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Boyfriend cannot orgasm during sex.
October 19, 2009 12:16 PM   Subscribe

After 3 years boyfriend tells me he thinks he may have a sexual dysfunction.

My boyfriend cannot orgasm during sex. I orgasm perfectly fine, I finally learned to have a gspot orgasm after 2 years and I can have a clit orgasm, though only through foreplay. He recently told me he doesn't get off during sex after I have found out he was hiding a porn dvd from me and I caught him masturbating a couple times. He blames it on a sexual dysfunction but I seriously doubt that only because I feel if he cannot orgasm during sex, how can he masturbate in under 10 minutes. When I question him about it it only starts a fight between us and he says I'm being selfish for wanting to be able to please him, because I do try. It just hurts me, that all this time he says he enjoys me and that he orgasms, then he breaks down and tells me differently 3 yrs later. It honestly makes me lose trust for him, I feel if he knew he had a sexual dysfunction he would have told me from the start. I really do not know how to deal with this. I know he loves me deeply which is probably why he has hidden it from me to keep from hurting me. He also said he can orgasm with me but he cannot cum when I told him it was practically the same thing he just tells me that I do not understand. I assure him I really do understand and I know that sex should not be all about achieving an orgasm, it's more so about the closeness and intimacy, but still it bothers me knowing I cannot please him. Also any time I have ever talked about bringing toys into the relationship he blows it off like he's not interested. Can anyone help me to understand or possibly offer some helpful tips if youve had similar problems.

A couple side notes, he suggested trying lubes but I always thought lubes were more for women than men. Also we do not use protection so that's not an issue.
posted by lwclec072 to Society & Culture (39 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
So he has orgasms with the porn and not with you?
posted by bunny hugger at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2009


yeah, i've caught him masturbating in the bath, too.
posted by lwclec072 at 12:36 PM on October 19, 2009


Perhaps he's gay?
posted by timeistight at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


If someone was always trying to monitor my orgasms and "caught" me having them alone, I would probably not be able to orgasm with that person. Stop pressuring him, stop making it a big deal, and let his orgasms be his orgasms. They don't belong to you, and if they happen around you sometimes, that's nice.
posted by slow graffiti at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2009 [16 favorites]


Ok, as a guy, let me shed some light on a couple things.

1. It is indeed possible for us to orgasm without ejaculating. Especially so if he jerks off enough on his own. And just because nothing comes out, doesn't mean it feels any less intense, so don't be offended by his lack of ejaculating...a lot of girls would actually be thrilled to have less mess to clean up.

2. You're likely right that he hid this from you because he loves you and doesn't want you to break up with him over it. So try not to flip out or you'll just reinforce the deceptive behavior.

3. Different people get off to different things. When a guy is masturbating, he has a lot more control over the stimulation than when he is having sex. Now, for most of us, sex just feels better no matter what, but it is entirely possible that masturbation just feels better for him. Its not abnormal, just different.

4. Some people need porn to get off--its just how they are wired.

So, some things to try would be...

-The obvious...put porn on while you try doing whatever you can to get him off. Don't worry about you getting off, just make it all about him. Once he realizes he can get off with you, it might make it easier to do in the future.

- Flipping out on him will get you nowhere. Remain cool as a cucumber and say something like "I feel like you damaged our trust by lying about such a big thing for so long, but I can understand why you might have done it. If you can promise you won't ever lie about something like that again, we can put this behind us and work on this together." Then work on it together...remind him its not weird, just how he's wired and how its just biology--making it a little scientific can remove some of the anxiety he may have over it. Try different things with him and show him you are supportive! Remember, you can please him, you just haven't figured out how to please him in a way that gets him to orgasm AND ejaculate at the same time.

