In a case of 12 men never able to ejaculate intravaginally with their wives, five were tense, anxious products of severe religious orthodoxy: one of Jewish, one from Catholic, and three with fundamentalist Protestant backgrounds.
- The Jewish man
He was of orthodox belief. One night, at the age of 24 years, totally breaking with traditional behaviour for the first and only time in his life, he not only forced physical attention upon, but tried to penetrate a young woman somewhat resistant to his approach. She stopped him with a plea that she was menstruating. He was devastated with this information, left her company as soon as physically possible, and never saw the woman again.
As a result of this experience the subsequent two years were spent in psychotherapy.
Four years later, this man married a young woman of similarly restrictive religious and social background. The courtship was severely chaste. In the marriage both husband and wife rigorously adhered to orthodox demands for celibacy within menstrual and postmenstrual time sequences.
Every intercourse experience was potentially traumatic because, even with full erection and long-continued coital connection, the husband was unable to ejaculate intravaginally. His concept of the vagina as an unclean area had been reinforced by his traumatic premarital sexual experience. Such was his level of trauma that during marital coition, whenever the urge to ejaculate arose, and the mental imagery of possible vaginal contamination drove him to withdraw immediately.
A marriage of eight years had not been consummated when this husband and wife was seen in therapy. During the two years before therapy, this man experienced an increasing number of instances of erective failure with coital opportunity as his fears for sexual performance increased.
- A 36-year-old man
He was referred to the Foundation was one of six siblings in a family devoted to Catholic religious orthodoxy. Two of his sisters and one brother ultimately committed their lives to religious orders. At the age of 23, he was surprised in masturbation by his dismayed mother, severely punished by his father, and immediately sent to religious authority for consultation.
Subsequent to his lengthy discussion with the religious adviser, the semi hysterical, terrified boy carried away the concept that to masturbate to ejaculation was indeed an act of personal desecration, totally destructive of any future marital happiness and an open gate to mental illness. He was assured that the worst thing a teenage boy could do was to ejaculate at any time.
This youngster never masturbated nor experienced a nocturnal emission again after the shocking experience of being surprised in auto stimulation.
Twelve years later with marriage, these fears for and misconceptions of the ejaculatory process were sufficient to deny him such experience. Whenever he was stimulated toward ejaculatory response by active coital connection, prior trauma was sufficient to deny him release.
He continued without ejaculatory success for 11 years of marriage. Finally, as evidence of secondary impotence developed, the husband and wife was referred for evaluation.
The three men with fundamentalist Protestant backgrounds provided such individual variations that no single etiological factor was found for the ejaculatory incompetence. Arbitrarily; one history has been selected to provide balance to the chapter, but either of the remaining two histories would be as representative.
- 33 years old inexperience man
When seen by therapy, were of extremely puritanical family backgrounds and of deeply restrictive religious beliefs. Their religious dogma was a mass of “thou-shalt-nots,” declared or implied. As little communication as possible with the outside world was the procedure of choice on Sundays. He was an only child.
With one exception, the subject of sex was never mentioned in the home. All reading material was censored before it was made available to the boy. Neither mother nor father was ever observed in any stage of undress by their son.
Total toilet privacy, including locked door demand, was practiced, and swimming or athletic events that might terminate in public showers were forbidden due to the possibility of physical exposure to his peers. For the same reasons, he was never allowed to visit a friend’s home overnight.
At age 13, the first occasion of nocturnal emission was soon identified by his mother. His father whipped him for this “sin of the flesh,” and thereafter his sheets were checked daily to be sure that he did not repeat this offence. He was not allowed to participate in heterosexual social functions until age 18, and then, returning from the most chaperoned of dating experiences, he was quizzed in minute detail by both mother and father as to the young lady’s actions in order to be sure no effort had been made to entice their son into any overt form of sexual expression.
Although there were sufficient family funds, and the young man had very effective grades, college attendance was restricted to a small hometown college so that he could continue to live at home, avoid the debasing influence of dormitory life, and be available for a full day of church-oriented activity on Sundays.
The one exception to the taboo status for all material of sexual connotation, as mentioned, was a diatribe launched by his father when the son was 18 years of age. His father decried any pleasurable return from sexual function as a major sin, explaining that the ejaculate was dirty, equally degrading to both men and women and that coition should only occur when conception was desired.
It also was pointed out that no good woman would dream of having intercourse unless conception specifically was the goal.
Finally, a young woman 27 years old, socially acceptable not only to the now 26-year-old man but far more important, to the rigid standards of his family, married him after an extremely chaste and thoroughly chaperoned nine-month courtship, during which three brief episodes of handholding were highlighted as the total of their premarital sexual experience.
On their wedding night, when the penis entered the vagina easily, the young man was surprised and shocked because he had been told by friends and by the minister before the ceremony that intercourse was always very painful to the virginal bride. He withdrew immediately and questioned his wife relentlessly as to the possibility of past sexual exposure.
Under duress, the wife admitted intercourse with a young man she was engaged to marry three years before she met her husband. He was gravely distressed to learn not only of the existence of the previous engagement but also that the male in question had actually ejaculated intravaginally when pregnancy obviously had not been desired. How a good woman, represented by his wife, could possibly have permitted such a transgression was inexplicable to him.
The honeymoon was one of mutual anguish. Forgiveness for past sins was repeatedly implored by the wife and finally conceded by the husband approximately two months after marriage. During the emotional bath of the reconciliation scene, the tearful young couple moved together toward the bed. Vaginal penetration again was easily accomplished, but the young husband could not ejaculate intravaginally.
Time and time again successful coital connection was established, but ejaculation was impossible. His concern was for prior contamination.
During the following seven years the wife became multi-orgasmic during coition, much to her husband’s initial concern, for he felt such obvious sexual pleasure on his wire’s part might be evidence that her previous sexual exposure had left some scar on her character.
Actually, as time passed he began to enjoy her frequent, rather intense, response pattern, however, despite an estimated average of 15 to 30 minutes of intravaginal containment with most coital experiences, there was consistent failure to ejaculate intravaginally. Noteworthy in the remaining two cases of religious orthodoxy are the few following facts.