Last Updated on by Chris Thompson
“Ive had dozens of women, and only now do I learn that I’ve been coming quickly all along. I did’t realize it. I thought what I was doing was normal. I feel bad about all those women I short-changed.” — MAN, 26
“Having better control is something I treasure. It’s made for better sex and a big difference in how I feel about myself, not only sexually but in all areas.” — MAN, 37
Lack of ejaculatory control is probably the most common male sexual problem. The main manifestation of this difficulty is that the men consistently ejaculate more quickly than they or their partners want in intercourse; hence the terms “premature” and “rapid ejaculation.”
Although the complaint is usually stated in terms of time he comes, say, within thirty seconds of starting intercourse — the issue is really about voluntary control of the ejaculatory process rather than time. The man lacks a vote or influence over when he comes. It happens when it happens, usually quickly and often seeming to sneak up on him.
It has been estimated that about one-third of American men suffer from an inability to control the timing of their ejaculations; that is many millions of men.
Though the problem generally affects younger men and tends to improve with age, there are some men in their forties, fifties, and even older who have it. I worked with one man who had very little control over his ejaculations his whole life and still had the problem even though he was seventy. I hope you won’t wait as long as he did to develop better ejaculatory control.
What is Ejaculatory Control?
While ejaculation is a reflex and can’t be controlled perfectly, a man who has developed control can enjoy high levels of sexual arousal, whether from oral or manual stimulation or intercourse, without coming, and he usually has a choice when to ejaculate.
He can allow his arousal to rise to a high level and then more or less level off until he wants to come. Don’t take the leveling off too literally, however. In reality, his arousal fluctuates, increasing and decreasing, according to his desires and what’s going on, until he wants to come.
He can also decide to come quickly if that seems appropriate.
In contrast, a man without control tends to go from zero excitement to orgasm without leveling off. He has to come quickly; he has no other choice. He doesn’t get to enjoy high levels of arousal for long. He may try various methods of lessening his excitement — thinking of things other than sex is a popular one — but they work neither well nor consistently.
And his partner is always in a quandary.
She’s fearful of stimulating him, because that may bring instant ejaculation. She’s fearful of allowing herself to get turned on in intercourse because it will probably be over before she’s derived as much enjoyment from it as she desires.
If she has the ability to be orgasmic in intercourse, she at first will try desperately to reach orgasm before he comes, usually a futile endeavor. After repeated failures, she may stop getting turned on. What’s the point of getting excited, she wonders, if the only result is to be left hanging and feeling frustrated?
Even if she does manage to achieve orgasm in intercourse before he does, it’s a hurried and anxious business and often doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Is Lack of Ejaculatory Control That Bad?
Lack of ejaculatory control isn’t a bad problem to have, because sex therapists have been very successful in resolving it.
According to a number of studies and clinical impressions, 80 to 90 percent of men learn better control in therapy, provided they are willing to devote the necessary time and energy.
Ejaculatory control is a skill or habit that can be learned in eight to twenty weeks by following the exercises given in this chapter.
Many men without good ejaculatory control have a fantasy, which one of them put this way: “I’d like to be able to screw for an hour — no, make that two or three hours — without coming. I think that would feel great and my wife would love me for it.”
It’s easy to understand how someone who usually can’t have intercourse for more than a minute or two would fantasize about the effects of lasting longer. But, as usual, it’s important not to get carried away.
I’ve talked with men who do have intercourse for up to an hour, and even longer, and they are not a happy group.
They have the problem of not being able to come inside a woman no matter how long they thrust, and their regular bouts of thirty-, forty-, or sixty-minute intercourse really don’t feel all that great.
It may seem to you that their partners would be ecstatic, but the reality is somewhat different. Their partners complain about unceasing thrusting and pounding, sore vaginas, and a sense of incompleteness because, although intercourse seems to go on forever, the man never finishes in “a normal way.”
A single woman who had an encounter with such a man reported the following: “It’s actually not fun. I got a row of coin-sized abrasions down my back from having my vertebrae ground into the carpet for so long.”
The problem is magnified dramatically, of course, if the couple is trying to conceive. Fortunately, this problem, called “retarded ejaculation” by sex therapists, is far less common than rapid ejaculation. One reason it’s fortunate is that rapid ejaculation is much easier to treat.
How Do You Know You Lack Ejaculatory Control
Lack of ejaculatory control manifests itself in various ways.
Some men have very little control regardless of sexual activity. They come as quickly in masturbation as they do with partner stimulation.
Others are OK with themselves but not a partner. Still others, probably the largest group, are fine except for intercourse. There is yet another distinction. Most men without ejaculatory control have had the problem all their lives. But there are some who once had control but no longer do.
Most men without ejaculatory control do not also experience difficulty getting erections. But some men have both problems: Erections are difficult to get and ejaculations are usually quick.
