Hi Mike – Thank you so much for this post. I am sure many partners can relate to this issue. I reached out to our Men’s Health Team, and below is their response:
I am so glad that your wife was able to find treatment. Difficulty reaching climax during intercourse is far more common than you might think – we see your story very frequently. In your case, I would definitely begin by simply giving yourself time. You have been through a lot as a couple, and you are undoubtedly putting a lot of stress on yourself to “perform” sex correctly. Most men in your situation would be monitoring themselves during intercourse and almost desperately focusing on trying to climax. Reaching an orgasm is one of those Paradoxes in life: The harder you try to get it, the more elusive it becomes.
Refraining from all stimulation outside of intercourse, is certainly one possible path forward. You will almost certainly eventually ejaculate because your body will crave the release. It may not also take as long as you might expect. We have men who climax within 3-4 days. I would encourage you to not abstain from orgasm, just abstain from orgasms outside intercourse. Yes, you will train your body to respond to this new stimulation.
I would also encourage you to let go of this idea as a goal. Vaginal climax is always on the menu, but unless you are trying to conceive, it is far from mandatory. Sex is best when the goal is connection, pleasure, play, and bonding. Right now, you are new to vaginal intercourse. Give yourself and your body (and hers) time to adjust.
I remind all my patients that no one ever taught men how to have sex – we learned it from teenagers and porn. So, the way most men are having sex often resembles a re-enacted porn scene. The two of you have probably been able to find many ways to be intimate and have pleasure. I would encourage you to just look at intercourse as an added activity – not a replacement activity. You WILL eventually climax through intercourse.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention that how you are masturbating is probably contributing to part of the problem. Most men do not use lubricant, and if they do, they are still using a very tight fist with tremendous stimulation. There is no way a vagina can compete with this! I recommend using coconut oil for masturbation. Or, better yet, buy a soft silicone masturbation sleeve and, using water-based lube, divorce your hand completely from you penis and use the sleeve for all masturbation activity. This will retrain your penis to respond to a gentler stimulation which will be more like a vagina.
If you continue to be frustrated after a couple week, please reach out and we will see what else we can offer.
Paul Nelson, LMHC
MAZE Men’s Health