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Squeeze Technique for Treating Premature Ejaculation

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Vanessa Gibbs

Published 08/17/2021

Updated 03/06/2024

The squeeze technique might sound like a wrestling move or a torture method, but believe it or not, it’s actually a way of managing premature ejaculation (PE).

It involves squeezing the tip of the penis to decrease arousal and delay ejaculation. Though there’s not much research behind it, it could work for you.

Below, we’ll dive into how to do the squeeze technique, the current science behind it and ways to treat PE that don’t involve any squeezing.

As you might have guessed, the squeeze technique — or the pause-squeeze method — involves some squeezing. It can help men last longer in bed without popping a pill or using a numbing cream.

Here’s what you do:

  • Stimulate your penis or start having sex, and hit pause just before you’re about to climax.

  • Gently squeeze the head of your penis with your index finger and thumb. This should decrease arousal.

  • Wait until the urge to climax passes.

  • After about 30 seconds, get back to your masturbation or sex session.

  • Repeat as needed until you want to ejaculate.

Squeezing the head of the penis in this way causes the bulbospongiosus muscle — try saying that five times fast — to contract. This reduces the urge to ejaculate, giving you more time before you climax. Your penis may temporarily become slightly less firm too.

If you’re trying this during sex, we’d recommend speaking to your partner beforehand so they’re not surprised when you suddenly stop and start squeezing your penis.

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The pause-squeeze technique sounds easy enough, but is it actually effective at delaying ejaculation?

Well, more research is needed on that front. Here’s what we know.

A 2015 systematic review looked at 10 randomized controlled trials on behavioral therapies for PE. The research included a total of 521 participants, and several behavioral therapy techniques were assessed, including the squeeze technique.

According to this systematic review, some evidence suggests behavioral therapy combined with drug treatments improves PE more than drug treatments alone.

The Stop-Start Method

In addition to using the squeeze technique with PE medications, you can also use it alongside the stop-start technique.

This is when you simply stop sexual stimulation when you feel like you’re about to climax and wait until the urge subsides before picking up where you left off — essentially, it’s the squeeze technique without the squeezing.

In the short term, behavioral therapies like the squeeze technique and stop-start method look promising. Research shows they can help 45 to 65 percent of men with PE.

Other research looking at both the squeeze technique and stop-start technique found that, after 12 weeks of training, the methods increased the time it took to ejaculate by a few minutes.

In this research, the techniques were used in conjunction with sex therapy, though, so it’s unclear how effective they’d be if used alone.

And while giving yourself a squeeze could work as a short-term fix, we don’t know how effective behavioral therapy techniques are in the long run.

The TL;DR? There’s some evidence that the squeeze technique can help you last longer, but more research is needed.

The squeeze technique isn’t the only way to treat premature ejaculation. There are plenty of other available treatments with more science behind them.

Here are some of your options.

Topical PE Treatments

Instead of squeezing your penis, you can spray, wipe or rub a topical treatment on it.

Topical PE treatments include numbing agents like:

These treatments desensitize your penis, helping you last longer. They usually come in the form of a spray (like our Delay Spray), wipe or cream, and you can buy them over the counter and online.

There are a few downsides to using topical treatments over the squeeze technique.

Topical products are sometimes messy, and they can cause irritation or numbness in your penis. They could also numb your partner’s vagina, so you may need to wear a condom to stop this from happening.

You might also need to use a topical treatment every time you want to have sex — although this could be the case with the squeeze technique too.

Medications for PE

There are a few medication options when it comes to PE.

First up, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as:

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro®)

  • Sertraline (Zoloft®)

  • Paroxetine (Paxil®)

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®)

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox®)

SSRIs are antidepressants. They’re not approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to treat PE, but they’re often prescribed off-label for this purpose.

It doesn’t take long for SSRIs to work their magic.

They’re effective too. SSRIs can increase time to ejaculation between twofold and eightfold.

Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors) are another class of medication that can treat PE.

PDE5 inhibitors include:

PDE5 inhibitors are often used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), but studies show a third of men with ED also have PE.

More research is needed on PDE5 inhibitors as a treatment for PE. However, the drugs may be useful for men who can’t tolerate or shouldn’t take SSRIs for medical reasons.

Check out our guide to Viagra for premature ejaculation to learn more about how ED meds can help men with PE.

Unlike the squeeze technique, medications can come with side effects. With SSRIs, for example, you might experience fatigue, nausea or sweating. These side effects are usually mild and should go away within two to three weeks.

