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14 Ways to Last Longer In Bed

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 01/08/2021

Updated 01/31/2024

Though estimates vary, some research suggests that up to 30 percent of men experience symptoms of premature ejaculation at one point in life or another, and even those without PE may still want to take a feature-length evening to director’s cut runtimes.

What we’re saying is: wanting to last longer in bed is totally normal

If you want to become a master of sexual stamina, you must learn to delay ejaculation, grasshopper. So, how do you do it? How do you become a master? What is the best way to last longer in bed?

If you want to last longer in bed, here are 14 science-backed strategies that work:

  • Try Desensitizing Condoms or Premature Ejaculation Spray

  • Ask Your Healthcare Provider About Medication

  • Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • Focus on Foreplay

  • Try Different Sex Positions

  • Try the Stop-Start Technique to Slow Down Ejaculation

  • Experiment with Edging

  • Use Visualization Techniques to Calm Yourself

  • Learn the Squeeze Technique

  • Masturbate Before You Have Sex

  • Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness

  • Change to a Healthier Diet

  • Communicate with Your Partner

  • Talk to a Therapy Professional

To learn why they work and how you can use them for a better, more satisfying sexual experience, read on.

“How to last longer during sex” isn’t a simple question, and there’s no single path to lasting longer in bed for everyone. Figuring out what works best for your needs may take some time, so be patient (and ask your partner to be patient with you) until you figure out how to last longer in bed for you.

Think of the 14 suggestions below as a sexual pleasure toolbox, because there’s at least one “right tool” for every job.

Try Desensitizing Condoms or Premature Ejaculation Spray

If there’s a problem you can’t solve, there’s a chance you just haven’t found the right tools yet — and that non-medical advice extends enthusiastically to sex. From specially designed condoms to numbing agents that can reduce your sensitivity, there are plenty of ways to last longer with help.

Wearing a condom in general provides some degree of desensitization, and some are thicker than others. 

Another way to extend your sexual stamina is to use topical anesthetics such as benzocaine or lidocaine.

Both benzocaine and lidocaine are used as localized anesthetics, but in recommended topical doses, they can also reduce your sensitivity.

How you apply those medications to your penis depends on what seems easiest for you — medicated wipes, sprays, gels and some condoms for premature ejaculation contain these numbing liquids and creams.

For example, our Clockstopper Climax Delay Wipes and Delay Spray for Men use benzocaine or lidocaine to give you greater control over your level of sensitivity during sex, all without excess numbing or discomfort. 

Applied five to 15 minutes before sex, these over-the-counter products can help you stave off premature ejaculation and provide a nice confidence boost that can prevent sexual performance anxiety. Just make sure to wait if you’re about to have penetrative sex — otherwise, you might leave your partner uncomfortably numb.

Ask Your Healthcare Provider About Medication

“How to last longer in bed for men” may ironically be a question best answered outside the bedroom and in a doctor’s office. That’s where you’re most likely to get safe and effective help in the form of medication for certain types of sexual dysfunction.

Antidepressants like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) paroxetine and sertraline are commonly prescribed to treat depression, but they’re also prescribed off-label as treatments for premature ejaculation. The reason is the common side effect that they share: delayed orgasm. 

While SSRIs aren’t FDA-approved for PE, your healthcare provider may recommend using this type of medication if you often reach orgasm too early, effectively boosting your mental health in two ways.

A 2019 review and meta-analysis published in BMC Urology found that the SSRI paroxetine was well-tolerated and more effective than fluoxetine and escitalopram in the treatment of premature ejaculation, so that may be a good place to start.

Likewise, medication for erectile dysfunction might help in certain circumstances. The most popular medication for ED is Viagra (sildenafil).

Talk with a healthcare professional and, in the meantime, our guide to premature ejaculation pills goes into more detail about how these medications can work to help you last longer in bed. You can learn more about medication for ED here. 

Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, or kegel exercises, are linked to several improvements in sexual health, including more control over ejaculation.

Yes, that’s correct, fellas. Men can benefit from kegels, too.

Your pelvic floor muscles are located below your penis and control the flow of urine from your bladder. You can feel your pelvic floor muscles in action when you tense while peeing — they help to stop your urinary flow and prevent you from defecating.

For example, in a 2014 study, 40 men with lifelong premature ejaculation engaged in 12 weeks of pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. 

At the end of the treatment period, more than 80 percent of the patients had gained control over their ejaculatory reflex and increased their intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) — the total amount of time required to climax after penetrating the vagina.

On average, the men increased from an IELT of less than 60 seconds to a range between 123.6 and 152.4 seconds by the end of the 12 weeks.

Focus on Foreplay

It’s definitive — foreplay is one of the unsung heroes of good, satisfying sex. And if you’re having trouble figuring out how to last long in bed, it could be the cheat code you’ve been hoping for.

According to a survey of over 1,000 women published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, more than 70 percent of women either reported clitoral stimulation helped them orgasm during sex, or that it was essential for them to successfully reach orgasm at all.

