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Prevent Premature Ejaculation: How to Not Cum Fast

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 10/19/2021

Updated 01/10/2024

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common issue, and it’s perfectly normal to feel self-conscious about how long you last in bed if you often reach orgasm early. If you’re worried that you “cum too fast,” you’re in the right place. 

Every guy has been there before, of course. A new partner, a particularly erotic experience or a general lack of experience can all trigger a quick, err, trigger. 

It’s also normal to want to solve the problem. There are several things that you can do to increase your sexual stamina and delay ejaculation.

  • Make use of antidepressant side effects

  • Use erectile dysfunction (ED) medications

  • Try using thicker condoms

  • Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises

  • Call a timeout

  • Communicate with your partner

  • Try numbing creams, wipes and sprays

  • Squeeze [technique] your way to victory

  • Masturbate 1-2 hours ahead of time

  • Talk to a therapist

We’re going to talk more about all of them — we know that’s why you’re here. But before we get into the solutions, you should understand more about premature ejaculation and early climax - the slightly more clinical terms for what might be going on if you’re worried that you cum too fast. We’ll get into what it looks like and why it happens.

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Premature ejaculation is very common. Reports are very subjective, but research suggests that anywhere between 30 and 75 percent of men might be affected by it at some point in life.

It's a tale as old as time. We can imagine the women of our early cave-dwelling ancestors quietly comparing how many cricket chirps it took for their partners to finish the night before. And men have probably asked how to last longer in bed for all of human history (or since the invention of Google, at least). 

These days, however, we have data (and better caves). You may be dealing with premature ejaculation if:

  • You climax in less than one minute after penetration (lifelong premature ejaculation) or in less than three minutes after penetration (acquired premature ejaculation)

  • You’re unable to penetrate your partner because you ejaculated before sexual activity could start

To be diagnosed with premature ejaculation, you’ll need to have persistent symptoms that not only prevent you from being able to have satisfying sex with your partner, but also lead to some degree of distress.

Our full guide to premature ejaculation goes into more detail about this common form of sexual dysfunction, as well as the steps that you can take if you think you’re affected.

As for the “how to not cum quick” question, we can get more scientific with the answers. Most research into intravaginal ejaculatory latency (IELT) — a term that refers to the total amount of time required to ejaculate after vaginal penetration — shows that men vary significantly when it comes to sexual stamina.

For example, one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that sex therapists in the United States and Canada described any total ejaculation time between three to 13 minutes as normal and not worthy of clinical concern. 

A different study, which surveyed couples in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, found that the median intravaginal ejaculatory latency for men was slightly over five minutes (range 0.55 to 44.1 minutes), with sexual stamina declining with age.

What your “average ejaculation time” should be is a complicated question to answer largely because sexual partners usually don’t have the same needs, preferences and expectations — not to mention variables like different penetrative sex acts and foreplay

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Experts aren’t precisely aware of why some men struggle with premature ejaculation while others don’t. 

However, research has revealed a range of potential contributing risk factors that may play a role in the average amount of time you need to ejaculate during sex: 

  • Your levels of luteinizing hormone (LH)

  • Your levels of prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

  • Lower-than-normal levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin

  • Inflammation or infection in your prostate and/or urethra

  • Depression

  • Sexual anxiety

  • Guilt about sexual intercourse

  • Chronic stress

  • Lack of sexual self-confidence 

Your favorite videos on the internet might also be to blame. Unrealistic expectations about a healthy sex life — which could be linked to pornography use — are also thought to potentially play a role in the development of premature ejaculation symptoms. 

Put simply, there’s no single cause. 

So what’s a man to do? Think about baseball? How ‘bout this weather we’re having, eh?

While distracting yourself with random thoughts may sometimes help, if you’re concerned that you may be dealing with premature ejaculation, your best bet is to talk to your healthcare provider or schedule a consultation with a male sexual health specialist.

If appropriate, they’ll diagnose you with premature ejaculation, and they may also be able to single out individual root causes. At the very least, they’ll be able to offer some guidance on how to deal with premature ejaculation

We talked about them briefly above, but let’s explore your options in more detail.

There are a few natural techniques that you can try on your own.

