You're about to finally seal the deal with a new partner. Things are going beyond great — you two are totally feeling each other, and you can't wait get home to your place and finish what the two of you started at the bar. But as soon as things get going, you realize that it's all happening too fast — and you can't stop yourself from finishing early.
"I swear, this usually never happens," you say, an apologetic look on your face. Not the end to the evening you were hoping for, right?
It's embarrassing, but it happens. In fact, according to a recent study, premature ejaculation affects 20% to 30% of the U.S. population. In the short term, PE can mean a disappointing night. But the longer the problem persists, the more likely it is to have a negative impact on the relationship you have with your partner, impact your self-esteem and can cause long-term stress.
The key to getting a handle on premature ejaculation is to understand what it is, what causes it and what can be done in order to prevent it from happening. Here's a guide to everything you need to know about premature ejaculation.
1. What Is Premature Ejaculation?
Medically speaking, premature ejaculation is determined by two things — the lack of control a man has over when he ejaculates, and whether or not he and his partner are satisfied with the duration that he lasts for. According to urologist Dr. Peter Stahl, there are different varieties of this condition. "Premature ejaculation comes in two variants: lifelong and acquired, which have slightly different definitions," he explains. "Lifelong premature ejaculation is generally defined as ejaculation that almost always occurs within one minute, is difficult or impossible to delay, and is associated with distress or bother. Lifelong premature ejaculation is a true neurobiological predisposition to ejaculate early. Acquired premature ejaculation is different and usually related to anxiety or other sexual dysfunction."
As far as the amount of time that qualifies as ejaculation being premature, sexual psychophysiologist Dr. Nicole Prause says that there isn't a medically accepted amount of time that dictates this disorder. "There is no standard number of intromissions (intravaginal strokes) or latency (time to ejaculation) that is recognized as [premature]," she explains. "This definition is usually left to the male reporting distress. Of course, this is very problematic. A series of laboratory studies actually found most men who believe they have [premature ejaculation] actually did not orgasm more quickly to vibratory stimulation than men who did not believe that they had a problem in laboratory studies." There's also no medical test for premature ejaculation currently available. But if both you and your partner are unsatisfied with the amount of time that you're lasting, this means that it's a problem for both of you — so you'll want to take the necessary steps to address it.
What Real Women Say: "I dated a guy once who wouldn't sleep with me for several months," says Casey, 26. "While I usually don't rush into things sexually with new partners, I did think that the behavior was strange — to the point that I questioned where things were going, and whether or not he was actually interested in me. When we finally did sleep together it became extremely clear that the reason why he wasn't rushing to do the deed was that he finished very quickly. We did it again a few more times and the same thing kept happening — although I did find that the more we drank beforehand the longer he lasted, though it still wasn't ever anywhere beyond a few minutes long. In retrospect, I should have said something — I would've been willing to try things that would have maybe helped. But instead we started to see less and less of each other until things ended."