If you’re a human person engaging in sexual activity with the owner of a penis, this is an almost certain inevitability at some point. That is, “failure” to reach a very tangible perceived “finish line.” But before we start wildly speculating about the reasons why, hold the phone.
It’s only awkward when we make it awkward. First things first, we want to avoid blame. We can’t immediately assume that the fault is ours—we’re not turning him on enough, we’re doing everything wrong—or that the fault is his, that something is wrong with him. We spoke with global sexologist and mentor Juliet Allen to help us understand a few reasons why he may not be getting there.
Totally unrelated-to-you stress
“A reason a man may not cum is that he’s stuck in his head (pardon the pun). When a man is overthinking, has a lot of stress, and isn’t looking after his mental, emotional, or physical health, he may find it challenging to cum. This is because all his energy is stuck in his head and can’t move down to his lower chakras, where sexual energy resides.”
Intercepted by substances
It’s not uncommon to lack an ideal performance after a night out-out.
“Another factor that can contribute to no cumming is being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Many men, when under the influence, find it challenging to ejaculate.”
There are many medications, especially those for depression or anxiety, that can gravely inhibit the ability to orgasm. It doesn’t mean that people on these medications don’t enjoy intimacy or experience pleasure, so don’t be afraid to engage in such activities. Just make sure to heed expectations beforehand, totally accepting that it likely won’t happen, and when you both have a little extra time to spare, play around with longer sessions that may get you both there. In some instances, just the relaxed and accepting atmosphere of not expecting ejaculation can bring about a pleasant surprise.
If a penis-owner has experienced immense pressure to finish, they may have some nervous trauma around their performance.
“If your man doesn’t cum and he seems distressed, let him know that it’s completely OK and that you enjoy sex with him no matter what. It means a lot to men when their partner affirms that they are enough just the way they are. The pressure men have on them to be great lovers is big in our culture—to have a lover who is patient, kind, and accepting will mean the world!”
In fact, Allen encourages us to never pressure a man to cum.
“This will make things worse if he already has challenges in this area of sex. Let him know that there’s no rush and that there doesn’t need to be an end goal. Take the approach that cumming isn’t ‘finishing,’ it’s about the connection and intimacy and all the little moments in between that count the most.”
And lastly, Allen urges us not to assume that just because a man doesn’t cum, he doesn’t experience orgasm. “The two can be very separate, and men can still enjoy rolling orgasmic pleasure without cumming. This is well and truly possible!”
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The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that Poosh, LLC (“Poosh”) is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. You understand and agree that Poosh shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
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