MSP Q&A: How can I last long enough to satisfy my wife of 24 years?


Question: Is it possible for a man to learn to control his orgasm? After 24 years of marriage I am still not able to always satisfy my wife. This partially due to the fact that my wife does not like much foreplay or oral sex and we do not have take often anyway. She wants me to last long enough for her orgasm only which is not always possible for me. Since we only make love in the missionary position, changing positions is not an option. I have tried many things with little luck. Now I am desperate to know how men have learning to control their orgasms. I do know that the brain sends a signal to the genitals, but I do not know how to prolong this signal.

Answer: Wow. I feel for you; I really do. Here’s the thing: you can probably learn to better control the timing of your ejaculation on your own (through the stop-start and squeeze techniques described in the well-respected book Coping With Premature Ejaculation; or maybe through medication or sex therapy, also described in this book) – however, I don’t know that delaying your ejaculation in and of itself is the only or even best way to address these sexual issues.

Most sexual issues that are experienced by couples are best addressed as a couple - meaning, it would possibly be helpful if your wife participated in addressing this issue, too. Would she consider reading Coping With Premature Ejaculation with you, or even better yet reading For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy with you? To really have satisfying, pleasurable sex that feels good to both of you, it seems that you two may benefit by sharing your feelings and ideas about what that means. Is it sex that lasts just long enough for her orgasm? If so, where does that leave you? What is meaningful or pleasurable to you? How can both of your emotional and physical needs be met during sex, at least more of the time? These are not necessarily easy ideas to think about, let alone tackle, especially as each of your feelings and needs have likely changed several times over the course of a 24-year marriage. That’s not only okay, but expected – the challenge, now, is to figure out how to connect sexually and intimately in ways that will feel right to you both.

If your wife is open to it, I would highly encourage you two to think about meeting with a sex therapist and/or reading those books together so that you can work toward these goals. You can find a sex therapist through the web site of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

[Photo by James Jowers, in the George Eastman House collection, via Flickr/Commons.]

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