Love and Relationships

[Two Pronged] My husband’s ex keeps gossiping about his premature ejaculation

Margarita Holmes, Jeremy Baer

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[Two Pronged] My husband’s ex keeps gossiping about his premature ejaculation

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'His ex-girlfriend taunts me by spreading gossip that I may be the wife, but my husband isn’t really turned on by me'

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 three 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:

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a sexual disorder, but why would a woman feel bad if her husband had PE with his ex-girlfriend but not with her (me)? You see, his ex-girlfriend taunts me by spreading gossip that I may be the wife, but my husband isn’t really turned on by me, since it takes him 20 minutes to come when we make love. She brags that he was so turned on by her that he would come in seconds. The longest he was able to hold out was two minutes, she adds.

Please help.

Dear Ivy,

Thank you for your message.

According to the DSM-5, the mental health “bible,” there are four criteria which are symptoms of Premature (Early) Ejaculation (PE/EE):

A. Consistently ejaculating within one minute or less of vaginal penetration.

B. Criterion A has persisted for at least six months, and has been experienced 75%-100% of the time.

C. Criterion A symptom results in clinically significant distress, sexual frustration, dissatisfaction, or tension between partners.

D. This condition is not better accounted for by another non-sexual mental disorder, medication or illicit substance use, or medical condition.

Conclusion: your husband does not have PE.

Having said this, let’s examine this gossip further. Generally speaking, PE is not viewed favorably by women, the implication being that their partners are not giving them sexual satisfaction. In this case however, the ex is suggesting that PE is the result of her greater sexual allure, leading him to lose control. This conclusion unsurprisingly leaves her in a favorable light.

It is nevertheless not the only possible conclusion. Alternative explanations include a) couples dating often have time constraints and potential interruptions, which encourages short and rushed sexual encounters; and/or b) your husband cared less for her satisfaction than he now does for yours, hence his efforts to last longer for your greater enjoyment; and/or c) your husband cared more for his own enjoyment than for hers, hence his reluctance to control his ejaculation. 

Ultimately the most important point here is that your husband chose to marry you, not her, and no amount of gossip can gainsay this. 

All the best,

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Dear Ivy:

Thank you very much for your letter.  

It must be difficult to remain indifferent when your husband’s ex-girlfriend (let’s call her Lucy) insinuates that your husband finds her sexier than he does you. One’s immediate reaction is to strike back. However, in this case, it seems better to stay above the fray. Mapapahaba pa ang kuwento (This story about how your husband – let’s call him Ivan – found Lucy sexier than you will not end). Besides, there are so many other reasons Ivan makes love far longer with you than he used to with her. The operative phrase here, Ivy, is “used to.”

Lucy is his past. You are his present. That alone speaks of your greater sexual allure. Sex doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To choose you to be his wife speaks volumes…far more than the words: “Ivan lasts only two minutes with me while with her he can last 20 minutes (nyah, nyah, nyah).” Of course, the 3 nyahs are mine, but you can just imagine her saying it, can’t you?

Uh oh. Now, if I were a therapist, at this point I would not be saying nyah nyah nyah.  Happily, here I am a columnist, so need not worry too, too much about possibly making you gatong (fanning the flames).

Mr. Baer has given three excellent reasons why the 2-20 difference in time could have happened. Here are two more:

First, PE may not necessarily be PE but a way to “disguise” a man’s ED (erectile dysfunction). But first, a mini lesson on a scientific term you may want to use every now and then: Intravaginal Estimated Latency Time (IELT). IELT is the time between entering the vagina and ejaculating; or in more “layman-ish” terms: the time between entering and coming. 

If a man’s IELT is within two minutes, he may just be (consciously or, most likely unconsciously) hiding his erectile dysfunction. There have been scientific journal articles written on this. One organization which may have access to several would be the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) if you are interested in learning more.

Second, it might be because the man wants his sexual experience with this particular woman to end as quickly as possible. Admittedly, I have not read about this reason in any science journal I have come across. ALSO, admittedly the only basis I have for such a statement is my clinical experience.  

But clinical experience, because it can capture nuances that a rigorous methodological study with kazillion subjects cannot, can oftentimes garner more helpful information…especially for an individual confronting his own issue, rather than a researcher interested in trends, prevalence, and incidence numbers, etc.

Only three men have shared this reason for their quick IELT with one woman, and a longer (much preferred) IELT with another.  

Each man who had a shorter IELT with Woman A, but a longer IELT with woman B was someone who wanted to end his relationship with A and/or was no longer in love with A. If he did not come early as a matter of volition, then his body was telling him something his whole being was feeling: “I am not enjoying what should be a pleasurable experience with this woman.”   

Granted, I have had only three clients who have mentioned this to me…actually, not mentioned as in casually mentioned; it was more a discovery after several client sessions. But again, something so rare that can only be experienced by, I would think, exceptionally sensitive men, does not make it less true.  

It must be infuriating to listen to people’s gossip about your sex life with your husband, and happily you don’t have to. You can simply say you are not interested in what his ex has to say. What you have with your Ivan is real, any speculation of what might have be is not. May the life you live with him be so full of love, passion, and joy that it has no need of any distraction gossip may bring. 

All the best,
MG Holmes


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