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Retarded Ejaculation - The Partner's Perspective/Discussion

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Retarded Ejaculation - The Partner's Perspective/Discussion

Postby GinTonic23 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:26 am

Discussions about or between partners of those suffering with RE go here. Impact on the relationship, ways to tackle the issue together, etc.
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Postby WonderfulDay » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:12 pm

Thanks for splitting this up.

There really aren't any other forums out there to discuss the partnered aspect of RE. I'm sure there are a lot of women out there who are baffled, wanting to blame themselves, and then wondering if it is worth the hassle.

I think the latter question is really about the overall relationship. If you don't think it is worth the hassle, the relationship probably isn't that hot to start. Or, you just aren't in a place where you are ready to grow past whatever it is that is bothering you.

For me, it is that last part that I'm confronting. My husband is completely and totally worth confronting my own issues for, the ones that could prevent me from being able to handle this situation. While he chases a solution to the problem on his end, I have to accept that the situation may never ever change. So there's only one person I can change and that's me.

If you look at the possible causes and you can (in general) rule out a physical cause, it leaves some murky waters behind.

For me, the worst part is considering that this might be a case where he isn't turned on enough. It is difficult not to take that personally. How he got there ultimately doesn't matter. This is where he is. (And it might take some time to grapple with how he got there for some people. It might be a deal-breaker, in fact.)

And if it is a problem of not being turned on enough, to what lengths am I willing to go to try to get him there? If you are at all insecure, this one can be very frightening to confront.

If it is a psychological problem, there's not a lot we can do except to be supportive because we can't fix it. It isn't within our sphere of power. It is up to the man. And unfortunately, there's not a lot of help out there. Too many professionals don't have a clue about the problem. They think it is no big deal. They minimise the impact it has.

Some of the guys on this forum with RE get angry when you talk about how it affects you, but they're also not typically in a relationship. If they loved someone, they ought to care how it affects that person. And, they need to be sympathetic to the issues it raises. The idea that we can always walk away is a cop-out. Yeah we can. But we don't. That doesn't mean it isn't a struggle to understand and deal with though.

It is rather ironic that a man with RE might be angry at a woman who has a difficult time understanding and accepting the issue but at the same time, he's desperately trying to understand and fix the issue himself. He at once wants someone to accept him as he is, and yet he doesn't want to accept himself as he is.

All of this is understandable. It is a ######6 difficult problem that impacts us, all of us, men and women, on a very personal level.

Women discussing how it impacts them may be a difficult reminder of the problem, but wanting us to go away pretty much eliminates an important dialog that may help us all reach an understanding of how to live with the problem.

So what I'd like to see from this thread is really women helping one another to understand what we're going through and to try to talk about what works for them whether it be in the act of sex or the psychological aspects of coping.
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Postby WonderfulDay » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:58 pm

It dawns on me that I shouldn't limit this to women. I definitely wasn't thinking. The partner could be male as well. :oops:
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Postby brandt » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:43 am

Sex Therapist Bernard Apfelbaum, one of the world's leading authorities on retarded ejaculation, believes that the reason a man cannot ejaculate during intercourse or , for some, with any kind of sexual stimulation other than masturbation, is that he has not reached his orgasmic threshold because he is simply not aroused enough. Of all the theories about RE out there, this one really makes the most sense. Nobody, man or woman can cum if they are not turned on enough.

And it should be noted that although he suffers from this sub optimal level of arousal, the level might very well be enough to allow him to get and hold a strong erection and he himself may feel quite aroused on a conscious level. But the body doesn't lie and unconsciously he is not ready for orgasm. This is why many RE men can thrust for a half an hour or more during intercourse without ejaculating.

Of course this still leaves the big question WHY is he not turned on enough? The reasons can range from depression, lack of attraction to the partner, performance anxiety, masturbation and porn addiction, sexual boredom, family of origin trauma and adult attachment disorder ( (difficulty with, or fear of, intimacy)

And finding out can be very difficult sometimes. I am in a 15 year sexless marriage because of problems with RE and countless hours of therapy has not found out why.
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Postby WonderfulDay » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:26 am

brandt wrote:Sex Therapist Bernard Apfelbaum, one of the world's leading authorities on retarded ejaculation, believes that the reason a man cannot ejaculate during intercourse or , for some, with any kind of sexual stimulation other than masturbation, is that he has not reached his orgasmic threshold because he is simply not aroused enough. ... <snip>

Of course this still leaves the big question WHY is he not turned on enough? The reasons can range from depression, lack of attraction to the partner, performance anxiety, masturbation and porn addiction, sexual boredom, family of origin trauma and adult attachment disorder ( (difficulty with, or fear of, intimacy)

And finding out can be very difficult sometimes. I am in a 15 year sexless marriage because of problems with RE and countless hours of therapy has not found out why.


