I'd like to explode, but can't.
July 16, 2008 11:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm a man and I can't orgasm. What can I do to remedy this?

I am a late 20's male who recently began having sex, and I am having a distressing problem. Namely, I can't achieve orgasm.

The first time my partner and I did it, I orgasmed, but since then, nothing.

I masturbated a lot through the years and have the feeling that this lies at the core of my problem. A vagina doesn't grip my penis as tightly as my hand does. I also masturbated without lotion or lube. Like a good boy, I've also been using condoms. As a result, the friction needed to make achieve orgasm isn't there.

Is there anything I can do to remedy this problem? Any techniques or toys that might get my penis more accustomed to the slippery looseness of a vagina? My partner assures me that her vagina is pretty tight.

If you need more details or want to e-mail me privately, please e-mail me at chronicmast at gmail dot com.

posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Dan Savage (of Savage Love, the sex column), frequently recommends dudes with this problem stop masturbating. You have been using the grip of death so long that it has fucked up your most delicate of sensory organs. You need to get it used to a lighter touch. Keep your hands off it, period.
posted by schroedinger at 11:39 AM on July 16, 2008

Are you using condoms which are too small?
Are you on anti-depressant medication (SSRIs)?
Are you drunk when you have sex?
posted by caddis at 11:40 AM on July 16, 2008

Yup, no more hands.

Get yourself a fleshlight or something of the like if you would still like to fly solo. Only with a fleshlight, it's actually positive training instead of the ol fist of death.
posted by utsutsu at 11:45 AM on July 16, 2008

Have you considered therapy? Dr. Drew frequently suggests this approach for men with similar problems, as a young man like yourself shouldn't really have this issue.
posted by hipersons at 11:52 AM on July 16, 2008

Bet you didn't know you can put lube on the inside of those things, down there in the tip. You'd think that would make it slide right off but it doesn't. The result is that the helmet gets slippery movement instead of deadening latex nothingness. Doesn't do anything for tightness, but makes a big difference in sensation. She could also do Kegels if she's willing to lend a... hand.
posted by kookoobirdz at 12:15 PM on July 16, 2008

V-I-B-R-A-T-O-R, lube and a caring partner
posted by Freedomboy at 12:17 PM on July 16, 2008

If you want to practice by yourself, try masturbating with a condom on, with some lube, and a loose grip.
posted by number9dream at 12:21 PM on July 16, 2008

I think you mean that you can't orgasm with vaginal intercourse while using a condom.

If you can orgasm otherwise, encourage creativity with your lover to achieve it. Maybe don't use condoms (but be extra super extra careful if you decide not to use condoms).
posted by jabberjaw at 12:22 PM on July 16, 2008

There is more to sex than the old "in and out" enjoy your partner's body, get to know it.

Don't rush things, enjoy not actually having to inhibit an orgasm, does your partner reach orgasm? If so, learn to understand her approaching climax, put your satisfaction on the back burner for a while, tune yourself to getting her off.

This a a participatory sport, let your partner know what you want to feel, where you want to feel it, ask her the same. have her masturbate you and notice the difference.

When you are masturbating you have ONE goal, with another the options open up tremendously.

Explore them.
posted by Max Power at 12:25 PM on July 16, 2008

You might try using thinner condoms, if you haven't already. But also, the angle(s) at which you're penetrating might be an issue.

Let's say you two are gettin' rutty, missionary-style. If you're on top of her, there's a solid chance that your "Friendly Charles" is pointing slightly downwards. In this illustration (SFW), it may be like line B. Angle your hips up slightly, and you're then pointing along the green line in the center. With either of those angles, the majority of the sensation is coming along the sides of the shaft, which are surrounded by

a) human flesh that's looser-fitting than your hand, and
b) a sensation-deadening layer of latex.

If, on the other hand, you angle your hips up even more, so that you're pointing along line A in the illustration, then the head should be rubbing up against the ventral side of her vagina. So now you'll be getting a bit more sensation, 'cause the head's being stimulated at the same time that the shaft is.