Since many of the exercises for developing better control require an erection, men with both problems should not attempt to work on gaining ejaculatory control until the erection problem is resolved. First things first.
Sex therapists aren’t as knowledgeable about the causes of lack of control as I would like. We aren’t sure why millions of males have little or no ejaculatory control, while millions of others do. We aren’t sure why control gets better with age and experience for many men, but not for others.
One thing we do know, however, is that unlike erection problems, which are often caused or maintained by physical factors and drugs, rapid ejaculation is almost always due to a lack of knowledge, attention, or skill.
Another thing we know is that abstinence hampers control. Even a man who usually has good control may come quickly after several weeks without sex. It also seems to be true that anxiety can cause loss of control. This is seen in men who come quickly with new partners but regain control as they get more comfortable.
In general, men without control simply don’t make the adjustments in behavior necessary to stay at high levels of arousal without coming.
This may be because these men are not focusing on their own sensations and therefore can’t take appropriate action; because they don’t know when to make the adjustments in their behavior; or because they don’t know what kinds of adjustments should be made.
Benefits of Gaining Better Ejaculatory Control
The benefits of gaining control are many. Better control means longer and usually more-enjoyable sex, especially intercourse.
Men who’ve achieved this feel more confident and better about themselves as lovers, and their partners are appreciative. Also, many men report that their own orgasms feel better: “Fuller” or “more complete” is how they describe them.
It’s important, however, not to confuse having better control with the woman having so-called vaginal orgasms (orgasms solely through intercourse without simultaneous clitoral stimulation). There are, of course, some women who can have such orgasms.
If your partner is one of these women and you learn to last longer, she may again have such orgasms.
But the clear conclusion of a number of surveys is that many, probably a majority, of women are not orgasmic in this way. They require direct clitoral stimulation (by her hand, your hand, your mouth, or a vibrator) to have an orgasm, a task for which a thrusting penis is not well suited. Lasting longer will not help these women reach orgasm in intercourse.
It’s also important not to assume that lack of control is always a problem. Whether it is or not depends on the couple and the circumstances.
There are some couples, for instance, in which the man usually comes quickly but it bothers neither him nor his partner. If they’re content, they shouldn’t bother to change.
There are also many men who have little control with a new partner. The first few times they’re together sexually, he comes quickly. But then his control reappears.
With a transitory phenomenon like this, there doesn’t seem to be much point in doing exercises. The man can explain to his partner that his control will get better over time, or he might want to delay having intercourse with her until he’s more comfortable.
Can You Re-Lose Ejaculatory Control?
As I mentioned earlier, some men have had good ejaculatory control in the past but have lost it. They’ve lost the control they once had with the same woman, or they no longer have control now that they are separated from their partner.
It is difficult to say if these men should do the exercises in this guide. The exercises certainly won’t hurt, and I’ve seen some cases in which they’ve done a lot of good. But even there they seemed like supplements.
For these men, the main issue is something else.
Usually, there’s something about the current situation (the man is nervous with a new partner, for instance, or he’s angry or feels guilty) that needs work before his control can reassert itself. So feel free to do the exercises, but also devote some time to figuring out what’s getting in your way..
One man I worked with had never had great control, but it had gotten much worse in the last two years of his deteriorating marriage.
Doing the ejaculatory-control exercises in this guide hadn’t helped at all. After his divorce, he came for therapy because he wanted to be a better lover for new partners.
It turned out that one of his main conditions for good control was feeling accepted and loved by his partner. This condition was clearly not met as his marriage fell apart.
Even when he and his wife weren’t in open conflict, he sensed her anger and resentment. Now that she was no longer in the picture, he was able to make rapid progress with the masturbation exercises described later in this guide. As this happened, he became involved with a woman he had known for years. He felt truly accepted by her and, after two or three sessions in which he came quickly, his control was better than ever before.
Mind Power for Developing Better Ejaculatory Control
To derive maximum benefit from the physical exercises described below, you need to get your mind on your side. A man who hasn’t had ejaculatory control tends to think of himself as quick on the trigger. This is, for sure, a reflection of reality, but it also becomes a predictor of future behavior and a reinforcer of a self-image you want to change.
It will be easier to change your behavior if you also change your view of yourself.
Imagine yourself as you’d like to be as much as possible and spend as little time as possible imagining how you’ve been.
Whenever you’re aware of telling yourself that you come fast, or having an image that embodies that idea, argue with it and change it.
For example: “It’s true, I’ve always come fast. But I’m going to do this program and change that. I’m going to have good control.”
When you picture yourself coming quickly, say “That was then,” and follow this with an image of having long-lasting sex accompanied by words like “That’s the way it’s going to be.”
