfaction of his partner.
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Updated August 12, 2016