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How to Control Ejaculation: 8 Tips

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 10/15/2021

Updated 04/14/2024

Certain parts of the internet exist simply to profit off some of our most privately-kept insecurities. For men who are worried about how long they last in bed, there are countless products that target these insecurities and attempt to make money when someone googles for help with  “cum control,” or search answers to questions like questions like “how to cum slower,” “how to hold in cum” and “how to hold your cum.”

If you’ve found yourself searching for this kind of advice or treatment, it may be a relief to know that rapid ejaculation, while fairly common,  can be treated, usually with medication, lifestyle changes or a mix of different approaches (and not with the so-called gas station sex pills the internet sometimes tries to sell you).

Below, we’ve discussed the average time most guys can control ejaculation, how both physical and mental health issues may contribute to premature ejaculation (PE) and eight tips that you can use to control ejaculation and last longer in bed.

Can some men control how long they last better than others? Sort of.

A variety of factors can play a role in losing control over your ejaculatory reflex and orgasming too early, including sexual performance anxiety, difficulties with sexual intimacy or conditions like abnormal hormone levels, which may contribute to inflammation that affects your reproductive system.

A healthcare professional can help you address premature ejaculation when it’s associated with your physical health, but before you schedule an appointment, it might be worth considering the bigger questions, like, “How long does the average guy last?”

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A 2008 study examined this question in an attempt to arrive at a formal answer. Researchers wanted to see what the typical length of a sexual encounter was and concluded that the average sexual intercourse session lasts for somewhere between three and 13 minutes.

Critically, the survey asked several sex therapists — mental health professionals who specialize in sex — to weigh in on how long sex should last.

The sex therapists shared that sexual intercourse was believed to be “desirable” if it continued for seven to 13 minutes, “adequate” if it lasted for three to seven minutes and “too long” if it continued for 10 to 30 minutes. As for “too short,” they gave one to two minutes as an answer.

It’s important not to obsess too much over whether or not you’re “normal” and instead focus on what really matters — that you and your partner enjoy sexual activity.

There are numerous ways to control your orgasm process and stop premature ejaculation, from behavioral techniques you can perform during sex to treatments to address orgasm control.

Kegel exercises, self-help techniques or the pause-squeeze method are among the most well-known ways to manage early ejaculation, and some guys swear by masturbation before they initiate foreplay.

Likewise, some guys claim that treatment of premature ejaculation can be done effectively with supplements.

What works, according to science?

We’ve shared eight tips and techniques below to help with controlling ejaculation better, which will hopefully help you to enjoy a more pleasurable, longer-lasting sexual experience.

Try the Start-Stop Technique

The start-stop technique (also called stop-start) is a behavioral technique that can slow down ejaculation. It’s simple — just stop moving your penis when you feel orgasm and ejaculation approaching, wait a moment, and then start again once you feel the sensation pass.

In other words, as soon as you cross that point where both missile keys have been turned, you pull back, take a few deep breaths and hold still until the urge to fire subsides.

The start-stop technique has been around, well, probably for as long as men wanted to last longer in bed. We’re guessing you have already tried this yourself if you’re having problems with cumming too fast.

While there’s very little scientific data on the effectiveness of this technique, anecdotally, it seems to be a helpful treatment option for dealing with premature ejaculation.

Since it’s a simple technique to perform and costs nothing, it’s a good first option if you’d like to gain more control over your orgasm and ejaculation process without spending anything.

Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels)

Premature ejaculation exercises are an excellent way to build control over the muscles near the bottom of your pelvis, which play a key role in controlling your ejaculatory response.

Also known as kegels, pelvic floor exercises train your pelvic floor muscles to hold back the flow of liquids out of your urinary tract, firming up the surrounding muscles in the process.

Since these muscles weaken with age, it’s a good habit to add a few reps of these exercises to your routine, even if you’re not struggling with sexual stamina issues.

One 2019 review examined the benefits of kegels as part of 10 erectile dysfunction studies and found kegels often produced improvements and other benefits for people suffering from premature ejaculation.

The systematic review had its own limits, though. For one, there’s no clear instruction for the best way to perform this type of exercise — how many reps, how many seconds they should be held for, as well as how often you should do them.

Our best advice is to try not to hurt yourself, but otherwise go with your gut — err, groin — when it comes to performing these exercises effectively.

Use Premature Ejaculation Wipes Before Sex

One simple way to reduce your risk of sexual dysfunctions such as premature ejaculation is to use premature wipes on the head of the penis before having sex.

These products, such as our Clockstopper Benzocaine Wipes, reduce sensitivity in your penis and make it easier for you to control your orgasm and ejaculation process. This is done with a numbing agent called benzocaine, which is a widely-used topical anesthetic.

Several studies have looked into the effects of benzocaine for control of ejaculation, with many showing positive results.

For example, a randomized study published in the Journal of Urology showed strong evidence of increased control of ejaculation, lower distress and higher sexual satisfaction for benzocaine wipe users.

Benzocaine is available in several forms, including a liquid spray. Other topical anesthetics are also used in similar premature ejaculation treatments, such as our Delay Spray for Men, which uses the topical anesthetic lidocaine to produce similar effects.

