Looking through our most frequently asked questions, there's no denying that "how can I last longer" is still number one. Last month we sold 28 units of penis desensitizing products- that's one a day. We've discussed improving stamina before, but given how often the topic of premature ejaculation and delaying orgasm comes up, we thought the topic could use revisiting.
What is premature ejaculation, and what causes it?
Premature ejaculation is when a penis owner chronically reaches orgasm/ejaculates before they want to, and it is causing distress. If that sounds a bit vague, that's because it is- a medical diagnosis of is determined by the degree to which the sufferer is bothered by their circumstances, rather than any strict set of symptoms or criteria. A person's sexual stamina can change over their lifetime, usually increasing as they gain experience and become better acquainted with their body, and can be affected by changes in health, stress level, and medications.
In some rare circumstances an inability to control orgasm can be a symptom of a physiological problem such as a spinal cord injury or prostate inflammation. Some experts speculate that premature ejaculation could be the result of biological differences in penis sensitivity or hormone levels. Emotional and psychological factors are considered to have a significant impact on orgasm control.
How early is too early?
Did you know that it takes people with penises 5 to 7 minutes on average to orgasm? Like, from the onset of stimulation to orgasm, in a "ready, set, go", stopwatch timed sort of scenario? That's healthy, normal and... not all that long, considering the kind of expectations we have for how long sex should last. According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, it's commonly claimed that 30-40% of men suffer from premature ejaculation that-even with the incredibly broad scientific criteria for diagnosis- but they estimate that the rate is much closer to 4%. They also address the fact that these misleading numbers are likely perpetuated because there's money to be made by convincing consumers that their sexual performance is inadequate.
So what's a guy to do?
As we touched on in Ask LSOP #2 – Lasting longer without pills, there are a lot of things that a person can do to gain better control of their orgasm in both an immediate and way and over time as a learned practice.
Topical desensitisers like Stud 100 can be applied 15 minutes to half an hour before sexual activity, giving the aesthetic ingredients time to absorb into the skin and take effect, reducing sensation and for many helping to increase the amount of time before orgasm.
Using condoms or wearable sheaths can reduce stimulation to the same effect, and some find that using a lubricant to reduce friction can be similarly helpful. Hollow strap-ons, which sheath the penis in a hollow dildo reduce stimulation even more than the wearable sheaths, and can also help by allowing the wearer to continue to have penetrative sex with their partner with or without an erection.
Wearing a cock ring is also be helpful to some, as they can create distraction or even mild discomfort.
According to a publication from Harvard Medical School, behavioural therapy is beneficial in 60-90% of cases. While therapy or sex therapy may not be accessible or desirable to everyone, these numbers trend positively for those hoping to make a lasting change to their sexual endurance. The start-stop or squeeze techniques are often recommended, in addition to things like prolonging foreplay and changing positions- all things that are even more effective when communicating goals and intentions with partners. There are a lot of resources for self-guided stamina training, like The Multi-Orgasmic Man, which explores the topic from a Taoist lens.
But there's got to be a pill, right?
When it comes to over-the-counter sex pills experts agree that they fall into two categories: fake and dangerous. There's no scientific evidence to support claims that natural ingredients such as horny goat weed or Spanish fly can help improve libido or stamina. More concerning are so-called natural pills that contain carefully regulated pharmaceutical ingredients such as phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitors, the active ingredient in prescription drugs like Viagra or Cialis. Studies conducted around the world have found that unregulated over-the-counter pills were often sold with inaccurate or misleading advertising of ingredients, and that anywhere from 50-81% of pills tested in different countries contained PDE5Is and other drugs that can pose serious health risks if taken without supervision of a healthcare provider.
When it comes to legally manufactured and distributed medications, the most common type prescribed are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), drugs that are typically used to treat depression. This is noteworthy for folks taking SSRIs for their mental health (and those who love them) because many people aren't aware of the significant way that they can affect their sexual experience. As these medications can have serious side effects, they are usually only recommended to treat premature ejactulation when all other options have failed to yield the desired result.
What's the takeaway?
Researching this I was most surprised by the discrepancy between expectation and reality when it comes to the average start-to-finish for people with penises. I was also struck by how, statistically, many of the people that we talk to in store about being underwhelmed by their stamina are probably dealing with unrealistic standards perpetuated by shady companies looking to sell shadier drugs.
For people with penises (and the people who love them), I hope that your takeaway is to approach premature ejaculation with compassion. Arm yourself with knowledge, creativity, and a willingness to communicate openly. You own your sexual pleasure, and no one else can define your experiences.