• Carolina Pataky

What You Need to Know About Premature Ejaculation


A man at a doctor’s office discussing one of the common sexual dysfunctions, premature ejaculation

Discussing the underlying psychological, social, and physical causes


Physical intimacy is something most people want in a romantic union. Several factors can adversely affect it, however, potentially leading to tension in a relationship.


It’s common for both men and women to encounter sexual dysfunction at some point. Premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most prevalent forms of male sexual dysfunction, affecting between 30-40% of men. We talk about what PE is, its causes, and ways to remedy it.


What is PE?


According to New Jersey Urology, PE “is a condition in which sexual climax occurs before, upon, or shortly after vaginal penetration, prior to one’s desire to do so, with minimal voluntary control.”


Premature climax usually isn’t an issue if it only occurs infrequently but if PE happens regularly, one or both partners may feel embarrassed, frustrated, and/or sexually unfulfilled. of the hallmark characteristics of PE are that it takes less than one minute to climax, there is a lack of control over the timing, and sexual dissatisfaction is usually the result.


The good news is that there are steps you can take to address this issue if it’s causing a problem for you or your partner. Although it may be uncomfortable, the first step is to acknowledge the problem and talk about it.


What causes PE?


PE may be the result of an underlying physical condition or psychological and social factors. Hormone levels and genetics may also play a role. Climaxing too quickly can be an intermittent issue or a lifelong problem. If it’s the latter, it’s often because of a physical or genetic condition.


Emotional distress can lead to PE. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all have a significant impact on a person’s sex life. Common psychological and social causes of PE include:

  • A preoccupation with sexual performance

Being overly concerned with your performance during intercourse can add stress and anxiety and may contribute to PE.

  • Relationship problems

It’s probably not surprising that tension in a relationship can affect your sex life. It’s important, therefore, to communicate with each other about your feelings and needs.

  • Poor body image/lack of confidence

If you feel self-conscious about your body it can lead to anxiety around physical connection. Body image issues may distract from the pleasure of sex or interfere with arousal.

  • Guilt or shame

Feelings of shame or questions about your self-worth may lead to depression and a lack of interest in sex.

  • Negative feelings about sex

We might harbor negative beliefs about sex, relationships, or even ourselves, and sometimes we’re not even conscious of these inhibiting thought patterns.

  • Past trauma

Physical intimacy should be pleasurable but a history of sexual abuse or childhood trauma can bring up anxiety and fear around sexual activity.


What you can do


If you’ve visited your doctor and ruled out physical or genetic causes, a good therapist may be able to help. Individual therapy, couples therapy, and/or sex therapy can all be immensely helpful in addressing any sexual dysfunction, including PE.


Sex is a holistic experience that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit. It’s about so much more than mere body parts so it’s natural that emotions, stress, and other psychological changes might affect physical intimacy. Therapy can provide the space to talk about your relationship, how you feel about yourself and your body, and your own personal views on sex.


Therapy can also help with anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions that not only affect sexual activities but can impact a person’s quality of life. Anxiety and depression can decrease sexual desire which could cause a rift between you and your partner. These conditions can also make it difficult to function in daily life which, in a vicious circle, adds stress and distracts from physical connection.


Aside from therapy, there are some other tactics couples can try at home to help alleviate PE. First, it can be helpful to slow down the pace of intercourse. You might try slower thrusting or varying the angle. Another method is “stop-and-start which involves stimulation until you’re about to climax followed by a 30-second pause. After the feeling of imminent climax has passed, you can return to stimulation. This can be repeated three to four more times before allowing orgasm.


Weak pelvic floor muscles can also contribute to PE. Practicing Kegel exercises can strengthen these muscles. With a regular regimen, you can train the right muscles and have more control during intercourse. It’s also a good idea to use condoms, not only to practice safe sex but because they can decrease sensitivity and thus delay climax.


Therapy for PE at Love Discovery


For the best results, you might try therapy in combination with some of the tactics mentioned above. Addressing sexual issues can have a profound impact on your relationship and your life and can bring you and your partner closer together.


A good therapist can give you and your partner the tools you need to reach a deeper level of not only physical intimacy but emotional intimacy as well. Contact us to see if individual, couples, and/or sex therapy is right for you.

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