[Two pronged] Premature ejaculation, an open marriage, and my new girlfriend
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 wife and I have an open marriage as we are no longer in love and so I have had a lot of women. Although we are not in love and my wife ridicules me even in public, especially since she found out about my women, she wants to have sex with me. Isn’t this strange?
Now I have met a girl who I love, which leads me to my question: Why do I have premature ejaculation with my wife but not with my girlfriend? I understand premature ejaculation occurrs if you hadn’t been with someone for a while and are overenthusiastic. Does it indicate I have feelings, even love, for my wife? And an unconscious wish to stay in my open marriage?
You seem to have two issues – your wife’s continuing desire to have sex with you despite the deterioration in your marriage and premature ejaculation (causes and significance).
It is difficult to know for certain, given the scant information you have provided, why your wife remains keen on sex with you but reasons could include: you may be a lousy husband in her eyes but you remain a good lover; you may be unfaithful but she still likes to flex her control over you through sex; sex with someone you no longer like is her way to punish you for your shortcomings.
Of equal interest, of course, is why you continue to have sex with her.
It seems she ridicules you in public and controls you sexually in private. Has your girlfriend also experienced this seemingly submissive part of your character?
Turning to your concerns about premature ejaculation – it can be a learned experience, as illustrated by two examples: teenage sex and sex with prostitutes. In the first case, many teens can only experience sex in situations where they may get caught – at home by family members or in the back of a car by passersby. In these circumstances, speed is of the essence.
In the case of prostitutes, the higher the turnover the greater the earnings and therefore they will encourage the speediest conclusion to the transaction. The result of both is a learned behavior of ejaculation as soon as possible.
In your case, Eric, it seems that since you do not want to have sex with your wife, you use premature ejaculation as a way to get it over with as quickly as you can. There seems little risk of it becoming learned behavior since you are able to perform ‘normally’ with your girlfriend.
As for your notions about unconscious desires for your wife and a continuation of your marriage, I shall leave it to my co-columnist to address these concerns.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your letter. First, let me reassure you straight away that ejaculating fast when you have sex with your wife does NOT mean you are secretly in love with her.
It does not even mean that you are more turned on by her than you are by the girlfriend you love.
People say cutesy things like: “Think with your big head (brain) and not your little one (your penis)” and often that advice is worth its weight in gold. However, there are times—admittedly not very often—when it is not only ok, but much better to listen to the little guy.
The common expectation is that a man comes more quickly when he is in love with or truly desires his female partner. That is true in most cases. Since your wife doesn’t fit either category, it is understandable that you wonder why in heaven’s name your penis behaves as though she is the love/lust of your life.
I understand your surprise – even terror – at the thought. But please remember that your ejaculating prematurely is situational: it happens only under specific circumstances — like when having sex with your wife. If it were global, it would happen all the time, under any circumstances, and with everyone.
When premature ejaculation is global, the more common explanations make sense. Paramount among them is the behavioral school of thought that postulates that a man who ejaculates quickly is someone who has been rewarded in the past for coming quickly. But when it is situational like yours is, it is almost like your penis is talking to you, asking “What the bloody hell am I doing inside this woman who makes fun of me and forces me to make love to her?!!? Maybe I can’t change that I’m in here right now, but I can get out of here ASAP.”
The most logical and efficient way to stop having sex with your wife without being obviously hostile is to ejaculate – and the sooner the better. She can hardly complain that you are purposely withholding pleasure from her because we have been taught that premature ejaculation is not under our voluntary control. Perhaps consciously it isn’t, but unconsciously, sometimes it can be …the way I think it might be with you in this case.
With premature ejaculation, she can complain about your lousy lovemaking to all and sundry, but she cannot accuse you of being purposely nasty.
This is how psychoanalysis explains premature ejaculation—an act of covert hostility because it is a metaphor of what is truly going on in the relationship. Admittedly, the psychoanalytic view has lost many believers, with most mental health professionals preferring more “modern” explanations, including variables like number of thrusts or Intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) that can be measured objectively. However, a theory hardly used nowadays doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. And just because an explanation has lost many believers, doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply in some cases.
I hope this has helped eased your mind somewhat, Confused.
Please write us again if there is anything else we can do for you.
Ingat (take care),
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email email@example.com with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.