In fact, only around 18 percent of the women surveyed reported they orgasm from sexual intercourse alone. In science, this is referred to as an “opportunity.” 

Take advantage of foreplay time — use your mouth, fingers or sex toys (yes, plural, like this one) to stimulate your partner and make sex more enjoyable for both of you. 

Even a few minutes of foreplay can significantly increase the intensity of sex, helping you and your partner keep the good time going longer.

Try Different Sex Positions

You don’t need to be a certified yoga instructor to try great new positions that might improve your stamina or increase your partner’s pleasure — or both.

The “how to last longer men” in your group of friends may have some suggestions they’ve inadvertently shared over drinks, but let us bring some physics to the conversation.

Sex is all about angles, as anyone who’s switched from years of missionary to the exciting doggy style alternative will confirm. 

But you don’t actually want doggy — you want cowgirl or another position that allows your partner to get more pleasure with less thrusting. This reduces your stimulation, increases theirs and in the process might put the two of you on the same pace to the finish line.

We have a guide on sexual positions for small penis, too.

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Try the Stop-Start Technique to Slow Down Ejaculation

The stop-start technique is an old-fashioned therapeutic technique for slowing down ejaculation and increasing the amount of time you can last in bed. 

It’s simple: when you feel like you’re about to ejaculate during sex, stop until you feel the urge to orgasm go away. You can repeat this process several times while you and your partner have sex to extend your stamina by avoiding orgasm and ejaculation.

Not only does the stop-start technique let you have sex for longer — it can also help you feel more comfortable with the sensation that occurs when you’re about to ejaculate.

This can make it easier for you to react to a too-early oncoming orgasm, and either slow down or stop your movement until the sensation passes.

Experiment With Edging

Edging — masturbating until close to climax, then stopping until you can continue — is kind of like a solo version of the stop-start technique that you can use to quickly and easily familiarize yourself with the warning signs that you’re about to ejaculate. 

By practicing this technique, you may find that when you’re with a partner you can quickly bring yourself back from the point of no return. 

Use Visualization Techniques to Calm Yourself

Visualization is the process of using mental visual images to draw yourself into a specific scene or environment, such as a relaxing space free of any worries. While it’s used mostly in meditative relaxation, it can also be used in the bedroom to distract you from your urge to climax.

There’s no high-quality research on the effectiveness of visualization for PE, but many guys find that distractions in bed can improve their stamina.

Think about a spreadsheet or filling out tax forms if it helps. Or maybe the weather or your favorite dessert. Whatever you go with, try not to turn yourself off completely. 

Learn the Squeeze Technique

Another way to put the brakes on an imminent orgasm is the squeeze technique. When you’re sexually aroused, blood flow to the penis increases

Similar to the stop-start technique, the squeeze technique involves firmly squeezing below the glans (head) of your penis as you feel orgasm approaching. Then, waiting for the urge to recede before getting back to business with your partner.

It’s important to communicate with your partner when using this technique. If you prefer to have your partner squeeze for you, make sure to clearly explain to them how much pressure to apply to your penis and when to squeeze. 

Masturbate Before You Have Sex

At the end of the day, everyone wants a quick way to beat the system. But the best way to do that may be a solo quickie.

After having an orgasm, your body starts to enter what’s called the refractory period. During this recovery phase, you’ll likely find it harder to get an erection — if you’re even interested in sex at all.

The length of the male refractory period can vary. For some men, it’s less than one hour, while for others, it may last for up to 24 hours. You may need to figure out what yours is, but once you have that information, masturbating before sex can increase your time to ejaculation.

Even if you choose not to keep an hourly log, you can still get some benefits by masturbating earlier in the day or shortly before being with a partner. Just don’t overdo it, or you could end up with a situational degree of erectile dysfunction. 

Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Though it might not seem like it on the surface, erectile function and high blood pressure are very closely intertwined.

Exercise is vital for maintaining men’s health and wellness, and cardiovascular fitness is particularly important when it comes to sexual performance. While neither of these things affects PE directly, your cardiovascular fitness level is a crucial element of your overall sexual satisfaction (and your partner’s, too).

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, high levels of cardiovascular exercise may have a protective effect against common forms of sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

Cardiovascular exercise — jogging with your dog, playing basketball with friends, riding your bike around your city or neighborhood, going for a hike — is more about the habit than the form. 

The key is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy so that you’ll stick to it. 

With regular exercise, you may also see improvements in your weight, mood and sleep, all of which can have a positive impact on your erections, stamina and overall sexual function. 

Aim for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, and try to incorporate at least two days of strength training into the mix, as well.

Change to a Healthier Diet

It's no secret that obesity can have a negative effect on your sexual performance. 

Research shows that men with obesity have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.

Aside from getting a suitable amount of exercise every week, choosing what you eat and prioritizing foods that nurture heart health are a surefire way to move the needle towards better sex.

Certain foods, such as whole grain carbohydrates, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables may improve blood flow throughout your body, helping reduce your risk of issues like ED while maximizing the effects of exercise to increase stamina.

Above all else, try to limit foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium, which could have a negative effect on your blood circulation and sexual performance. 

