All About The Penis, Men & Male Sexuality

Problems with arousal and reaching orgasm

How to become more responsive to a partner's touch

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This is a page of information for men who have trouble becoming aroused or reaching orgasm in way except by self-stimulation of their penis.

For some men, problems with orgasm or desire are based in a loss of contact with their own body. In other words, a man may not be aware how aroused he is (an erect penis is an obvious sign of arousal, but it is not the only one).

Men who have these difficulties also tend to be very dependent on specific types of erotic fantasy and physical stimulation to the penis. Paradoxically, a man may or may not find touch to his penis pleasurable - he may or may not be able to reach orgasm this way with his partner. The first step in treating this problem is to desensitize the man so that his dependence on these specific erotic signals is reduced.

A comprehensive treatment program works: the first step is for a man to get in touch with his physical level of arousal - a process of getting back in touch with his own body and its sexual responses.

He begins to masturbate his penis with his hand while he uses the fantasy that turns him on the most. When he feels turned on, he reverts to using the physical sensations of stimulating his penis to keep himself excited; when he is about to reach orgasm, he stops masturbating and waits for his arousal to drop.

When it has done so, he again stimulates his penis with his hand alternating between physical arousal and fantasy to maintain his excitement at a high level.

After stopping and starting this penile stimulation three times in succession, he masturbates to orgasm.

The essence of the process is that a man is relearning what it feels like to be aroused purely through touch - rather in the way that a boy learns to play with his penis because because it feels good, not because he is mentally turned on. This shows a man that it is possible to get aroused without the help of fantasy.

The next step is more overtly sexual. It transfers his focus from the sensations associated with masturbation to the sensations associated with intercourse. Men who have trouble coming or getting aroused often depend on very specific fantasy and masturbation techniques.

They have developed one specific way of handling their penis that can provide enough stimulation to get them to orgasm. A man with this difficulty can begin by stimulating his penis as he normally would during masturbation, until he reaches the point of ejaculatory inevitability.

Then he stops moving his hand and instead thrusts his penis against it (for example,  thrusting from his hips into a circle formed by his fingers and thumb, for example).  At first his orgasm may be a pale shadow of the intense orgasm he achieves using his normal masturbation method, but as he gets more practiced in this technique, the intensity of his orgasms will increase.

Men who are, in effect, weaning themselves off their normal masturbation method, will tend to alternate between moving their hand on their penis and thrusting their hips. Thrusting may provide less stimulation than masturbating; if so, and he begins to lose his erection, he can go back to masturbating in his "normal" way until he is fully erect again. Then he can resume thrusting.

Some men who do this find that they go numb as they thrust - numb in the penis, that is. This is often a sign that he is thinking too much - about how the process is working, how long it's taking, or how futile it is. The cure for this is to refocus, stop what he's doing, and relax until his focus on the fantasy or his physical arousal.

Ultimately, he is aiming to feel as aroused when he thrusts against his hand as when he masturbates in his usual way.

A man who is having trouble reaching orgasm during sex almost never has a problem reaching orgasm when he masturbates. The easiest way to overcome this challenge is to have him masturbate in the presence of his partner. One good approach to this problem is for the woman to stimulate herself at the same time as her man as he lies naked on the bed next to him.

The idea is to make progress by starting with the female partner as far away from the man as is comfortable for him, then for the woman to move gradually closer and closer until he is confident and relaxed about his ability to reach orgasm while she holds him as he masturbates.

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The next step is for the female partner to masturbate the man to orgasm. The process of resensitization (to "normal" sexual signals) begins by having the woman put her hand over his as he masturbates when he is just on the point of reaching his orgasm.

This associates her hand with his orgasm, with touch from his partner on his penis; she can then go on to alternate her touch with his as she and he masturbate his penis. He needs to feel that he can say when he wants his partner's touch to stop.

The first few times a couple try this, after he has become very aroused with the alternation of her touch and his on his penis, he should actually  masturbate himself to orgasm while his partner has her hand over his.

The idea, as we said before, is to sensitize him to the erotic and arousing potential of his partner's touch. This may take time, but with patience and tolerance of setbacks, he will make progress in associating his partner's touch with greater arousal and excitement.

As you may imagine, the final step in this process is to associate intercourse with pleasure and orgasm. Even after completing the exercises above, a man may still not be able to associate pleasure with intercourse, and he may have difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse.

The first part of this final step is for the couple to have the man put his penis into his partner after he has reached the point of ejaculatory inevitability.

The ejaculation inside his partner may be accompanied by a sense of profound relief; but this is only the first step.

The next step is to intersperse bouts of intercourse and penetration with periods of oral sex and  masturbation by both him and her. If a man finds this difficult, and starts to lose his erection, he can breathe to relax, use fantasy to get aroused, then regain his focus on what he is doing physically.

Even if a couple is able to do this, the man may still find that he is not receiving much pleasure from intercourse. The problem is that he is unaware of the physical sensations which his body is giving him - it's a question of awareness.

One way of approaching this problem is to have fun by experimenting with different sexual positions and postures - the female partner with her legs together, legs apart, on top, from behind, and so on: each new position gives the man an opportunity to see what it feels like - and how it feels different to the previous position.

If at any time the man begins to lose touch with what he is feeling, he needs to stop, relax and reconnect with his body by breathing deeply. He may use fantasy or masturbation to re-arouse himself, then continue with intercourse.

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Other pages on the penis and male sexuality

My penis is too large / too small
My foreskin is too tight
Problems with arousal
I can't get an erection
Urethral opening abnormal
Torn frenulum - breve
My penis is twisted
Erectile dysfunction
Penis problems solved!
Hypogonadism
Hypospadias
Peyronie's
Andropause & mid-life crisis
Chlamydia
Penile problems & injuries
Yeast Infections
Sex addiction & obsession
Sexually transmitted infections
Testosterone declines with age

Other sections on the site

Penis facts and penile functions
The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Penile & Other Problems 

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