Sexual satisfaction has many components, involving the emotional and physical health of both partners. Premature ejaculation is a common condition that can frustrate both, and can be difficult to talk about. Women who’ve had relatively few partners may not recognize premature ejaculation, and men sometimes respond to our cultural cues by pretending it hasn’t happened. So when Dr. Zvi Zuckerman MD offered to contribute an article on the topic, I accepted! (And I do note that couples who can talk about changes in their sex lives are well-equipped to navigate menopause.)
Premature ejaculation can have both physical and emotional ramifications for partners, as well as on men experiencing it. Women dealing with a partner’s premature ejaculation typically report reduced sexual satisfaction, loss of desire and orgasms, and an increase in both distress and interpersonal difficulties.
The abrupt end to sexual intercourse that accompanies premature ejaculation can result in a woman’s inability to climax, even from clitoral stimulation. Especially when not recognized and talked about, this can lead to resentment and anger, and even the refusal to engage in intimate relations.
So what exactly is premature ejaculation? According to the medical definition, premature ejaculation is ejaculation that always or almost always occurs within one minute of vaginal penetration; it’s also the inability to delay ejaculation in all or nearly all vaginal penetrations. But these days more and more sex therapists describe premature ejaculation as ejaculation that occurs before the male wants it to occur. According to an extensive review published in the International Journal of Impotence Research: the Journal of Sexual Medicine, about 30 percent of men worldwide suffer from premature ejaculation.
If you are considering asking your partner to treat his premature ejaculation (PE), it is important that you understand the reasons underlying it and the importance of your role in the treatment.
Premature ejaculation is not a choice. It is important to know that PE is not dependent on your partner’s willingness; he most likely is interested in satisfying you and making you feel good. It is most likely that your partner truly wants to control his ejaculation, enjoy sex, and pleasure you but it just doesn’t happen. It is neither his fault nor yours. The inability to control the ejaculation reflex is a common problem among men. Why does it happen? The commonly accepted explanation is a connection between PE and the level of serotonin in the brain. If this level is too low (and, unfortunately, there is currently no way to measure this level in the brain), it might lead to this symptom. Your partner simply has no control over it. Given cultural norms, he’s probably insecure about it; talking about it at all can be perceived as criticism, which makes it a tough problem to solve.
PE can be resolved through practice. There is a treatment for premature ejaculation with a success rate of up to 90 percent. The treatment includes masturbation and full-penetration exercises for maintaining control over the ejaculation reflex. The results are long term and do not require the use of medication or chemicals. The treatment can be obtained in up to 12 clinical sessions with a sex therapist, or alternatively, at home with an online program that we have developed – the PE Program. The treatment will change your sexual relations: the erotic touch will become natural. His anxiety about PE will be a thing of the past and both of you will be able to give and take pleasure in your renewed sexual relationship.
The treatment is important to your partner’s self-esteem, your sexual relations and your relationship as a whole. Research shows that women in relationships with men who suffer from PE experience less sexual satisfaction. As important, the man’s anxiety can lead to the loss of intimacy and, especially if unexplained, stress in the relationship. Within up to three months of consistent practice of the exercises mentioned above, you can overcome this problem. The satisfaction that you will feel will improve not only your sex life but also the relationship itself, leading to greater intimacy and increasing your man’s self-esteem.
Be caring, supporting and loving toward your partner. You will benefit from the treatment by caring for your man, showing patience and openness, and being genuine in placing the aim of the treatment as your goal. If you are caring, loving and supportive toward your partner during the exercises, you increase your partner’s success in overcoming the problem. PE can cause men anxiety, frustration, and embarrassment in sexual encounters. As a supporting and loving anchor, you can help your partner to reclaim your love life together. Show understanding toward him; addressing PE requires that he make himself vulnerable. Avoid criticism and negative comments; encourage him and show empathy. He can gain better control over the ejaculation reflex, and make intimacy more satisfying for both of you.