Ejaculating within the first few ‘thrusts’ of penetrative sex can be frustrating!
Clients attend sex therapy looking for a way to ‘last longer’ as they might be experiencing distressing feelings of shame, frustration and even avoiding sex. They have googled ‘premature ejaculation’ and can’t find the help they are looking for.
Clients often tell me that during non-partnered sex they are able to experience sensation for a longer time before ejaculation. The pressure that they put on themselves to last longer during partnered sex creates anxiety, the anxiety takes them out of the moment, and leads to the ejaculation that they were trying to avoid.
During a session of sex therapy, we explore factors that may have contributed to a habit of ejaculating fast. For example, most teenagers discovering masturbation ensure they are not ‘caught’. So even if your family of origin was quite sex positive, there could be some shame and a subconscious need to ‘rush’. We also explore what is happening in your relationship (if you have one). Is your partner supportive of taking the emphasis off penetration so that you can both enjoy some leisurely, intimate time together?
Often when asked, people say that the motivation to have partnered sex is not ‘to have an orgasm’ they usually say something like ‘to feel close, to feel special, to express love’. The orgasm and ejaculation can be achieved alone, after all. It can really help to get rid of all that pressure by stopping penetrative sex for a period of time. Then a quick ejaculation won’t be a problem, because the play can continue as long as everyone involved is having a nice time. There is no reason for sexual exploration to stop once one person orgasms. Bringing your partner to a session of sex therapy can be supportive, so you are both ‘on the same page’.
To work on gaining more control over how quickly an ejaculation occurs, mindful masturbation is suggested.
The first step is to make sure you are ‘Deep Belly Breathing’ and doing so correctly. I made a video to demonstrate here;
You are encouraged to dedicate yourself to a masturbation practice 3 times a week (or you might like the phrase ‘self-pleasure’ better- as masturbation can sometimes be linked with feelings of shame or ‘hiding’). During these sessions, slow down your breath, slow down your touch, bring your awareness to the feelings in the penis and other feelings in the body. Notice if you are clenching your bottom, belly or your jaw (or anywhere else). If you feel this, slow down even more. If ejaculation comes, enjoy it!
The practice is about gaining awareness of the climb up your arousal hill, not trying to ‘beat the clock’.
Many people that ejaculate quickly feel arousal build from 1, 2, 3 then straight to 9- point of no return and then 10- ejaculate. This practice is teaching you to feel your ‘4’.. to pause.. go back to ‘3’, see if you can stay there for a little bit longer. It is common when practicing like this, to lose the erection when slowing down or pausing. That’s no issue, just enjoy any sensations that are available with a less erect penis, a firmer erection may reappear, or it may not. It’s all part of gaining awareness. Make sure you use a dry hand and no pornography (nothing wrong with porn, but it will distract you from the awareness of feelings that you are trying to learn). If after a few weeks or months of regular practice you are happy with the time until ejaculation, use a little bit of lubricant or spit which will feel more like penetrating a partner. You may need to practice a few more weeks / months to regain the same level of control. My colleague Cam Fraser is a wonderful sex coach, and unpacks premature ejaculation in the following podcast episode.
Do your best to approach the practices with an attitude of curiosity and pleasure seeking.
If you get frustrated and stressed, you are just learning that sex equals frustration and stress and nothing will change. If you feel like this, skip the practice and come back to it with a fresh attitude a bit later. Some people find that they need more support than these practices. Some ongoing therapy using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) can help people to shift negative beliefs about themselves that are perpetuating the issue. It can also help to process past experiences that are keeping them stuck.
Ejaculating faster than you would like to is a common experience. A sex therapist will have talked to many other people each and every week who are going through similar thoughts and feelings as you might be. Reach out if you need support.