- Lube may help but if he doesn't use it when he masturbates, it may be a lack of friction during sex that is the culprit.
posted by Elminster24 at 12:42 PM on October 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Did the porn DVD feature any special kind of kink, or anything? If he's aroused enough with you to get an erection that's a good sign, but maybe he needs something specific & different mentally to orgasm, that isn't supplied & cannot be imagined during 'normal' sex...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2009


He also said he can orgasm with me but he cannot cum when I told him it was practically the same thing he just tells me that I do not understand.

Um, hm. I'll assume for the sake of this thread that what is meant here is that he can experience an orgasm, but he cannot ejaculate from that orgasm. Please clarify if this is incorrect, and if you don't don't understand the difference, you're probably best off learning about that before trying to solve your problem.

Assuming what I just said is correct, you've "caught him masturbating" in more than one scenario. It seems hard to believe that you would catch him ejaculating numerous times, given the limited window of opportunity, so there's nothing about him masturbating that suggests he's lying about not being able to ejaculate.

So: based on what I've just written, can you confirm that the specific problem is his inability to ejaculate into you?
posted by davejay at 12:44 PM on October 19, 2009


using ejaculate and orgasm interchangably in your question is making it hard for me to follow along because it seems like you are contradicting yourself.

if you guys have unprotected sex, how are you just finding out 3 years in that he doesn't ejaculate?

fwiw - some guys can ejaculate and orgasm separately. saying that they are "basically the same thing" does show that you don't understand that.

what are your attitudes towards porn? why is he hiding his porn? have you tried to watch porn together? does he ejaculate or orgasm during oral or manual sex? if you think that lube is just for women, what do you hope to achieve with toys? also, if you're so hurt by this and he said 'lets try lube', why would you question it instead of just trying it? (ps - lube is absolutely not just for women). when you say you have unprotected sex, do you mean that you just don't use a condom or that there's no protection at all? is one of you fixed? is it possible that he's afraid of getting your knocked up, hence making him unable to finish the deed?

you're going to get a lot of advice telling you that your boyfriend should stop masturbating to porn. i don't think that's the right answer. i think there's a lot of openess and honesty missing from your relationship. if he's having a good time without emptying his balls, then you need to take him at his word on this. i would guess that his "sexual dysfunction" is actually a dysfunction of the mind. it doesn't make it any less real, but it would answer the 'why can he jack off but not ejactulate/orgasm (?) from sex".

stop telling your boyfriend, either directly or indirectly, that he has to enjoy sex in the way that you want him to. we, in general, accept that not all women can get off in slot A + tab B sex, but when a guy can't all the sudden there's something "wrong" with him. work on being more accepting and less judgmental about the things he's telling you. there's something going on with him, but your need to interpret and change the things he's saying makes it hard to suss out in this question.
posted by nadawi at 12:46 PM on October 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hmmm...it sounds like your BF is at least in some respect a little confused about sex. For one,
I am pretty flummoxed by the whole, "I can orgasm with but I can't cum" thing. Yes, it is possible to have an organism without the splooging, but it's not exactly a common thing...to say the least. Unless perhaps he's masturbating a lot and then *orgasming* with you sans semening.

Also, the lube is really not a stimulant, per se, and I don't see how that would rectify the situation unless, of course, there penetration is difficult because of friction issues.

In any case, what's going on is not a dysfunction. For some, looking at a lot of porn and frequently masturbating can make it difficult to be sexually aroused by and perform well with one's partner. He might have certain fetishes he gets from porn that he hasn't shared with you, perhaps because he's embarrassed or feels guilty, and that's the cause. Or perhaps he's just grown so accustomed to porn as his medium for sexual activity that he's not so much into the real thing.

Porn is easy. You can get off easy without having to *worry* about pleasing your partner or going through all the other motions. I can only recommend that 1) he should probably get some therapy and 2) if he's been keeping this from you for 3 years, I would strongly consider whether that is the level of trust you want in a relationship. For me, it very well be a DTMFA situation.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:46 PM on October 19, 2009


There seem to be several separate problems you're having.

