Many women have asked what it means when their men cannot orgasm during sex, and readers worry what’s going wrong when their partners struggle with delayed ejaculation. These things can throw you off if you’re used to a sexual script where your man always comes or his orgasm signals the end of sex. It’s normal to wonder if it has anything to do with you, too. However, his difficulty with orgasm can be caused by any number of reasons, many of which are treatable.
Before you can understand why your boyfriend can’t come anymore, it helps to understand what an orgasm is. When people think of a man’s climax, they tend to think of ejaculation that occurs after sexual activity as part of mental and physical release. It’s true that a guy’s orgasm often accompanies ejaculation; however, it’s possible for a man to orgasm without ejaculation, known as a dry orgasm or dry climax .
Dry orgasms can happen because of several things:
- Prostate stimulation through his perineum [4 p 51]
- Retrograde ejaculation when the semen travels back into the bladder instead of out through the urethra [5, 6], which can be caused by injury to the spinal cord [7, 8] or something else
- Diabetes 
- Surgery such as prostate removal  or bladder removal
- Testosterone deficiency  that can be caused by hypogonadism can lead to reduced ejaculate
- Cancer treatment 
- Blocked sperm duct (obstructive azoospermia )
- Lack of semen production 
Your man may still experience the sensation of orgasm without being able to ejaculate, which can actually be a good thing as it can help him experience multiple orgasms [[4 p 27]. Plus, he’ll still be able to experience pleasure. Still, he may be frustrated about his inhibited ejaculation or worried about the underlying cause. Differentiating between dry orgasm and no orgasm at all can help you figure out what that cause is.
WHY IS IT HARD FOR HIM TO CUM?
The following questions can help determine why he can’t come or why your man takes forever to come. Remember, he may have strong thoughts and feelings about the issue, so it’s important to talk to your man before making any assumptions. This is why, ultimately, it’s up to your man to find and implement solutions if he’s worried about not being able to come. You can help, but he must take the initiative.
1. IS IT ABOUT YOU?
A lot of women automatically blame themselves when their partners can’t orgasm, but there are many possible reasons why a man can’t ejaculate, and plenty of them have nothing to do with you. There may be instances where a man experiences trouble with erection and orgasm due to his attraction to his partner, but it often has nothing to do with you at all!
It’s understandable if you feel this way, but you should take it easy on yourself. There may be another explanation. Before you worry about the baby weight you’re carrying, or if your new haircut is to blame, you need to talk to your man and try to identify other things that can interfere with orgasm first.
Finally, while you may be able to master male orgasm techniques, don’t just assume you’re terrible in bed. You might be amazing but something else could be getting in the way of his orgasm!
2. CAN HE COME FROM OTHER ACTIVITIES?
If your man struggles to come during a blow job, it might just be because it’s a gentle activity (we’ll talk more about this later). If he cannot come during sexual activities with you but can when he’s masturbating or can only come when watching porn, the issue isn’t medical. You know he’s capable of having an orgasm, but there’s something psychological holding him back during partnered times.
Related: Why Do Men Watch Porn?
3. WAS HE ABLE TO COME BEFORE?
A recent injury or surgery, new diagnosis or prescription, or simply aging could be behind a sudden inability to orgasm. Of course, the issue could still be mental, but it’s often easy enough to research whether a new diagnosis or even the medication could be at play.
In a new relationship, it can take time to build trust and let go enough to orgasm . So it may not be a big deal if he struggles initially but orgasm becomes easier over time as you become more comfortable with one another.
Finally, consider that some types of “climax control” lube or condoms could be the cause of his inability to orgasm. If they contain anything to make him last longer (these products typically use benzocaine to numb the penis ), this may be why he’s taking too long to orgasm or even cause him to lose his erection. Different bodies can react to these products differently.
4. ARE THERE OTHER SEXUAL ISSUES?
You might be focusing on his trouble with orgasm but overlooking erectile dysfunction or decreased desire, which might all be due to a singular issue just waiting to be revealed.
