Men’s Orgasms: They’re Not (Always) About You

naked woman giving a naked man a massage

That would be particularly true if you are a lesbian who only has sex with other women. But I digress.

If you like/love/lust after men, then you also may like/love/lust after getting them aroused, encouraging them to make a move and watching them get increasingly excited and worked up during a heated make-out session or a passionate roll in the hay. It may even build your own excitement to think that you – yes, you, you sexy thing – are responsible for getting him so enormously aroused. Oh, and that you’re responsible for his orgasm, too.

The truth? Though you’re probably a big part of the picture, it’s not all about you. As attracted to you as a man may be, his penis (and his erections, ejaculation and orgasm) are not completely under his control. This is important: it means that when he has trouble getting or keeping an erection or when he comes more quickly than he’d like (or more slowly or not at all), it’s not all your fault. It doesn’t mean that he’s not attracted to you or he doesn’t love you anymore or that your super awesome technique isn’t working on him.

In fact, he may want you very badly. He may crave you with every ounce of his being but just can’t get his penis on board. Maybe he masturbated before you two hung out and now it’s harder for him to get an erection. Or maybe he’s stressed about work or school and can’t quite stop thinking about him, which is keeping him from pushing over the edge and coming.

There are endless reasons why men (like women) have challenges with the way their bodies and their sexual response works. When you finally accept that it’s not all about you, it can be freeing, actually. It means that you don’t have to fix everything. You can relax, enjoy being together, and embrace the loveliness of what it feels like to have sex with someone and to wake up next to them, all groggy eyed and with morning breath. And truly, there are few things in this world more wonderfully magic than that.

[Originally published in my weekly Cheeky Chicago sex column.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at

  • cleondann

    i have really enjoyed reading that blog… i just use to kiss her to wake her up in the morning…