Dr. Britney Blair
Dr. Britney Blair, Psy.D., CBSM
Last Medically Reviewed 11.25.22
Having problems with the timing of your orgasm and ejaculation? Don't worry, you're not alone. Contrary to popular belief, premature ejaculation and general ejaculatory disorders affect men of all ages, relationship statuses, and sexuality.
The myth that it is only teenage boys who struggle with this? Millions of men struggle with the timing of ejaculation. Sometimes they may feel they are coming too soon and other men may feel it’s taking too long.
From premature ejaculation (although I prefer to call it early ejaculation), to delayed ejaculation, and painful ejaculation to ejaculation retrograde – the penis is subject to a whole spectrum of ejaculatory challenges.
If you’re struggling with issues ejaculating please don’t struggle alone. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the most common ejaculation issues.
But first, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Ejaculation refers to the action of ejecting semen from the body. Three of the main issues around this are; premature ejaculation (or early ejaculation), delayed ejaculation and retrograde ejaculation. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
Some of the Factors Behind Premature Ejaculation
There can be a whole host of reasons for premature ejaculation, and occasional episodes are perfectly normal. In fact, 30-40%* of men will be affected by premature ejaculation at some point in their life.
However, if you feel you are coming more quickly than you’d like on a regular basis it may be worth seeking treatment.
By far the most common cause of early ejaculation is simply not being familiar enough with your body's ejaculatory response. Most men have learned a “route one” approach to masturbation and orgasm early on in life, as a result of needing to not get caught by parents, teachers or friends! This trains the brain and body to embrace the rapid approach to ejaculatory response.
But by becoming more familiar with this response, and learning to slow it down, we can effectively lengthen the time to ejaculation. This is exactly what the exercises in the Lover app’s training program for Premature Ejaculation are designed to do.
Sometimes psychological causes are the culprit. Stress and anxiety, depression and relationship problems – these can all put you off your game.
Frequently experiencing premature ejaculation may also point towards physical issues, including; prostate problems, thyroid issues, having a sensitive penis, or as a result of using recreational drugs.
But what is too quickly anyway? A minute, five minutes – before you even get to the party doors? You may be surprised to know that in a study1, the average time to ejaculate during intercourse is around five and a half minutes
Resolving Premature Ejaculation
While there is no one-size fits all cure for pre-ejaculation, there are a number of techniques that can help.
If you believe it’s a psychological issue, and you’re looking for a pill-free way to resolve the matter, check out the Lover app. Designed by doctors, it acts as a sexual health coach with guided help and support. This includes practical exercises that have been proven in studies to increase the average time to ejaculation by 7 to 9 minutes.
Since launching, 86% of men have reported feeling better about their time to ejaculation after using the Lover app.
Other options include:
Seeking couples therapy
Using a thicker condom to decrease sensation
Masturbation one to two hours prior to partnered sex
Controlled breathing techniques
Taking a break during intercourse to pace yourself
Medical intervention is also an option, with a wide range of drugs on the market.
On the other side of the scale, we have delayed ejaculation - also going by the fancy name of male orgasmic disorder. Ironically, there’s nothing orgasmic about the issue, which can result in a delay prior to ejaculation, or indeed the inability to ejaculate at all. If you’ve ever tried to impress after one too many drinks, you’ll know exactly how this feels.
Symptoms and Signs of Delayed Ejaculation
Look, all men have suffered from a case of being semen-shy now and then. But, if you’re struggling with the timing of ejaculation regularly, and need half an hour or more to reach orgasm and ejaculate, you may be suffering from delayed ejaculation.
Resolving Delayed Ejaculation
As with premature ejaculation, there could be psychological or physical issues at play.
The most common non-medical cause of delayed ejaculation is unrealistic masturbation techniques. By unrealistic, I mean rehearsing for a play you’re never going to be in. This could refer to the strength of your grip, the speed of stimulation, being in a position which is unrepresentative of partnered sex, or only masturbating to one particular fantasy. This trains your brain and body to reach orgasm in a set of circumstances which are never replicated during partnered sex, and hence causes Delayed Ejaculation.
On a psychological level, sexual trauma, stress, depression, and our old friend anxiety can all play their part too. If relationship woes are an issue, then couples therapy is another route you may wish to go down, where you can talk about issues like how to cum faster for instance.
On that note, sex therapy can make a big difference too, especially if you’re looking for a holistic non-medicinal delayed ejaculation cure. If you don’t have the time or inclination to sit in a therapists office, the Lover app is a great alternative. Designed by medical experts, it offers practical and proven techniques to help address your delayed ejaculation. Overall, 89% of men who have tried the app report feeling better about the timing of their ejaculation.
Performance anxiety is not uncommon, and any nervousness can impact on your ability to ejaculate. And unfortunately fellas, as guys age, the man downstairs can also need a little more assistance than before, which is completely normal.
However, if delayed ejaculation happens frequently, especially if you’re younger, you may want to visit a healthcare provider to rule out physical conditions. Furthermore, if you’re taking certain medicines, side effects from medications is the leading cause of delayed ejaculation, so always read the label!
Other Ejaculation Issues
Finally, there’s one more ejaculatory disorder to mention: ejaculation retrograde.
Sounding like something out of a horoscope reading, retrograde ejaculation causes are due to the misdirected flow of semen, which travels into the bladder instead of the urethra. Although rare, this is often diagnosed by the lack of any semen being produced, or having cloudy urine.
While treatment is available, since it can otherwise not impact a healthy sex life, treatment is usually not necessary. However, it should always be diagnosed by a medical professional.