Communicate with Your Partner

Maybe the best answer to how to last longer in bed naturally is to make the experience more natural, calm and communicative. Relationship problems often come from a lack of communication, which can affect each person’s self-esteem, reduce the enjoyment of shared sexual activity — the list goes on.

Communication is a two-way street. Taking time to communicate your needs is just as important as asking them of your partner — what you could be doing more of, or differently. 

For instance, your partner may not even be worried about how long you can or can’t last. Maybe they prefer clitoral stimulation over penetration. Maybe sex doesn’t actually “do it” for them regardless of how long you can last. 

Tell them you’re struggling to last longer. Tell them you want to do it for their enjoyment. Tell them what makes you finish faster. It can help them avoid pressing the “magic button” — or give them the tools to do it whenever they please.

Talk to a Therapy Professional

If you’ve tried some of the methods above and you’re still struggling, you may want to consider seeing a sex therapist or other mental health professional.

Although it may seem awkward to talk about your sex life with a stranger, therapists are trained to handle these particular challenges. You may even want to consider couples therapy if you’re struggling to connect with your partner as a result of sexual performance issues.

While the idea of using therapy to treat premature ejaculation and last longer in bed might seem unusual, there is science to back it up.

For example, a 2011 scientific review noted that several studies suggest a benefit to psychological interventions such as therapy for premature ejaculation, although the evidence is currently “weak and inconsistent.”

Often, talking with a therapist can help you to deal with other issues that may be affecting you in bed, such as a stressful workplace or challenges in your relationship. 

delay spray for men

longer sex is yours for the taking

Contrary to what porn and pop culture might teach us, sex doesn’t need to be a marathon to be enjoyable. However, being able to “go the distance” certainly isn’t a bad thing when it comes to pleasurable, satisfying sex. 

For those of you wanting a cheat sheet, here are your “How can I last longer in bed” bullet points:

  • There are ways to improve your stamina. Medications, topical agents, tools and techniques offer a variety of solutions for a variety of lifestyles.

  • You’ll need to figure out what works for your needs. If you’d like to improve your stamina and last for longer the next time you have sex, try one, two or several of the tips above — feel free to mix and match. 

  • Getting professional help can speed up your improvements. If you find it very difficult to last in bed and feel concerned about premature ejaculation, you may also want to talk to a licensed healthcare provider about treatment options and get tailored tips.

We can help — Hims offers a large range of premature ejaculation treatments online, with prescription medications available following an online consultation with a physician.

17 Sources

  1. InformedHealth.org. (2019, September 12). Premature ejaculation: Overview. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547548/
  2. Pelvic floor muscle training exercises. (2020, October 14). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003975.htm
  3. Pastore, A.L., et al. (2014, June). Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong premature ejaculation: a novel therapeutic approach. Therapeutic Advances in Urology. 6 (3), 83-88. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003840/
  4. Herbenick, D., et al. (2018). Women's Experiences With Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure, and Orgasm: Results From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women Ages 18 to 94. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 44, 2, 201-212. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0092623X.2017.1346530
  5. InformedHealth.org. (2019, September 12). Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/
  6. Visualization. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://dictionary.apa.org/visualization
  7. What is the refractory period? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-the-refractory-period/
  8. Fergus, K.B., et al. (2019). Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 16 (8), 1236-1245. Retrieved from https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19)31164-6/pdf
  9. How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, June 2). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
  10. Skrypnik, D., Bogdański, P. & Musialik, K. (2014, February). obesity--significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men. Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski : Organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego. 36 (212), 137-141. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24720114/
  11. Abrahamian, H. & Kautzky-Willer, A. (2016, March). sexuality in overweight and obesity. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 166 (3-4), 121-8. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26811242/
  12. Preventing Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/prevention
  13. Melnik, T., et al. (2011). Psychosocial interventions for premature ejaculation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (8), CD008195. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21833964/
  14. Zhang, D., et al. (2019). Paroxetine in the treatment of premature ejaculation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Urology. 19 (1), 2. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30606186/
  15. Molina-Vega, M., Asenjo-Plaza, M., Banderas-Donaire, M. J., Hernández-Ollero, M. D., Rodríguez-Moreno, S., Álvarez-Millán, J. J., Cabezas-Sanchez, P., Cardona-Díaz, F., Alcaide-Torres, J., Garrido-Sánchez, L., Castellano-Castillo, D., Tinahones, F. J., & Fernández-García, J. C. (2020). Prevalence of and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in young nondiabetic obese men: results from a regional study. Asian journal of andrology, 22(4), 372–378. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406095/.
  16. Martyn-St James, M., Cooper, K., Ren, K., Kaltenthaler, E., Dickinson, K., Cantrell, A., Wylie, K., Frodsham, L., & Hood, C. (2016). Topical anaesthetics for premature ejaculation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sexual health, 13(2), 114–123. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26599522/.
  17. Althof SE. Psychosexual therapy for premature ejaculation. Transl Androl Urol. 2016 Aug;5(4):475-81. Available From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001981/
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, MPH, ALM

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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