I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner,” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.
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Dear Sexplain It,
I’m a 30-year-old gay man, and no one can make me orgasm. Only I can do it when I’m masturbating alone. I can’t orgasm from bottoming, and especially not from topping. I can’t even cum from handjobs. The first time I ever bottomed, I almost came, but I thought I was going to pee because I’d never had an orgasm of which I wasn’t in control before.
Even when I got DP’d by two guys, I still couldn’t finish. They both came in me, but I couldn’t. I’m sure it’s likely psychological. I just don’t even know how to start addressing this issue without speaking to a therapist. But even finding the right one to deal with something like this is a daunting task in itself.
Dear Needs Release,
I would like to know more about this time you were double-penetrated. How hung were they? Were they hot? This has nothing to do with answering your question. I would just like to know—for science.
Now, regarding your question: I think you’re dealing with performance anxiety. If you also had trouble orgasming by yourself, I’d say it might be a physical problem. But since you have no problem climaxing solo, it sounds like it’s all psychological, as you suggested.
It’s an unfortunate reality that some of our first sexual experiences can set the tone for the rest of our sex life. The first time I attempted to have sex with my girlfriend, I couldn’t get erect. I had no idea why, because we’d been doing mouth and hand stuff for months, and I was always like a Chevy Suburban: hard as a rock. But I was so goddamn nervous the night I tried to lose my virginity. My body shut down. This led to years of on and off erectile dysfunction. It was awful. But I eventually learned to break the cycle with some help from a therapist and friends.
I think it’s possible for you to break this cycle of anorgasmia, too, but you’re going to have to remove all this pressure you’ve placed on yourself to orgasm. You’re going to have to get out of your head and be more present in the sexual experience. I know this is significantly easier said than done, and “chill out,” on its own, is god-awful advice. That’s why I want to give you multiple actionable items to help you relax.
The first is to let your partners know that you have trouble orgasming during sex. I was able to start getting erect when I told my sex partners beforehand: “Hey, just to let you know, I sometimes can’t get hard, especially when I’m crushing on someone. If I don’t get hard, it’s not because I don’t find you attractive. I’m just a little nervous.” Most women loved hearing that, and their response was always, “Don’t worry about it. I can think of some other stuff we can do. ;)”
Then, do you know what would happen when I knew it was totally OK if I couldn’t get hard? I GOT HARD.
I think a lot of your stress and anxiety surrounding being unable to orgasm stems from, “What will my partner think?” If you know your partner is 100% fine without you orgasming, a lot of that pressure disappears.
Side note, I’ve probably topped 800 men in my life—so my sample size is considerable—and I’d say only half of those