The EDGE Blog

What Is Delayed Ejaculation?

Delayed Ejaculation – You’ve probably heard of premature ejaculation – whether it’s creams and condoms designed to numb the penis to hold back orgasm, or simply stories of occasions when sex has ended all-too-quickly. But what about delayed ejaculation? When you struggle to orgasm – during sex or masturbation – and find you’re exhausted long before you reach the desired climax?

Delayed ejaculation – how long is too long?

One of the problems with assessing what counts as ‘too long’ before orgasm is that the result will depend on a variety of factors. Alcohol, for instance, can inhibit orgasm as well as contribute to the dreaded ‘brewers droop’. Mood, fitness levels and taking certain types of medication too can mean it takes longer for you to reach the end.

So what counts as ‘too long’? The NHS website suggests that 30-60 minutes is a reasonable guide, although of course they mean regularly. It happens occasionally to most people, but if you’re worried that it’s happening too frequently, then you might have issues with delayed ejaculation.

How many men have delayed ejaculation?

As mentioned above, it happens to most guys at some point in their life. But lifelong delayed ejaculation – i.e. a permanent issue with ejaculation – is less common and affects roughly one in a thousand men.

What causes delayed ejaculation?

As with erectile dysfunction, there are a number of possible causes of delayed ejaculation – if you’re concerned about it, speak to your doctor. Some of the reasons are physical. As above, beer doesn’t help, and some drugs (particularly anti-depressants) can be a factor. There are also psychological and habitual reasons.

Psychological reasons include nerves or pressure – for instance if you find it easy to orgasm when you’re on your own but you struggle with a partner, it might be down to one of those things. Other men report that they get used to masturbating in a particular way – watching a certain kind of porn, for instance – and then can’t orgasm if they don’t have the same stimulation. Likewise the ‘death grip’ – a term coined by sex advice columnist Dan Savage – has been blamed for a lot of men’s delayed ejaculation woes. Dan explains that if you get your penis used to a super-tight grip when you masturbate, you may struggle to keep an erection or achieve ejaculation when you have sex. Of course, he puts it more eloquently than that:

“You gotta stop serving up the kind of stimulation your dick has come to expect — the death grip — because the only way your dick will ever come to appreciate the subtler and damper sensations that vaginas provide, HARD, is if you give your dick no choice. Give your dick what it’s used to, HARD, and your dick will be forever dependent on it. Drive your dick (and yourself) to desperation, and your dick will find new ways to get off.”

Yeah, but is delayed ejaculation really a problem?

Given how often premature ejaculation is discussed, combined with the far-too-common assumption that sex is better if it lasts all night, it’s unsurprising that some people decide that delayed ejaculation doesn’t matter to them. However, that’s not to say it isn’t important, particularly for the men it affects. If you have delayed ejaculation and it doesn’t bother you, that’s great – after all, there are plenty of things you may be able to do to help ejaculation along such as mutual masturbation or using couples sex toys.

But for other men the problem will be more significant. If they want to conceive, for example, or if they find that they enjoy sex or masturbation much less because ejaculation takes too long – or doesn’t happen at all.

Are there any sex aids to help with delayed ejaculation?

As Dan Savage explains, sometimes one of the best things you can do for delayed ejaculation is to change your routine. If you’re used to masturbating or having sex in a particular way, switch it up. Focus on different kinds of pleasurable sensation, which don’t necessarily have ‘ejaculation’ as the end goal.

There are sex aids that can help too, in the form of a whole range of sex toys that you can use to break out of the ‘death grip’ routine. PULSE II SOLO, for instance, wraps around your penis so it will sit comfortably against your skin without squeezing you too tight. What’s more, the oscillating PulsePlate™ delivers deep vibrations through your shaft – great for if you want to experience new sensations. Other masturbators allow you to experiment with different textures and intensities of activity.

You might also like to experiment with different kinds of lube – choosing one or two that you like and masturbating more slowly than you usually would, with a lighter grip.

Of course, while we’d love it if the cure to all problems was ‘masturbate more’, there may be other underlying issues which are contributing to delayed ejaculation. Psychological reasons for delayed ejaculation can be tackled through counselling – and don’t ever be nervous to ask your doctor for recommendations. Recent research shows that delayed ejaculation may be the third most common sexual problem for men. So if you’re struggling? You’re not alone.


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