1) He lied to you. You need to confront him about that, because it is entirely normal for you to feel like you cannot trust him anymore after a reveal of that magnitude. Or, equally possible, he is lying to you now to cover up the fact that you caught him watching porn, which I assume you disapprove of given that he was hiding it. Either way, you need to talk about the lying.

2) He very well might have a sexual dysfunction, and in that case it is not something you, personally, can fix. It is, though, something you can work on as a couple if you are both honest about what feels good, what doesn't, and why. Him having an orgasm while masturbating does not mean he can easily come during PIV sex, for example. What does he like? Is it the visual stimulus of porn that is missing from your shared sex life or is it the physical sensation of his own hand? Because those are two different problems with two different solutions.

3) How, exactly, have you never noticed that he did not come? Or rather, how do you define, exactly, the difference between having an orgasm and coming? I am a woman, I am well on board with the idea of sex being about the journey rather than the destination and I am well pleased with a close, intimate, loving encounter which does not result in an orgasm. I also know that the same is true for men. But if I don't have an orgasm I don't come. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy it, but it's not an orgasm. What I don't understand is how he could keep up to what amounts to faking an orgasm for three years, considering the very physical nature of male ejaculate. This brings us back to 1. He's either lying, or you are not as attentive a lover as you might have previously thought.

4) Lube is your friend. Lube is your friend. Lube is your friend. Lube is your friend. Again, lube is your friend. He's blowing off your suggestion of toys and you're blowing off his suggestion of lube. I think you guys need to have a sit down and actually talk to each other about sex.
posted by lydhre at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


He blames it on a sexual dysfunction but I seriously doubt that only because I feel if he cannot orgasm during sex, how can he masturbate in under 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, ejaculatory impotence is a very common sexual dysfunction in men. Untrained persons such as Dan Savage will often attribute it to the masturbatory grip, but the scientific literature and actual studies show it is usually psychological--often related to perfectionisitic thinking. The ability to orgasm during masturbation is a pointer to psychological issues being at the heart of the problem.

If your boyfriend is someone you care about, you can very much help him by telling him you still love him and you want to help him. Above all, he has opened up to you and been vulnerable and told you an incredibly embarassing secret that he fears you will reject him for. Imagine if a bf asked about the same thing and was angry his gf had "faked it" for years and felt she was lying about her inability to have an orgasm. You would rightly feel like he was being unfair.

Usually, short-term CBT therapy is the best thing in this situation. It is highly effective and your support and energetic help will go a long way in helping him overcome this issue. I'm certain that you'll be able to help him out a lot.

Meanwhile, when you guys are having sex, don't demand orgasm from him. If you let him masturbate to climax as part of sex, you will be helping him get better and he will be enjoying himself again.

He needs support--this isn't about you.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2009


if you guys have unprotected sex, how are you just finding out 3 years in that he doesn't ejaculate?

Now that is an extremely good question I didn't even think of.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2009


Death grip?
posted by greta simone at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2009


I think it would help you if you assume he believes what he is telling you, i.e. he is not trying to deceive you but rather he doesn't have a proper understanding of how his own body works, what he needs, etc.
posted by randomstriker at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2009


You don't say whether he has had much in the way of sexually active relationships before the current one. Could this be the old Ask Mefi favourite of a chap who has done too much wanking struggling to ejaculate through penetration? The whole orgasming thing seems a little off in your description, are you able to bring him off manually? Orally? Have you tried?
posted by biffa at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2009


Seriously, do not go after him for "lying to you." That's ridiculous. If a woman who had anorgasmia didn't tell her boyfriend, anyone, man or woman, who suggested she had been "lying" by not revealing it would be rightfully slaughtered by commenters. Nadawai is right.Just because it is a man does not mean that the caring and concern we have about female sexual dysfunction should not apply to men, who, as human beings, are entitled to the same level of support as everyone else, especially in regards to revealing a difficult problem surrounding their sexuality.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


UbuRoivas - He never let me see the porn dvd, his friend found it in his cd case and his friend told me, my boyfriend broke it and threw it away.

