For a person with a penis, there few things more frustrating and disappointing in life than premature ejaculation. It sucks for you, and it sucks for your partner. It’s embarrassing, it’s unexpected, and it turns what is supposed to be one of life’s greatest joys into one of life’s greatest disappointments. No one wants to have to say I’m sorry at any point before, during, or after sex.
But men should know that while yes, PE can be incredibly frustrating, it’s also incredibly common. “Premature ejaculation is a problem that affects almost every man at some point in his life,” says Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., a urologist at the University of Washington. While you’re more likely to experience PE in your twenties and thirties, as many as one out of three men of all ages say they’ve experienced it at some point in their lives.
Knowing you’re not alone can be comforting, but unfortunately it isn’t going to change the reality of how PE can affect your agenda in the bedroom. You can’t tell your partner after you ejaculate within a minute, “Well, a lot of guys actually experience premature ejaculation, so really, this is totally normal.” They’ll be like, “Okay, but how does that help me right here, right now?”
But there are actions you can take to last longer in bed. Orgasming too quickly doesn’t need to be an issue that plagues you for the rest of your life. Using a combination of these techniques will increase your likelihood of being able to have longer sex sessions than you’re used to.
(Side note: Sex doesn’t have to be over once you orgasm! You can always spend 20-25 minutes manually and orally stimulating your partner after you climax. Eventually, they’ll be really turned on, your refractory period will be up, and you’ll be able to have penetrative sex again. This time, since you just came, you should be able to last longer than the first time!)
What is the average time for ejaculation?
In a 2005 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers had 500 heterosexual couples use stopwatches to measure the time between vaginal penetration and male ejaculation over four weeks of sex sessions. The overall median time was 5.4 minutes.
Lots of guys don’t last as long as that. The 2014 book The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups reported that nearly half of guys finish within two minutes, according to the New Republic.
You may be diagnosed with PE if you routinely ejaculate within one minute of penetration, no matter how hard you try to delay it.
One of the reasons PE is so maddening is that it can feel like you have no control over it. The harder you try to prevent it, the worse it seems to get. Yes, you may be able to last a few seconds longer in bed by thinking about your fantasy baseball team, but who wants to be thinking about baseball statistics during sex? Are there any substantive solutions?
Thankfully, the answer is yes. Despite how hopeless your situation may feel, there are indeed plenty of smart, sensible, and healthy ways to curb, if not cure, your premature ejaculation and last even longer in bed.
1) Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
You’ve likely heard of kegels or kegel exercises, where you train your pubococcygeal (PC) muscles of the pelvic floor, through a series of contraction and release exercises. To understand what these muscles feel like when they’re fired up, try cutting off the flow of urine the next time you’re using the bathroom. After you cut it off, let it flow, then cut it off again, then let it flow again.
For help isolating those PC muscles, try standing in front of a mirror and using them to lift your testicles without the help of your hands. Imagine “lifting your nuts to your guts” or “shortening your penis,” Sandra Hilton, PT, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy at Entropy Physiotherapy and Wellness in Chicago, Illinois, previously told Men’s Health.
Once you have a feel for how to expand and contract your PC muscles, tighten and hold for a count of 10, then release. Practice in sets of 10. The beauty of this exercise, which will result in heightened ejaculatory control and help you last longer in bed, is that you can do it practically anywhere.
There’s scientific proof that kegels can help men make sex last longer. As Men’s Health UK reported: “A 2005 study found that 75 percent of men improved erectile function after doing kegels. In another study, Italian researchers found that 61 percent of men were cured of premature ejaculation through rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles.”
2) Limit your thrusting.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy intercourse without thrusting like a jackrabbit. You can massage the tip of your penis into her clitoral hood. You can focus on the nerve endings in her vaginal entrance instead of seeing how deep you can get. You can press your penis against her G-spot. Sure, throw a little thrusting in there too, but if you feel like you’re about to reach the point of no return, there are ways to slow things down without sacrificing your partner’s pleasure.
3) Wait longer for intercourse—or hell, don’t do it all.
All too often, we think of sex as being penis-in-vagina or penis-in-anus. But that’s such a limiting—and frankly, boring—definition of sex. There are plenty of other sexual activities that’ll bring you both pleasure and prolong the overall length of your hookup, including erotic massage, experimenting with kinks, or focusing entirely on stimulating your partner (oral sex, anyone?).
Speaking of oral, if your partner has a vagina, this is a great way to increase their likelihood of reaching orgasm. A 2017 study published in the journal Sex and Marital Therapy found that only 18% of vagina owners have the capacity to orgasm from direct penetration; the rest of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm.
4) Switch things up.
Instead of picking one position and pounding away like the aforementioned jackrabbit, try alternating between a few different configurations to last longer during sex. Switching positions provides a little bit of “time off” when your penis is not being stimulated.
You can also try out some more elaborate sex positions that require physical stamina. With these “wilder” more physically strenuous sex positions, you’ll be more focused on technique and balance so you won’t be able to focus on the physical stimulations as much.
5) Choose sex positions that’ll help you last longer.
In a similar vein, you want to skip positions that provide too much stimulation. Positions like doggy style or flatiron, where you can go super-duper deep and get all the extra stimulation from your partner’s booty, are probably good to skip.
Instead, try positions that only allow for shallower penetration, or that don’t allow for much “in and out” movement. The CAT (Coital Alignment Technique) is ideal if you’re looking for something shallow. (Plus, if your partner has a clitoris, it’s great for their pleasure!) Then there’s the Lotus position, which is all about grinding against each other as opposed to hardcore thrusting.
