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What makes you not last in bed?

Can premature ejaculation be controlled?

Premature ejaculation is where a man ejaculates (comes) too quickly during sexual intercourse. It’s a common ejaculation problem.

What is premature ejaculation ?

A study involving 500 couples found the average time for ejaculation was about 5-and-a-half minutes after starting sex. This time could be longer for men who have sex with men.

International guidelines define premature ejaculation as regularly ejaculating within 1 minute of entering your partner.

However, it’s up to you and your partner to decide if you’re happy with the time it takes you to ejaculate.

If ejaculation times are causing you persistent distress then it’s a problem that can be helped with treatment.

Types of premature ejaculation

There are 2 types of premature ejaculation:

  • primary premature ejaculation – where you have always had the problem
  • secondary premature ejaculation (or «acquired premature ejaculation») – where you recently developed the problem

The causes of primary premature ejaculation are often psychological, such as having a traumatic sexual experience at an early age. Secondary premature ejaculation can be caused by both psychological and physical factors. Physical causes can include drinking too much alcohol and inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis).


If your premature ejaculation is caused by a physical condition, treating the underlying condition should help. A GP can suggest possible treatment options.

Treating premature ejaculation caused by psychological factors can be more challenging. But most men who persevere with treatment find the problem resolves.


There are a number of self-help techniques you can try before getting medical help.

  • masturbating 1 to 2 hours before having sex
  • using a thick condom to help decrease sensation
  • taking a deep breath to briefly shut down the ejaculatory reflex (an automatic reflex of the body, during which you ejaculate)
  • having sex with your partner on top (to allow them to pull away when you’re close to ejaculating)
  • taking breaks during sex and distracting yourself by thinking about something completely different

If you’re in a long-term relationship, you may benefit from having couples therapy.

You’ll be encouraged to explore issues that may be affecting your relationship and be given advice on how to resolve them. You may also be shown techniques that can help you «unlearn» the habit of premature ejaculation.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used if self-help techniques do not improve the problem. SSRIs are mainly used to treat depression, but one of their side effects is delaying ejaculation.

Dapoxetine is an SSRI specifically designed to treat premature ejaculation. It can be used «on demand». You’ll usually be advised to take it between 1 and 3 hours before sex, but not more than once a day.

If dapoxetine does not work, your GP may recommend trying another SSRI on an «off-label» basis. This is when a medicine is used for a different purpose than it was licensed for. Doctors can prescribe an off-label medicine if they decide it’s in the patient’s best interest.

Other SSRIs that may be prescribed for premature ejaculation include paroxetine, sertraline or fluoxetine. You’ll usually need to take these types of SSRIs for 1 or 2 weeks before gaining the full effects.

Anaesthetic creams and sprays such as lidocaine or prilocaine cream can help by making your penis less sensitive. Using an anaesthetic cream with a condom can be particularly effective. A GP should be able to recommend a suitable cream.

Page last reviewed: 21 July 2020
Next review due: 21 July 2023

What’s Great About Guys Who Don’t Last Long In Bed

When it comes to sex, it might seem like a general rule of thumb is «the longer, the better»: It’s fun, so why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it for as long as possible? Having sex for a prolonged period of time might have its advantages, but there are also benefits to having a partner who doesn’t last long in bed.

While issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can be extremely challenging to deal with (both for men as well as their partners), it’s still possible to have a healthy, satisfying sex life. As long as both partners are open and honest and communicate about their sexual needs, there’s no reason that having a partner with orgasm issues should stop you from having great sex.

If persistent premature ejaculation is becoming a problem, there are steps you can take to address the issue (like medication, masturbation training, or sex therapy), but be sure to always tackle the problem as a team. Because sexual performance is such a sensitive subject for most people (especially men), conversations about any bedroom issues should be had with the utmost care, and you should never humiliate or demean your partner for being quick to orgasm.

Whether you’re totally fine with the time it takes your partner to come or whether you’re both actively working to last longer in bed, here are six unexpected benefits to having sex with someone who doesn’t last long in bed.

1. You Don’t Get Sore

If we’re being honest here, sometimes having sex for too long straight-up hurts. When you’re being penetrated continuously for a long period of time, it’s natural for your vagina (or butt) to start to feel the burn, so to speak. Frankly, it can ruin sex when you start to get sore down there, because it makes it harder to focus on orgasming (or maybe you’ve already come multiple times and simply can’t anymore). If your partner doesn’t last long, you can rest assured that your genitals won’t feel like mincemeat afterward.

2. You Don’t Have To Get Super Creative

When you’re with someone who seems able to go for ages before orgasming, chances are you’ll switch positions a lot: As underrated as it is, you can’t just lie in missionary for an hour straight without getting at least a little bored. While it’s exciting to change things up, after a while, the both of you will probably start to run out of ideas for new, interesting positions. You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that, with a partner who comes quickly, you’ll only have time for your very favorite sex positions, and don’t need to keep a copy of the kama sutra at your bedside.

3. There’s More Time For Foreplay

If someone knows they’re quick to orgasm, they’re probably also self-aware enough to know that the best way to make up for a short intercourse session is by elongating foreplay. While premature ejaculation isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, what is a dealbreaker is having a selfish partner who doesn’t understand the notion of mutual satisfaction. If your partner doesn’t last long enough to make you come via penetration, they can make up for it in other ways, whether that’s orally, manually, or with a toy.

4. You Won’t Be As Exhausted

Obviously, sex is super fun, and it seems like one of those things no one would ever complain about having «too much» of. But if you’re with someone who takes forever to get off, let’s face it: You’re going to be exhausted afterward. While that’s fine if you’re having sex right before you hit the hay for the evening, it pretty much eliminates the possibility of random sex throughout the day, unless you want to walk around all sweaty with the world’s worst case of sex hair. Simply put: quickies have some serious benefits, and your partner not lasting long means that they’re always in the cards.

5. No Lockjaw

No matter how much you genuinely enjoy giving blow jobs, that doesn’t mean that your jaw doesn’t get cramped up after a while — we’re only human, after all. If you and your partner are engaging in an oral-only adventure and he doesn’t last long, that could be a godsend for your mouth: You won’t have to take breathers or pause to stretch out your aching jaw.

6. Morning Sex Is Super Doable

If you’re dating someone who takes forever to get off, of course you can still have morning sex occasionally, most likely on a lazy Sunday where your only plans are brunch and a Christmas movie marathon. But if you’re frequently horny in the morning and want to have sex before work, for example, that can be tricky when you only have a set amount of time before you have to be at the office. With a partner who doesn’t last long, he can focus on your pleasure for as long as you need, and then he’ll be able to finish quickly, too. You can both make it to work on time, with the satisfaction of knowing you had an orgasm to start your day — it’s a win-win.

Want more of Bustle’s Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our video on sex positions for small penises:

Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Giphy (6)

What to Do if You’re Not Happy with Your Sex Life in a Relationship

Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions—everything is peachy keen. Wrong.

for all you procrastinators out there

Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.

Talk to each other

They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.

If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.

Ask for what you want

Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.

Keep finances and family out of the bedroom

When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.

Don’t focus on the length of time

You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes (quickies are underestimated!), but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.

Stop focusing so much on routine

When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited about the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.

Try sex toys

I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: Sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe , handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.

Keep flirting

Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit.

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