My husband and I have been together since 1986, married since 1992. Our sex life was really good. But starting around five years ago, he started saying that at the point of orgasm, his desire turns into dislike, not exactly disgust, but he’s turned off, and feels no satisfaction. Rather than orgasm being the most pleasurable moment for him, he ends up losing all desire. He has no erectile dysfunction and achieves orgasm. He works hard and is usually under a lot of stress. He has smoked for most of his life. He’s now nearing 50 and is on cholesterol medication. But the problem began before starting the medication. Can you explain this? Is it aging?
Why does his desire turn to disdain at orgasm? The short answer is: I don’t know.
But based on the information you’ve provided, here’s my attempt at a longer reply. Orgasms usually feel wonderful, but not always. Think back on yours and depending on the circumstances, your mood, your partner, whatever, you can probably recall some being earth-shattering while others are less so, with some not providing much pleasure at all, known in sexology as “numb come.”
Several factors can take the pleasure out of orgasm:
• Poor pelvic muscle tone. Orgasm involves contractions of the pelvic floor muscles, the ones that run between the legs. If they weaken, orgasms suffer. To strengthen them, you might urge your husband to try Kegel exercises. For more on Kegels, read my low-cost article.
• Poor physical health in general. You say he’s a longtime smoker nearing 50. Smoking for several decades usually hastens development of erection problems. You say he’s fine in that department. Good. But smoking causes deposits in the arteries that reduce blood flow. Some of this lost blood flow may be reducing oxygen to his nervous system. High cholesterol aggravates this. So does chronic emotional stress. This combination of factors may contribute to his feeling less pleasure on orgasm. I would urge him to quit smoking, eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables, and incorporate a stress-management program into his life, for example, regular moderate exercise, for example, brisk walking for 30 to 60 minutes a day.
• Rushed sex. Young men are almost always ready for sex, and young women often complain that he’s all finished before she feels erotically warmed up. But as men age, arousal takes more effort. He may have an erection, but not feel all that turned on. What turns on older men? The same moves that do it for women—leisurely, playful, mutual whole-body massage, on the order of 30 minutes of non-genital touching, followed by extended oral sex before intercourse. If your sexual style involves intercourse after less than 30 minutes of foreplay, he may not feel deeply aroused enough to feel orgasmic pleasure from orgasm.
For more on great sex in general, you might read my low-cost e-book. For individualized coaching about this problem, you might consult a sex therapist. If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, see the movie, Hope Springs, with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, or read my article on it. To find a sex therapist near you. visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology.
I bet he can re-discover the pleasure of orgasm, but it may take time and some lifestyle and sex-style changes.