I'm sorry to hear that there is no sex in your marriage. Have you both given up or are you still not interested in your wife in that manner?

It is depressing that you haven't been about to solve the problem or at least understand it better.

My husband can cum with me on occasion and we have a very active and varied sex life and for that I am grateful. If we got to the point where there were no sex, I'm not sure we'd stay together. To me, it'd be a huge sign that the relationship has died, not just that sex has died.
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Postby brandt » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:13 pm

I've spent the last decade studying RE. For those who suffer with it today, there is far more (correct) information available. When I started researching and talking to therapists in the 90's, many had never heard of RE and those who had had never treated a case in their whole careers.

RE can go from mild to severe and everything in between. Mild being the occasional inability to ejaculate during intercourse, a case of middle severity would be a man who cannot ejaculate during intercourse but can in other ways. A severe case means he cannot ejaculate at all in the presence of a sexual partner. But, unless there is a physical cause of the RE, which is much rarer than the psychological, all men with RE can masturbate to orgasm when alone.

Sadly I suffer from the most severe type. It's frustrating because I have no problems at the beginning of a relationship. The RE only occurs after 3 or 4 sexual encounters with the same person. This type of RE is very rare which is why none of the therapists over the years have been able to help.

It's good your husband only has occasional problems. This type of RE is usually pretty easy to cure with short term therapy. One thing to note though. Depending on how the couple handle it, and how frustrated the man becomes, mild RE can become severe RE very easily. It is best to treat it sooner rather than later.
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Postby WonderfulDay » Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:25 pm

brandt wrote:I've spent the last decade studying RE. For those who suffer with it today, there is far more (correct) information available. When I started researching and talking to therapists in the 90's, many had never heard of RE and those who had had never treated a case in their whole careers.


A lot of the information isn't really available to most people though. Getting at studies for instance, requires subscriptions, etc. They're not usually online for free.

RE can go from mild to severe and everything in between. Mild being the occasional inability to ejaculate during intercourse, a case of middle severity would be a man who cannot ejaculate during intercourse but can in other ways. A severe case means he cannot ejaculate at all in the presence of a sexual partner. But, unless there is a physical cause of the RE, which is much rarer than the psychological, all men with RE can masturbate to orgasm when alone.


My husband falls in the middle in that he can masturbate with me and he is capable of ejaculating during intercourse or oral. It is just that the latter are extremely rare occurances.


Sadly I suffer from the most severe type. It's frustrating because I have no problems at the beginning of a relationship. The RE only occurs after 3 or 4 sexual encounters with the same person. This type of RE is very rare which is why none of the therapists over the years have been able to help.


Do you think novelty overwhelms anxiety but then the novelty wears off and anxiety takes back the #1 position?

It's good your husband only has occasional problems. This type of RE is usually pretty easy to cure with short term therapy. One thing to note though. Depending on how the couple handle it, and how frustrated the man becomes, mild RE can become severe RE very easily. It is best to treat it sooner rather than later.


As I said above, he's got more than occasional problems and he's been this way from the beginning of his sex life. And he's been this way for our entire relationship.

What kinds of therapies do you think are successful for more mild cases? What do you think of sensate focus?
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Postby brandt » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:39 am

WonderfulDay wrote:Do you think novelty overwhelms anxiety but then the novelty wears off and anxiety takes back the #1 position?

What kinds of therapies do you think are successful for more mild cases? What do you think of sensate focus?


You're very insightful. Yes I think that's exactly what's going on. It's interesting because a similar thing can happen in less severe cases where all throughout courtship and even into the first months or even (in rare cases)years of marrige novelty overrides the sexual dysfunction.

Many a sexless marriage website has posts from women confused as to why what seemed to be a perfectly functioning man suddenly can no longer have an orgasm or has erectile difficulties soon after the wedding. For me the whole process was very fast... 3 or 4 sexual encounters at most. My problem is I have not yet been able to discover the root causes of the anxiety and rapid sexual boredom and neither have the many therapists I'm been to.

