Missing Out on the Big O: Why do I ejaculate without having an orgasm?

Dear Sexpert,

I am a sexually active homosexual male and I have never had an orgasm although I have ejaculated many times. My boyfriend has an orgasm almost every time we have sex, but I never do. He thinks it might be because I am stressed from taking six classes this semester and have trouble winding down. Is there something wrong with me?


Dear Missing Out,

Just like the female orgasm, there is a lot we still don’t know about the male orgasm. However, fortunately for you, there is quite a bit we do know.

The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement/arousal, plateau, ejaculation and orgasm, and resolution. There is a common misconception that orgasm and ejaculation always occur in conjunction during sexual intercourse, but that’s not the case. Many men cannot ejaculate but still orgasm, and some men orgasm several seconds before they begin to ejaculate. Orgasm is a cerebral or brain response to physical pleasure; ejaculation is the body’s physical response.

Since, sexual intercourse is both a physical and psychological experience, it is influenced by physical and psychological factors. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders, and hormonal imbalances can all have adverse side effects on your experience of sexual intercourse. Alcohol or drug use can also impact your ability to experience sexual pleasure. Work-related stress, anxiety about performance (in and out of the bedroom), depression and feelings of guilt can also negatively impact your sexual experience.

As your boyfriend suggested, it is entirely possible that you are stressed out about your coursework and it’s interfering with your desired sexual experience. Your coursework is important but so are your health and your relationship. Allow yourself to take time to de-stress—listen to relaxing music, try some physical exercise, or practice deep breathing. It may let you separate your mind from schoolwork, so you can enjoy other things.

Furthermore, if anxiety about being unable to achieve orgasm is consuming your attention, you may find it difficult to stay engaged in the activity. Try “mindful sex”. Don’t focus on the end-result, but instead on the sensations, feelings and intensity in the moment.

If you try these tactics and still have difficulty achieving orgasm or maintaining an erection, you may want to seek consultation from a medical professional, like the Sexual Health and Wellness clinician at UHS. If your dysfunction is related to a serious medical condition, you probably want to take care of that as soon as possible.

–The Sexpert