Thursday, January 05, 2012

Reader: "I have difficulty ejaculating." Michael Castleman responds.

Buddy, age 65, has difficulty ejaculating because he doesn't feel enough stimulation during intercourse. He sent me this email requesting advice:

Dear Joan,

I just finished your book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. It was a breath of fresh air to find that I am not that different about my sexual desires, fantasies and needs as other 65 year old people.

I didn’t see you address my specific issue in the book. Namely, I have difficulty ejaculating. It is not that it doesn’t ever happen, it does both with oral stimulation and with penetration sex; just not very often. 

My companion really wants to have me reach orgasm inside her, as do I, but too often, I lose my erection before the big moment. Many times it seems there is a lack of continued stimulation after penetration. I don’t “feel” anything. Lubrication isn’t an issue, she has plenty and we aren’t bashful about adding synthetic lube to the equation. 

For reasons of knee pain and a few pounds overweight the only position we have found to date and enjoy is her lying on her back and me on my right side with my torso at a right angle to hers. Missionary hurts my knees and I’m too tall, compared to her, for doggie to work comfortably. 

Do you have any suggestions to continue the stimulation on the glans of my penis to build up an ejaculation after penetration? Your input will be very much appreciated by us both.

Thank you for your time and providing a non-sleazy forum for us “old-timers” to learn and re-learn new tricks.

Buddy's right -- as comprehensive as Naked at Our Age is, it doesn't answer Buddy's question. So I asked Michael Castleman, M.A., a top health writer, sex educator, and sex counselor, to address Buddy's concerns. Michael Castleman responds:

Your situation is not at all unusual. Older men often develop problems with ejaculation/orgasm for several reasons:  

(1) The nervous system becomes less "excitable" with age. This means it takes more stimulation for ejaculation and orgasm to happen. It's also part of the reason you don't "feel" anything during intercourse. Sex therapists often tell older men, "You don't have to ejaculate every time." That's true, but if she really wants you to come inside her, not ejaculating is not going to help. 

(2) It's more difficult to maintain erotic focus. Aches and pains can distract from erotic focus, You have some, so they may be contributing to your situation. Have you considered some pain medication before sex? Advil? 

(3) Drugs and drug side effects. You didn't mention drugs, but many older people take one or more. Many drugs cause ejaculation problems, and quite a few have side effects that include ejaculatory difficulty, notably, antidepressants. If you're taking medication that may cause ejaculatory problems, ask your doctor if another drug can be substituted.  

What to do? Here are a few quick suggestions:  

(1) During intercourse, in addition to the old in-out, also stroke your penis by hand (yours or hers). This may provide the extra stimulation you need to get over the hump. (It may take some practice to figure out how to do this.) Or try pressing a vibrator against your penis or scrotum. The extra stimulation may help. 

(2) Make love earlier in the day. Many older lover find that at night, they're too pooped to pop. Make love before noon and you're likely to have more erotic energy, including energy for ejaculation and orgasm. 

(3) Try some anal massage in addition to intercourse. Now, you may have objections to anal play, and if you do, you're under no obligation to do this. But some men find that adding anal sphincter massage and/or fingering to intercourse helps the man come. 

For a more detailed discussion of this issue, visit my site,, and click on the Info Library. Under About Men, you'll see an article on Ejaculation and Orgasm problems. Here's the direct URL.

Many thanks to Buddy for his candor and to Michael Castleman for his terrific advice. I invite your comments, readers.

Michael Castleman, M.A., is the author of twelve books, including Great Sex: TheMan's Guide to the Secrets of Whole-Body Sensuality and Sexual Solutions:For Men and the Women Who Love Them. From 1991-95, he answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy Advisor. Visit his website about sex after midlife,


  1. I'm 67 and identify with the post. A great way to make love is to get in sort of an X position so genitals are touching. Look each other in the eye. She reaches down and pleasures herself. He reaches down and pleasures himself...only on his upstroke the meat of the top of his hamd impacts her vulva - so she feels his rhythm and it replicates missionary position. By pleasureing himself he's probably gonna stay harder. After a while he can occasionally "slip it in" while she continues to pleasure herself...just a few strokes, then back out and thumping away at the vulva as he goes. He can also take an interlude to rub the head of his penis all over her vulva while she continues to pleasure herself. Very erotic. Only decision is does he want to ejaculate inside her or stay outside and ejaculate on her clitoris as she has her orgasm?

    And, for sure check the meds with the doc.

  2. My experience with my lover is exactly like Buddy's experience with his lover. I'm so glad this issue came up in this forum.

    Michael Castleman's information looks good and promising. But there's nothing like hearing from readers who have successfully dealt with this. I was just going to ask people to write in to help those of us who deal with this, and there was Me Again's post!

    Thanks, Me Again. It's both helpful and inspiring to hear how you deal with this. I'd love to hear others' stories too.


  3. Make love in the morning before you get out of bed. Higher testosterone levels in both of you, but in particular in men.
    Use a soft, medical grade cock ring. Don't put it on too tightly either, you don't need to, it will work just fine. Don't eave it on for more than 20 minutes at a time.
    Have your lover do her kegels. They make a world of difference in these situations and she'll have stronger orgasms too because of tighter muscles.
    good luck


My readers and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Please share your views! Comments are moderated, so yours won't appear until I've seen it. Thank you in advance for commenting!

Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email your comment (with the name under which you want it posted) to, and I'll post it for you.

Retailers please note: I delete comments that attempt to hijack my readers to a commercial site. If you'd like to advertise, contact me at and I'll be happy to send you information.

Authors, therapists and sex educators who have helpful information for readers are welcome to post links to their sites.

-- Joan