What is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common sexual complaint among men. Up to 30 per cent of men experience PE and report considerable distress in this regard. PE is defined as ejaculation occurring within one minute of penetration and the inability to delay ejaculation resulting in negative personal consequences. While some cases of PE are a result of medical concerns, most cases are related to unknown physical or physiological factors.

PE can be a common problem among heterosexual men, particularly younger men. Men report severe distress arising from PE as they are unable to last as long as they desire during lovemaking. The average man lasts between 2 to 4 minutes when in the full thrust of intercourse. Understanding this can really help because sometimes the fear of ejaculating too early can create performance anxiety, which only leads to further problems.

Approximately 70 per cent of men who struggle with PE experience concurrent sexual performance anxiety, which may cause a vicious cycle effect. This means that the feelings of guilt or anxiety that arise from having an incident of premature ejaculation could cause further ejaculatory or sexual performance difficulties. Men who experience premature ejaculation might find that it occurs more frequently when anxiety is high. In addition to this, if partners of men with place pressure on them to last longer, the anxiety may be felt more acutely.

Premature Ejaculation and Sexual Relationships

While in the past sexual dysfunctions have been seen as an individual concern, more recent evidence is indicating that often it is a symptom of a relational issue. While is may be difficult to understand whether premature ejaculation is a cause or a symptom of relationship difficulties, what we do know is that it most certainly impacts the couple regardless of the cause. Over 60 per cent of men living in Asia Pacific who experience premature ejaculation are not satisfied in their sexual relationship. This kind of dissatisfaction can cause larger problems and even lead to separation.

Sexual intimacy is often vital for relationship satisfaction and this includes penetration and intercourse. Premature ejaculation can impact the couple, as well as both individuals within the couple. Each person may make different meanings of the same problem, which can cause further concerns with communication and intimacy. Even though premature ejaculation is often seen as a man’s problem, it can significantly impact their partners and may result in the breakdown of the relationship.

Managing Premature Ejaculation

Seeking sex therapy for premature ejaculation can yield positive results. Some suggestions that would be made in sex therapy include exploring other ways to pleasure your partner. When it feels as though you are reaching the “point of no return”, stop. Allow time for a breather by using other techniques to arouse your lover. As a partner of someone who experiences PE, it may be useful to encourage your lover to find other ways of enjoying your body which doesn’t always include penetration. Show him what else he can do to arouse you during those moments when he requires a break.

Another technique useful for PE is to practice alone. Take some private time to masturbate while exploring the different levels of arousal which occur in your body. Scale your arousal from zero to ten (with ten being ejaculation) and then explore each of those phases – be mindful of what it feels like, what is happening physiologically (heartbeat, sweating), and where you mind goes during each stage. Mastering yourself through awareness and understanding can then be brought into lovemaking situations and enhance the ability to remain aware of each of your levels of arousal, creating a bigger gap between sexual enjoyment and the inevitable orgasm.

Do you know anyone that’s struggling with Premature Ejaculation?  Please take a moment and share this resource with them, to help us reach as many people as possible.

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References

  • Graziottin, A., & Althof, S. (2011). What does premature ejaculation mean to the man, the woman, and the couple?. The journal of sexual medicine, 8(s4), 304-309.
  • Hatzimouratidis, K., Amar, E., Eardley, I., Giuliano, F., Hatzichristou, D., Montorsi, F., … & Wespes, E. (2010). Guidelines on male sexual dysfunction: erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. European Urology, 57(5), 804-814.
  • McMahon, C. G., Lee, G., Park, J. K., & Adaikan, P. G. (2012). Premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction prevalence and attitudes in the Asia‐Pacific region. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(2), 454-465.
  • Rajkumar, R. P., & Kumaran, A. K. (2014). The association of anxiety with the subtypes of premature ejaculation: a chart review. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord, 16(4).
  • Serefoglu, E. C., & Saitz, T. R. (2012). New insights on premature ejaculation: a review of definition, classification, prevalence and treatment. Asian Journal of Andrology, 14(6), 822-829.