Davejay - I do not understand exactly what you're saying or asking. Cumming and orgasm are the same thing to me. Cumming is only a slang word for having an orgasm, if you feel differently about this please explain that to me. Only with sex has he said that he cannot ejaculate with me, his exact words were that he enjoyed it but he could not cum. I'm not saying that he doesn't enjoy having sex with me only that he cannot ejaculate with me, only through masturbation can he ejaculate. Does this clarify your question? If not, pls reword it.
posted by lwclec072 at 12:57 PM on October 19, 2009


lwclec072, I think what people are confused about is that you are using "cumming", "having an orgasm", and "ejaculating" interchangeably. Men can cum/come/have an orgasm without ejaculating. The feeling of the orgasm usually coincides with ejaculation, but they are separate enough that a man can have an orgasm without any semen coming out.

So, is he saying he can't ejaculate, or he can't have an orgasm?
posted by bedhead at 1:01 PM on October 19, 2009


Oh honey.. I can do for myself in ten minutes what some guys spend two hours trying to do -- I'm sure you can relate. It sucks but y'know what, he cares about you. While this is a slippery slope that can be very detrimental, it could always be worse.

He knows his body better than you, no matter how long you've been together. If he's hiding things from you and additionally if you're getting upset that he watches porn or "gets off without you", you guys need to talk. But only after you do some much-needed research.

To answer your question: men can achieve the sensation of an orgasm without the cum.
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:02 PM on October 19, 2009


Nadawi - What upset me about the porn was the fact that he hid it from me, so my problem w/ that from that issue of honestly. I look at porn too that's not an issue.

The issue here isn't mostly about the porn video it's about the fact that I cannot please him and that ejaculate with me.
posted by lwclec072 at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2009


If he's not masturbating with lube, and assuming you get fairly wet when you two do have sex, then that may be the problem: a lack of friction.

About the trust thing: personally I wouldn't be thrilled that I'd been lied to, but I'd probably put it more in the same bracket as "you said you liked when I cooked pasta and now I see you scoffing pizza later that day".

I wonder how much of your annoyance stems simply from the (probably incorrect) idea that you're not sexy enough to get him off, rather than him telling lies about it ?
posted by selton at 1:06 PM on October 19, 2009


Nadawi - I'm possibly infertile so that's why I never suspected anything before. Also I've tried oral and manual stimulation no luck with either. He says he's never gotten off from either.
posted by lwclec072 at 1:06 PM on October 19, 2009


"parner can't orgasm"
1 2 3

"I can't orgasm"
1 2

Read them.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:11 PM on October 19, 2009


as so many of us have said - ejaculation is not the same as orgasm. cumming can define either ejaculation or orgasm or both. you won't understand what's going on with your boyfriend until you accept and understand this.

from your previous question about finding yourself sexy (and saying that your boyfriend refuses to admit that he looks at other women) and your boyfriend physically breaking the disc that the porn is on, it seems like he has an issue with being comfortable in his sexuality. telling him that he's wrong about what his body is doing and trying to force him to enjoy sex in the way you want him to will only make this worse. he needs to learn to accept his sexuality more and you need to learn to accept him at face value.

you feel like you can't please him and he tells you point blank that he is pleased, he does have a good time, he does have an orgasm, just sans ejaculation (i think - it's still hard to tell from your question and follow up). if you need a man that fills you up with semen when you ~think~ you're infertile, then find one, but trying to force a guy to enjoy sex the way you want him to so you can feel better is just kind of gross and doesn't at all take into account what he's telling you.
posted by nadawi at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


it's about the fact that I cannot please him and that ejaculate with me.

This isn't about you. He can't get off with sex, likely because emotional/psycholgical issues. Search "ejaculatory impotence" on the web. You'll be happy to learn that it has nothing to do with you. I'd look to his past for answers. Is there an event that he has had difficulty dealing with? Hurt seriously by a past partner's infidelity or issues with his opposite sex parent? These issues cause ejaculatory impotence with men and sexual dysfunction in either gender.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2009


selton - That is actually one of my insecurities, that there isn't enough visual stimulation for him because yes physically i'm not very sexy in my personal opinion he has said otherwise. but I have lost quite a bit of weight and that is something that does bother me.