This is an image, really more like a movie, that you should spend thirty to ninety seconds on every day; doing it several times a day is even better.
Imagine yourself having long-lasting intercourse with good control, which includes several components. Imagine entering your partner, feeling relaxed and comfortable, and just being still inside her for a moment or two. No movement, just enjoying the feel of being in her.
Then imagine slow movements, just taking it easy, still enjoying the feeling of being in her. Then gradually increase the pace of your thrusts. Now slow down again. Now again increase the pace gradually, until you re moving almost as much as you want, still feeling calm and easy.
Now imagine slowing down and stopping all movement. Stop thrusting and just experience the pleasure. Then gradually increase the movements, slowly building up until you’re moving with abandon, letting your body do what it wants.
When you want, and only when you want, imagine a wonderful ejaculation. When you’re done with the movie, be sure to end with a statement to yourself of this kind: “As it is in my mind, so it shall be in reality” or “This is how it’s going to be.”
Before you do any of the physical exercises, spend a few seconds imagining yourself doing it perfectly, exactly as it is supposed to be done.
Be sure to imagine all the parts: for example, asking your partner to do it with you, attending to your arousal/tension level, asking her to stop, asking her to resume stimulation, and so on.
This mental rehearsal takes only a few seconds and can be very helpful. It’s exactly what the great diver Greg Louganis did before each dive, imagining himself doing it perfectly, and exactly what the great golfer Jack Nicklaus did every time before he hit a ball,
You can do it anyplace. For example, if you and your partner are getting ready to do an exercise, you can close your eyes and do your mental rehearsal right there, or you can go into another room — for some reason, the bathroom has been popular with my clients — and take a few seconds to do it there.
Every day, preferably just after awakening or just before retiring for the night, take a few seconds to imagine how good you’re going to feel once you’ve achieved ejaculatory control.
This is the pep-talk exercise given later. Remember to use it whenever you feel discouraged or think you failed in an exercise.
Some Deep Breathe, Please
Proper breathing can help develop ejaculatory control. Put simply, taking a few deep breaths can help dissipate the arousal/tension that leads to quick ejaculations.
The kind of breathing that’s needed is deep, easy, and relaxing.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t breathe this way. When I ask clients to take some deep breaths, I notice that many of them actually get tenser. They tense their chest or shoulder muscles, sometimes their neck and even arm muscles as well, and even hold their breath (which will make anyone tenser).
The best kind of relaxing breathing I know is the kind taught in most schools of meditation. There is no obvious tensing of muscles, and while inhaling, the belly (not the chest) swells and protrudes. That is, if you lay one hand on your belly while doing this kind of breathing, you’ll notice your stomach pushing out a bit on each inhalation and going down a bit on each exhalation.
If you’re not used to breathing this way, it will take a little practice to learn it.
Keep in mind that the purpose is relaxation, keep a hand on your belly to make sure it’s protruding slightly with each inhalation, and try not to tense any muscles.
If you have trouble with this, it can help to imagine that your belly is an empty balloon, being gently filled with each inhalation, then being gently emptied with each exhalation. This is a fiction, of course, since the air is always going to the same place, your lungs. Nonetheless, the image is usually helpful.
Once you can do this, it’s a good idea to practice it as often as possible. A few deep breaths of this kind are perhaps the quickest way for most people to relax.
Experiment with taking a few deep breaths when you stop stimulation in both the masturbation and partner exercises. You can also experiment with taking deep breaths when you’re being stimulated or having intercourse.
This takes a bit of getting used to, because you’ll be going against the grain. The more excited you are, the more likely you’ll want to take short, superficial breaths and even pant. But with some practice, most men can overcome that tendency and take deep, relaxing breaths.
If you want to go further with using relaxation to help gain ejaculatory control, you can imagine that the air you take in goes down into your pelvis, relaxing the muscles and the whole region. The more relaxed your pelvis is, the less the chance of ejaculating.
Masturbation Exercises for Ejaculatory Control
As mentioned above, everyone who’s willing to masturbate should do these exercises even if you don’t think you need them. If you really don’t, you only need to do each one once.
These masturbation exercises assume that you masturbate the way most men do, by stroking your penis with one hand moving up and down over the shaft and head.
Some men pleasure themselves in other ways-for examples, by lying face down and rubbing themselves against the bed, pillow, floor, or sofa. Unfortunately, these other methods are not well-suited to developing ejaculatory control.
You probably should learn to do it the typical way.
EXERCISE 1: STOP-START MASTURBATION
Time Required: 15 minutes
With a dry hand (no lotion or other lubrication), masturbate for 15 minutes without ejaculating. Focus in your penis or pelvic area, as discussed above, so you will know how aroused or tense you are. When you feel you are in the control area, stop all stimulation and:
- Attend to the sensations of arousal or tension, and
- Take a few deep breaths.
