Retarded (or inhibited) ejaculation refers to a situation in which a man may be entirely unable to reach orgasm during certain sexual activities or may only be able to ejaculate after prolonged stimulation (for 30 to 45 minutes; it is also sometimes referred to as ab­sent ejaculation). Therapists distinguish between primary and secondary retarded ejacu­lation in diagnosing and treating this sexual dysfunction. Primary retarded ejaculation, which is rare, occurs when a man has never been able to ejaculate during any type of sexual activities. A secondary problem occurs when a man could ejaculate without de­lay at one time but develops a problem later on.

Retarded ejaculation may be due to both physical and psychological factors. It may also be situational (e. g., he may be able to have an orgasm during masturbation but not during oral sex). Psychological factors include a strict religious upbringing, unique or atypical masturbation patterns, fear of pregnancy, or ambivalence over sexual orienta­tion. Retarded ejaculation may also be caused by diseases, injuries, or medications. Recent research suggests that men with retarded ejaculation get erections quickly, but arousal is slow to catch up (R. Rosen, 1994).