[Two Pronged] Should I enter a sexless marriage?
Rappler's Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.
Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives.
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer:
My girlfriend and I have plans to be married soon. I am frightened because of my situation: I have no interest in sex. We have sex, but it takes me so long to ejaculate. I think it is because we have known each other for so long.
I am also frightened that I might not be able to ejaculate inside her. That would mean we will have no children. But I want children! Sometimes I think of holding my semen in my hand and then sticking my hand in with all the semen in my hand. Would that work?
When I watch pornographic films, I ejaculate very quickly. What could be my problem? Please help.
Thank you for your email.
You seem to have two issues: no interest in sex and difficulty in ejaculation with your girlfriend (let’s call her Emma).
It is not clear whether your lack of interest in sex is confined to Emma or extends to women in general. If it is only the former, then it would have been helpful to know if you had interest at the beginning of the relationship and it simply waned or whether it was somewhere between lukewarm and zero from the beginning. Either way plans to get married to Emma might be worth reappraising, since a sexless marriage is seldom the path to nirvana for people to relish sex in all but the marital bed. However, there may be other significant reasons for your union with Emma (an arranged marriage, other family pressures etc.); unfortunately you do not mention any and further speculation would be pointless.
If your lack of interest in sex is general, then perhaps you should investigate if you are asexual and eschew marriage altogether, unless of course you both would in fact be happy with a sexless marriage. In your email, you do not mention Emma’s reaction to your issues at all so we cannot tell if sex is a boon or a bane to her. Maybe she is not interested either; a life together with a nice guy may be her goal.
As for ejaculation, the big advantages of masturbation over intercourse are that you are in total control of the stimuli and you do not have to consider any partner’s needs. However, while this is advantageous when alone, depending on your preferences, your chosen method of masturbation may make it difficult or even impossible to replicate the sensations with a partner during intercourse, which would make intercourse much less attractive.
It is possible that your problems with ejaculation are linked to porn/masturbation or alternatively have another physical and/or psychological aspect to them. Dr Holmes will address this further.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your letter. What you are experiencing seems to be almost a classic case of delayed ejaculation (DE); that is, difficulty or impossibility even, to ejaculate and experience orgasm. Delayed ejaculation should include requires distress about the symptom( s), adequate sexual stimulation, and a conscious desire to achieve orgasm.
You have brought up so many questions (and the issues that surround each) that my letter will be comprised trying to respond to those Mr. Baer has not yet responded to, and then maybe adding paragraph or two on other factors that seem relevant to your concern, ok?
Your concerns include:
Not having any interest in sex which you blame on having known your fiancé for a long time
Taking so long to ejaculate, which you also blame for knowing your fiancé for a long time
Possibly not being able to ejaculate inside her
Not knowing if holding the semen in your hand and sticking it in her vagina would work;
Wondering why you ejaculate very quickly with porn but not with making love to your partner
Knowing and making love to your partner for a long time is not usually a reason for a general lack of interest in sex. A general lack of interest in sex would mean no interest in sex with anybody, under any circumstances…this is clearly not your situation, since you watch porn.
True, taking a longer time to ejaculate may be partially caused NOT by knowing your partner a long time, but by your not being as sexually aroused by her. It is unclear whether this lack of sexual arousal is 1. because your fiancé has become less sexually alluring the longer you know her (in which case you should definitely consider cancelling the wedding) or 2. because you respond similarly – less enthusiasm/sexual ardor for, less looking forward to –any sexual encounter with anyone you have known a long time. If this second scenario is more likely the culprit, then it would probably be a good idea to seek therapy before considering marriage with anyone.
Yes, this indeed is a possibility, though there are many ways to deal with your current inability to ejaculate within what you perceive to be a reasonable time to do so.
It is now possible to have children even if you do not ejaculate inside the mother of your children
It would be loads easier to try and insert your finger rather than your entire hand in your partner’s vagina, but either way, the chance of even the most fertile woman alive getting pregnant this way is extremely low.
This is a common problem with men who have DE, and the next paragraphs will focus on this point, ok?
First, allow me to share my clinical experience: In my over 35 years of clinical practice, I have seen very few clients who have delayed ejaculation. This fits in with what Dr. Michael A. Perelman, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Urology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City said, that: “Delayed ejaculation (DE) is probably the least common and least understood of the male sexual dysfunctions (MSDs)”.
Furthermore, Dr. Perelman makes an analogy between DE and hypoactive sexual desire in men. In both cases, the sexual problem is a manifestation of a preference for some other type of sexual activity rather than partnered sex. “In the case of DE, this preference is associated with a style of masturbation and accompanying fantasy with which partnered sex does not compete.”
This is exactly what Mr. Baer means when he said in what I feel is more understandable language, that “the big advantages of masturbation over intercourse are that you are in total control of the stimuli and you do not have to consider any partner’s needs. However, while this is advantageous when alone, depending on your preferences, your chosen method of masturbation may make it difficult or even impossible to replicate the sensations with a partner during intercourse, which would make intercourse much less attractive.”
This is precisely the reason, dearest Dan, we need a thorough sexual history from you before we can respond to your letter more adequately than we already have. Thus, should you want a clearer understanding of your specific issues with delayed ejaculation, you need to write us again. This next letter would have to include far more personal details; example: how often you masturbate and in what specific ways ejaculation occurs most quickly and/or most effectively.
Usually, men who experience delayed ejaculation have highly personal, and thus, not very common – some might even describe it as “idiosyncratic” – ways to achieve ejaculation. No harm in that, right? But many men who have these specific ways to masturbate, feel there is some harm in it (mainly, I think, because most of these techniques cannot easily be replicated by their partner).
This usually leads to shame on the man’s part and thus an inability to share his more usual ways to ejaculate. And yet, ironically enough, his ability to share what he wants and needs to ejaculate (at the present time) is vital to his getting better.
But I am getting ahead of myself, Dan. Forgive me. I guess, as usual, it is because of my eagerness to reassure you that, while DE is the most often misdiagnosed male sexual dysfunction, there are still lots of ways and treatment options to deal with it.
All the best,
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.