Premature ejaculation

Originally Published: April 18, 1995 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 11, 2012
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Dear Alice,

What are some solution to sufferers of premature ejaculation?

—Quickie

Dear Quickie,

Well, there is no fast answer to your question. Premature ejaculation is ejaculation that typically occurs immediately prior to or just after insertion of the penis into the partner, without any sense of voluntary control. It is a common sexual phenomenon, occurring in approximately one-third of men under 25, and in about 10 percent of men older than 25. More common causes of premature ejaculation include:

  • Overstimulation
  • Anxiety over sexual performance
  • Stress

In some men it is possible for premature ejaculation to be a conditioned response. For example, if a man's earliest sexual experiences were situations that might have required rapid ejaculation, or where rapid ejaculation was encouraged, then it may have become a learned habit. Another element leading to premature ejaculation is a male's lack of awareness of the preliminary sensations that lead to orgasm, making him unable to control the process leading to ejaculation.

Regardless of the cause of premature ejaculation, there are solutions that are considered to be highly effective. Two methods that have been written about extensively are the stop-start method, and the squeeze method. The stop-start method works to make a man more aware of his sensations as he is approaching orgasm. His partner manually stimulates his penis while he focuses on his sensations. When he feels that orgasm is approaching, he has his partner stop the stimulation. The extreme sexual tension will be defused, and then the partner can begin to stimulate him again. Once the couple becomes proficient at this, then the procedure is applied to coital situations — in a heterosexual relationship (also adaptable to a homosexual relationship), it is suggested that the couple attempts this first with the woman on top, followed by the side to side position, and then male on top.

The squeeze technique is commonly executed with the premature ejaculator laying down, knees bent, so that his partner who is sitting up and facing him, can sit between his legs. The partner stimulates the genital area until the penis is erect, then applies a squeeze lasting 3 or 4 seconds by holding the penis with the thumb on the ridge between the head and shaft, and the first two fingers situated on either side of the ridge opposite the thumb. This squeeze eliminates the desire for ejaculation. This technique should be repeated several times during genital stimulation, so that foreplay can continue without ejaculation. Once mastered, this method can be used in intercourse where a woman (or male partner) inserts her/his partner's penis and sits on top of him motionless. When he feels close to ejaculation, s/he lifts her-/himself off and administers a squeeze, then returns to the sitting position. Over time this results in ejaculatory control.

Certified sex therapists are available to help men and/or couples work on this problem. Contact the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) for a certified referral. Wishing you all the best in finding a speedy solution,

Alice