Premature ejaculation (PE) is when a man orgasms uncontrollably, either before or shortly after sexual stimulation begins and sometimes with little or no physical contact.
With premature ejaculation, the orgasm – lovemaking’s golden moment – becomes an unwanted, unwilled visitor who spoils the sexual experience and leaves both partners unsatisfied. PE is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions among males, affecting nearly every man at some point in his life.
PE may result from both physical and psychological problems, though it is usually difficult to find a clearly discernable cause. PE is most often the scourge of the young and inexperienced, men who tend to cum prematurely because of the nervousness they feel about how well they will perform. With experience and age men usually learn how to control (to some extent) ejaculation, but this isn’t always the case.
Other psychological factors that can cause PE include: a religious background in which sex is stigmatised, work-related stress and anxiety, guilt, depression, or past sexual trauma. Physical causes may include: an oversensitive glans penis (the top part of the penis), hormonal problems, past injuries, drug side-effects or neurological disease. In some cases, PE is simply caused by disinterest, or lack of attraction, for a sexual partner.
In many cases, PE declines as a man accumulates sexual experience and gains control over his ejaculation, much as children eventually gain control over their bladder during toilet training. Using relaxation or distraction techniques during sex can help delay orgasm, but the best way to gain mastery over ejaculation is by identifying the sensations that signal an approaching orgasm and communicating with your partner to tone down stimulation for a while.
Using a condom or numbing creams and gels, which reduce sensation, is another option. You could also experiment with different positions, or speak to your doctor about medications that may help treat PE.
There’s no doubt about it: premature ejaculation is bad news for your sex life. If a man is always worried about ejaculating too soon, it’s going to be difficult for him to relax and fully enjoy the lovemaking experience. But his partner is also left unsatisfied, especially if the man is so focused on delaying ejaculation that he ignores his partner’s sexual needs. For them, not only does the party end right after it starts, but they also might feel neglected if all of their lover’s attention is devoted to delaying ejaculation. As a result, both parties are left unsatisfied, and if this goes on long enough the couple may begin to avoid lovemaking, and even intimacy in general.
According to a recent study in Portugal – the first and only study on female PE – it’s not only men who find themselves ejaculating prematurely. A recent survey of women in Portugal found that 40 per cent of those surveyed occasionally orgasm faster than they intend to during sex, while about 3 per cent met the criteria for being described as having a PE dysfunction.
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