Is your penis a little quick on the trigger, so to speak? Don’t freak — as many as one in three men experience premature ejaculation at some point in their lives. It’s so normal, in fact, that the Mayo Clinic regards premature ejaculation as a “common sexual complaint” and insists, as long as it happens once every so often, you have nothing to worry about.
“We actually diagnose ‘rapid’ ejaculation now, not premature,” says Nicole Prause, Ph.D, scientist at Liberos. “Many men who identify themselves as coming too quickly actually are not faster to orgasm than other men when tested, so the first thing to consider if you are concerned is whether your experiences might be normal.”
While there isn’t exactly a golden rule to help diagnose me with rapid ejaculation, Prause says you shouldn’t be concerned if you’re only having penetrative vaginal intercourse for two minutes prior to orgasm. In fact, you should only really deem it an issue if you find yourself nearly always ejaculating within one minute of penetration, are unable to delay ejaculation and/or feel frustrated to the point where you avoid sexual intimacy altogether. At that point, it may be worth a trip to the doctor for a legitimate diagnosis.
Prause assures that if you want to increase your latency to ejaculation, you will be able to do so with treatment. “Most men reporting this difficulty are actually lasting within the ‘normal’ range,” she shares, noting that if you have sex with women, most won’t desire long, rapid pounding intercourse, as it rarely leads to climax.
“You may develop better skills in oral sex, slower touching, and similar positive sex habits due to having a shorter ejaculation latency that make you a superior lover,” she adds.
If you are still concerned that you may have issues with finishing too quickly during sex, read below on what might be the cause (and see how it’s best treated).
What Causes Men to Cum Too Fast?
“There is some evidence that men with rapid ejaculation are more sensitive in their genitalia and more responsive to visual sexual stimulation,” says Prause. It’s worth noting that while several factors can contribute to rapid ejaculation, you may be surprised to find that most are not physical.
Psychological problems such as stress and depression can aggravate this condition, and are far more common than a specific physical condition, such as increased sensitivity, inflammation of the prostate or a spinal cord issue. To better understand your problem, your doctor will need to discuss your sexual history with you. Remember that they are medical professionals and have heard all of this stuff before, so be open and honest. The more your doctor knows, the better they can help treat you.
How to Properly Treat Premature Ejaculation
Sometimes, premature ejaculation goes away on its own in a couple weeks or months without multiple visits to the doctor’s office. Alleviating stress is the best way to start, so treat yourself to some R&R and see how that goes.
And the most important thing? Do not blame yourself or feel inadequate in any way, as this can amplify the problem. If it helps, speak openly with your partner about it to otherwise avoid miscommunication. According to Prause, the following three solutions are best for treating premature ejaculation:
If you get the sense that you;re about to ejaculate prematurely, you or your partner can squeeze the shaft of the penis just below the head with the thumb on one side and forefingers on the other. Squeeze for roughly 20 seconds, let go and you should be able to resume with your sexual activity.
When done effectively for a prolonged period of time, the technique enables you to delay ejaculation with the squeeze. Eventually, as you become more comfortable with your sexual ability and endurance, you’ll eventually learn to delay orgasm successfully without the squeeze. This practice can be repeated as often as necessary, and often requires open communication with your partner.
Another possible treatment involves prescription medication that helps delay ejaculation. These anesthetic creams and sprays contain a numbing agent, such as benzocaine, lidocaine or prilocaine, which should be applied to the penis 10 to 15 minutes before sex to reduce sensation and subsequently delay ejaculation.
“Numbing creams actually are helpful with men, but [as] these also get all over your partner, do not use them without your partner’s consent,” advises Prause.
RELATED: Penis Health Care, De-Mystified
Although topical anesthetic agents are effective, they have potential side effects to take note of, too. Some men report temporary loss of sensitivity, as well as decreased sexual pleasure. Sometimes through contact with the treated penis, female partners also report these effects.
“The goal with medications is not to stay on them for the rest of your life, so you might plan to try a medication for a shorter (one to three month) period and see if this improves to the point that you might no longer need them,” says Prause. “The anorgsamic effects are very rapid, which is why a month ‘trial’ may be plenty to experiment with the effects of a drug-induced orgasm delay.”
When this type of medication is given to treat rapid ejaculation, it can help to postpone orgasm for several minutes. Drugs used for this type of treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine and tricyclic antidepressants.
The biggest thing to remember when experiencing premature ejaculation is that, more often than not, what you’re experiencing is perfectly normal. And if these experiences become more commonplace, there are a number of effective treatments to assist. You just have to figure out what works best for you and your partner in order to put your worries — and your penis — at ease.