The #1 male sexual problem is premature ejaculation—ejaculation that occurs sooner than desired, either before or shortly after penetration, causing distress to one or both partners. At any given time, premature ejaculation affects between 20% and 30% of men. That adds up to an awful lot of unsatisfactory sex!
Fortunately, premature ejaculation is relatively easy treat. The first step, as with most sexual problems, is to talk about it openly and honestly with your partner. You’re more likely to find ways of managing PE if you both bring a playful, experimental attitude to the issue. It can help to take the focus of sex off of intercourse and make it more of a total experience, with foreplay and other forms of touching and stimulation being just as important as intercourse and orgasm.
A man with PE can learn ways to give his partner pleasure or orgasm before intercourse, with oral sex or manual stimulation. And, during sex, he can learn to pay attention to the cues that can signal imminent ejaculation. He can then slow down, withdraw, or change positions so that he can avoid ejaculation.
A variety of anesthetic creams are available that mildly numb the penis to delay orgasm. The creams must be used carefully, since using too much can cause erections to fail from lack of feeling. If used without a condom, the cream may also cause vaginal numbness in the partner. Condoms alone can reduce penile sensation sufficiently in some men with premature ejaculation to have satisfactory sex.
Some types of antidepressant medications can delay orgasm in both men and women. This side effect can be a real problem for some people—but for men with PE, a low dose of these medications can be very helpful. The orgasm-delaying effects of some antidepressants occur within about four hours of ingestion, which means men can use them only when needed if they want. Alternatively, a man could simply take a pill every day so they don’t have to think about it and can be more romantically spontaneous. Talk to your doctor about this option to see if it would be right for you.
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