When the arousal/tension level has dropped significantly (which can be anywhere from 10 seconds to over a minute), resume stimulation.
Stop time (the time when you are waiting for your excitement/tension to abate) is included in the 15 minutes.
You may have to stop a number of times when you first do the exercise.
As you continue doing it, you will better learn when to stop and how long to wait, and the number of times you need to stop will decrease.
When you need only one or two stops during the 15 minutes, proceed to Step B.
Exactly the same as Step A, except that you now use a lubricant such as KY jelly, Albolene, or massage oil on your hand. When you need only one or two stops during the 15 minutes, you are ready to move on to Exercise 22-2.
- You need to stop again as soon as you resume masturbating. This probably means that you’re stopping too late and that your stops are too brief. Try stopping sooner and waiting longer before resuming stimulation.
- You lose all or most of your erection while stopping. This is not a serious problem, but it probably means you are stopping for too long. Try briefer stops.
We now move on to the idea of subtle adjustments, changes in stimulation more subtle than stopping.
There is nothing wrong with stopping stimulation in masturbation, partner stimulation, or intercourse. But there are other alternatives.
Years ago I discovered that men with good control don’t just bang away with fast in-and-out thrusts for long periods of time. They vary their thrusts to help control ejaculation. They move in certain ways when they want to come and in other ways when they want to delay ejaculation.
You will learn these other ways. You can use these subtle adjustments when you want, and of course you can always stop if a stop is required.
Exercise 2: Masturbating With Subtle Adjustments
Time Required: 15 minutes
Masturbate with a dry hand for 15 minutes without ejaculating and without stopping. When your arousal/tension is anywhere in the control zone, make changes in the stimulation to control your ejaculatory process.
Kinds of changes you can make are: slow down the pace; vary the site of maximum stimulation-for example, by stimulating only the shaft of your penis rather than the head; change the type of stroke — for instance, going from longer strokes to shorter ones or using circular motions.
- Try one change at a time.
- Find out what works for you and then stick with it.
These more subtle adjustments need to be made a bit sooner than stopping. If you make them too late, you can always stop to prevent ejaculation. When your arousal/tension level has decreased, you can resume the more arousing type of stimulation if you want.
When you can comfortably masturbate for 15 minutes without ejaculating by using only subtle adjustments, go to Step B.
Exactly the same as Step A, but now you use a lubricant on your hand. When you can comfortably masturbate for 15 minutes using a lubricated hand and only subtle adjustments, go to the next exercise.
The following guidelines apply to all the remaining exercises in this chapter unless otherwise noted:
- Both of you should read and discuss each exercise before you do it for the first time.
- Both of you should agree what words you’ll use to tell her when to stop and start stimulation. Words are necessary because nonverbal signals are easily misunderstood. “Stop,” “Hold it,” “Start,” and “More” are fine, as is anything else that’s short, clear, and mutually acceptable.
- Do whatever is necessary for both of you to feel relaxed and comfortable before beginning an exercise. Some couples like to start right in with penile stimulation. Others prefer to begin with holding, or massage. And in still others, the man sexually stimulates his partner before she returns the favor. There is no rule to fit all couples. Do what is right for the two of you.
- It’s essential that your partner take her comfort into consideration in deciding what positions to employ. She’s got to last fifteen minutes as well as you. If she’s stimulating you with her hand, does she want to sit next to you or between your legs? These details can make a big difference.
- During the exercise, keep focused on your arousal/tension level, not on your partner. This is crucial.
- Unless stated otherwise, the goal of each exercise is to last for fifteen minutes without ejaculating. You can come after the fifteen minutes are up if you wish, but go slowly, be aware of your arousal/ tension and the point of inevitability, and enjoy.
- When you are using stops, you should feel confident of your control and need no more than two stops during a fifteen-minute period before going on to the next exercise. If you have a lot of problems with that next exercise and it doesn’t get better after a few trials, return to the one before it and practice it until you have further developed your skills.
- Remember, two or three times a week on average tends to work well for most couples. More is better, provided it’s not an effort to get erections or to get your partner to participate.
1. Partner Stimulation of Penis
She stimulates your penis with her unlubricated hand in ways that are arousing to you; feel free to give her instructions on how to stroke you.
Keep focused on your arousal/tension level and tell her when to stop. When the arousal/tension level has decreased, tell her to resume.
When you can last for 15 minutes with no more than two stops and feel confident of your ability to do this again, do Step B.
Exactly the same as Step A, except that your partner now uses lotion, oil, or another lubricant on her hand.
You aren’t stopping in time because you’re focusing on your partner rather than on your arousal/tension. You may be wondering if she is enjoying herself, if she’s getting bored or tired.
