The Best Ways to Control Premature Ejaculation

Over the past year, I've received an increasing number of questions that aren't really about tantric sex, but are about problems that need to be dealt with before learning tantra.  PE is one of the most common topics, so I have pulled together some information and resources to help men and couples cope with this problem.

What are the best ways to control premature (early) ejaculation?

The first question is, how early is early?  In the age of porn and internet bragging, most people have an exaggerated notion of how long is normal.  The idea of the superstud who can stroke away for an hour or more is semi-mythological but, like porn stars with 10" penises, seeing or hearing about freakish things distorts people's sense of what's normal.

The standard medical definitions are less than helpful:  Primary premature ejaculation (PPE) "can be characterized by early ejaculation within one minute following [the onset of] intercourse."  (WebMD)  Other sources say "in less than 10 seconds."

What they call "Secondary PE" (SPE) is just ejaculating before your partner wants you to, an obviously open-ended relative definition that is almost meaningless, since it depends more on your partner than on you.

A few, rare women can reach orgasm from vaginal sex in under a minute if they are already aroused and ready.  Some can reach orgasm in less than five minutes, at least on a good day.  Quite a few take longer.

But a solid 70-80% of all women rarely or never climax during standard penis-in-vagina (PiV) thrusting unless some other major form of stimulation is involved.  So SPE could mean anything from "less than 2 minutes" to "less than infinity."  Your partner may not be able to have an orgasm from simple intercourse no matter how long you last.

As a practical matter, if you are consistently ejaculating in less than 5 minutes and your partner is dissatisfied, you need to work on lasting longer.  The techniques below can help.

If you usually last more than 10 minutes, and your partner still feels frustrated because she seldom or never reaches orgasm, then the two of you need to look at including other forms of stimulation, like using fingers or a vibrator for clitoral stimulation *during* penetrative sex.

Meditation and sensate focusing therapy both have a long, successful track record for helping women become more orgasmic. You can certainly work on lasting longer, and that will help, but as a couple you will gain more by finding ways to help her orgasm sooner and more often.

In all cases, but especially in the range between 5 and 10 minutes, if she feels frustrated it helps to work on increasing both your stamina and her arousal levels.

Start with the basics:  she always comes first

Helping her come sooner can be as simple as one of you using your fingers or a vibrator on her clit during normal sex.  This is usually easiest in the "cowgirl" or "doggie" positions.

But often the problem is less about stimulation than about preparation, taking steps to make sure that she is completely aroused before switching to vaginal sex.  This often means a) encouraging her to teach herself to have multiple orgasms, if she doesn't already know how, and b) being sure she has at least one orgasm before you start PiV sex.

Nearly all women can learn to have more than one orgasm in sequence, and most of the women who can do this need only a few minutes between the first orgasm and the second one.  Even women who need to stop and take a break between two clitoral orgasms can often have one clitoral orgasm and then shift immediately to PiV sex without taking any break at all.

So this basic approach is straightforward.  If you make sure that she comes first, before starting PiV, you have a much better chance of her coming again (and maybe even again and again) before you do.  And even if she doesn't ... well, she's much less likely to care about that if she has already had at least one orgasm for herself.

Whether she is capable of having orgasms during vaginal sex or not, simply guaranteeing that your partner gets at least as many orgasms as you do will qualify you for star lover status.

Now to the question:  how can you last longer?

