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Falling Short: What You Need to Know About Premature Ejaculation

It is what it sounds like and it affects a staggering 30% of men at some point in their lives.

Worried man in bedroom
Premature ejaculation can be a significant cause of distress

Somehow, premature ejaculation takes on mythical proportions and the ideas surrounding it are cloaked in a lot of shame and intrigue. But not only is it quite common, it also does not have to spell the death knell of a sexually satisfying and fulfilling life.

What It Is

Yes, it's a cause for distress but when it's addressed in the right way, premature ejaculation can be a mere blip on the radar rather than a self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, many men report that PE-related embarrassment keeps them stuck, psychologically, in the same vicious cycle.

Premature ejaculation is when a male ejaculates around 15 seconds from the beginning of intercourse. Most males ejaculate at the 4 to 8 minute mark. However, while "duration" is obsessed about, PE is really an issue of control: how well can men control their ejaculations and, with PE, how out of control on that holding mechanism they truly feel they are.

While many female partners say that having men with PE-related issues doesn't necessarily affect their sex lives (since couples can get "creative" in other ways), PE can interfere with their emotional states and cause them distress through their partner's felt anxiety.

Therapy and Why It's Connected to Male Virility

The causes of PE are multi-varied and can be a mixture of bio- and psychogenic issues. Often, some of the first aspects to a male that are studied are the control mechanisms in the brain involved in ejaculatory control.

Barring any neurological issues, there are also genetic predispositions, consequences of a lifelong use of particular drugs or even "atypical" nerve functions. Some researchers have even connected PE to a faster response in the pelvic muscles.

But before you start working out those muscles, know that the diagnosis is half the battle. A mixture of physiological treatments as well as psychogenic therapies are the key to "recovering".

Sexual therapy can include a mix of psychoanalysis, changes in technique, position and foreplay, re-training the masturbatory actions and practice and bringing one's partner into the mix.

How You Can Still Have An Explosive Relationship

Here's the thing: at the end of the day, the diagnosis of PE is somewhat culturally constructed. Here's what we mean by that: some see an early ejaculation as an immediate disappointment to a female (or male) partner who wants their male partner to "last as long as them" or at least to the point where they can both reach climax.

And yet, others interpret "early" ejaculation as actually being "rapid" ejaculation, a biological imperative in which a male wants to pass on his genes at a rapid rate, more frequently. Which would mean that a male is more, not less virile.

Funny how that works out, right? That's why labeling premature ejaculation as such is such a tricky act. It's not a problem, necessarily - unless you believe it is! And this is what the most successful couples who "bounce back" from the stigma of the "condition" understand.

The rise of premature ejaculation can be attributed to a rise in disconnection between partners. Which could mean that partners must get more intentional, open and erotic about their sexual intimacy. They can spend longer pleasing each other and not simply as a "prelude" to the act itself, but starting days in advance, as a kind of build-up.

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