It’s estimated that one out of three men experiences premature ejaculation (PE) - making it one of the most common sexual dysfunctions. Not lasting as long as you would like to, can be frustrating for you and your partner.
In severe cases, it can even lead to anxiety and depression, which has been linked to erectile dysfunction, so it’s best to get it under control as soon as possible.
The good news is that there are a number of steps that can be taken to improve the time to last in bed. We have compiled a list that starts with the easiest tips first so that you can work your way through and find out what works best for you and your partner.
1. Discuss it openly with your partner
For a number of reasons, this is the most important step towards finding a solution that works for both parties. First of all, you might realise that you have been stressing over finishing too early, whereas your partner is perfectly happy with how things have been going.
When it comes to sexual performance men have a tendency to be overly critical with themselves and suffer from a mismatch of perception and reality. This is not only true for the length of their penis, but also for the time it takes them to ejaculate.
More importantly, it takes two to tango. Many of the tips listed below are a team effort, and without the cooperation from your partner, you will simply waste time instead of buying it.
So, take a deep-breadth, relax, bring up the topic in a comfortable environment, let them know how you feel and how you can work on this going forward.
2. Focus on foreplay
Change your mindset. Sex is way more than just in and out. One of the most overlooked, yet highly important, part of sex is the foreplay.
Spending more time on foreplay has three key benefits, that will help you cope with premature ejaculation.
Firstly, it makes the whole act longer. If you can spend 10 minutes on foreplay and another 2 minutes on intercourse, that’s a total of 12 minutes of love-making - more than double the 5.4 minutes it takes the average couple.
Secondly, many partners are less concerned with the actual time of having sexual intercourse, but more with achieving orgasm. Foreplay is the perfect setting to focus entirely on your partner, giving them a chance to climax before you do.
Thirdly, foreplay gives your partner more time to get sexually aroused, and with that “wet”, which helps to reduce the friction between penis and vagina. The less friction there is the longer the man can last.
Besides that foreplay is, for a lack of better word, ‘fun’. And once you give it a try you will realise that it can give you and your partner a highly enjoyable time.
3. Think of multiples of 7
Hated math in high-school? Now is the time you wish you had paid attention.
Thinking of something else during sex can help you last longer, and one good way of doing so is by thinking of multiples of 7, i.e. 7, 14, 28, 35, …
Why 7? There is no particular reason why 7 - in fact, you could think of multiples of 2, but it’s probably not sufficiently difficult to think of multiple of 2 to distract your brain from what’s happening right in front of you.
While this might work well, it’s not a viable long-term solution as you will not be able to enjoy the act itself. But if you do go for the ‘7-trick’ be prepared to have an answer ready for the all-too-famous “What are you thinking about?” question.
4. Use a condom
Using a condom puts an additional layer on top of the penis, which reduces friction and sensation. And most men find that the diminished sensations can help them last longer in bed.
If you are only slightly worried about PE try a regular condom first and see how that goes. For those who are more worried, you can try one of the condoms containing anaesthetics on the inside of the condom (e.g. Durex Performa), which numbs the head of the penis and helps with PE.
5. Use the “Stop-Start” method
The “stop-start” method, fondly known as “edging” by some, is a simple method to start for men who experience premature ejaculation.
By literally stopping any movement (whether during sex or masturbation), when you feel the onset of ejaculation, you can allow yourself to ‘cool down’, and thus prevent reaching sexual climax too quickly.
How long you have to stop depends on you, and it’s something you need to learn for yourself. But generally speaking, the longer you wait the larger the effect. Start off with a 20-second break, and increase or decrease from there depending on how you feel.
The ‘cool down’ periods can also be used to change positions or jump back into foreplay, to avoid anyone twirling their thumbs while waiting for too long.
6. Use the “Squeeze” technique
The squeeze technique is a method developed by the Masters and Johnson sexual researcher team, who developed it as part of their study into sexual dysfunction in the 1960s.
They found that by squeezing the tip of the penis, where the glans joins the shaft, men may be able to successfully surpass the urge to ejaculate. Like the “stop-start” strategy, this can be used repeatedly for maximum effect.
For more information about how the squeeze technique works, have a look here.
7. Masturbate before sex
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. To the contrary, for many men, it works very well.
The technique is simple, 30-60 mins before planned sex you masturbate. Depending on how comfortable you are with your partner you might want to do this together, and it can form part of foreplay (see above).
The time to ejaculate tends to increase significantly, as the penis becomes less sensitised (think “been there, done that”) to sexual stimulation.
On the down-side, the second time around the feeling is likely to be less intense or you might even have to fight with the refractory period if you masturbate too shortly before the real deal.
8. Exercise the pelvic floor muscles
Time to hit the gym! Well, not literally—just pay some special attention to the pelvic floor muscles, the pubococcygeal muscles.
Kegel exercises can do a great deal to lengthen the time it takes for a man to orgasm. In fact, scientific evidence has proven it.
A 2018 study has found that over 90% of the research subjects significantly improved their time to ejaculate. On average men participating in the study increased their average time from 40 seconds to over 160 seconds over a 12-month period.
9. Use anaesthetic creams or gels
Ejaculation occurs when the erect penis gets stimulated sufficiently, and one way to delay that from happening is to apply a local anaesthetic to the tip of the penis. This will effectively numb the area, and cause the ejaculation to happen at a later stage.
The anaesthetic is applied 15-30 mins before sex, typically in the form of a cream or a spray, directly to the top of the penis. Ideally, these creams should be used with a condom, to avoid the anaesthetic having an effect on your partner.
Using a condom also has the additional benefits discussed under tip # 3 above.
10. Consider using prescription medications
Just like erectile dysfunction, there are some powerful prescription options for premature ejaculation. The only one that is currently authorized in the UK is Dapoxetine, a short-acting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), available in 30mg and 60mg tablets.
In clinical studies, Dapoxetine has shown to increase the intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT), a standardised measurement of the time taken to ejaculate, by up to 3 times.
With any medication, it’s important that you explore all other options first and have a chat with a qualified medical practitioner to find out if Dapoxetine is safe and suitable for you.
It’s important to note that not all of these strategies will work for every man, and that’s okay. Open communication between partners, self-confidence, patience, and a willingness to experiment are all necessary to get premature ejaculation under control.
Don’t be shy and try combining one or more of these techniques or modifying them to fit your own preferences.