Dear Alice,

The man I am having a relationship with seems to prefer coitus interruptus. That is, during intercourse, he will hold out until I come, then withdraw, and either ask me to masturbate him or masturbate himself until he comes. At first this did not bother me since he was considerate of my orgasm, and every guy has his own peculiarity, I guess. Nevertheless, I now feel unfulfilled in intercourse without those final thrusts from a man. It is a little bit embarrassing for me to talk about, although communication is the key. Any suggestions on how to broach the topic?

Unfulfilled sex

Dear Unfulfilled sex,

As you give no information about your chosen birth control method, it is difficult to determine if your partner is employing coitus interruptus to prevent pregnancy, or for some other reason. Some men are concerned about getting their partner pregnant, even if an effective contraceptive method is being used, and they withdraw before ejaculating to avoid this possibility. Withdrawal, however, is not an adequate method of birth control. Pre-ejaculate may contain viable sperm that can lead to conception.

The other possibility is that your partner may find that he has a more satisfying orgasm through masturbation. It may be what he is used to as feeling good, and what brings him to orgasm easily. You are right in saying that the only way to find out what's going on for him is to talk with him. Assuming that you are taking effective precautions regarding birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), you can try to think about positive ways to approach your partner, rather than the old "unfulfilled" line. Examples might be: "Would you like me to try going down on you? How about you coming inside me — it makes me really horny to think about it? I'm waiting for the day that you'll come inside me — it's so special." These questions may provide him with the opportunity to let you know what's going on for him, and then how you can work it out together. As to setting, it's best not to do it while you're in the middle of passionate lovemaking, or even right afterwards. In addition to ruining the moment, there's a good possibility that your partner could get defensive. Your best bet would be to start the conversation at a neutral moment — over dinner, coffee, when waking up in the morning, while taking a walk, whatever you normally do together. Try to make it light — be yourself, and use your own language to express your desires, and elicit dialogue. If you're both able to hold this conversation successfully, it could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! Good luck!


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