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Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation
While ejaculation is a synonym for male pleasure the majority of the time, when he comes too quickly it's no fun for him or his partner. We take a look at the problem of premature ejaculation.
While ejaculation is a synonym for male pleasure the majority of the time, when he comes too quickly it's no fun for him or his partner. We take a look at the problem of premature ejaculation.

What is premature ejaculation?

10 seconds? One minute? Three minutes? Before or during penetration? At what point is ejaculation premature? Time is not the only factor to take into account: premature ejaculation is defined by the notion of control, or rather lack of control. A man who doesn't suffer from this problem is able to delay ejaculation to make sex last longer and to increase the intensity of orgasm. But if ejaculation becomes an uncontrollable reflex, it’s referred to as premature. Some men start having problems with this condition after a long period of completely normal sex, in which case it is known as secondary premature ejaculation. Primary premature ejaculation is a problem that a man suffers from ever since becoming sexually active.
A common but sensitive problem
Far from being an illness, premature ejaculation is still a handicap for men who suffer from it. One out of three men are affected, and only 8% of them manage to talk about it. And women are often too afraid of causing guilt or oppressing their partner to talk about it. Frustration, incomprehension and psychological blocks can also arise and lead to problems: in a third of cases, premature ejaculation causes a relationship to end. There are, however, underlying causes for this problem and ways to treat it.

Physical causes

In rare cases, the causes can be of a physical nature: inflammation of the urethra, difficulty retracting the foreskin (phimosis), or a short foreskin.
Dutch researchers have proved that serotonin receptors, situated in the central nervous system, are less sensitive in men who suffer from premature ejaculation, and prevent them from delaying their climax.

Psychological factors

The main causes seem to be psychological and behaviour-related. A man’s first sexual encounter often brings about worry over ejaculation of the fear of 'failure'.
More generally, performing to expectations and the fear of disappointing a partner, particularly if the woman seems more experienced, can lead to loss of control. Anxiety and tiredness are often a cause of premature ejaculation, but if a man has only had a few sexual encounters or he experiences a lot of emotional tension, this should also be taken into account. Relationship problems can also cause difficulties in controlling ejaculation.

How to deal with and stop premature ejaculation
- The first step is to talk: the woman has a role to play here because she can help her partner get rid of his fear of failure by reassuring him.
- Increasing the frequency that you make love might also help him delay his ejaculation.
- There are two self-control techniques that will help during sex: “stop and go” which requires the man to concentrate on his sensations and to signal to the woman to stop moving so that he doesn't climax too soon, then resuming. The “squeeze” method involves him (or his partner) firmly squeezing the end of the penis when premature ejaculation is imminent.
- If these techniques don’t work, seeing a doctor together could solve the problem. Your doctor might, amongst other things, prescribe antidepressants that act on the spinal cord to block ejaculation until the time is right.
Published by editorial staff Love & Sex
22 Jan 2008

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