My sexual partner never ejaculates

Dear Alice,

My new lover never ejaculates, and to say it concerns me is an understatement. He says he's never come... what can I do? Though he enjoys being intimate, I just feel like it's unfair that he can never finish. Please help, I'm at a loss and am feeling inadequate — everyone I've ever been with before has been easy to stimulate to orgasm.

Dear Reader,  

It’s understandable that you may feel disappointed or wonder if you’re giving your sexual partner what he wants. However, it’s good to keep in mind that your partner’s experience may be due to a number of reasons that likely have little to do with you. Different people have different sexual preferences. Some may enjoy certain positions, while others prefer being touched in specific places, and there could also be individuals who don’t find it necessary to orgasm. It’s also possible that there are some physiological reasons for his situation, which might warrant a visit with a health care provider. Whatever the cause, it’s worth noting that it’s not your responsibility to make your partner orgasm. That being said, it might be a good time for you and your lover to have a conversation about your respective sexual needs and preferences. 

Just as each person has unique tastes, every individual responds differently to sexual pleasure. Some people become aroused easily and are able to climax without much effort. Other people take longer or have difficulty reaching orgasm. It’s also possible that some individuals assigned male at birth orgasm without ejaculation (and vice versa) since they're two distinct physiological reactions.  

Have you tried talking with your lover about your concerns? You may find that having a discussion outside of the bedroom in a non-threatening and sincere way can be helpful for both of you. You may consider expressing how this situation makes you feel and create space for your partner to do the same. While you think that it's unfair that your partner never "finishes," a gratifying sexual experience doesn't have to end in orgasm. Perhaps you'll find out that he's sexually satisfied even though he doesn't climax. This conversation may also be an opportunity to discuss what each of you finds arousing. When you're intimate, you can experiment with these activities, shifting your focus away from the orgasm and concentrating on other aspects of pleasure and intimacy. Hopefully the situation improves, and if not, it might be time for further exploration into why this is happening.  

You say he mentioned he’s never come before. Was he specific about whether it was just with a partner or if it was in all circumstances? If he’s never orgasmed or ejaculated in his life — either alone or with a partner — it may be due to a physical or psychological reason. You might suggest that he visit with a health care provider, who may also refer him to specialists if needed. If your partner checks out physically, the next step may be a referral to a mental health professional, such as a certified sex therapist.   

If your partner's not comfortable talking with you about this matter, you may consider sharing the Go Ask Alice! Sexual & Reproductive Health archives or the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) website with him so he can seek additional support when he’s ready. While this may feel like a trying time with your lover, reminding yourselves that you care for each other is a good way to keep the intimacy alive — regardless of what’s going on in the bedroom.  

Last updated Mar 19, 2021
Originally published Feb 09, 2001

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