He has sat beside me throughout this and it was our idea together to post this topic on here. I realize I've worded this post mostly from my perspective as a woman but I really didn't understand why exactly he wasn't able to ejaculate inside me. He says it isnt just with me and that he's had the same problem with every sexual partner.
posted by lwclec072 at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2009


I'm confused about all this "cum/orgasm/ejaculation" business as well. They are three words that don't mean the same thing. So I may be off but let me just throw this out there:

There is a medical condition called "retrograde ejaculation." What it means is that at the climax of sexual pleasure (what I would call the orgasm, the rush of good feelings) the ejaculate (the semen) does not come out through the penis, it comes up into the prostate and then stops. So, someone with this condition really IS having an orgasm (the feeling) but you will not see anything come out of his penis. As I understand it, this can be something that happens every time he has an orgasm or just some of the time. It could be that the way he is masturbating, position, whatever...allows him to ejaculate (stuff comes out) but with intercourse it doesn't (yet he still has an orgasm. I'm in no way an expert, I just dated someone a long time ago who had this issue. So it has been a while, but from what I remember, it is not a harmful condition in any way except that it does affect fertility.

If he is happy with you and this is the only problem, then I wouldn't worry about it unless you want to have children someday in the future.
posted by Bueller at 1:45 PM on October 19, 2009


One thing I haven't heard mentioned is health. I went through a period where I was extremely unhealthy (i.e. smoking, bad diet, lack of activity, booze, some drug use). This had a HUGE impact on my ability to ejaculate during intercourse. I could masturbate fine because I had more control, furthermore I could maintain an erection with a girl without any problems, I just couldn't cum. Once I cleaned up my act I had no problems. Another thing I haven't heard mentioned is sexual conditioning. In other words, maybe his method of masturbating is conditioning him to get off in a way that your intercourse is not. Sometimes this can be remedied by trying different positions or toys that more replicate the sensations he feels while masturbating.
posted by OccamsRazor at 1:56 PM on October 19, 2009


A few points for consideration:

1) Not every guy is a gusher. It's possible that seminal volume is low enough for him that the difference between ejaculating and not ejaculating is just not all that noticeable in the general slush of stuff going on. After that, faking it is largely a matter of acting and a few twitches of the appropriate muscles. It's rather easy, make the right noises and clench some particular muscles at about .8 Hz and you're good to go.

2) Men can have an orgasm without visible ejaculation — dry firing. You can do this deliberately, either with two well-placed fingers or some really incredible muscular control. The latter is quite difficult and kinda hurt. Or he could have run dry. Or he could have retrograde ejaculation.

3) Men can have ejaculation without a great deal of pleasure. These can be disassociated orgasms that do not feel great, more like, uh, a sneeze than anything else. You've gone and made a mess, but you haven't had any fun doing it.

Men faking orgasm happens and it can be done because, hey, guys are "supposed to" pop off easy and if you do not, it can turn into a Big Deal. We do appear to be simple creatures, but we'll surprise you every so often.
posted by adipocere at 2:53 PM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, it makes sense that you've lost trust for him. He has lied to you for quite some time. It's a little unfair for him to call you selfish, too. Maybe you guys need a professional, because this sounds like a great recipe for resentment, blame, and the eventual dissolution of your relationship.
posted by kathrineg at 4:08 PM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Stop being so selfish. You are the only one making this about you. If it's the only way he can climax then just let him have his damned porn.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:35 PM on October 19, 2009


I don't know if he actually lied to you for the three years - like verbally confirmed that he had, in fact, had an orgasm - or that you simply read into his body language that he'd achieved climax. The depth and detail of the lie, if there in fact was one, would be the only thing I would be upset about in this situation were I in your shoes.

