Extending Lovemaking

While I spend a lot of time answering questions for women, I also help thousands of men each year have a better understanding of their own sexuality and sexual health. Recently, I have noticed more and more men with the same concerns – premature ejaculation. I find that educating both men and women about the common reasons individuals experience difficulties with their sexual arousal and response is often times the first step in overcoming these potentially challenging issues.

Premature ejaculation, also known as PE, is defined as regularly ejaculating sooner than both partners would prefer, which tends to cause concern or distress. There is no specified time associated with PE because each person and couple is different. Some couples may prefer that sexual activity, including intercourse, last for long periods of time, whereas other couples may be content with intercourse lasting only a few minutes. PE is individually defined for each couple; the important part is that both partners should agree that intercourse does not last as long as they would both like. This is why communication in relationships is so critical.

Medical professionals are not completely sure what causes premature ejaculation. They do know that it involves a complex interaction of both psychological and biological factors. Psychological factors include:

  • Situations in early life where men may have hurried to climax to avoid getting caught, including masturbation
  • Feelings of guilt that may have caused men to rush through sexual activity, including masturbation and partnered activities
  • Difficulties with erectile dysfunction—men may be anxious or concerned about getting and maintaining erections, which may lead to PE
  • Men who have anxiety, either related to sexuality and intimacy or for other reasons, tend to experience premature ejaculation at higher rates

There are also biological reasons that may cause PE, including:

  • Abnormal hormone levels
  • Certain thyroid problems
  • Inherited traits
  • Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra

Various factors can increase your risk of premature ejaculation, including:

  • Impotence. You may be at increased risk of premature ejaculation if you occasionally or consistently have trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Fear of losing your erection may cause you to rush through sexual encounters. As many as one in three men with premature ejaculation also have trouble maintaining an erection.
  • Health problems. If you have a medical concern that causes you to feel anxious during sex, such as a heart problem, you may have an increased likelihood of hurrying to ejaculate.
  • Stress. Emotional or mental strain in any area of your life can play a role in premature ejaculation, often limiting your ability to relax and focus during sexual encounters.
  • Certain medications. Rarely, drugs that influence the action of chemical messengers in the brain (psychotropics) may cause premature ejaculation.

It is important for men experiencing PE to visit their health care provider for a complete check-up. A doctor can help to diagnose premature ejaculation and may also be able to offer suggestions for overcoming the issue. A man’s health care provider will ask him several questions regarding PE, including when it started, how long it has been occurring, how often it occurs, and more.

In some cases, premature ejaculation may be caused by poor communication between partners or a lack of understanding of the differences between male and female sexual functioning. Women typically require more prolonged stimulation than men do to reach orgasm, and this difference can cause sexual resentment between partners and add pressure to sexual encounters. For many men, feeling pressure during sexual intercourse increases the risk of premature ejaculation.

There are several treatment options available for men who experience premature ejaculation. The first is sex therapy. A sex therapist can help men overcome issues of PE, and may also be able to offer couple’s counseling for partners whose relationship is strained as a result of the PE. To help your customers find a sex therapist in their area, please visit www.aasect.org, which is the Web site for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

Other treatments for PE include the Squeeze Technique and the Stop-Start Technique, which I have outlined below.

SQUEEZE TECHNIQUE

To perform the Squeeze Technique, follow these steps.

Step 1. A man and his partners should begin sexual activity as usual, including stimulation of the penis, until the man feels almost ready to ejaculate.

Step 2. Have the partner squeeze the end of the penis, at the point where the head (glans) joins the shaft, and maintain the squeeze for several seconds, until the urge to ejaculate passes.

Step 3. After the squeeze is released, wait for about 30 seconds, then go back to foreplay. The man may notice that squeezing the penis causes it to become less erect, but when sexual stimulation is resumed, it soon regains full erection.

Step 4. If the man again feels that he is about to ejaculate, have the partner repeat the squeeze process.
By repeating this as many times as necessary, a man can reach the point of penetration without ejaculating too quickly. After a few practice sessions, the feeling of knowing how to delay ejaculation may become a habit that no longer requires the squeeze technique.

STOP-START TECHNIQUE:

To do the Stop-Start Technique, a man should start with masturbation with a dry hand. By varying how he caresses his penis, he can learn to stay highly aroused for quite a while without ejaculating. When he feels himself approaching ejaculation, simply back off a bit, stroke more gently or not at all, and stay aroused without ejaculating. Then as he feels himself getting a little distance from ejaculation, return to more vigorous self-stimulation. Repeat this several times over several sessions.

For most men, it does not take long to develop good ejaculatory control while alone. Next, move on to masturbation with a lubricated hand, which can increase the sensual pleasure (or even try one of Pure Romance’s male stimulators with Whipped). Follow the same program: masturbate until he approaches ejaculation, and then back off. Repeat this several times over several sessions. Once he has good control during masturbation then he is ready to try this with a partner.

First, encourage “stop” and “start” signals with a partner, for example, a light pinch or tap, or a tug on an ear. Then, the partner strokes the penis by hand as he lies still. When he approaches ejaculation, the man should give the “stop” signal. The partner immediately stops stroking and simply holds the penis gently. When the man no longer feels close to ejaculation, give the “start” signal, and the partner should begin stroking again. How many stops and starts should a man do? Do what feels comfortable for him – there is no exact method that is perfect for everyone. Once he’s gained good ejaculatory control with his partner’s hand, try the same stop-start procedure with oral caresses. Once the man has gained good control orally, try intercourse.

Premature ejaculation, while although becoming more and more common, doesn’t have to create problems for your intimate relationship. With the right information and dedication to your relationship, you can overcome the potentially challenging effects premature ejaculation can have on your ability to experience your fullest potential for pleasure.

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