When it comes to topical treatments for PE, just be careful not to employ the wrong strength — more concentrated topical anesthetics used for pain management may make your penis feel a little too numb for sex, potentially making it harder to maintain a lasting erection.

You also don’t want to apply them immediately before sex, as this may cause the anesthetic to transfer to your partner’s skin. Instead, aim to use wipes, creams and other topical products 10 to 15 minutes before sexual activity for optimal results.

Try the Squeeze Technique

We realize some of these premature ejaculation tips have not-so-creative names. However, the squeeze technique isn’t quite as silly as it sounds.

This technique involves squeezing the tip of your penis just before you reach orgasm and then holding it until the urge to ejaculate subsides and your arousal level decreases.

Similar to the start-stop technique, there aren’t many studies that look at the effectiveness of the squeeze technique. However, it has a long history and is often used as a method of slowing the ejaculation process by men who don’t want to use medication.

If performing the squeeze technique yourself doesn’t seem appealing, you can ask your partner to gently squeeze in between the glans and shaft of your penis when you feel that you’re about to reach orgasm and ejaculate.

Just make sure that your partner does so gently — you don’t want to squeeze so hard that it affects blood flow to your penis.

Make Sure to Wear a Condom

Believe it or not, something as simple as wearing a condom can often help you gain control over your sexual function and avoid cumming too fast.

In addition to reducing your risk of STDs and preventing pregnancy, condoms can delay orgasm and ejaculation by creating a small but significant barrier between your partner and yourself and reducing sensitivity in your penis.

While all condoms will reduce sensitivity by at least some amount, you’ll get the best results with condoms designed for treating premature ejaculation, which are often thicker and contain topical anesthetics to reduce sensitivity in the tip of your penis.

Live a Healthy, Balanced Lifestyle

For the most part, better sexual health and better overall health go hand in hand. Put simply, the healthier you become, the less likely it is that you’ll need to deal with sexual performance issues such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

To improve your general health, try to prioritize exercise, healthy eating and fresh air in your daily routine. Skip the recreational drugs, too.

Our guide to habits for boosting your sexual performance shares simple but effective habits and lifestyle changes that you can make for improved stamina in bed and a reduced risk of physical conditions that could affect your sexual function.

Try Taking Part in Counseling

If you think your mental health is affecting your sexual function, or your sexual health issues are starting to take a toll on your mental well-being, one of the best things that you can do is to reach out to a mental health provider for advice and assistance.

Sexual health issues like premature ejaculation can take a real toll on your mental health, which may increase your risk of sexual performance anxiety and other mental health issues.

In some cases, psychological causes such as chronic stress, depression or anxiety disorders are also factors in the development of premature ejaculation. Behavioral therapy, couples therapy and sex therapy can help you deal with anxieties, shame and other hang-ups, all of which may help address PE and other sex-related problems at their source.

Consider Medication for Premature Ejaculation

Although there’s no FDA-approved medication for delaying ejaculation, a variety of medications are used off-label for this purpose.

Currently, the most effective medications for delaying ejaculation are antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

These medications, which are typically used to treat depression, can slow ejaculation and help you to last longer in bed. They come in tablet or capsule form and are supported by a large volume of evidence showing real improvements in ejaculation latency in men.

In fact, a 2007 study of men struggling with PE showed significant effects of SSRIs on orgasm and ejaculation.

After just four weeks of using fluoxetine, paroxetine or escitalopram, 100 percent of the men in the program showed reduced premature ejaculation symptoms.

Of course,  SSRIs come with their own side effects that you should know about before starting treatment. These are generally mild, but may affect some aspects of your well-being; it’s important to discuss these potential side effects with your healthcare provider.

We offer several SSRIs for treating premature ejaculation online following a consultation with a healthcare provider, including sertraline and paroxetine.

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Controlling ejaculation is something every guy would like to be able to do. While there’s no way to gain total control over the process of reaching orgasm and ejaculating, the tactics above can help you to slow it down and gain more control over your ejaculatory reflexes in bed.

  • You don’t have to try to “fix” this common worry if you’re already able to enjoy sex with your partner. Sex doesn’t always last for as long as we think, and having sex for a few minutes at a time isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • If lasting longer is important to you, treatments for PE, such as sprays, wipes and medications can improve ejaculatory control and sexual stamina.

  • Practicing good habits, communicating with your partner and tuning into your body and how it responds to sexual stimulation can give you more confidence and comfort with ejaculatory control.

Interested in learning more about enjoying better sex, from controlling ejaculation to just having a more intimate time in bed? Our guide to having a healthy sex life goes into more detail about this topic and shares other actionable tips that you can use for more pleasurable sex.

5 Sources

  1. Crowdis, M. & Nazir, S. (2022, June 27). Premature Ejaculation. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546701/
  2. 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/
  3. 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/
  4. Shabsigh, R., Kaminetsky, J., Yang, M. & Perelman, M. (2017). 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), e1344-1345. Retrieved from https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1016/j.juro.2017.02.3143
  5. Arafa, M. & Shamloul, R. (2007, August). A randomized study examining the effect of 3 SSRI on premature ejaculation using a validated questionnaire. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 3 (4), 527-531. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374931/
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.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown, MD

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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