If you genuinely come quickly, and not just by legendary porn standards, the reasons may include:
  • Youth:  Young guys generally have more trouble than older ones.
  • Inexperience:  As sex becomes more routine, it is less exciting.
  • Tension and anxiety:  And thus being anxious about PE becomes a self-reinforcing problem.
  • Shyness and lack of confidence:  This may be true because it increases anxiety.
  • ED:  Men who are worried about losing their erections seem to be more likely to rush things.
  • Genetics and temperament:  Some men are just physically more sensitive; men with intense, excitable personalities may also have more trouble.
  • Bad masturbation habits:  A lifelong habit of rapid, high intensity masturbation may pattern the brain for quick orgasm.
  • Bad technique: For example, fast, hard thrusting, especially without any pauses, will provide intense stimulation for the man and have much less effect on the woman.
  • Weak Kegel muscles:  Strengthening the pelvic floor increases your control.
  • Time since last ejaculation:  Shorter is better.
The last point suggests a refinement on the "she comes first" strategy if your recovery time is reasonably short.  If you can get an erection again in 20 minutes or less since your last ejaculation, consider starting your sex activities by asking your partner to give you an oral or manual orgasm.  After a short break, you can return the favor and then, after she has her first orgasm or two, you can segue smoothly into the PiV finale.  You should last a lot longer if it's your second time at bat in a relatively short period.

If she doesn't like giving BJs &/or handjobs, you can try masturbating once or even twice before you get together.  Or you can ask her to cuddle with you while you masturbate at the start of sex play.

The list of causes suggests some other things you can do.  Strengthening your pelvic floor (or "PC") muscles with Kegel exercises is one of the simplest ways to improve not only your ejaculatory control, but your overall sexual performance.

Studies have shown that Kegel exercises help improve your circulation and the strength of your erections, and they have been used for decades as a standard therapy for erectile dysfunction.  "Kegels have also been shown in studies to be effective for many men who struggle with premature ejaculation. In addition, strong PC muscles have been associated with stronger, more intense ejaculations."  (from:  Want To Last Longer In Bed?)

For more on how to do Kegel exercises, see Do Your Kegels!, in the middle of that linked page. 

Meditation and relaxation techniques

Learning to meditate can help a great deal with anxiety and nervousness.  I highly recommend mindfulness meditation because learning it can also play an important role in the extended arousal play of tantric sex, should you choose to experiment in that direction.

You should also learn to be conscious of your muscle tension during sex.  In many cases, guys will reflect their mental tension by tensing all of their muscles.  Their backs and legs are rigid, so they can't get into any kind of relaxed rhythm and they are expending a tremendous amount of energy, all of which contributes to PE.

If you find yourself doing that, you can learn to do a variety of deep breathing and relaxation techniques.  This page at Dartmouth University's wellness website has a number of audio files that are really good at talking you through several different approaches: Relaxation Downloads.

I particularly urge you to learn progressive muscle relaxation.  It is simply a process of first tensing and then relaxing all the major muscle groups in sequence.  Once you've done it with the audio a few times, you can do it on your own along with your Kegels several times a day.  After a few weeks, you will find that you are much more conscious of excess tension and how to avoid it, even during sex.

Numbing agents

For example, Ride | Rock Delay Spray, "is a benzocaine based male desensitizer, which was created to enhance men's stamina and prolong the joys of intimate relations. Ride Rock is created with a 7.5% benzocaine, which makes it an extremely fast acting topical desensitizer. "  Spray the topical anesthetic on your penis five minutes beforehand, then put a condom on (because you don't want to make her numb too).

"Delay" condoms

Durex, Trojan, and others make condoms with the numbing agent inside the condom.  It saves one step.

Chemical help

Certain antidepressants - such as clomipramine (Anafranil) and dapoxetine (Priligy) - can be helpful for delaying orgasm.  Some men also benefit from using tranquilizers and anti-anxiety medications.

Analgesics (painkillers) can also help men who have excessive physical sensitivity.  Tramadol is known for helping many men with sensitivity issues, but even over-the-counter medications like Tylenol may help.

Better technique

In the long run, however, you will want to solve the problem so you don't have to rely on pills or sprays.  Along with Kegels and relaxation techniques, the most basic improvement you can make is in your technique.  In particular, learn to slow down during both masturbation and PiV sex.  Not just a little bit slower.  A lot slower.

Compared with rapid pounding, using long, slow, deep strokes is much more effective in getting most women to orgasm during normal sex.  When you pull back, occasionally pause for a second and tease her with just the tip inside.  Then thrust slowly and give it a kegel flip if you can!

