What Causes Premature Ejaculation?
Ejaculating more quickly than you’d like can be frustrating and stressful. Here are potential causes of premature ejaculation.
Feeling anxious that you might ejaculate too quickly can make sexy time stressful. It’s hard to enjoy the sensations and intimacy of sex when you’re worrying about your performance and concerned it may disappoint and frustrate you and your partner. People in this situation often wonder: “Why can’t I just last longer?”
What Is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is a term used to describe when a person ejaculates sooner than they (and their partner) would like. While it’s a common issue, there is no specific length of time that qualifies as premature ejaculation; you can’t say that if a person takes less than X minutes to finish that they’re experiencing premature ejaculation. Since there isn’t a standard duration to compare to, the term “rapid ejaculation” is preferred by some people and doctors.
Premature ejaculation is primarily an issue if it feels like an issue: Do you struggle to control ejaculation? Does the time it takes to finish cause a problem for you or your partner? If it’s not troubling anyone, then it’s not a problem. If, however, it’s causing distress and worry, that’s when it’s a problem.
Since there isn’t a standard duration to compare to, the term “rapid ejaculation” is preferred by some people and doctors.
Studies show that the average length of time for penis-in-vagina penetration to last before ejaculation is around five minutes, but there is a lot of variation between people, and even one person can take a shorter or longer time to come depending on factors like stress, how turned on they are, and how long it’s been since they last had an orgasm.
What Causes Premature Ejaculation?
For many people who ejaculate sooner than they’d like, there’s no official “cause,” per se. They would just like to last longer! But for some people there may be physical or psychological causes underpinning the problem. Understanding the causes can help you work out the best strategies to manage premature ejaculation in your situation.
The fear of ejaculating too soon can be very distracting—and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy! If you’ve experienced rapid ejaculation in the past, it can become something you worry about every time you’re having sex. When you’re worried about it, you’re focusing on it and tensing up, both of which make a quick ejaculation more likely. Unfortunately, it’s a negative feedback loop!
Pelvic Floor Muscle Tightness
Pelvic floor issues, especially muscle tightness, can be an underlying factor with premature ejaculation. When the muscles are tight, it can trigger ejaculation sooner than you’d like. Studies show that learning to control the muscles using Kegels and practicing relaxing exercises can help with premature ejaculation.
Age And Inexperience
When you're new to sex, being sexual with someone can be especially exciting. You may not have learned how to fully control your body yet, and rapid ejaculation can be part of that. As you get older and more practiced, you are likely to also gain more control over your ejaculation and, as a result, be able to last longer.
Stimulation Prior To Penetration
If you’ve already had quite a bit of stimulation to your penis before attempting penetration—for instance, manual stimulation or oral sex—you may already be highly aroused and near orgasm before penetration. So reducing other stimulation of the penis beforehand can help.
Alcohol And Drugs
Alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs reduce your control over your body, so when you’re under the influence, rapid ejaculation can be more likely. Some people use these substances as a strategy to help with rapid ejaculation, thinking it will make them to be more relaxed and slow everything down. While this may be true for some people, the opposite is just as likely.
Sometimes rapid ejaculation can be due to past traumatic sexual experiences. The psychological aftereffects of this trauma can lead to ejaculation issues, and may also be a cause of erection issues.
Having an enlarged prostate (from aging or infection) can also be an underlying cause of rapid ejaculation. A medical care provider can help determine if this is affecting you and can recommend treatments.
Happily there are a number of effective strategies and tips for managing rapid ejaculation, so don’t let this frustrating issue keep you from pursuing the pleasure you deserve!
"A multinational population survey of intravaginal ejaculation ... - NCBI." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16422843. Accessed 26 Feb. 2019.
"Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong ... - NCBI - NIH." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003840/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2019.
"Pelvic-floor muscle rehabilitation in erectile dysfunction and ... - NCBI." 31 Jul. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25082919. Accessed 16 Jan. 2019.
Myths and facts
Setting the record straight.
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Circumcision Myths And Facts
Is circumcision medically necessary? Is it cleaner? Find out more about circumcision and sort the facts from fiction.
While circumcision of the penis is a commonly accepted practice in many geographical areas, a lot of misunderstanding still exists around the procedure, and the differences between cut and uncut penises.
Read on to explore some of the most common myths about circumcision, and clear up some potentially confusing misinformation.
Myth: Most Penises Are Circumcised
Circumcision is more common in areas such as the United States, Canada, Africa and the Middle East. Folks who live in these areas may perceive circumcision to be fairly common, because many or most of the penises they’ve encountered have been cut. However, only approximately 30% of penises worldwide are circumcised.
Myth: Foreskin Is Unnecessary
Since so many people are circumcised, clearly people with penises are able to function and survive without foreskin! However, there are some functional purposes of the foreskin.
Intact foreskin can provide protection for the head of the penis (or glans). Similar to the clitoral hood on a vulva, foreskin on a penis can help maintain the sensitivity of the glans by protecting it. The foreskin can also minimize friction and chafing during penetrative sex, as it moves in a gliding motion.
Myth: People Who Are Circumcised Are Cleaner
It is commonly recommended that the foreskin of uncircumcised penises be pulled back during bathing to be cleaned. While this is a step that those with an circumcised penis do not have to consider, it is a relatively simple task that folks with uncircumcised penises get accustomed to performing during their regular bathing routine.
Myth: Circumcision Prevents HIV
This myth is kind of a myth. There has been some compelling research that circumcision can sometimes help prevent the penetrating partner from contracting HIV in some situations and populations, but those results are not necessarily generalizable to everyone everywhere.
Intact foreskin can provide protection for the head of the penis
It may be something to consider for those living in areas with epidemic levels of HIV, but would not be the most effective prevention method for people living elsewhere. Other risk reduction strategies such as using condoms properly and routine HIV testing provide significantly more protection than circumcision.
Myth: Uncircumcised People Are More Likely To Have A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
The connection between circumcision and sexually transmitted infections has been studied for decades, with mixed results. There are no clear and consistent findings that circumcision has any impact on the general population’s risk of acquiring an STI.
Myth: Circumcision Is Medically Necessary
As previously noted, approximately 70% of penises around the world aren’t circumcised and are nonetheless able to function and survive… so that would indicate that removing the foreskin is not a medical necessity.
In a minority of cases - if there are problems with a tight foreskin for example - circumcision may be medically recommended. However, circumcision is most often practiced for cultural or religious reasons, or just because it is the norm in a given community.
Myth: Uncircumcised Penises Are Prone To Smelly Buildup
Just like any moist area of the body (such as the skin flaps of the vulva, behind the ears, the armpits, between rolls of skin), the foreskin can breed bacteria and buildup that can produce an odor if not cleaned. Regular washing can easily prevent this from happening.
Is Circumcised Or Uncircumcised Better? Either Is Fine!
The truth is that circumcised and uncircumcised penises have more similarities than they do differences. Both cut and uncut penises can be of various shapes and sizes, can get erect when turned on, can ejaculate, and can provide and experience pleasure.
When learning about circumcision (or any sexuality topic!) it’s important to think about whether what we hear are true facts or just myths. So much of our sexuality education is rooted in generalities, shame, and misinformation. The truth is, sexuality is diverse! Different choices are going to work for different people, and circumcision is no different!