Premature ejaculation is one of the most common issues that my male clients bring to sessions. It’s often also expressed as ‘wanting to delay ejaculation’ or ‘a desire to have more choice around the ejaculatory response’.
Premature ejaculation is one of the most common male sexual disorders and has been estimated to occur in 4-39% of men in the general community. There is research based, and anecdotal, evidence that shows rates of PE are on the rise in younger men (under 30) and this is strongly tied to dependence on, and use of, internet pornography. Often PE is effected more by mental and emotional factors than physiological, but these can also play a huge part. So, it’s a good idea to have your prostate checked, monitor your blood pressure, address any underlying issues such as weight, smoking, alcohol intake etc. Taking a holistic approach to your personal wellbeing (e.g. diet, exercise, sedentary lifestyle, dependence on porn, medications, stress levels, mental health) will benefit you in this area as much as any specific or focussed approach to your genitals. I am a believer in the n=1 approach to health: experiment, investigate your body, inform yourself, and figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you.
To give you a starting point, here is my guide to working with PE. It’s based on my professional experiences working with over 800 men in the last 5 years, as well as my personal experiences with tantric practice and tantric partners.
The most foundational premise of having more conscious choice around your ejaculatory response is RELAXATION…
To practice relaxing tension you must first be aware of it: so the key is in body awareness, embodied meditation (e.g. yoga/dance/shaking/martial arts) and interoception. We practice this during bodywork in sessions when I ask you things like ‘what kinds of sensations can you feel in your body?’, ‘where does your attention go to?’ etc? You might find it helpful to download my Body Scan Meditation which guides you in this kind of practice. When you have awareness in your body, when you can FEEL, VALUE & COMMUNICATE what is going on physically & emotionally then you can have choice around how you respond. There is no shortcut for this, it requires some effort and dedicated practice.
There are some more immediate, practical steps you can integrate into your partnered and solo-sex, but do make sure you’re also practicing and developing the foundations I’ve mentioned above.
1. Breathe: use the breath to relax and slow down the nervous system. During sessions we include a variety of breath patterns to increase your ability to intentionally calm or stimulate your nervous system (and therefore your arousal).
2. Relax: do not clench or tighten your body. As I mention above, practicing to master your body’s unconscious tension & defense mechanisms (e.g. clenching the large gluteal muscles, tightening the deep psoas muscle, holding the breath & restricting the diaphragm movement) will bring your nervous system back into balance: rather than being unequally tipped towards the ‘fight or flight’ state.
3. Slow Down: there is no ‘finish line’ to reach, so why be in a hurry? If having partnered sex, literally ‘plug in’ and hold still, breathe together, just slow down and be present with each other. Gently guide your partner to slow their touch or stimulation down. When practicing solo-sex, practice tuning in to the subtlest of sensations with still, delicate touch.
4. Change position: whether you are masturbating or having partnered sex, if you are ‘edging’ and your arousal levels are getting too high then STAND UP. The shift in position will change your awareness of your body, redistributing energy. Feeling the weight of your body through the soles & heels of your feet, down through your legs, can help to ‘ground’ sexual energy that is rising too high. During sessions I encourage you to actually let your body move around, not just to be rigid and passive, for exactly this reason.
5. Self Touch: spreading sensation, energy and attention around your body will help to disperse arousal. This is relevant to the ‘in-the-moment’ experience with a partner or whilst masturbating, but it also needs to be a vital part of your ‘pre-match practice’. So, develop a conscious masturbation practice: include sessions of full-body self-massage, explore the rest of your body before you go anywhere near your genitals, perhaps even ONLY explore the rest of your body! Stimulating nerve endings throughout the body (including, for example, your anus, your prostate, your throat, neck and chest) will give you access to neural pathways that are not reliant on the pudendal nerve (the main nerve that innervates the tip of the penis and is involved in the ejaculatory response).
6. Anal Play: becoming familiar with touch and sensations around the external anal sphincter, as well as penetration and stimulation of the prostate, is an essential part of teaching your pelvic muscles to relax. If your pelvic muscles are chronically tight, overworked & unable to relax, it is much more difficult to regulate your ejaculatory response. Tight pelvis muscles can even place pressure on the pudendal nerve, triggering a ‘peak orgasm’ (ejaculation). Explore your arsehole – in the shower is a good place to begin – make it an integral part of your self-pleasure practice.
Finally, it’s really not just a physical change that has to occur. It’s a mental attitude. If, deep down, you are mentally just trying to ‘delay’ ejaculation then you still have a goal of getting to ejaculation eventually. Being authentically invested in a deeper practice and experience of sex requires you to really re-wire this goal-oriented approach. You can read more about the tantric approach to orgasm in my blog article ‘Orgasm & Tantra’ but here are some comments I’ve collected from friends and clients who have committed to and engaged with a non-ejaculation practice for a long period of time:
‘I feel way more connected to my partner, and that’s so much more interesting than the 5 second peak orgasm: way more beautiful. Our sexual interactions are much more long-lasting and there’s more pleasure. I feel energised & vitalised in my life.’
‘I’m able to be more present with my partner during sex. Also, I’m less needy and more relaxed about sex in general.’
‘When ejaculation was the goal that was the ‘end of the game: sex over’ whereas with non-ejaculation I’m enjoying the actual ‘sport’ of having sex & enjoying the game: I enjoy the touch of skin, the feel of hair, eye-gazing, all the little bits I was missing out on before because I was aiming for ejaculation. I experience more internal, full body orgasms, sensations running up and down my spine, orgasms without ejaculating that last much longer AND after they’ve happened I’m still horny and I can still carry on! After ejaculation I’d go soft and wouldn’t want to hang around: I’d fall asleep or leave. I feel free to explore more of sex, more of myself and more of the other person.’
‘Not cumming allowed me to increase my enjoyment, and length of time, in sex. Taking away the peak, I can notice much subtler sensations and am much more connected to my partner’.