"I can't orgasm during sex, only masturbation"

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Guardian - Sex adviceComments: First notice that neither the man asking the question, nor the expert answering it mention Internet porn. Second, notice that several comments (also included below) believe porn use is the cause. One woman's boyfriend had porn-induced ED and still has residual delayed ejaculation.


I can't orgasm during sex, only masturbation

I am a healthy man but I am unable to orgasm after 20 minutes of vaginal sex, so I give up. Am I missing out?

QUESTION:

I'm a healthy 32-year-old man, but am unable to orgasm through vaginal sex. I could probably get there eventually, but usually give up after 15-20 minutes, though I'm capable of reaching orgasm while masturbating. I know sex shouldn't be goal-orientated, but I feel I'm missing out.

ANSWER:

Self-pleasuring as a youngster is an important sexual step; a way of learning how your body works. However, sometimes a person's masturbating style is one that does not easily bridge to partner sex. For example, if a man gets used to a very rough style of masturbation, no vagina will provide the necessary level of friction. Consider your self-pleasuring style – might you need to practise a different type of stroke or pressure that could be more conducive to a vaginal climax?

Another obstacle to orgasming during intercourse can be lack of focus. Some people are easily distracted, and this interferes with the sexual response. Consider if intrusive thoughts or feelings are getting in the way, and if so, try to focus solely on sensation and the giving and receiving of pleasure.

An underlying fear of pregnancy, disease or loss of control can also be detrimental to satisfying intercourse. But since you enjoy your sex life, I'm not sure you are really "missing out". The more you worry about it, the less likely you are to climax the way you wish.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders. If you would like advice from Pamela Stephenson Connolly on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to <a href="http://yourbrainonporn.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"mailto:private.lives@guardian.co.uk">mailto:private.lives@guardian.co.uk">private.lives@guardian.co.uk</a> (please don't send attachments).


ONE COMMENT THREAD:

xtrapnel

The odds are that you're wanking to porn too much. If you Google "your brain on porn" you'll see that many men who use "too much" internet porn are having difficulties with real life sex. Note, this post is NOT a judgement on the morality of porn or wanking, and neither is that site. There is much useful info on there which can help you get your mojo back.

The best of luck.

BlughGrant to xtrapnel

I googled what you suggested, and the result was both informative and potentially very useful. Genuine thanks!

cbr600 to xtrapnel

Very good advice.

Dunnyboy to xtrapnel

The fact that so many people (presumably men), have recommended your post just goes to show many men have already already been there and taken the advice on board.

petgaijin to xtrapnel

Forgive me, great advice but googling 'Porn on the Brain' would work too. That's the title of that Channel 4 documentary from last year.

bobbymac1956 to xtrapnel

If he's wanking too much then he should not be googling porn anyway .

Dunnyboy to xtrapnel

It's quite interesting really. Men pass around links to these kind of sites in IMs and emails, and usually get a "thanks, best advice ever" reply from their friends a few weeks later, but naturally they never post them on their Facebook profile. There should be a CiF article on it.

petgaijin to bobbymac1956

No,no! There's a lot of evidence out now that masturbating to porn can become an addiction the same as heroin, etc. And one of the search term/s for now anyway is, 'your brain on porn'...maybe hinting at 'your brain on drugs' and 'porn on the brain' possibly after that documentary.

That said, evidence-proven medical and many, many examples of anecdotal evidence would completely agree with you.

raerae25 to xtrapnel

I wondered this.

My boyfriend of over two years had erectile dysfunction when I met him. I discovered that at his zenith he would masturbate to pornography about 9 times per day.

After some discussion - and at the risk of me looking like a jealous girlfriend - I convinced him to pack it in. After a few months he was able to obtain an erection for intercourse. However he still occasionally turns to porn and he can only very, very occasionally (about 4 times in our relationship) orgasm during intercourse. To orgasm he needs to masturbate with an image at a distance.

This Ted Talk illustrates this problem.

Obviously this is not necessarily the writer's problem, but considering the deal of discussion currently surrounding the connection between regular internet porn use and erectile/ sexual dysfunctions I find it strange that Pamela doesn't mention it as a possibility.

It is probably, as you infer in your comment, that folks are very afraid of coming across as positively Victorian if they criticise or even question the pornocopia.

elmondo2012 to xtrapnel

Agreed - Your brain on porn: Evolution has not prepared your brain for today's Internet porn.

whitworthflange to xtrapnel

You're just tossing that off aren't you? How the hell do you know what his internet habits are?

raerae25 to whitworthflange

The writer of said comment is simply making a plausible suggestion, not administering a fact.

A large percentage of men (and a lesser but still substantial percentage of women) watch porn on a regular basis. Social scientists and neuroscientists are getting to grips with evidence of potential effects of this. Not to be moralistic, but one such effect is erectile dysfunction and problems with sexual intercourse based on a number of factors.

Considering this, it seems plausible given this climate that the original writer MIGHT have this problem.
Many men I have spoken to who do, don't consider porn as being potentially one of the reasons they struggle with sexual intercourse because these days, arguably, it is taken as a 'given' that men watch porn and that is, that arbitrary word, 'normal', hence not problematic or potentially damaging.