Q&A: Having Trouble Ejaculating During Sex

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QUESTION: I'm 18 and recently had sex for the first time. My girlfriend and I have now done it five times in the past month and I haven't ejaculated any of the times. Is this something to be worried about? I'm still new, and thought maybe it just takes time. I still enjoy it, so it's okay, but I'm just curious about what you think.

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You’ve hit on an issue that many young men experience when they are new to sex – the issue of not ejaculating during vaginal intercourse.

We don’t know how common it is for men who are new to sex to find it difficult to ejaculate, however this does often improve over time and with experience, so it is likely that your body will soon respond in this way to sex.

Vaginal Intercourse Feels Different Than Masturbation

A common reason this may happen is that vaginal intercourse feels significantly different for a man compared to masturbation. Sometimes men find that it takes their bodies some time to get used to responding to vaginal stimulation.

Some men find that it helps them to begin varying their masturbation routine as a way of teaching their bodies to respond to different types of stimulation. For example, you might try using a good deal of lubricant during masturbation and then another time not using much lubricant at all. Experimenting with different hand positions, or different intensities of touch, or rhythms, may be helpful too.

Consider Masturbating With A Condom

If you are using a condom with your girlfriend, then you might even try masturbating with a condom on your penis. Condoms add a whole new element to how sex feels and you might find it helpful to get used to the feel of a condom on your penis in this way.

If the condom is too loose or too tight on your penis, consider looking for a snugger sized condom or a larger sized condom so that it feels comfortable and secure on your penis.

Try Using A Lubricant

You might also try using a lubricant during sex, which can contribute to more comfortable, pleasure sex for women and men. This is particularly true if you two are using condoms.

To use a lubricant, add a small dab – about the size of a dime – to the outside of the condom, after it is already on your penis. Using a lubricant with a condom can help to reduce friction, which not only makes for more pleasurable sex but can also reduce the risk of condom breakage.

Anxieties Getting In The Way?

Aside from the physical aspects of sex, psychological aspects are important too. You might consider whether any anxieties might be getting in the way of your ejaculation. To what extent are you concerned about pregnancy or infection risk?

If you’re concerned about either, what steps have you two taken to reduce your risk? Also, how are you feeling in terms of your readiness to have sex, and your comfort and ability to relax with each other? These feelings important to many men’s and women’s ability to enjoy sex in a pleasurable way, and to experience orgasm.

Consider, too, whether you are putting pressure on yourself or feeling stressed about needing to perform a certain way in order to please your girlfriend or be a good lover. These stressors get in the way of pleasure and orgasm for men, at times.

Further Reading

To learn more about ways to improve your sexual experiences and relationship issues, consider reading The New Male Sexuality by Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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