5. IS HE STRESSED?
Everyone has experienced stress from time to time, but even if it doesn’t seem that bad, small amounts of stress can still affect your body. Stress can interfere with all sorts of sexual functioning  from arousal to desire to orgasm. He might never consciously bring his stress into the bedroom, but it may follow him, anyway.
6. HOW IS HIS HEALTH?
Men who are generally healthy will tend to be sexually healthy (including being able to come). Sexual symptoms might be related to heart and blood health, such as low blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, or diabetes, among other problems. Furthermore, new medication might play a role in his lack or orgasm or delayed ejaculation. Medications such as SSRIs for depression [15, 16] or Gabapentin  can impact orgasms.
7. HOW’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
You might not be able to answer this one if your man is hiding his feelings about his relationship from you. However, if you’ve noticed that you’re fighting more, have had a big issue such as cheating or another breach of trust, or the two of you have simply drifted apart, it can manifest as sexual difficulties. Relationship issues may be the reason he cannot come when there’s no apparent medical issue .
8. IS HE CONFIDENT?
While you might be worried about being the reason he doesn’t ejaculate, the issue could be inside his head. He might be intimidated by having sex or by you as a beautiful or experienced partner. He may lack confidence in his skills or his body, perhaps because of something someone has said to him in the past. It’s hard enough for women to deal with these insecurities and to be vulnerable, but it can be even harder for men who are not taught how to share their feelings.
Sometimes you can help an insecure man, but other times it might not be worth it.
9. DOES HE DRINK ALCOHOL?
Alcohol can cause anorgasmia , so drinking less or cutting it all entirely might solve the problem.
WHAT TO DO WHEN HE CAN’T FINISH
1. TALK TO HIM
Before you do anything else, you should talk to him. When you do this, you want to be gentle. Provide space for him to be vulnerable. Do not judge him or express disappointment even if he’s stopped engaging with you sexually and you feel resentment over your sexless marriage. He’s probably already feeling shame and embarrassment for his delayed ejaculation or inability to orgasm.
Simply let him know that you noticed he’s struggling. Ask if there’s anything you can do or even if he wants to do anything about it. He might still be enjoying an orgasm if he’s not ejaculating. He may need time before he feels comfortable seeking solutions. He might not even be bothered by his delayed ejaculation if he thinks you want him to last longer!
If he is concerned, the two of you can read this article together and then try one of the following things to help fix the reason he can’t come.
2. TALK TO HIS DOCTOR
If you suspect that the reason he cannot ejaculate is medical, he should absolutely talk to his doctor. This is a good first step if you simply cannot figure out why he can’t come anymore. There may be something wrong that you don’t know about that is behind all of this.
Curious how else testosterone affects his penis? Check out these male sex facts!
Anorgasmia may also be a side effect of a known condition such as hypothyroidism . Don’t assume that it’s not just because his doctor hasn’t mentioned it yet. Doctors are human and may know not all symptoms and may have difficulty bringing up sexual issues if patients don’t discuss them first. One doctor states that
Problems of delayed ejaculation tend to be somewhat rare and not well understood by psychologists and sex therapists. In addition, they are not well understood by most medical doctors and urologists 
It can be helpful to search online for more information about known conditions and medicines to prepare yourself for the appointment.
Even if he suspects medication is causing the problem, he shouldn’t stop taking any medication without his doctor’s approval. Your man should work with his doctor to find the right medication (such as testosterone if his hormones have dropped as he aged) and dosage or potentially another medicine that can counteract adverse side effects.
Make sure your guy follows all his doctor’s advice.
3. SEEK COUNSELING
Whether your man is struggling from poor body image, depression, or anxiety, or it’s relationship issues behind his anorgasmia, then a therapist may be able to help. Even if he goes alone, he might find ways to resolve the issue. However, relationship issues are best dealt with when you both work at it. This way, you can strengthen your relationship and fix whatever is making it hard for him to come.