Once you establish a basic slow rhythm, feel free to mix it up, for instance with occasional short flurries of shorter strokes.  Or, for a change of pace, withdraw very slowly, pause, and then thrust rapidly.  The long, slow withdrawal makes your penis feel longer to your partner and increases her anticipation of what comes next, making the rapid in-stroke all the more intense!

Different positions

You can also experiment with different angles and positions.  In general, any position that creates pressure between your pubic bone and her clitoris is good, especially if you rock or grind your bodies together instead of normal thrusting.

If a position allows it, you can also try moving your pelvis sideways or in a circle when you have your penis inserted almost, but not all the way, inside.  This will cause the shaft of your penis to press sideways on different parts of the entrance to the vagina, the most sensitive part, while making the tip move around inside her, pressing against different parts of the vaginal wall.

This sideways stretching with the internal pulses of pressure can stimulate many women in ways they never experience during ordinary thrusting.  At the same time, there is very little friction on your penis, so this is "rest and recovery time" for you.  It can be a great way to get her caught up with you or a bit ahead.

Some men also find that their partners can reach orgasm faster and more effectively in the cowgirl position.  If she's on top, she can control the angle and speed of insertion and withdrawal, and do the rocking or grinding or the sideways or circling motion herself.  When you're in this position, either one of you can also use fingers or a vibrator on her clit to increase her arousal and maximize the chance that she will have an orgasm.

Most woman can learn by experimenting how to maximize their own pleasure in this position while not driving you over the edge.  If she's unsure about what to do, ask her to look at this article:  Woman on top - sex in the "Cowgirl" position.   It describes all the basics and a lot of variations and good ideas.

Stopping the orgasm

If none of these things work, there are several tried and true methods for stopping an orgasm from happening when you are getting close to it:
  • The Squeeze:  Grip the head of the penis so your thumb or finger is pressing on the frenulum, on the underside of the shaft just below the head, and squeeze hard for 4-5 seconds.
  • The Tug:  When the cremaster muscle pulls the testicles up against the base of the penis, tug the scrotum and testicles down again and away from the penis.
  • The Push*:  Like pushing out a bowel movement, but more gently; also called a "reverse Kegel."
  • The Clench*:  Clamp your PC (Kegel) muscles as hard as you can for 15-30 seconds.
  • The Poke:  Use the tips of your fingers to press hard on the spot in the middle of the perineum where you can feel a small depression.  (NOT recommended!)
*You do the Push and the Clench.  The other three can be done by you or your partner.

I included the Poke only because it is often described by other people, but it often results in retrograde ejaculation – semen going backward into the bladder – and it can damage the man’s reproductive system, so I definitely do not recommend it.  Furthermore, it’s hard to hit the spot exactly right, and even when it does work, a retrograde ejaculation is an ejaculation.  It doesn’t matter where the semen goes – it still leads to a normal loss of erection, so it does no good in terms of extending normal sex or creating multiple orgasms.

The Frenulum Squeeze

There is a different version of The Squeeze that is the best known and most reliable therapy for PE.  It was developed by Masters & Johnson, and is the recommended PE therapy in almost all sex therapy programs.  You can find complete instructions in Masters and Johnson's book Heterosexuality on pp. 109-116, under "Overcoming Premature Ejaculation."

This works best as part of a course of Sensate Focus Therapy with a partner.  As you are doing the SFT exercises, your partner should touch and stroke your penis and keep you aroused for an extended period, while squeezing the head of the penis for about 4-5 seconds at regular intervals of one to two minutes.  She should NOT wait until you are close to an orgasm.

In addition, the type of squeeze is slightly different.  She should wrap her fingers around the head and the upper shaft of the penis, with her thumb on your frenulum area, along the upper part of the urethra just below the corona (the edge of the head), as shown in these instructions.  She should then squeeze by applying firm pressure with her thumb for 4-5 seconds and then releasing her hand and doing something else for a few seconds to provide a clean separation between the squeeze and a caress.