If you find it tiring to have to aim your hips upwards, you can accomplish a similar effect by placing a pillow beneath her tuchus, so that she's angling up at you more, and you can keep your "Horatio Hornblower" parallel to the floor, like the green line in the illustration, while still getting the head rubbed against her.

The most important thing, though, is to try not to worry about climaxing; if you find that you can't finish "The Most Dangerous Game" on one occasion, the anxiety about that may influence subsequent occasions. So don't think of "The Final Countdown" as something that needs to happen every time; make sure you communicate to the lady that it might not, and make sure that you're both okay with that. Then, simply enjoy having "The Angel in The Outfield" without having to worry about acheiving the "Field of Dreams".
posted by Greg Nog at 12:52 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]

Seconding kookoobirdz-- I had this problem for a while and a little lube in the condom was a big help. You want water based lube, since oil based can weaken the condom. You also want to make sure the brand you're using isn't too tight, since that will reduce the friction you need to get off. I like the Trojan Twisted Pleasure ones, but YMMV. After you finish, be sure to hold the bottom of the condom as you pull out, since all that slippery looseness will make it more likely to slip off as your erection subsides.
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:00 PM on July 16, 2008

this is often linked to perfectionism. Some people with the problem are often trying to be "perfect" by lasting a long time--which ends up being forever. I'd get a sex therapist to deal with this sort of problem.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:00 PM on July 16, 2008

stop masturbating for a while. if things reach a boiling point when your partner is not available, try using a lot of lube (you should have some around anyway, for her enjoyment) and your non-dominant hand.

i think many people accidentally paint themselves into a corner with masturbation--they find something that works--and then with enough repetition, and not enough variation, it can become the -only- thing that works. but you can untrain yourself. try reducing the frequency and mixing it up a bit and see if that helps.
posted by thinkingwoman at 1:01 PM on July 16, 2008

Congratulations, you discovered the Grip Of DeathTM.

Yeah, squeezing your happy place too hard screws it up. You're going to have to stop masturbating for a while. If you do masturbate, for god's sake stop squeezing mr. winky so hard. It's going to take a while to sensitize yourself back up. But you're going to have to ride it out or you probably won't be able to orgasm with a partner.
posted by Justinian at 1:03 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

First, stop jerking off. Stop. Entirely stop. No really, not just this once, no exceptions, stop completely. You need to retrain your body, and that won't happen if you keep giving it what it is used to.

Second, order a sample pack of condoms from somewhere like Condomania; you want to find something that fits well and transmits a lot of sensation. (There have been some previous AskMes on condom recommendations, I think, which may help guide your shopping.) If moving to condomless sex is an option, that will probably help enormously, but probably isn't mandatory -- there are brands of condoms that are so thick that I can't come with them, but with other brands things are ok. Bareback is way better, but you need to be sure about not catching STDs and making babies.

Third, now that you are not jerking off and you have some good condoms, go ahead and have lots and lots of sex. Experiment with different positions -- everyone is different, but usually doggy style will provide more friction than missionary. As was mentioned above, minor changes in the angle of entry will have huge impacts on how things feel. Where she is in her cycle will change how things feel, too. So have lots of sex, and don't worry if you aren't coming. Let yourself get frustrated (though blue balls are no fun), and try to enjoy the anticipation and delayed gratification. I'm willing to bet money that if you give yourself only one path to orgasm, and lots of chances for experimenting, your body will figure things out eventually.
posted by Forktine at 1:15 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've recently got over this same problem after ten years of orgasm-free (at least on my part) sex. Stopping masturbation is probably a good step along the path. Also, incorporating masturbation with sex can yield pleasant results.

There are many reasons why some men don't reach orgasm. I know that in my case it was mostly psychological, and for a while I was just frustrated with the lack of orgasms. And the more you worry about it, the more difficult it is, so its good to be okay with not having an orgasm at all -- it's not necessary to the enjoyment of sex.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:42 PM on July 16, 2008

[few comments removed - mid-course correction here, please try again.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:24 PM on July 16, 2008

A vagina doesn't grip my penis as tightly as my hand

You're using unlubricated condoms, yes?
posted by davejay at 5:04 PM on July 16, 2008

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