Lifestyle

I’m having the best sex of my life. So why do I struggle to orgasm?


Despite the assurances of my wonderful new partner, I seem to have a psychological problem and I don’t know what to do about it

I am a man in my mid-40s and for the past eight or nine months I have been in a wonderful relationship with a woman. The sex was great from the beginning, and more adventurous than I have experienced before. The only issue is that I am now finding it impossible to orgasm through penetration. She enjoys giving me oral sex but even then it is becoming increasingly difficult to orgasm. We talk about it and she assures me she is very comfortable with how things are, even if I have to masturbate to get there. I am worried that I will only be able to bring myself to orgasm that way. I realise that this is a psychological thing, but I don’t know where to start to get help.

First of all, it would really be worth taking your partner at her word. Hasn’t she made her feelings of comfort and acceptance perfectly clear? It is understandable that you would wish to conform with what many believe is the “right” way to make love, but it’s not necessary, is it? An inability to orgasm during intercourse can have psychological or physiological bases – or be a combination of both. It can only really be considered a “problem” if you feel it is … but since you do, seek a medical evaluation and a course of treatment from a qualified sex therapist. At the same time, remind yourself of these positive aspects of your sexual connection with your partner – your ability to create intimate and erotic experiences for your partner and yourself, and the creative way you have met this challenge.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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