6) Try edging.
Delaying your orgasm while masturbating can be one of the most effective ways to train yourself to last longer during sex. This is also known as edging, and according to Walsh, it’s one of the most common techniques for avoiding premature ejaculation.
Basically, you bring yourself right to the edge of orgasm before stopping all sexual or masturbatory activity until you have your excitement under control.
Practicing this technique can help you teach your brain and body to better control your orgasm response and make sex last longer, says sex therapist Emily Morse, Ph.D. Just be sure to use a lot of lotion or lube while you practice edging to avoid chafing, she adds.
7) Try ‘The Squeeze.’
If you can feel your orgasm coming on, stop and squeeze right below the head of your penis. Apply firm pressure with your thumb and forefinger and focus the pressure on the urethra, or the tube running along the underside of the penis, advises Ian Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist and author of So Tell Me About the Last Time You Had Sex
The squeeze technique can help you last longer in bed by pushing blood out of the penis and momentarily decreasing sexual tension, which represses the ejaculatory response, Kerner says.
“This is another type of biofeedback, similar to edging.” Walsh adds.
8) Masturbate beforehand.
Masturbating alone prior to a sexual encounter is a free and simple technique to help fight premature ejaculation. “A lot of my patients will masturbate prior to sex,” explains Evan Goldstein, D.O., a proctologist who specializes in men’s sexual health at Bespoke Surgical. “Sometimes ejaculating too quickly is due to the fact that you’re all riled up and haven’t ejaculated recently, which means your prostate is fully engorged.” When it’s been a while since you last ejaculated, the slightest touch, lick, or thrust can set you off (literally).
Goldstein continues, “If you masturbate close to when you know you’re going to have sex, you’re essentially having sex a second time, which means it will take a little longer to climax.” He does, however, caution to practice the appropriate timing in between sessions because the last thing you want is to then not be able to perform at all.
If you notice you’re still having issues with PE even when masturbating beforehand, then you can masturbate repeatedly beforehand to help combat the issue during sex.
9) Wear the right condom.
If you struggle with premature ejaculation, condoms can be your best friend when it comes to lasting longer during sex. (Also, you should be using them anyway, bro.) Most major condom manufacturers make extra-thick rubbers that act like a slip-on desensitizer for your member during sex, Morse says, and these can help you avoid premature ejaculation. Try Trojan’s Pleasures Extended, which comes with a numbing agent to help prolong pleasure for you the both of you.
TROJAN PLEASURES EXTENDED
10) Talk to your doctor about medication.
In Europe, there are many legal drugs that purportedly help you last longer in bed, Walsh says. The problem: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved those drugs to treat PE in the U.S. Why?
“Even though trials show these drugs genuinely benefitted men with premature ejaculation, the FDA sets a very high bar for drugs used to treat non-life-threatening conditions,” he explains.
There’s also evidence to suggest that some antidepressants can help delay orgasm—Paxil, or paroxetine, has proven to be particularly effective—but they could lead to mood changes or other side effects and shouldn’t be used unless prescribed by a doctor, Walsh says. So at the end of the day, these should be considered a last resort.
Depending on how sexually active you are, you can either take the medication daily or as needed before sex, says Matthew Lemer, MD., a urologist at Beth Israel Medical Center. You’ll just want to find out from your doctor how long it’ll take for the medication to kick in, since it varies from drug to drug.
11) Use anesthetic wipes
In 2017, a small study found that applying wipes covered in a small amount of benzocaine, a mild anesthetic, can help you last longer in bed. The problem? If your partner has a vagina, the wipes could have the unintended effect of numbing her down there, says NYC-based urologist David Samadi, M.D.
If you’re interested in trying out anesthetic wipes, Roman—the online service that sends generic erectile dysfunction medication straight to your door—also offers “Roman Swipes.” The Swipes have a 4% benzocaine solution, which reportedly reduces overstimulation without eliminating sensation altogether.
Additionally, Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, urologist and sexual health expert at Orlando Health, suggests numbing medications—like Promescent—that come in creams and sprays. “Similar to a condom these things can cause you to have less sexual pleasure,” Brahmbhatt explains. “Plus, it can affect the partner’s satisfaction as well. Make sure your partner knows you are using it as a heads up and also to make sure they don’t have a history of allergic reaction or problem with its use.”
12) Try technology that can help you last longer.
A new FDA-cleared program called Prolong purportedly helps train you to delay ejaculation by jerking off with a special device. For $299, you get a vibrating masturbation gadget, a guidebook, and some lube.
“Over your six-week training program, the studs and vibrations combine to fine tune that over-sensitive sweet spot under the head of your penis just enough to hand you the reigns to your climax,” its website states.
Don’t want to spend $299, but still want to treat your PE? There’s an app for that.
Check out the Premature Ejaculation App—or Pea, for short. Billed as a “virtual sex therapist,” the app guides you through a three-step masturbation training program to help treat your PE, and lets you track your improvement over time.
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13) Ask an expert
If you feel like you’ve tried everything to have better, longer sex without success, it may be time to discuss your problem with a doctor, Walsh says. “A lot of the treatments we’ve already discussed—edging and biofeedback—are pretty challenging techniques that a specialist can help you use effectively.”
He recommends asking your doctor for a referral to a urologist, who can either treat you himself or refer you to the right person for your problem.
“He or she will help you approach this practically and pragmatically,” Walsh says. “It’s not about getting in touch with your inner self. It’s about learning the physical or mental mechanisms that can help you avoid premature ejaculation.”
– Men’s Health