The Elusive Charm of the Orgasm

The Elusive Charm of the Orgasm

By Eugene S. Robinson



Because while no sex is better than bad sex, good sex is greatest of all.

By Eugene S. Robinson

Anticipating Ejaculating

EUGENE, SIR: Is it your opinion that premature ejaculation is a [hostile] reaction? I think it is tempting to be flattered when a male partner comes quickly, but can’t men control when they come? Or at the very least recognize the signs and then slow the build to orgasm? I can. Now I just think it’s shitty and lazy men who do this. —Rachel S.

Dear Rachels: To paraphrase the great Al Pacino as Tony Montana in the wonderful 1983 remake of Scarface, “It’s hard to be a man.” So a hostile reaction? I think that’s incorrect by a measure since it signals intent, and so many relationships are so different that I don’t think I can sign off on it being a product of intention. But look at it like this: You can, in general, control when and where you choose to void your bladder, correct?

And yet?

And yet, at least based on how things smell in San Francisco, people still pee in the streets. I imagine if they could keep themselves from doing it, they would, but I have to assume because they don’t, they can’t. Some would argue that this is a product of intentionality, or at the very least laziness, and a personal failing. But not everyone who pees in the street would be covered by this, surely. So, somewhere between volition and uncontrollable urge you have the male orgasm.

From high school biology classes, we’ve learned about thresholds and points of no return, both in voiding bladders/bowels and in orgasming, and what you reference we all know to be true to a certain degree: If you were served a subpoena right as you neared orgasm, this might interrupt the up-cycle that led to a rapidly approaching orgasm and stop its approach. But this kind of stoppage would not be considered entirely voluntary. I mean, punching your lover in the testicles might delay orgasm too, but it seems antithetical to what you’re both trying to do (that is, have a good time).

Nah. I think for men practice and knowing your body help quite a bit. Clearly, biology works better if a man orgasms faster before, for example, he gets eaten by a predator, but being that humans are apex predators, this is not really a pressing concern and for general relationship welfare working to align orgasms is a worthy goal. 

So, as I’ve counseled before, a gentle tug on his scrotum will generally result in a delayed orgasm. Also, if he orgasms quickly, he should have enough energy for a second go-around, and this will yield a slower time to orgasm. If he can’t go again, he should be reminded that he has a mouth and that’s got to be good for something other than apologizing.


Past Participles

EUGENE, SIR: I haven’t had sex for the past three years and beyond that I haven’t ever managed to have an orgasm with a partner. Until recently. He’s married, so I know emotionally unavailable, but I was raped when I was younger. He is, however, very rough with me, but he’s the only human other than me to be able to give me an orgasm. Do you think it’s healthy? What I mean is, do you think this is a healthy way to work through past trauma? —MW

Dear MegaWatt: From professional dommes I’ve been led to understand that to be effectively rough, paradoxically, you must engender feelings of trust. In other words, a 20-car roller coaster is very different from a 20-car pile-up, and the difference is one is controlled chaos and the other is just chaos. If you’ve been anorgasmic with partners your whole life, I wouldn’t underestimate what’s happening now and what seems to be happening is that you’re relaxing into a sexual relationship that harmonically is settling on orgasmic satisfaction. This seems like a good thing.

But I am no psychiatrist so have no idea if this is “healthy” or not. You could pay a professional to either confirm or deny this, or you could enjoy the orgasms while they’re there to be enjoyed. Or both. But you asked whether I think it’s healthy and at a very simple level I’m going to have to say, yeah, I think orgasms, insofar as they improve quality of life, are probably good things. 

Now married men with no intention of leaving their wives? Well, that’s another thing. Good luck.

Slow Poke

EUGENE, SIR: Please take my problem seriously. My girlfriend of the last year comes very quickly and I don’t. After she comes she needs a break and gives me oral but then her jaw gets tired and if we go back to fucking, she orgasms again. This makes things tense because I start to panic and try to come before she does, and I never can. So I’ve been saying forget it and she feels bad. Is there a way for me to come faster? —Name withheld by request

Dear Needing Speed: It’s not fast. It’s not slow. It’s more about what the comedians talk about when they talk about … timing. As it is now, you both have built up a whole head full of steam around the timing issue, and so I’d take time, and timing, out to remind each other that the most important part of sex play is the play part and with minor variations in input you could achieve a different output. Starting with realizing that it’s not a race, everyone wins and if that means she watches you masturbate yourself almost to orgasm, maybe intermittently using her mouth, before you finish inside of her, so be it.

Also, if “forget it” is your default, don’t expect this to last long. Succumbing to defeat is the last and least effective way to achieve any kind of sexual success. Keep at it. Get your timing together and keep your play playful. In the end, if tense is what you want to feel, there are better ways — IRS audits, biker bars, drug deals gone awry — to get there. Now get out there and have FUN.