It’s the most common sexual condition affecting men, but how much do you really know about premature ejaculation?
Defined loosely as when a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse, premature ejaculation is the most common ejaculation problem for men. However, it can be difficult to define. This is because quite simply there is no cast-iron definition of how long sex should last, and it’s up to each individual man or couple to decide whether they are happy with the length of their intercourse. One study of 500 couples found that the average time taken to ejaculate was around five and a half minutes.
Premature ejaculation can be caused by a variety of factors, both physical and psychological. It could be the result of prostate problems, thyroid problems or the effects of recreational drugs. Likewise, it could be due to mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress or problems within the relationship.
As such a vague condition, it can be difficult to really understand premature ejaculation. Thankfully, we’re here to help you bust some myths. Let’s take a look.
PERCEPTION: ‘Premature ejaculation sufferers are very anxious people’
REALITY: Not necessarily
Although anxiety can indeed be a factor in premature ejaculation, it is not a set rule that premature ejaculation sufferers also live with anxiety. In fact, one Belgian survey found that sufferers have the same average levels of anxiety as the wider population. This is because there is a distinction to be made between an anxiety disorder and sex-specific stress. The latter, just like any other stress, is something that can be worked on fairly smoothly by talking through issues with partners, trying different positions and not taking things too seriously.
PERCEPTION: ‘People with premature ejaculation experience it all the time’
Premature ejaculation is more often than not a situational condition, meaning the circumstances surrounding intercourse have a significant part to play in the duration of a man’s performance. Studies show that when men feel more relaxed – usually with a long-term partner – they tend to perform for longer, while more casual relations can lead to increased feelings of stress and excitement which can bring on premature ejaculation. Likewise, life stressors like family issues or money troubles can also bring on the condition.
PERCEPTION: ‘Premature ejaculation is a young man’s problem’
It’s widely thought that premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction exclusively affect men on opposite ends of the age-scale (i.e. young people suffer from PE and old people suffer from ED). In actual fact, premature ejaculation can strike at any age. One survey found that the rate of sufferers remains fairly steady at 25-30% from teens to age 50.
PERCEPTION: ‘Premature ejaculation is just as distressing for partners as it is for sufferers’
REALITY: Generally false
Men regularly project their premature ejaculation anxieties onto their partners, but research actually shows that partners don’t care as much as you might think. For women especially, the rate of orgasm in sex in general is only around 25%, with traditional methods often not doing enough to bring about climax on their own. Other methods are therefore welcomed by many women, and these don’t often need men to maintain an erection.
PERCEPTION: ‘If you can’t perform for an extended period of time, you have premature ejaculation’
As we said earlier, premature ejaculation is hard to define. Consequently, this leads many men to assume they have it just because they can’t last for extended periods of time. The common consensus among health professionals is that being unable to perform for more than two minutes is an indicator of premature ejaculation. However, many men that last longer than this still assume they are sufferers.
PERCEPTION ‘There is effective treatment for premature ejaculation available’
For those who do indeed live with premature ejaculation, effective and safe treatment is available. Priligy and Emla are two proven treatments for the condition that can be prescribed by Express Pharmacy.