Some relationship issues can be tackled without a therapist, however. Check out this article about fixing a relationship to get started. If you find that your problems are too big for the advice in that guide, it may be time to enlist professional help.
Counseling can also be helpful when the reason he can’t finish is stress. He can learn ways to cope with stress, so he feels better, even if he can’t eliminate the stress from his life. Mindfulness, a practice where you focus on being aware of the moment rather than anxious and intrusive thoughts, can help him cope with stress [27, 28], and has been found to help sexual dysfunction . While most studies have found positive results when women practice mindfulness, it may be useful for men, too .
Listen to expert Lori Brotto in this podcast about using mindfuless for better sex.
Of course, reducing stress whenever possible is the best option. There’s no reason for him to try to be Superman if it’s impacting his health and happiness.
All of these things will help your man be as healthy as he can be, which should have a positive impact on your man, his health, your relationship, and your sex life. You can help in other ways by engaging in a healthy lifestyle with him along with reducing stress and helping him cope.
Remember that change might not be immediate. Try to be patient and enjoy your sex life even if your husband can’t come anymore. Unfortunately, some issues may not be fixable, which is why you can foster intimacy in different ways. You’ll learn more about that in a bit.
WHEN HE CAN’T COME FROM A BLOW JOB
If he’s healthy, your relationship is happy, and the only time he cannot orgasm is during a blow job, don’t worry about it. This is actually incredibly common, so you can rest assured if he doesn’t come during oral sex that it’s usually not a big deal. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good at giving head, either!
Blow jobs simply tend to feel more gentle than penetrative sex or masturbation. Many men are accustomed to masturbating with a very tight fist, which might be why he can only come with his hand and not during a blow job or even vaginal sex.
It can also become quite uncomfortable or painful to continue going down on your man if he’s taking too long to ejaculate. It’s okay to pause or move on to another activity without getting him off. Don’t take it too personally.
If he can’t come during a blow job, he might give up masturbating for a few weeks or try to do it with less pressure. This might help him be able to come during a blow job. You can also try adding things such as a vibrator, bondage, or temperature play that might make the blow job more intense for him and increase the chances that he’ll have an orgasm.
However, if he says he’s happy with the blow job and doesn’t want anything to change, try not to fret about it. Sex is about so much more than the orgasm!
MAINTAIN INTIMACY WHEN HE CAN’T EJACULATE
What does it mean if a guy can’t finish and there’s no way to fix it? It certainly doesn’t mean your sex life is over. Unfortunately, he may need a medication that makes it impossible for him to get off, or he may have had a surgery that causes him to have retrograde ejaculations. When you’ve exhausted all other solutions (and even if you haven’t), remember that you can still experience pleasure and share intimacy with your man even if he doesn’t come.
Trust us, intimacy is one of several things men want in bed even if you don’t see this in the movies.
If he can get an erection, you can still engage in vaginal and anal sex or perform oral on him. No one says sex has to involve a man’s orgasm. He can also perform oral and manual sex on you, or the two of you may engage in mutual masturbation. More about mutual masturbation here.
Consider activities where orgasm is not the goal or expected. A sensual massage is one example. You can take turns rubbing each other down. Don’t forget to kiss, hug, and cuddle. Physical intimacy is important even if your sex life has changed.
A practice developed by sex researchers Masters and Johnson called sensate focus, which some view as a type of mindfulness , can keep your mind in the moment and connect you with each other’s bodies. Check out the resources section below for a guide to sensate focus.
Get more tips like this in our guide to improving your sex life.
Although there may be times when a man is unable to orgasm and your sex life changes forever, several causes are common and treatable. Furthermore, you shouldn’t assume that the reason he can’t come during sex has anything to do with you. Knowing this, you can remain calm as you search for and try solutions to your man’s anorgasmia and find ways to enjoy sex and remain close no matter what.