You need to swing your attention back to where it belongs as quickly as possible. You might also want to talk to your lover about your concerns maybe she is bored some of the time.
Can it be OK with you that she is willing to cooperate in this endeavor even though it’s not exciting for her? However you work it out, the important thing is that you be able to put your attention on your arousal/tension level.
Now that you’re comfortable using stops to delay ejaculation, You’re ready for more subtle changes.
2. Partner Stimulation of Penis with Subtle Adjustments
This is exactly the same as Step A of the previous exercise, except that this time you’ll use changes in behavior other than stopping to control ejaculation.
She stimulates your penis with a dry hand and you delay ejaculation by telling her to slow down the pace or change the kind of stroking. Experiment and find out what works best for you, or show her what you learned from the subtle adjustments with masturbation exercise.
Should there be problems with this exercise that don’t resolve themselves after a few sessions, consider spending some time mastering the subtle adjustments by yourself.
When you’re confident and comfortable using adjustments other than stopping to delay ejaculation for 15 minutes, do Step B.
The same as A, except that your lover now uses lubricant on her hand.
The next exercise is optional.
3. Stop-Start and Subtle Adjustments with Oral Stimulation
If your partner likes giving oral sex and you like receiving it, you can repeat the 2 previous exercises with her, using her mouth rather than her hand. But do not do this exercise if either of you has any qualms at all about it; it will only lead to problems and get in the way of reaching your goals.
Now you’re almost ready to enjoy being inside of her without ejaculating. But first, you should do the next exercise. It’s especially helpful for those men who come before insertion in the vagina or immediately thereafter.
4. Penis Near Vagina
Time Required: A few minutes
Lie on your back and have your lover sit on your thighs.
After you have an erection, rub it gently for a few seconds on her inner thighs and see how that feels. Take a few seconds, rest and then do the same in her pubic hair.
Take another brief rest. Now rub it gently on the outer lips of her vagina, and see what that’s like. Take a pause and then put the head of your penis between her vaginal lips and enjoy that for a moment. And that’s the whole exercise.
If you felt any anxiety or any urge to ejaculate, take your time and do the exercise again and again until there is no anxiety and no urge to ejaculate.
Remember to take some deep, relaxing breaths before starting it and between each step. When you can comfortably do the whole exercise, move on to Step B.
Exactly the same as Step A, except now it’s her hand that guides your penis.
Starting with the next exercise, your partner’s vagina needs to be lubricated before following my suggestions. Natural and artificial lubrication are both acceptable, but the two of you need to agree on what’s to be done.
The next exercise will strike you as strange.
Here you are, developing your ejaculatory control, and here I am telling you to come as quickly as possible in intercourse.
I really do want you to do this.
The reason is simple. In the exercises that follow, there will be times when you come quickly by accident, and it’s crucial that you and your partner deal with these incidents relatively calmly and harmoniously.
By deliberately re-enacting the original problem now and handling it in a way that feels good to both of you, you prepare yourselves to deal with the situation the same way when it happens accidentally.
You and your partner need to read the exercise together carefully before attempting it. Some women feel so hurt and angry by the many quick ejaculations they had to endure in the past that they may not be able to do the exercise or they may need to discharge some angry feelings first.
It’s crucial that you listen with all the empathy you can muster to what your partner says. If she can’t do the exercise, skip it. If she can, but first needs to get some feelings off her chest, see if you can just listen to her.
4. Coming Quickly in Intercourse
When the two of you feel like it, engage in as much sexplay as you like and proceed to intercourse. Your job is to come as quickly as possible and to make sure the experience ends up a happy one.
You should use what you’ve learned about your mind to fight any negative thoughts and pictures, and instead to feel positive about what’s happening.
And the two of you should go on to do whatever you want and have a good experience. Some possibilities are you stimulating her to orgasm if she so desires, one or both of you getting a massage, cuddling, and talking.
When the experience is over, talk and commit yourselves to handle future quick ejaculations (and I guarantee they will happen) in the same constructive way.
How many times you do this exercise depends on how many times you need to, which can be anywhere from once to four or five times. But you shouldn’t go on to Exercise 22-8 until both of you are confident that you can handle quick ejaculations with no problems.
Now you’re ready to begin a new relationship with your partner’s vagina, one that allows more satisfaction for both of you.
5. Gradual Insertion of Penis in Vagina
Time Required: Usually less than 5 minutes
The goal is to insert your penis, gradually and in stages, into your partner’s vagina so you can develop greater comfort in being there. She needs to understand that this is not intercourse and that she needs to stay relatively still.
Using a position that will be comfortable for both of you, one of you should place your erect penis just at the opening of her vagina.
Take a few seconds to get used to having it there. When that feels comfortable, move the penis in a little bit, about an inch.
