Paul was 33, production manager of a small electronics factory, and married to Doreen for ten years. Sexual intercourse was down to once a month when he came in and he approached his problem obliquely. He said (my comments in brackets):
My wife lacks interest in having sex. (Obviously she doesn't have fun.) She was never what I would call passionate in the sex department since we married. However, it's only recently that her desire has been to reduce our sex life.
My wife is a very emotional person, and approximately six months ago she was very depressed and advised me that she saw no need to continue to have sex, and if I thought sex was important I should seek sexual pleasure elsewhere.
I don't expect to have sex at any particular rate. That is, I don't expect it to be once a week or twice a week or whatever. But I do desire a sexual partner who enjoys sex from time to time. And I've got the impression over the years that there's not been much mutual interest. This is a terrible deterrent.
Because, although my wife isn't inclined to reject me when I make an advance toward her, knowing she's not interested causes me not to make advances. I don't look at sex as a way of satisfying only myself.
That is part of it, I enjoy that and I get a lot of sexual satisfaction. But if I haven't satisfied her or she isn't enjoying it, it's an incomplete feeling and therefore I'm not making the advances I would otherwise make if I felt she was enthusiastic about it. (He really wants her to be keen on sex, but doesn't know what could make her enthusiastic. He could learn.)
I had a difficulty when we were first married in bringing my wife to climax. In fact, I don't think I've ever known how to make a woman orgasm while having intercourse. This was very frustrating for me. I felt very inadequate. I felt I had premature ejaculation.
Therefore I tried all ways of controlling it, but I was never able to get my wife sexually aroused enough to have an orgasm during sex. (He probably bit the inside of his cheek, counted backward, thought about taxes, or did one of a hundred other things that take you away from sex rather than into it. This is not getting tuned in or turned on; it is merely dropping out.)
I was able to solve the problem to some extent by bringing her to a climax through masturbation with my hand (and he could have done this during intercourse) or through cunnilingus before I had intercourse. This way I felt I had satisfied her and then I'd satisfy myself. This was a pattern that we fell into over the years and it seemed to be the best available solution.
(Of course it isn't the only available solution.) I wasn't totally satisfied, but on the other hand sex was reasonably satisfactory to me, and I thought the same was true for my wife until she indicated a complete disinterest in intercourse.
I want to make a woman happy during intercourse by increasing her ability to have a climax or by increasing my ability to help through foreplay or whatever. Maybe she can even have an orgasm during intercourse. (Readiness: He recognizes the possibilities. And it's easy if she wants to and is willing to learn.)
I learned about sex in the way that most teenage boys do. I had some older friends who while changing after swimming masturbated, and I learned about that. I started necking with girls when I was twelve or thirteen. Heavy petting to orgasm followed at fifteen.
While I was a junior in high school at sixteen, I became emotionally involved and had sexual intercourse for the first time. I was completely inexperienced and it probably wasn't very satisfying for either of us. (What does "probably" mean? Speak for yourself, Paul.) I had infrequent sexual relationships in college and after. There were about ten girls from sixteen to twenty-eight, when I married. None of these relationships were ideal.
While I was younger I didn't have a place of my own to live. While I was going to school the relationships were almost always in the back seat or front seat of an automobile, which of course tends to rush the whole process. (Liability: A classic factor in the history of the typical premature ejaculator.)
It wasn't until I moved to Hawaii and lived here two years, before I was married, that I became involved with one charming girl, and that sexual relationship was quite satisfactory and I believe I was able to sexually satisfy her. She had considerable enthusiasm for sex. But she also had guilt about it.
She'd feel we should discontinue, and it'd take a lot of persuasion on my part. (Liability: Another classic factor - he feels he must experience penetration and ejaculation before she changes her mind about letting him.)
So I wasn't a fully experienced partner and I may not have introduced my wife, who I believe had no experience, to sex in what would be considered the most favorable manner. I probably should've been more patient and understood more about bringing women to orgasm. Making sure that they enjoyed it and so on. I feel this contributed to my wife's lack of enjoyment. I just hope it isn't too late to correct the situation. (It isn't from my point of view, Paul. Let's make sure to ask your wife.)
My early sexual involvements were generally ordinary. I had two experiences with sexually experienced girls. With the first she told me to find a treatment to delay ejaculation - I was twenty-three or so. It hurt my ego, and I didn't react constructively and shortly thereafter the relationship ended. I had a similar experience with a stewardess. We had sex twice, neither time performing to her expectations, and she made gentle comments about that.
There haven't been any serious affairs since I got married. There were some extramarital affairs when I was traveling, maybe half a dozen times with sex-workers over ten years. It was more for a lack of opportunity than anything else; I didn't get involved. I don't think the premature ejaculation is so serious that I'd be embarrassed about performance. I'd gladly have gotten involved if I had had an opportunity, when I got depressed about my home life.
I want to correct the situation. I don't want to develop outside relationships. My marriage would suffer. (Purposefulness: He knows what he wants.)
Paul was caught in the premature ejaculator's classic double bind. Since he always knew he was a "quick trigger," he was certain during the marriage the real reason why she wasn't enjoying sex was because he was a quick trigger - and that of course only aggravated the problem.
He believed that when she told him she didn't want to experience sex with him anymore, that just proved he was a failure. You can read more about this here - premature ejaculation relief where you can also get much more information about how to control ejaculation.
They came to see me together, and I noticed that masturbation was not an OK topic. Immediately I asked her if their little girls touched themselves. She noticed that they did and she got all shaken and laughed and admitted that she did it now, she'd always done it and she's experienced orgasms.
She agreed to share this activity with her husband, showing him how to masturbate her. He got over his hang-up about thinking it was his fault that she didn't reach orgasm. The truth is, once she took responsibility for her own orgasm, he began to enjoy her and they had better sex.
I also suggested to Paul what I suggest to all men who have this complaint: have more sex. You see, many therapists - including Masters and Johnson - generally recommend what is called the "Squeeze technique," where manual pressure is applied to the glans of the penis when the male feels ejaculation is near.
Then stimulation is resumed until ejaculation is again imminent, when the penis is again tightly squeezed.
The idea is that over a period of time the man learns to delay his orgasm. However effective this technique has proved to be, this seems negative, even aversive to me. I prefer positive conditioning. Many "premature ejaculators" tend to avoid sex - for fear of failing again - and I tell them to do the opposite: do it again and again and again. I believe that if the "premature ejaculator" would increase the frequency of sexual activity with another, he could last longer, especially if he has experienced this in the past - i.e., taking longer to reach orgasm and ejaculate the third, fourth, or fifth times in a weekend.
I believe in setting up the couple to win. I ask the woman to do whatever is necessary so that her partner becomes aroused, then suggest that she make him ejaculate as quickly as possible for more times than usual during a 72-hour period.
The result is as predictable as sunshine in Hawaii: the fourth or fifth or whatever time, the man's penis is hard and he's saying, "I can't come....I can't come...." And then it's time for a quiet, satisfied nap. For premature ejaculators, more is definitely better.
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