Q&A: Why Don’t I Enjoy Sex As Much The Second Time Around?

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QUESTION: When I have sex, I'm good to go for the first time, but the second time I can't get hard soon enough. I also don't enjoy it as much the second time. What's wrong with me? Is there a certain length of time it takes to get ready for the second time?

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Photo: MadeByMark (Flickr)

While it's common for very young men (adolescents and men in their early 20s) to be able to get another erection soon after ejaculating, it's less common for men in their 30s, 40s, 50s and older to be able to do so with any regularity.

Getting To Round Two

Men have what’s called a refractory period. This is the time between when a man ejaculates and when he can ejaculate again.

It’s extremely common for men to find it difficult or impossible to get another erection or ejaculate, soon after having ejaculated (in other words, getting to “round two” is a challenge for many men).

We scientists don’t fully understand what causes men to have refractory periods or why some men have shorter or longer refractory periods than other men.

Age Is A Factor

Generally speaking, it’s common for men to notice that their refractory periods get longer with age.

In other words, while it’s common for very young men (adolescents and men in their early 20s) to be able to get another erection soon after ejaculating—sometimes a few minutes later and other times within an hour or two after ejaculating—it’s less common for men in their 30s, 40s, 50s and older to be able to do so with any regularity.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Having worked as a sex researcher, educator and sex columnist for more than a decade, I’ve certainly heard from men in their 60s and 70s who claim to still be able to achieve more than one erection in a short period of time. Everyone is a little different.

As for your enjoyment, you might ask yourself if you are feeling anxious about your performance or pressuring yourself to get another erection.

Pressure, stress and anxiety can make sex less enjoyable.

Learn more about pleasurable sex by reading The New Male Sexuality.

Next Question: Pregnancy Planning & Deception

My husband and I use condoms for protection. Recently we had a scare when a condom broke, although I ended up not being pregnant. At first he said he was disappointed that I wasn’t pregnant, then he said he was relieved because money is tight. I then did something I can’t even explain to myself. The next time we had sex, I emptied one of the condoms inside me when my husband was out of the room. Is it possible to get pregnant this way? I know I shouldn’t have done this but I would love for us to get pregnant.

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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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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