Here’s a saying with some truth to it: Guys turn on like a light bulb; women turn on like an iron. Nature has designed guys to be much faster on-the-draw when it comes to arousal and orgasm than women. When you combine that innate tendency with non-anatomical issues, like couples who don’t communicate about their sexual needs and guys who don’t know how to slow down their response to more closely match the response of their partner – you get problems.
In fact, 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. Roughly 1 in 5 men experience premature ejaculation.
Fortunately, premature ejaculation today is relatively easy treat. The odds of success are best if a man can talk easily about sex with his partner and both partners are willing to experiment to find more satisfying ways to have sex. There are many techniques used for centuries (particularly in Asian countries) to delay ejaculation. (For an example, see the books by Jolan Chang.) Those can work wonders – and why not try them first? But there are also some medical approaches.
Some men use one of a variety of anesthetic creams that mildly numb the penis and so 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.
Another approach is to take advantage of what is often considered a problematic medication side-effect. Some types of antidepressants delay orgasm in both men and women. This can be a real problem for some people – but low doses of these medications can be just the trick for a guy with premature ejaculation. The orgasm-delaying effects of some antidepressants occur within about 4 hours of ingestion, which means men can use them only when needed if they want. Many men, however, prefer to simply take a pill a day so they don’t have to think about it and can be more romantically spontaneous.
The bottom line? If you or your partner is frustrated by premature ejaculation, you’ve got plenty of options to explore and every reason to hope that you’ll discover far more mutually-satisfying sex!