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Better Late Than Never? Understanding Delayed Ejaculation

You may think that "delayed" ejaculation is not as bad as "premature" ejaculation. After all, if it happens too soon, it takes the fun out of the evening, right? But delayed ejaculation might mean you can go all night?

couple having sex and going through a delayed ejaculation situation
Delayed ejaculation shouldn't be a deal-braker, plus you can treat it!

In truth, it's just as much a medical concern as premature ejaculation and, as such, can sometimes cause problems in a relationship with an intimate partner.

What Is Delayed Ejaculation?

Delayed ejaculation, as a medical condition has nothing to do with "edging" or purposefully withholding from an orgasm. There is usually an arousal phase, a pick-up and then a release, in very simple terms, when it comes to sexual excitement and translating this into having sex with a partner.

DE can be just as frustrating for couples as PE because it breaks up the rhythm and pacing of people engaged in having sex. Whether it's a long-term partner or a one-night stand, sex is all about getting intimate with another and keeping pace, responding to another person.

A delayed orgasm by a man could mean that his partner is close but they cannot orgasm together or that his partner may feel they have to "work" a little overtime to get him to that point of going over the edge.

Of course, until it's diagnosed, the couple have no way of knowing that it's a condition that is arresting his gratification and one partner may be prone to "blame" themselves or resent the other.

Sometimes, especially if it's a one-off occurrence, there's no cause for concern. A variety of factors could cause a man to have a "late" ejaculation. Even though he wants to tip over and feel he's almost there, he can't quite make the connection because he may be distracted or stressed from external causes.

But if it happens more than once-in-a-blue-moon and there's no apparent cause, the best thing is to get diagnosed.

Biological or Psychosexual?

With DE, the first question that comes up for men is: Why? Why do I suddenly have this condition, when I feel perfectly healthy or I've never displayed this before?

For sex therapists and doctors, however, the first question that comes up is: is it biogenic or psychogenic? Determining whether it's a biological impairment or a psychosexual interruption from "normal" levels of orgasm, arousal and ejaculation will determine the kind of treatment oath the patient will have to take.

Though medical doctors have a very clinical way of looking at and diagnosing issues of ejaculation, sex therapy always maintains, to a certain extent, that even "biological" conditions are eventually psychosomatic because there has been so much success with therapeutic approaches.

Many couples are able to explore differently or engage in even deeper levels of intimacy and sexual connection, despite a perceived "problem" with the machinery so to speak.

Treatment for Delayed Ejaculation

An obvious break in the mind-body connection is one of the first assumptions that sex therapy arrives with. From here, treatment usually focuses on "retraining" the mind and body, with regards to the various phases of arousal.

Retraining for both PE and delayed ejaculation begin with a focus on masturbation. Here, masturbation can be a solo activity or undertaken with a partner. The point is to introduce (or re-introduce) friction and connect it to a fantasy or anticipation of sex. It can also be used as a "warm-up" or "rehearsal", a prelude for sex with a partner.

The patient can be encouraged to switch speeds, hands and become more conscious and aware of their arousal and gratification by connecting with breath and fantasy.

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Image source: Piotr Marcinski -