With practice, she will be able to keep you erect and fully aroused for 15-20 minutes in this way.  Over a month or two of practice sessions, your brain and body will gradually become reprogrammed to last much longer.

Full body massage

If you're going to try this version of the squeeze technique, I found from my interviews with tantric couples that it is actually more effective if your partner does this for you during what we call a lingam massage, a kind of full body sensual massage that ends with a deliberately extended genital massage with oral.

Her goal is to keep you aroused as long as she can without letting you go over the edge, while you remain completely passive and physically relaxed and do a special kind of focused meditation to spread the area of arousal.  Using the Masters & Johnson "frenulum squeeze" for 4 seconds every 30 to 120 seconds will allow most men to last indefinitely, but if you get too close to the brink, she can use the full squeeze and a testicle tug to pull you back.

One big advantage of doing a full body massage as the intro to sex is that it calms and relaxes you at the same time that it gradually arouses you.  This helps you break the unconscious association between being sexually aroused and being tense and anxious.

By remaining passive, consciously relaxing your muscles, and focusing internally on your sensations, you avoid tensing up, which helps delay your orgasm.  So if you have the time and a willing partner, I strongly recommend it!

To pull it all together, consider following the model from tantric sex:  take a hot shower or long relaxing bath.  Meditate and do your PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) exercises.  Have your partner give you a nice, relaxing full-body massage, paying particular attention to any muscles that are still tense.  Consciously keep your muscles relaxed while she begins a fairly low-intensity handjob with some oral sex mixed in.

As your arousal level increases, have her use the squeeze for 4-5 seconds every 30 to 120 seconds.  During later therapy sessions, she can gradually extend the intervals as your stamina increases.  If you still get too close to orgasm, she can use the full squeeze and the testicle tug to pull you back, and then caress other parts of your body for a minute.

Pay attention to muscle tension while she's doing this, and remember to consciously relax your back, pelvis, and thigh muscles if you feel yourself tightening up.

If you reach your target goal for endurance for that session, she can stop doing the squeeze and increase the intensity to help you finish, or the two of you can switch places for a while and then end with normal intercourse if that appeals to you both.

Even for guys with severe PE, most women have found that, with practice, they can keep their partners at full arousal for 30-45 minutes or longer using the frenulum squeeze and other methods, as necessary, leading to some truly awesome full-body orgasms for the guys.  And once you have learned to last that long under her special care, you will have much more control during normal intercourse.

Multiple orgasms for men

There's one other alternative to consider:  learning to have "drygasms."  Young boys can have multiple orgasms without losing their erections.  They only lose this ability when they reach semenarche and start to ejaculate, usually around 12 or 13, at which point most of them forget how to have orgasms without ejaculating.  Some boys, however, learn to do both and continue to be able to control which kind of orgasm they want to have.

With effort and training, men can relearn how to do this.  The advantage is that you can have as many dry orgasms as you want, and then finish with a regular orgasm when you are ready to stop.  This means you can go as long as your partner wants you to.

If you are interested in becoming multi-orgasmic, there are four posts beginning at Multiple Orgasms for Men that give you a pretty good overview of the learning process, what kind of commitment you have to make to learn it, and the books available to guide you.  Once you have a sense of what is involved, you can make a better decision about which approach to take.


For you and your partner to read:
Understanding the Male Orgasm

Returning the favor and making it wonderful for her too:

For more about tantric sex in general:  

Antidepressant medicines such as clomipramine (Anafranil) and dapoxetine (Priligy) are sometimes used to treat premature ejaculation. These medicines are used because one of their side effects is inhibited orgasm, which helps delay ejaculation. Tramadol (Ultram), which has been used for many years to control pain, is another medicine that can delay ejaculation.

Good luck!


  1. we must not forget to mention the importance of communication. your partner needs to know what you are doing, in order to help you achieve more control.

    1. Agreed! This is particularly true for the "squeeze" and "full body massage" techniques.

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