You’ll need a prescription to get your hands on PE pills. Reach out to your primary care provider or a urology clinic, or connect with one of our licensed healthcare providers online.

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The list of PE treatments goes on. Here are a few more approaches that don’t involve a prescription, a product or any squeezing.

Try Therapy

Therapy can help address the psychological causes of PE while improving relationship problems, self-esteem and performance anxiety. You can try couples therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or sex therapy.

A sex therapist might also teach you techniques — like the squeeze technique or others. Combining therapy with medication may be more effective at treating PE than medication alone.

Is premature ejaculation mental? Check out our guide for answers.

Use Condoms

A condom can make your penis less sensitive during sex, which can buy you some time before you climax. You can even get special PE condoms containing a topical anesthetic to reduce sensitivity further.

Masturbate Before Sex

Ever tried having sex twice in one day and lasted longer the second time around? You can use that to your advantage. Try masturbating before sexual activity to delay ejaculation on round two.

One thing to be aware of is your refractory period — the time after climax when you might not be able to get an erection. Give yourself enough time between sessions to make sure you can get an erection the second time.

Distract Yourself

Try thinking about something else during sex to prevent PE. But don’t distract yourself too much from the job at hand or you’ll risk losing your erection altogether.

Talk to Your Partner

Give your partner a heads-up before trying the squeeze technique or the stop-start method.

And no matter what you’re trying, talking to your partner about PE can help take the pressure off your sexual performance, plus you can brainstorm solutions together. Having open and honest convos can also help you overcome any relationship problems that might be contributing to PE.

Do Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises (aka Kegel exercises) involve a different type of squeezing. You can squeeze and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to help you better control ejaculation.

Research shows pelvic floor exercises can increase the time until ejaculation. Learn how to do pelvic floor exercises in our blog.

Exercise Regularly

Need a gentle nudge to get to the gym? This is it.

Research shows PE is less frequent in men who do regular exercise than in those with sedentary lifestyles.

We’ve covered more tips in our guide to controlling PE.

The squeeze method is just one way to help you last longer in bed.

Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • The squeeze technique can be effective. Giving the head of your penis a gentle squeeze just before the “point of no return” can help decrease arousal and delay ejaculation.

  • More research is needed. Research shows behavioral therapy techniques — like the squeeze technique and the stop-start method — can be effective. But studies often look at multiple techniques or techniques combined with therapy, and more long-term research is needed.

  • There are other PE treatments with more evidence behind them. You can try therapy, PE medications like SSRIs or PDE5 inhibitors, and topical products such as wipes and sprays.

The squeeze technique is free and easy to try. Plus, it doesn’t come with any side effects, so giving it a go can’t hurt — just don’t squeeze too hard.

That said, the technique doesn’t have much research behind it. If you’re battling PE, you may want to turn to science-backed treatments instead or try the squeeze technique alongside another treatment.

We offer premature ejaculation treatments online — including wipes, sprays and medication — to get you back on your A-game.

You can also connect with one of our licensed healthcare providers to get medical advice on the best PE treatment options for your needs.

7 Sources

  1. Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? (2019). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/
  2. Cooper, K., Martyn-St James, M., Kaltenthaler, E., Dickinson, K., Cantrell, A., Wylie, K., Frodsham, L., & Hood, C. (2015). Behavioral Therapies for Management of Premature Ejaculation: A Systematic Review. Sexual medicine, 3(3), 174–188. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4599555/
  3. Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? (2019). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/
  4. Raveendran, A. V., & Agarwal, A. (2021). Premature ejaculation - current concepts in the management: A narrative review. International journal of reproductive biomedicine, 19(1), 5–22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7851481/
  5. Mohee, A., & Eardley, I. (2011). Medical therapy for premature ejaculation. Therapeutic advances in urology, 3(5), 211–222. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199591/
  6. Althof S. E. (2016). Psychosexual therapy for premature ejaculation. Translational andrology and urology, 5(4), 475–481. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001981/
  7. Yildiz, Y., Kilinc, M. F., & Doluoglu, O. G. (2018). Is There Any Association Between Regular Physical Activity and Ejaculation Time?. Urology journal, 15(5), 285–289. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324728897_Is_There_Any_Association_Between_Regular_Physical_Activity_and_Ejaculation_Time
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 was previously Medical Director of a male fertility startup where she lead 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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