Delayed Take Off: Inhibited Ejaculation
The plane sat still on the tarmac. Inside the passengers waited restlessly for long, impatient minutes, hoping that take-off will be soon. Hundreds of details, many minor, must all line up perfectly in completion for the plane to take off. What will it take for the air traffic control tower to finally send the message, “Cleared for takeoff?”
Some men are like that…they do not take off, or take a very long time to do so. Other men cannot finish no matter how hard they try. Just like the passengers on the plane, if that plane doesn’t take off, irritability and frustration will result. For the men when with their partner, if not corrected, the difficulty or inability to ejaculate can have deep and harmful effects on the man, the partner and the relationship.
Delayed ejaculation is a sexual problem that doesn’t get much press. Premature ejaculation, which is now formally called an ejaculatory control problem, is more common and more well known. It troubles many male lovers and is the opposite of delayed ejaculation because men have difficulty stopping ejaculation, especially when the timing is inopportune. Men in general are challenged to last long enough before ejaculating to fully please a female partner. Because of the value of being a lover who can last a long time before ejaculating, at first glance, this problem can seem like a blessing…one of endurance. Men are not likely to announce this problem, especially when he can view the problem through the lens of machismo, “I can last for hours!”
Deeper within, he knows that he cannot easily finish the job. Feelings of embarrassment, shame, and inadequacy accelerate once the partner identifies the issue as a problem. A cycle of performance anxiety commences in which during intercourse a man tries increasingly hard to succeed. Increasingly vigorous effort is not always welcome to a female partner whose arousal is declining. The unfortunate paradox is that the harder a man tries, the more elusive success will be.
The knot of this problem grows tighter when the partner reacts in hurtful or defensive manner. When a man ejaculates, many female partners receive his orgasm as a sign of attraction which confirms her desirability and skill as a good lover. But when his orgasm dos not occur easily, the female partner will conclude that she does not turn him on. She may worry that she is not doing sex well. The partners’ feelings and reactions may cause both the problem and arriving at a solution to grow exponentially more complex.
Because sex happens in many episodes or sessions, the impact of a problem influences the sexual togetherness incrementally. Consider a bicycle wheel that is out of round. The more the imperfect wheel is used, the more out of round it becomes. Similarly, sexual partners react to each other by making adjustments to avoid discomfort and also to fix the situation accord to each partner’s diagnosis of the problem. If the diagnosis is incorrect, which may occur due to limited communication, the problem worsens.
As with many sexual problems, relaxing is the solution. Many women who cannot climax, or who have to work hard to get there are in a similar boat. Relaxing is a very simple thing to do, but finding the obstacles to relaxing is not always so simple. The sources of anxiety are many. They may be hidden. They may be very old issues, long forgotten. Not to despair, however, because once uncovered, the obstacles to overcoming delayed ejaculation are not hard to remove. As always, applying loving efforts to the problem by both partners will help to travel more quickly the road to success. Andrew Aaron, LICSW