If this question was written with the roles were reversed, everyone would be hollering that women frequently can't come via vaginal sex. That it's not unusual, not a big deal, and to work with her however she can. If he can't come during sex and is perfectly happy with that, then end of discussion. Your insistence that he come how and when you are telling him to is no doubt making climax less and less likely. There are fewer things unsexier than the pressure of unrealistic sexual expectations.

Civil Disobedient is dead on: you are making this about you. Knock it off.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:57 PM on October 19, 2009


He has told me in the past he orgasms and every time he'd be like oh I'm coming and then 3 years later I find out each one of those moments were faked. I don't care so much that he can't orgasm mostly what bothers me is that he lied.

What I do not get is why exactly he would lie about that for so long. Even after he has told me about it, I've still had no problem enjoying sex with him but in the back of my mind I still feel somewhat inadequate because I cannot give him that kind of pleasure in return.

Anyway thanks everyone for the great answers.
posted by lwclec072 at 8:12 PM on October 19, 2009


NSFW response: This isn't a direct answer but it might be a nice addition to sex life if you experiment with him masturbating with you next to or under him. Especially if you find that you are still aroused after you come, then try having traditional intercourse until you come and then ask him to pull out and masturbate until he comes. Let the rhythm of his arousal add to your own. Depending on what turns you on, you might like having him come on your breasts and rub it in. If you want, he could then help you finish off with a second orgasim either manually or with a vibrator.

How do I know this? My partner is aging. He doesn't have the hair trigger response of a college student. So, we have added more variety to our sex play so that we both get off - just not always simultaneously. As long as we each enjoy what is happening, the details don't matter. If you can believe him when he says he is happy with your sex life, don't ruin it with your own performance anxiety, accept what works for him and enjoy what works for you.
posted by metahawk at 10:00 PM on October 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of the things that strikes me about this conversation is that person after person has mentioned that it's possible to orgasm with ejaculating, but only one person (Lutoslawski) has mentioned that it's extremely rare.

Purely out of curiosity -- not judging you here or anything -- I'd love to hear the answer to nadawi's question:

if you guys have unprotected sex, how are you just finding out 3 years in that he doesn't ejaculate?

- AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2009


I'm infertile, read my responses to comments.
posted by lwclec072 at 6:28 PM on October 20, 2009


> I'm infertile, read my responses to comments.

hmm. May I safely assume that this is your first long-term/unprotected sexual relationship? Here's why I ask:

Whether you're fertile or not is completely irrelevant. In either case, the primary way you'd know whether your BF was ejaculating -- and again, setting aside rare cases like those mentioned above -- is, after sex, whether or not you have semen dripping out of you.

The amount of semen that comes out varies a bit, but it's nearly always enough to leave no doubt. That's why nadawi and others were confused. It just occurred to me, though, that if this is your first real partner, you might not know this.

Hope none of this sounded patronizing. I assure you it's not meant that way.

- AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 1:07 AM on October 21, 2009


Whether you're fertile or not is completely irrelevant. In either case, the primary way you'd know whether your BF was ejaculating -- and again, setting aside rare cases like those mentioned above -- is, after sex, whether or not you have semen dripping out of you.

Yes. This. As in, for the next day or two. As in, I try not to have sex the day before a Pap smear because I want them to be getting a swab of Me, not Him. As in, I have often thought, "Oh crap, am I getting my period?" and then remembered that no, it's just that I had sex the day before.

If you're not experiencing this, I would suspect that either he's not ejaculating or he's not ejaculating much. That's why people are surprised you haven't noticed.
posted by sadmadglad at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2009


Ah alright, I see. This is my first long term relationship, yes.

Maybe I should have seen this all along. Just still bothers me a little bit, because I feel that I'm doing something wrong, possibly an inadequacy thing.

Well again, thanks guys.
posted by lwclec072 at 6:23 PM on October 21, 2009


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