This is how we do it I rarely allow myself to have an orgasm
Mila and I have been together for nine years, but our sex life hasn’t dwindled. That’s partly because I do something unusual in bed: I rarely allow myself to have an orgasm. Mila and I have sex up to four times a week but I only ejaculate five to six times a year. Because I’m not orgasming, I am constantly aroused. This can be a little overwhelming, but mostly it’s fun.
Mila and I met when we were both recovering from divorces. By the time we separated, my wife and I were behaving more like siblings than lovers. I was determined not to slip into the same pattern with my next partner. The decision to not ejaculate is part of that. When Mila and I have sex, it’s about more than a quick release. When Mila orgasms, it’s more of a happy accident than a goal.
Usually we have sex in the morning for about 25 minutes before our children wake up, and neither of us will climax. The point is simply to connect. Because we don’t “finish” the sexual energy stays in flux between us. Afterwards, I will lie in bed and watch her doing something really mundane, like putting on her socks, but it will feel erotic. If we maintain eye contact while she puts them on it’s like we’re still having sex.
Consistently resisting orgasms is something I only started doing with Mila – but I’ve been toying with the idea since my 20s. In Daoist philosophy, they conceptualise the male orgasm as a loss of “chi”, life-force energy. For decades, I have been aware that after I ejaculate I experience a massive dip in mood, which causes me to emotionally withdraw from my partner. Lots of men experience this withdrawal: like the classic image of the man ejaculating and then rolling over and falling asleep. I believe that if a man resists orgasm, he can make his relationships with women more equal, because he won’t feel the urge to detach after sex. I’m evangelical about not coming: I think the world would be a more peaceful place if all men didn’t ejaculate.
Though the urge to ejaculate is strong, over the years I have perfected certain tricks. I direct sexual energy away from my erection with my mind, focusing on my nipples, lips, thighs, feet and ears. As other men can flex their biceps, I can – in extremity – flex my groin to hold in an orgasm. I believe in putting the work in. You can’t be a great lover unless you practise.
Often when Timon and I have sex, I won’t have an orgasm either. Sometimes I hold myself back from climaxing, but more often it’s just that I’m not actively trying to engineer an orgasm. It’s nice to be touched and stroked without an end goal. I’m present in the moment, not mentally fast-forwarding and worrying when I’m going to come.
In the early days of my relationship with Timon, I would sometimes disobey him when he told me to stop pleasuring him because he was “too close”. I was being mischievous, and playing a little game with him, but I do that less frequently now because I’ve realised it’s in my interests to keep the sex going. Timon ejaculates so infrequently these days that when it does happen, he doesn’t emotionally withdraw from me to the same degree – but I think he’s right that relationships between men and women are improved by fewer ejaculations. I would feel deeply connected to my ex-partner only in the few minutes before he had an orgasm, but afterwards I would feel alienated from him. He would “finish” and there was a sense that I was finished with, too.