Again, take a few seconds to get used to the feeling. Continue in this fashion until your whole Penis is inside of her. Then stay that way for a few minutes and attend to your arousal/tension. See how it feels to have your penis surrounded by her vagina. Be aware of the texture, temperature, and wetness of the vagina. Get used to being there; it’s a nice place.
If at any time you feel you are losing control, slow down your breathing by taking several slow, deep breaths. If you want to ejaculate afterward and it’s OK with her, do so, but move slowly and be aware of what’s happening to you. You can proceed to the next exercise when you are comfortable being inside your partner without any urge to ejaculate.
6. Penis in Vagina with No Movement
Really a continuation of the previous exercise, this one also requires your partner to be still. The goal is to have your penis in her vagina with little or no movement for 15 minutes.
Either of you can insert your penis.
You don’t have to do it in stages, but do go slowly. Once you’re fully inside, just be there. It’s important that your partner feel comfortable with you doing nothing.
Of course, it’s fine if the two of you want to talk about what’s going on. With no movement at all, you may find your erection waning. If that happens, you can ask her to contract her pelvic muscles a few times or you can move slightly, just enough to keep you hard.
The first time or two you do the exercise, you get very excited and come. This is not a problem unless it continues to occur.
The solution that works best is to return to the previous exercise and spend several sessions without fully entering her. That is, insert only as far as is comfortable and then spend a few moments there.
The next time you do it, see if you can insert a little farther, still feeling comfortable. Continue in this way until you’re fully ensconced in her. Then extend the time you can stay in her.
Now we’re going to extend your ability to be inside of her with movement. The position usually recommended for these exercises is you lying on your back and her sitting on top of you; this allows you to fully relax, letting the bed support your weight so you don’t have to flex any muscles, and works well for many couples.
But others prefer something else.
So use any position that works best for you; just remember that it as to be sufficiently comfortable for both of you so that changes in it aren’t necessary during the fifteen minutes.
7. Penis in Vagina with Movement
This is similar to the previous exercise, except that now one of you should thrust slowly. Which one moves largely depends on the position you’re using. If she’s on top, she’ll do the moving. If you’re on top, it will be you.
Regardless of what position is used and who moves, you have to be in charge of how much movement and when to stop and resume thrusting. Use subtle adjustments or stops to delay ejaculation for 15 minutes.
It’s important your partner not start thrusting to satisfy herself. That will come later.
Start with a very slow pace. Make sure you’re comfortable with it before increasing movement. Then go a little faster. When that feels fine, no danger of losing control, increase it again. Don’t forget to take some deep breaths before increasing the pace.
Continue with this step until the active one is moving at a pretty good pace but not all-out, say about 80 percent of abandoned movement. This will probably not be achieved in one 15-minute session. Use as many sessions as you need. Then do Step B.
The same as Step A, with the other one moving. This may well require a different position.
The same as the two previous steps, except both of you move. Start with very slow movements and only increase the pace as you feel comfortable and in control. Use as many sessions as required until you are both moving as fast as you desire.
You lose control when the movements get faster. This means you are speeding up too much or before you’re fully comfortable with a slower pace.
Go slower and make sure you’re fully comfortable and totally in control before picking up the tempo, and pick it up only slightly. Take your time and some deep breaths. Now you are ready to experiment with intercourse positions different from the one you’ve been using.
8. Different Intercourse Positions
Agree with your partner on which new position to try; for example, man or woman on top, side-by-side, or rear entry.
Your control will almost certainly not be as good in the new position as it was in the old until you have more experience with it. Use the pattern you’re now used to: start with only one of you moving very slowly.
Gradually increase the pace. Then let the other one move, gradually picking up the tempo as you’re comfortable. Then both of you move. Keep in mind that you’ll need a number of sessions to feel in good control in each new position.
For many men, no further exercises will be needed. Their control has significantly improved. They and their partners are enjoying sex a lot more and perhaps having more of it as well. But for other couples, there’s still a problem.
In couples where the woman is capable of vaginal orgasms, it sometimes happens that the man cannot maintain his improved control when his partner moves with abandon in intercourse-that is, when she starts her drive toward orgasm. These men tend to focus too much on their partner’s arousal, and it’s as if they get sucked into it.
Her arousal becomes their arousal. At first reading, this may sound fine. Her excitement fuels his excitement and they reach orgasm at the same time. Obviously, there would be no problem if that is what happened. And it does work that way for some couples.
For others, however, what happens is not so pleasing. To make up some numbers, let’s say she needs to move forcefully for twenty seconds to reach orgasm. But he either gets very excited by her excitement or gets nervous for fear of not lasting long enough and he comes ten seconds after she starts her drive to orgasm.
