Thank you for your question. This is a common concern for couples. It is estimated that up to 30% of people with penises have what is known as premature ejaculation, i.e. rapid ejaculation.
There is no standard for the amount of time that someone is involved in a sexual experience prior to ejaculation. Thus, the diagnosis of premature ejaculation is made when, in the majority of their sexual encounters, they ejaculate prior to the wishes of both partners. The most common cause of premature ejaculation is psychological. This may be related to anxiety or stress. Generally this is concerning only in that it impinges on the mutual enjoyment of sex. However, sometimes there is an underlying problem related to biological causes or erectile dysfunction.
There are a variety of methods that both of you can try in order to prolong the time prior to ejaculation. First of all, it is important to note that if you think there may be a biological cause of the premature ejaculation then you and your husband should see a family doctor. This may be indicated if he has any of the following: pain in the genital area, bleeding or pus from the penis, has been involved in any trauma or surgery that involved the pelvis, or is taking medications such as narcotics. As well, if this is causing severe strain in your relationship, you should consult a physician for further discussion and treatment.
One of the methods you can try to increase the time to ejaculation involves determining if there is any particular anxiety or stress that your husband is experiencing. For example, if this is a stressful time at work, school or at home, it might help to take some time prior to sex to have a warm bath, relax, talk, or go for a walk. Having less stress and anxiety about life can really improve sexual encounters. It is also important to note that if the two of you are new to sex with one another, then it may take some time for him to become more comfortable with you, thus decreasing anxiety and allowing prolongation of sex.
Another option to try is longer foreplay. If you both enjoy touching, kissing, massages, or other foreplay, then you can add more of this to your sexual life. This both decreases stress and anxiety as well as giving both partners more enjoyment prior to actual penetration. That way, even if he does ejaculate earlier than desired, you will have both had the pleasure of enjoying one another in other ways. He may also try masturbating 1-2 hours prior to sex, either by himself or with you involved. Your husband is less likely to ejaculate rapidly the second time. Note: this is useful for younger couples, but in older couples where the person with a penis may have difficulty obtaining a second erection this may cause more embarrassment.
There is a technique called the “stop-start” or “squeeze technique” which works well for many couples. When your husband feels ready to ejaculate, he can tell you and you can then squeeze the end of the penis (where the head joins the shaft) for several seconds until the urge to ejaculate passes. You can do this with your hand or your pelvic muscles, depending on what stage of sex you are at. If you are using your pelvic muscles, squeeze as if you are trying to stop yourself from urinating. Once you release the squeeze, remain still for 30-40 seconds, then return to sexual activity. If he again feels the urge to ejaculate prior to the mutually desired time, then you can repeat this process.
Best of luck to you and your husband, and please contact us again if you have other questions,
-L. for AlterHeros