1. Don’t Forget Those Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels)

Men can benefit from kegels, too. Pelvic floor exercises involve contracting the muscle you use to hold in urine, training it to be more responsive and giving yourself the muscle control to hold back if you ever feel like it’s time to hit the brakes on ejaculation. 

Studies have shown that pelvic floor exercises (also known as kegel exercises) can reduce some signs of premature ejaculation, as well as other male sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED)

To get started, try reading our guide to pelvic floor exercises, which explains several exercises that you can do at home for stronger, more responsive pelvic floor muscles. 

2. Try the Stop-Pause Method

Just like in sports, sometimes it’s important to pause the game when the tension gets too high. Sometimes referred to as the stop-start technique, a quick mid-session pause is a simple way to stave off rapid ejaculation. 

If you’re nearly finished and your partner isn’t even out of the gate, calling for a brief pause can give you a moment to relax and keep from climaxing too early.

Also, just because you “stop” briefly, doesn't mean you have to stop the whole game. This is a great time for some halftime foreplay to keep the action going for everyone.

The science is mixed on this approach, as studies of the stop-start technique leave numerous unanswered questions about whether it is only beneficial in conjunction with other treatments.

But many men do find it helpful.

3. Use The Squeeze Technique

One of the more popular techniques for men coping with premature ejaculation involves squeezing the tip of your penis for a few seconds when you feel like you’re about to reach orgasm and ejaculate.

This technique, popularly referred to as, “the squeeze technique,” is basically the Windows 95 of PE treatments. By that, we mean it was pretty much the only clinically recommended therapy technique for PE until the 1990s, give or take. Seems crazy with all the different treatments we have today, right?

Using the squeeze technique during sex is simple — just gently squeeze between the glans and shaft of your penis as you feel orgasm approaching. You can also get your partner to do this for you to make the experience more intimate.

Our guide to the squeeze technique for premature ejaculation goes into more detail about how you can use this technique to enjoy more satisfying sex.

4. Try Masturbating Before You Have Sex

If exercises or behavioral therapy techniques don’t appear to work for you, another option you may want to try is masturbating before you have sex.

The idea behind pre-sex masturbation is to take advantage of your refractory period — a short period in which you may find it more difficult to reach orgasm and ejaculate again. During this time, you might notice that you can have sex for longer without feeling tempted to climax. 

Masturbating an hour or two before you plan to have sex may work quite well, but remember: timing is everything. Trying this technique too close to the time you’re planning to have sex could result in difficulty getting an erection. 

5. Take Part in Counseling or Therapy With a Sex Therapist

Truth bomb incoming: it may really be all in your head. Again, that’s totally normal.

According to the National Institutes of Health, several psychological health issues can play a role in premature ejaculation, including stress, anxiety and depression. 

If you’re experiencing sexual stamina issues and think they could be linked to a mental health issue, consider taking part in therapy.

You don’t have to spend the entire time talking about your sex life, either. Meeting with a therapy provider is a great way to learn new strategies for successfully dealing with feelings of anxiety, stress and worry — some of the common culprits for sexual performance anxiety, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. 

Among the most effective forms of therapy for anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help people with anxiety learn to stop their anxiety spirals before things get out of hand.

6. Try Using Thicker Condoms

If you don’t usually use a condom, consider wearing one when you have sex. This isn’t your middle school health teacher talking — research has shown that thicker condoms can help keep you in the game longer.

If you already use condoms, try switching to ones that use numbing agents like lidocaine or benzocaine. 

Just be aware that some numbing agents may cause allergic reactions, meaning it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before using any type of medicated condom — we promise the swelling won’t be the good kind.

There are a number of medications, wipes, and sprays that can help you last longer in the bedroom.

7. Try Premature Ejaculation Wipes and Sprays

Premature ejaculation wipes and sprays work by reducing penis sensitivity during sex. Most wipes and sprays contain benzocaine or lidocaine, which are topical anesthetics that reduce sensitivity without affecting sexual pleasure.

This can help you reach orgasm and ejaculation on your timeline — improving your sexual stamina and everyone’s overall experience.

One small study of 21 men found that men who used benzocaine wipes showed improvements in ejaculatory latency time and sexual satisfaction.

