Premature Ejaculation: Men’s Ejaculatory Control Rarely Comes Naturally.

a naked couple laying in bed

For many women – heck, most women at some point in their lives – learning to orgasm is an uphill climb. In fact, because consistent “Look, ma, no hands!” orgasms during intercourse are not exactly par for most women’s courses, women frequently share tips with each other about how to more easily orgasm using vibrators, finger stimulation, or cunnilingus.

Imagine, then, for a moment being able to orgasm more easily. And then imagine being able to orgasm very, very easily. Sound appealing? Yes, one would think: except it’s not always the case. After all, about ¼ to 1/3 of men at any given time worry that they come so quickly and without meaning to that they disappoint themselves, lose out on extra minutes (or hours) of pleasure, and possibly disappoint their partner.

What many men and women don’t realize is that ejaculatory control – the ability to come when and how they want – rarely ever comes naturally. Those few men who can come within seconds or who can hold off for as long as they’d like (whichever they prefer) have often found that it’s taken them quite a bit of practice to obtain this skill. Fortunately, practice can be fun as long as one doesn’t put too much pressure on oneself during the process.

Men who would like to learn to improve their ejaculatory control and last longer during sex might find the following helpful:

-       Stop-start technique: This masturbation technique involves men masturbating to just before the point of no return (when they will come no matter what), then stopping all stimulation (the “Stop”), letting their arousal subside somewhat and then starting stimulation again and continuing the stop-start cycle. With time and paying attention to their physical sensations, men may eventually find it easier to identify when they can keep going and when they need to back off.

-       Squeeze technique: Similar to the stop-start technique, this masturbation strategy involves a man gently squeezing the head of his penis to help his arousal subside rather than stopping all stimulation.

-       Sex therapy: Some men – especially those who have a lot of anxiety about life in general or about their sexual performance or those who feel as though their quick ejaculation has gotten in the way of their relationship – may find it helpful to meet with a sex therapist who can provide support, information, tips and techniques as they work through the situation (which may involve homework exercises of stop-start or the use of medications). Find one through aasect.org.

-       Medications: That’s right – medications. Some research demonstrates that certain medications, such as certain anti-depressants, may help some men to last longer during sex. In most cases, we’re talking an extra few minutes. But for men who are used to lasting 30 seconds or a minute, an extra few minutes may feel like eons of pleasure.

-       The Sexual Male: Problems and Solutions: Books can help too and as far as sex books go, this is one of my favorites. In addition to the old stand-bys, the author describes a range of techniques (including visualization and identifying body sensations) that can help men learn to control the timing of their ejaculation.

Although many men struggle to claim ultimate mastery of their ejaculation (such a male thing, this competitive edge!), it’s encouraging for many men and women to realize that ejaculatory control is a skill that can often be learned. As more men learn this sought-after skill, relationship needs may evolve: but really, as long as men’s partners get a say in the “wherever”, the “whenever” can probably be negotiated.

[Originally published in my weekly Cheeky Chicago sex column.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.