DEAR DR. JENN,
I have been dating my new guy for a few months, and he’s great, but our sex life sucks. It is like being back in high school. He puts it in, thrusts a few times, and it is over. I am really into him and I want to figure out how to make things work. What should I do? —Wham Bam, That’s It
Your dude is experiencing a problem with premature ejaculation. The international Society for Sexual Medicine defines premature ejaculation as, “A male sexual dysfunction characterized by ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration; and, inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations.” It adds that this leads to “negative personal consequences, such as distressed, bothered, frustration, and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.” So, sounds about like your man.
Of course, he’s not alone. As many as one in three men have experienced this problem, accordidng to the Mayo Clinic. As frustrating as this can be for you, keep in mind that the experience can be very shame-inducing for the man himself. This is one of the most common problems presented in sex therapy. The good news is that it is also one of the most curable.
I’m sure that he has tried all the old mental games guys play when this occurs. First thing most men try to do this is distract themselves during sex. Think of baseball! Do math problems in your head! Think of your grandmother’s underwear! When this technique doesn’t work, it’s time to try something more significant.
To begin with, you always want to rule out any possible physical causes. He should get a full check up and have his hormone levels, prostate and urethra examined to make sure there are no health problems at play. Then, it’s on to my expert tips for adding minutes to any man’s at-bat.
Decrease the sensitivity.
There are products out there specifically made to decrease sensitivity, which will slow down premature ejaculation, including condoms, sprays and creams. Condoms not only reduce risk when it comes to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, they can also decrease how much your partner is feeling when he is inside of you. If you’re going for desensitizing spray or cream, keep in mind that these can decrease your sensation, too. Putting them on underneath the condom can be particularly helpful.
Many men who have struggled with depression and tried antidepressants, especially SSRI’s, have found that side effects of these gave them trouble climaxing during sexual encounters. Fortunately, many doctors realize this secondary gain and have started using anti-depressant like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil to help men who need to delay orgasm. Studies have shown that these drugs result in a significant delay in ejaculation compared with a placebo.
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Experiment with equipment.
Check out a cock ring. These rings provide pressure around the penis which keeps the blood flow that’s already there, in order to create and maintain the erection. Look for a ring that is adjustable or stretchy and make sure he does not leave it on for more than 20 minutes at a time. You may want to start with a very simple stretchy one, then move up to one that also includes the testicles and, for your own pleasure, you may want to try one that vibrates (you are in a race against the clock, after all).
Try some prolonging activities.
According to Webmd, 95 percent of men are aided by behavioral techniques. Masturbation an hour or two before sex, has been shown to be helpful for many men who need help slowing down. Evening masturbating the same morning you are having an evening romp can help.
The squeeze technique is a very popular approach. While having sex, when he feels like he is about to have an orgasm he pulls out of you and gently squeezes the end of his penis where the head joins the shaft with his forefinger and thumb. He continues to press until the urge to ejaculate passes. Keep repeating this process a few times. Once the two of you are comfortable with it, you can be the one to squeeze instead of him.
Take advantage of his refractory period. Consider your first round of intercourse to be your appetizer. Afterwards let him have a sexual recovery period and then go at it again! The second round is very likely to last much longer than the first.
Talk it out.
Because it is such a sensitive subject and you don’t want to hurt his feelings, it is important to talk about this outside of the bedroom and to do it with kindness and sensitivity. If you are able to talk about it together, you will be able to solve it together. Many men feel a lot of pressure to perform. Simply taking that pressure off of him by talking about it or even suggesting doing non-intercourse activities can help him to relax more and last longer.
There are times when it is and emotional issue that is preventing him from being able to last longer. If this is the case, therapy, especially sex therapy, can be enormously helpful.
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Train for the game.
The stop start technique is one of my favorites for this problem. This can be used together as a couple or alone when he is masturbating in order to increase his stamina. When he gets aroused, before he gets to the point of no return, he should stop and allow his feelings of arousal to subside before starting again. Try doing this repeatedly in order to elongate the sexual experience and increase his ability to last longer. The best way to train for a marathon is to increase your stamina with short repeated training sessions. Sex is no different.
If you really think about it, the real problem is his inability to control his ejaculation. In order to learn to have more control over his arousal and climax, he needs to strengthen his pelvic floor muscles. The best way to do that is by doing Kegel exercises. Most people tend to just think about Kegels for women but they are incredibly valuable for men as well! In order to find the right muscles, he may want to experiment by stopping the flow of his urine midstream. Once he is aware of the sensation that allows him to do that, he should do Kegel exercises holding them tight for three seconds and then release them for three seconds. Start by doing this 10 times a day. If he wanted to be really disciplined, he should try an app like MyKegel.
These tips, you’ll be having porn-worthy marathons in no time.
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