If he can’t continue thrusting or allow her to continue for another ten seconds, she doesn’t have an orgasm. (It’s no problem, of course, if he can continue thrusting for a few seconds after his orgasm until she has hers. See: How to Stay Hard after Coming)
She gets frustrated because she was so close. This may feel even worse to the woman than the old situation where he came before she was anywhere near orgasm. Now she was so close but still couldn’t get there.
I’ve worked with a number of couples in this predicament, and so have other therapists I’ve talked to. Interestingly, however, there’s been no mention of this issue in the therapy literature. But the complaint exists and requires attention.
One option is to experiment with positions and movements that are more arousing to her than to you. It may be that circular movements of your pelvis or any kind of movement that pushes your pelvis against hers may help her reach orgasm without pushing you over the edge before you want.
The other possibilities I’ve explored involve helping you to keep some independence from your partner’s excitement.
You need to recognize that it can be a source of excitement, of course, because it’s there and because great joy to both of you. But being aware of it and celebrating it is not the same as becoming part of it. You need to be able to maintain some separateness between what’s happening to her and what’s happening to you. Several exercises can help. The first one consists and self -talk.
9. Imagining Being Separate from Your Partner’s Excitement
To start, you imagine that you’re having intercourse with your partner and she is moving slowly and with only a little passion. As the exercise proceeds, you imagine her, in stages, increasing the speed and force of her movements.
At each level of the imaging of her movements, you tell yourself “Her excitement is not my excitement. Her passion is not my passion. She’s doing her thing, but I have to do my own, focusing on my own feelings.”
You don’t need all these words, but I threw them in so you can get the message. Feel free to change the words to better suit you.
This exercise works even better if you make yourself a tape. The reason the tape works better is that without it you have to do two things: imagine her moving a certain way and tell yourself things.
This requires the mind to make a split screen of itself, which is easy for some people and difficult for others.
So if you have any problems doing the exercise as written, make a tape of one part of it. That is, you could make short audiotape (3 minutes or so is plenty) in which you describe your partner’s mounting excitement.
Be sure to break her behavior into stages, going slowly from one level of arousal and movement to another (“She’s breathing more rapidly and moaning with pleasure a bit, and her hips are moving a little faster than before [10-second pause], now her moans are a bit louder, her movements a bit stronger. . .”).
Then, as you play this tape, you loudly tell yourself, “Her excitement is not my excitement. Her arousal is not my arousal. I need to refocus on my own sensations, just focusing on sensation and feelings in my body.”
As you get comfortable doing this for one level of movement and passion on her part (in your mind), imagine her moving a bit faster and with a bit more feeling. When you get comfortable with that, increase her movement and passion again in your mind. Keep on in this way until you’re comfortable with her moving with as much abandon and feeling as she’s capable of.
An alternate way of doing this exercise is to have her participate. She describes her rising excitement and the behavior she manifests as she moves strongly toward orgasm (even though the two of you aren’t really having sex and she’s not excited and not moving at the moment), while you repeat the self-talk to yourself and imagine yourself focusing on your own sensations.
Another option requires that you know or learn how to relax quickly. if taking a few deep breaths works, that’s all you need. If not, there are a number of good relaxation-training audiocassettes readily available at bookstores. The first thing you should do is listen to the tapes until you can easily and quickly relax when you desire. Then get relaxed and do any or all versions of the exercises covered here.
That is, relax and imagine your partner moving slowly. Hold the image for a few seconds. If you maintain the relaxation, as you probably will, move to a scene of her moving a bit quicker. As you keep progressing in this manner, you will reach a point where the image of her moving disturbs your relaxation; you will get tense. Quickly let go of the image and get relaxed again.
Go back to the image before the one that made you tense and spend more time with it, that day and on succeeding ones. Then try the difficult one again. If it again causes you tension, you need to make a half-step or two-add an intermediate image or two-between the one that causes tension and the one that doesn’t. I say more about creating half-steps in the next exercise.
The next exercise requires a lot from your partner. In intercourse, she has to gradually increase her movements until she is simulating her behavior when she’s close to orgasm. I’ve done this one many times with different couples, and it’s clear that the best results come from the partner acting or pretending rather than actually getting highly aroused.
The reason is that you may well have to ask her to stop or slow down, and that’s a lot easier done if she’s only pretending to be close to orgasm.
10. Partner Simulation of Increasing Arousal in Intercourse
Using an intercourse position the two of you like and that allows her full freedom of movement, she is to start moving slowly; only she is to move. As usual, you are to focus on your arousal/tension. At the same time, you are to repeat your slogan to yourself, about not being part of her arousal, or relax, whichever you prefer. As you feel comfortable, have her increase the pace. If at any time you feel yourself losing control, ask her to stop or slow down. As you regain control by pausing or slowing down, remind yourself several times that her arousal is not your arousal. Have her resume her movements when you feel in control. Continue in this way until you want to stop the exercise or until she’s moving as fast and strongly as she would before and during orgasm.
