imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality who rants on sex, dating and pop culture while living at the corner of urge and merge. Find more from him at his blog.

From a reader:

Why is it that I can finish myself off when I’m alone but not when I’m with my partner? I get rock hard but I just can’t seem to orgasm when I’m making love. Help!

Answer:

The most common cause of “Delayed Ejaculation” are psychological: Traumatic events like a public humiliation, growing up in a home that considered sex dirty, saving it for the hot guy you’re meeting later for drinks, you know, that kind of thing. Since you can ejaculate in some situations but not others, we can safely say there isn’t a medical cause. You’ve got what I tenderly like to call “Issues.”

Note the capitalization. It’s my way of saying therapy without having to type out the word.

If you can’t bring yourself to make an appointment with a sex therapist because you’re too ashamed (or because you’ve slept with all of them), then let’s hope the real issue is habit. Yes, habit.

See, we men “train” ourselves how to orgasm by masturbating in certain ways. If that certain way is “partner unfriendly”—a pattern that can’t trigger the orgasm reflex during intercourse—then you won’t be able to butter your partner’s bread.

If that’s the case, change your masturbation patterns so that they mimic the speed, rhythm and pressure of intercourse. Grip your prize a lot looser, and instead of your hand pumping your penis, thrust your penis into your hand. Basically, you’ve got to re-train yourself with new ways of coming up with the goods.

There’s a great penetration simulator device out there that might help. It’s called the Fleshlight Sleeve. You insert yourself into the vagina (or butt)-shaped device and pump it like a bad set of brakes. Be disciplined about your new self-service patterns and it shouldn’t be but 4-6 weeks before you put the “ohh” back in orgasm.