Here’s Why There’s No Such Thing as Premature Ejaculation
Here’s Why There’s No Such Thing as Premature Ejaculation
Ask any sexologist worth their salt, and they’ll tell you: premature ejaculation does not refer to ejaculating within a specific timeframe.
Rather, what it means is ejaculating before you want to.
This is sensible — after all, every person’s body is different, the bodies of people you’re engaging in intercourse with will be different, and each instance of sex will be a unique experience that the participants may want to last for more or less time, depending on a variety of factors.
In short, sex is just too complicated to slap a one-size-fits-all time standard on. It could be ejaculating in 10 seconds when you wanted to last one minute; it could be cumming in one hour, when you wanted to last two or three; it could be any set of numbers in between. The one unifying factor in every case is the thought: “I wanted to last longer.”
Of course, in some cases, that’s because the person ejaculating wanted to last longer, in some cases it’s because the person (or persons) they’re having sex with wanted it to last longer, and in some cases, it’s the person who ejaculated imagining this desire on the part of their partner(s).
If you’ve ever come sooner than you wanted to, though, you know that whether it’s real or imagined, failing to live up to a desire to last longer can be deeply emotionally unpleasant. You can feel humiliated, you can feel let down by your body, you can feel as though you need to apologize for what has happened — and, depending on how soon the orgasm comes, you might have created a bit of a mess.
That is to say, anxiety around premature ejaculation is not exactly blown out of proportion. It can be a genuinely unpleasant experience, and wanting not to experience it is extremely valid. That’s why there are tons of products available aiming to help guys get the best of their PE struggles.
What all of the premature ejaculation discourse ignores, however, is the fact that premature ejaculation remains primarily a question of mindset — specifically, one related to what you think sex is and/or should be.
It’s true that if you have a penis, experiencing multiple orgasms in a short period of time may be difficult or impossible to achieve. People with penises have vastly different refractory periods then people with vaginas, meaning once you orgasm, it typically takes much longer to be able to orgasm again.
It’s something that shifts throughout a person’s life, typically getting longer as you age. For instance, for young teens, it can be as short as a minute or two; for men in their 60s, it could be a whole day.
It’s also true that after climaxing, brain chemicals triggered by your orgasm might make you feel tired and want to go to sleep. You might not feel like you have the energy to keep going — certainly not to keep vigorously penetrating your partner.
In that context, it’s definitely understandable to perceive an orgasm that happens at the onset of proceedings with someone else to be arriving “prematurely.” Since it may be difficult to have a second one, the first one can feel like it’s a visitor showing up well before you’re ready to host.
Much of this framing, however, relies on a common, but incorrect understanding of orgasm: That it is both the high point and the end of the story, the way the climax of a movie happens not long before the credits roll.
Compared to straight cis men, women and queer people are more likely to know that sex is not as straightforward and simple and cookie-cutter as that. More often, they know that orgasms can happen at any point during an encounter, or not at all, without detracting from its ability to be an enjoyable experience for all.
For instance, a gay guy who cums early on might switch to bottoming; two lesbians might make each other cum many times over during a hookup; a cis straight woman might never cum from partnered sex but enjoy the experience nonetheless for the feelings of arousal and togetherness it brings with her partner; a genderqueer person might cum early on during a threesome and spend the rest of the time performing oral on the other two participants.
Orgasm, in this conception of sex, is not the be-all and end-all — emphasis on the end-all — and if it shows up early on, it’s not the movie ending too soon; it’s a cameo appearance by a beloved celebrity that happens in the first act, rather than the third.
In short, there’s nothing stopping you from having a nice lengthy sex session thereafter — except your own perception that things are now over.
If guys started recognizing that sex was not framed around the possibility of their ejaculation, but rather around more than one person collaborating on an experience of pleasure, they could free their minds from the shackles of premature ejaculation. They could recognize that cumming sooner than you expected to may be surprising and even disappointing, but that it’s not remotely the end of the proceedings, and in fact, it might only be the beginning.
This isn’t a call for anyone to stop caring entirely about the timing of their orgasm. Nor is it a screed denouncing the PE-products industry. What it is is a friendly reminder that it’s all too easy to become trapped in a story we tell ourselves.
So long as your ejaculation remains, in your mind, the most important thing about sex, the precise timing of when it happens will have an outsized importance. Recognizing that cumming is awesome, but not so awesome as to overshadow everything else about sex is a healthy stance that can change a person’s relationship with PE from one of struggle to one of comparative OKness.
All you have to do is recognize that the moment your semen stops coming out of the glans is the moment that a new chapter in the story of your hookup begins.
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