By Sarah Dale, MSc., RP
When we think about men’s sexual difficulties, the first things that come to mind might be premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or low sexual desire. But there’s another common sexual issue that is less discussed: delayed ejaculation. Delayed ejaculation involves the infrequency or absence of ejaculation even with enjoyable sexual stimulation. As a result of delayed ejaculation, men often report frustration with not being able to perform the way they would like to – especially with their partners. They often feel like they are letting their partners down and may even have thoughts that they are somehow “less like a man” for not performing the way they want.
When there is a concern with delayed ejaculation, it is important to consult a physician. Medical exams can help determine if there are physiological problems impacting ejaculation, such as diabetes, infections, or low testosterone levels. Certain medications may also cause delayed ejaculation as a side effect. In other cases, delayed ejaculation is due to psychological causes. Even in cases of delayed ejaculation caused by physiological reasons or medication side effects, it can be valuable to speak with a sex therapist about other factors such as anxiety about sex or sexual performance, low sexual desire, relationship stress, or self-esteem that may be impacting sex. A therapist trained in sex and relationship therapy can work with individuals and/or couples to explore the impact of delayed ejaculation, identify thoughts that get in the way during sexual activity, and provide strategies to assist with improving your sex life. These strategies might include increasing the focus on pleasurable sexual activities, and identifying ways to keep you in the moment during sex to more fully experience sensations.