If you or your partner is experiencing premature ejaculation (also known as rapid ejaculation), first, know that it’s common, and second, that there are strategies you can use to manage it.
The Impacts Of Premature Ejaculation
Ejaculating more quickly than you’d like to is no fun. It can lead to anxiety and lowered self-esteem, possibly even making you feel like you’re not a good lover. It can also become a source of tension, conflict, and frustration in relationships. Couples affected by ejaculation issues may avoid sex for fear of it not going well, or the sex they do have may not be fun anymore, as the main focus is worrying about ejaculation.
There are two types of premature ejaculation conditions:
- When it has always been a problem for that person (known as primary premature ejaculation)
- When rapid ejaculation develops later on, when it was not previously an issue (known as secondary premature ejaculation)
The impact of rapid ejaculation on you and your relationship will probably depend on the frequency and severity of the issue: If it’s occasional, it’s less likely to cause distress than if it happens all the time. And if penetration is not possible because ejaculation always happens on entry, this is likely to be more distressing than if some penetration can be enjoyed before ejaculation.
The impacts also depend a great deal on your attitudes, your expectations, and the strategies you use to manage it. For some people and couples, rapid ejaculation is a serious problem, for others, it’s a minor annoyance.
Managing Premature Ejaculation
Consider what may be the cause of premature ejaculation in your situation, and choose from the following strategies to help you manage it:
Pause And Breathe Before Orgasm Occurs
During sexual activity, as you feel your arousal building, it’s helpful to pause and try to relax a little. You can do this through some diaphragmatic breathing: Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. This will relax the pelvic floor muscles and can delay ejaculation.
“Edging” is a technique that helps you develop a better understanding of your sexual response, and gain more control over your orgasm. You should practice edging during masturbation, although you can also do it during partnered sex.
Edging requires that you bring yourself close to the point of orgasm, and then stop. Take a pause to let your arousal slip away a bit, so your orgasm is no longer right there. After the pause, go back to stimulation and again, once you get near orgasm, pause and don’t let yourself come. Over time edging will help you gain control and when you do orgasm, it often feels stronger than an orgasm without edging—an added bonus!
Using a condom can slightly reduce sensation on the penis. Because sensation is less intense, it can take longer to build up to orgasm. So something as simple as using a condom can help with rapid ejaculation issues. Make sure to take some time to choose a condom that’s right for you such that the material, size, and shape are comfortable for you to wear.
Remember That Sex Doesn’t Finish When Ejaculation Happens
Managing rapid ejaculation is not only about prolonging the time before orgasm, it’s also about managing the whole sexual encounter. If you think sex is over when ejaculation occurs, then, yes, that can be disappointing. But if you don’t accept that ejaculation is the end of sex—if you’re more creative about your play—it will be more satisfying no matter when orgasm occurs.
If you’ve already ejaculated, then it’s time to bring your attention to pleasuring your partner with your mouth, fingers or a sex toy. If you find it hard to stay awake after you orgasm, then focus on your partner’s pleasure before moving onto penetrative sex. If they’ve already had a lot of pleasure (and maybe an orgasm) beforehand, it’ll be less of a big deal if the penetrative sex part doesn’t last very long.
Do Some Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegels, and other pelvic floor physical therapy techniques have been shown to help with reducing premature ejaculation. Learn how to do Kegel exercises, practice them regularly, and consider seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist for further advice and assistance.
Use Sex Positions That Reduce Premature Ejaculation
If your partner sits on top of you (as in cowgirl), rather than you thrusting (as in missionary), this may help to delay ejaculation. Orgasm is brought on more quickly when you’re thrusting and tensing the pelvic floor muscles. By laying back and relaxing, it will probably take longer for you to build up to orgasm.
Find Psychological Support
For some people, the reason behind their rapid ejaculation issues may relate to past sexual trauma. In this case, seeking psychological support may be beneficial to unpack the lasting effects of the trauma on your sex life and to help you move forward.
Ask Your Doctor About Medications
There are a number of numbing sprays and creams available to reduce sensation of the penis. It’s better to avoid these products as you’ll be less able to enjoy the feeling of sex—and sex will become more about performance than pleasure. Being numb also means you won’t be able to feel if you’re getting sore down there, which can cause you to accidentally injure your penis because you can’t feel when something’s not right. You might also accidentally numb your partner’s genitals too—oops!
If other solutions don’t work, then medications can help some people deal with their rapid ejaculation issues. Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to be effective. A medical professional can discuss these options with you.