Sensate focus therapy doesn't work with RE men because although they will tell you it is a "non demand" therapy it is in fact just the opposite. It focusing totally on the lack of performance by the man and this amplifies stress and anxiety levels. Not only does he worry about how he will function, the whole process can be boring and frustrating for the partner and he knows it. This is another thing he worries about.

You can imagine what it's like in the later stages of Sensate Focus therapy when the woman has to masturbate the man to orgasm. After 15 or 20 minutes her arm hurts and she is thinking about everything except sex. And he lies there straining to ejaculate and the harder he tries the less likely it's going to happen.

Bypassing therapy is much more effective in treating RE.
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Postby WonderfulDay » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:51 am

If bypassing therapy is better, what would you recommend? Is there any support of hypnosis as a treatment? (I haven't found any studies but maybe there is something out there that has been effective in an individual that hasn't been reported.)

I didn't think much of sensate focus myself. And you said it correctly -- it seems terribly boring!

As an aside, I also wonder how many men with this condition have ADD or ADHD.

As a partner, I am fine for a while but then I get into a cycle where I feel an incredible amount of sadness and futility. While I know it isn't me, I can't help but feel that it is my fault. He's not excited enough. And that's my fault. The physical anxiety it causes in me is very difficult to handle. I'm beginning my own therapy to try to sort this out because I don't want this to cause the demise of the relationship. I'm very much in love with him. And further, I married him knowing this was an issue. So I'm also culpable in that area. And the guilt I'd feel leaving him would be overwhelming. He doesn't deserve that.

If you have any advice for a partner, I'd surely appreciate hearing it. Right now I'm in one of my "sadness and futility" phases.
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Postby brandt » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:46 pm

Men's total sexual identity is wrapped up in their penis and how it functions. They are not content to just "cuddle" and the personal intimacy of sex, so important to women, is way down on the list of importance for men. In a normally functiong couple, they both get what's important to them even though it is two completely different things.

The trouble is men don't really understand what part of sex is the most important to women and many just take it for granted that intercourse and orgasm is at the top of a woman's list just as it is his.

So when there is a dysfunction that interrupts or disrupts the intercourse/orgasm cycle men feel deeply that they are letting the woman down. This causes feelings of low self esteem, shame and anger (at himself)

Men, especially young men with RE almost all believe right off the bat that it is some kind of physical plumbing problem. They mistake the numb feeling that is part of the low arousal stages of RE as some kind of nerve problem or perhaps something to do with the fact they are circumcised or not.

Healthy men like sex so to have it turn into a stressful, unpleasant affair because they are psychologically not aroused enough is a totally bizarre and foreign concept to them.

And so they they go to urologists who poke, prod and test them only to find nothing wrong. They then start to blame the partner. Both these routes are dead end streets.

There is a reason they can not have an orgasm with their partner and it has nothing to do with anything physical either in their way their penis works or in the partner they are with. It is a psychological problem and to make matters worse it is a psychological problem that is usually happening subconsciously making the whole deal all that more more mystifying.

Long term partners of these men should realize first and foremost that this has nothing to do with them. It would have happened no matter who the man married.

As far as how to react to it all I can suggest is the few things you can try that I have come across in my research but there is nothing from my own experience I can suggest because my own wife gave up trying to deal with this many years ago.

First make sure you know the cause. RE can be caused by physical problems although this is rare. So start by getting a physical check up.

As far as porn and masturbation go this is a chicken or egg question. While heavy masturbation and porn use can cause RE, in most cases men turn to masturbation and porn because this is the only way they can have an orgasm. Sp try to find out what did come first- the porn/masturbation or the RE. If it was porn then get into therapy to deal with that. This kind of RE can be fixed.

If anxiety, depression and family of origin issues are the suspected cause you can do a few things. First, get into therapy. A good therapist will try to treat this by identifying the root causes of the anxiety and dealing with those. (Cognitive Therapy to teach the man to override anxious thoughts does not usually work unless root causes have been thoroughly explored first)

A new partner or unusual sexual situation can often override the anxiety but of course in a long term partnership this won't fly unless you are willing to open up the relationship and bring others in.

The next best thing is bypassing which uses video porn in the bedroom during sex. Success is based on the need to distract the man during intercourse so the subconscious anxiety will not interfere with his sexual functioning.

Face to face contact during intercourse often interferes with the bypassing so the man behind or doggy position is recommended. Also, the woman should refrain from vocal shows of emotion, certainly at the beginning of trying the bypass technique, as this too can disrupt the bypassing experience.
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