In addition to keeping a condom or two in your pocket, you may want to consider packing a couple of PE wipes like our benzocaine wipes before the big night. If wipes aren’t your thing, our delay spray is formulated with lidocaine and easier for some men to apply for consistent results.

8. Look Into Using SSRIs to Control Ejaculation

SSRIs are prescription medications that are typically used to treat depression. That’s probably where you’ve heard the term before. 

They work by altering levels of serotonin throughout your brain and body, which often helps to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

But these medications may also be able to help you out in the bedroom, too. 

Difficulty ejaculating during sex is a common side effect of certain SSRIs. For this reason, many healthcare providers use SSRIs such as sertraline (Zoloft®) and paroxetine (Paxil®) as off-label treatments for premature ejaculation. 

9. Use ED Medication

While phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor medications, like Viagra and its generic sildenafil, are FDA approved to treat erectile dysfunction, or ED, they are sometimes prescribed off label to treat PE as well.

There are several reasons ED medication may be effective for ED, ranging from affecting penis sensitivity, to having other impacts on the nervous system, to relaxing muscles associated with ejaculation, to increasing confidence that you can maintain an erection (so you don’t feel like you need to rush).

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Keeping an eye on the clock can make sex less enjoyable for everyone, so if you’re reaching the finish line more quickly than you’d like, the ultimate goal is to get your head back in the game.

Whether you have premature ejaculation or just feel like you often reach orgasm too early when you have sex, it’s completely normal to worry about your sexual stamina occasionally. And if you’re here because you Google’d “How to not cum fast,” believe us when we tell you you’re not alone.

The good news is that there are plenty of solutions available for early ejaculation.

  • Some solutions don’t require a healthcare provider’s help. The squeeze or stop-start techniques, switching to a thicker type of condom, or using a topical anesthetic wipe or spray on your penis to reduce sensitivity during sex might be effective. 

  • Therapy might help where tools and techniques fail. Interested in talking to a therapist? We offer online therapy through our mental health services, allowing you to connect with a licensed therapist from home and access help without any need to worry about in-person appointments. 

  • There are more options available when you ask for help. If these techniques don’t seem to work for you, you may want to try reaching out to a healthcare provider to discuss other options.

We offer a range of evidence-based premature ejaculation treatments online, including products that are available without a prescription.

We also offer several SSRIs for premature ejaculation online following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider, including generic sertraline and paroxetine. Another prescription option available through us (after consultation with a healthcare provider) that may be effective is ED medication, like sildenafil.

The best things in life may not last, but with help, you can run out the intimacy clock every time.

Related Articles

10 Sources

  1. Corty, E.W. & Guardiani, J.M. (2008, May). Canadian and American sex therapists' perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latencies: how long should intercourse last? The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 5 (5), 1251-1256. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18331255/
  2. Waldinger, M.D., et al. (2005, July). A multinational population survey of intravaginal ejaculation latency time. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2 (4), 492-497. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422843/
  3. Crowdis, M. & Nazir, S. (2022, June 27). Premature Ejaculation. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546701/
  4. Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? (2019, September 12). InformedHealth.org. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/
  5. Myers, C. & Smith, M. (2019, June). Pelvic floor muscle training improves erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation: a systematic review. Physiotherapy. 105 (2), 235-243. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30979506/
  6. Shabsigh, R., Kaminetsky, J., Yang, M. & Perelman, M. (2017, April). PD69-02 Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial of Topical 4% Benzocaine Wipes for Management of Premature Ejaculation: Interim Analysis. The Journal of Urology. 197 (4S), e1344-e1345. Retrieved from https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1016/j.juro.2017.02.3143/
  7. O’Leary, M.P. (2004). Managing Early Ejaculation: What Does the Future Hold? Reviews in Urology. 6 (1), 5-10. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472672/
  8. Chu, A. & Wadhwa, R. (2022, May 8). Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554406/
  9. Crowdis M, Leslie SW, Nazir S. Premature Ejaculation. [Updated 2022 Nov 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546701/.
  10. Wang, Z., & Yu, J. (2022). Efficacy evaluation of thickened condom in the treatment of premature ejaculation. Translational andrology and urology, 11(2), 253–259. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8899143/.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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