You’re fine as long as she’s moving at a certain pace or in a certain way, but you lose control when she escalates. Try to get a picture of what she’s doing differently (same movements, only faster; thrusting more force, fully, although at the same pace; thrusting more forcefully and faster; thrusting faster and harder with accompanying heavier breathing; or whatever) and use this image in doing Exercise 22-12, something you should do many, many times, until the problem is resolved.
With her, you can continue Exercise 22-13, but have her tone down her behavior to somewhere between where you have control and where you lose it. Whether we think in terms of thrusts or breaths per minute, rpms, or whatever, there’s always a way of cutting it down a bit. In the next session of Exercise 22-13, quickly get to the highest level of her behavior where you have good control and stay with it a few minutes, then have her increase one relevant feature (breaths, thrusts, or force) by the smallest amount possible. Let’s say she increases the pace by a tiny amount. When that feels comfortable to you and your control is good, have her slightly increase the force of the thrusts while maintaining the same speed. You, of course, are to keep relaxing or reminding yourself that your arousal is separate from hers. When you’re comfortable with the increased speed and force, she can maintain them while also slightly increasing her breathing rate. Keep on in this fashion (which may take a number of sessions) until she’s simulating not only her behavior on the way to orgasm, but orgasm itself.
No couple I’ve worked with has completed this exercise in fewer than six sessions. Take as much time and as many sessions as you need. Remember, this is the last obstacle. You’re almost where you want to be.
If you’ve done the exercises given, by now you have probably attained good control and are enjoying a more confident, relaxed, and more satisfying sex life.
You have undoubtedly noticed that results come gradually and that it takes a while for the training to sink in and become automatic. Your learning will continue for many months. All you need do to facilitate the process is to stay aware of your arousal/tension and take deep breaths and make other adjustments as needed.
Remember that there is absolutely no way to avoid losing control some of the time. Whether because you haven’t had sex for a long time, are extremely excited, are tense or angry, or maybe for some other reason, quick ejaculations will occasionally occur. As time goes on, they will decrease in frequency, but they will probably never disappear. This is simply part of normal male functioning. There is nothing you can do about it and there’s no reason for concern.
When you do come quickly, don’t fight it. Let it happen and enjoy. There’s no need for apology. And no need to think that all your training has been in vain. It hasn’t. just go a bit more slowly the next time, stay focused, and make your adjustments a little earlier than usual.
Keep in mind the effects of tension. Anything that tenses you up or gets you upset-whether trouble at work, conflict at home, money problems, or anything else-will tend to have a negative effect on your control. So be especially aware and careful during tense times. Anything you can do to alleviate the tension will be very helpful.
If you notice yourself slipping back into your old, quick ways, take some time, both alone and with your partner, to determine what’s the cause. A brief refresher course with the relevant exercises in this chapter can be helpful. Couples who don’t have intercourse during the woman’s period find this a good time to practice manual and oral stimulation.
Now that you have better control, please don’t assume that every sex act has to last a long time. Exercise your control when and as often as you want, but remember that good sex is not determined by clocks. You can make great love in two hours, in twenty minutes, and even in twenty seconds. The key is not how long it takes, but how good you both feel about yourselves, each other, and what you are doing.
If You Need Further Assistance
If you do not progress as much as you want by following the program in this chapter, an obvious next step is to have some sessions with a sex therapists If progress there also seems difficult, there’s something new that you might want to know about. In the last few years, a few sex therapists have been experimenting with medications to help clients develop ejaculatory control. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Anafranil are the primary kind of drug used. This is not because anyone assumes that people without control are depressed, but rather because certain antidepressants have the side effect of making orgasm difficult to reach. Antianxiety agents such as Xanax and Ativan have also been used, the idea being that reducing anxiety is one way of reducing fast ejaculations.
My experience with using these drugs to treat rapid ejaculation is limited to only a few cases, but I’ve also talked with several therapists who have used them more extensively. With this background, I have several impressions to impart. First, although the reports so far have been very positive, that is almost always the case with new treatments. At this point, this work has to be considered experimental. Second) drugs are almost always used in conjunction with a regular sex therapy program. I don’t know of anyone who recommends simply putting a man on Prozac to help him last longer. Third, these are serious drugs and their use should not be taken lightly. Antianxiety agents can be addictive if taken regularly over a long time. And the antidepressants used can adversely affect other aspects of your sexuality. Some men who’ve taken Prozac and Anafranit report losing much of their erotic desire and/or developing erection problems.
Nonetheless, if neither the exercises in this book nor work with a sex therapist provides the ejaculatory control you and your partner want, it may be worth talking to a psychiatrist or sex therapist about the possible use of one of the drugs as part of a new program.