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The Most Common Causes of Delayed Ejaculation and What You Can Do to Treat It

There are many reasons why men have difficulty ejaculating, ranging from psychological to physical. Fortunately, there are many treatments you can take to help overcome the problem of delayed ejaculation so that you can enjoy sex again, without worrying about when it will end. Here are some of the most common causes of delayed ejaculation and what you can do to treat it.

What is Delayed Ejaculation, Anyway?

Delayed ejaculation is hard to define, but is typically considered a sexual dysfunction if you have struggled to ejaculate when you'd like to during sex, if this has been going on for more than six months, and the issue is causing significant distress. Many men feel pressured to last longer in bed, but delayed ejaculation is essentially the reverse scenario of involuntary or premature ejaculation. That can be a seriously frustrating issue for anyone, but it’s particularly tough if you’re in a relationship with someone who’s getting frustrated—and understandably so. While treatment can vary depending on what’s causing your problem, here are some of the most common causes, along with some tips for how to treat them. This information can also help you understand why delayed ejaculation happens and where to go from there.

Why Masturbation Matters for Ejaculation

It's important for anyone of any gender to switch up masturbation techniques, especially if you use a type of stimulation that is difficult for another person to recreate. If you have a penis, this means you'll want to avoid using a "death grip" while masturbating. If you squeeze your penis tightly every time you masturbate, Lover's co-founder Dr. Britney Blair says, "It's like rehearsing for a play you'll never be in!"

Try to experiment with using toys, and using your imagination instead of relying on porn every time. There is an area of your brain called the "dorsal anterior cingulate cortex" (or dACC) which gravitates toward novelty. For example, your dACC may be active while you're refreshing your social feeds, or browsing porn. This part of the brain is crucial for sexual functioning, as Dr. Blair explains: "Watching a lot of porn can familiarize your brain with certain stimuli, leaving your dACC hungrier and hungrier for something new and exciting...When your dACC is overfed, you may struggle to tap into the same level of novelty and thrills you're used to during partnered sex." The solution? Try to limit porn consumption to 30 minutes per week, with at least 72 hours between each time.

Tap Into Your Turn-Ons

What gets you hot and bothered? Are you comfortable sharing this with your partner? Taking the time to communicate your needs to your partner can be incredibly rewarding for both of you in the bedroom. If you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, the Lover App's Turn-Ons Game is the perfect ice-breaker to try with your partner. Scroll through hundreds of different fantasies and scenarios, swipe right on the ones you're into, and get a match with your partner when they like the same turn-on as you. They'll only see your preferences when you share a turn-on in common, so there's no embarrassment!

About Medications

Certain medications, like SSRI antidepressants, can also contribute to delayed ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. The “why” here is a bit too long to answer, but the reality is that most people on SSRI antidepressants will experience sexual problems. Usually these are problems with libido, arousal and orgasm. It's not ideal! But then again, neither is depression. The good news is that there are alternative medications that have fewer sexual side effects, and there is some scientific evidence that certain medications can counteract the negative sexual impact of SSRIs.

If you're worried about how your medication may be affecting your sex life, make sure to talk to your doctor first before making any modifications. Finding an experienced urologist can also help. A doctor can determine if there’s a physical cause for your delayed ejaculation, which requires a different approach than treating psychological issues. They’ll help you tackle these issues head-on so you can enjoy sex with your partner again.

Stress, Anxiety, and Delayed Ejaculation

It's possible you may be bringing outside stress into bed with you, which is never sexy. If work's been getting you down or you've had other issues lately that are taking up real estate in your mind, this may contribute to difficulty reaching orgasm. In the bedroom, delayed ejaculation can be triggered by anxiety and stress related to performance. If you suffer from performance anxiety when trying to perform sexually with a partner, make an effort to focus on your partner more than yourself. Try focusing on giving them pleasure rather than performing for them: go down on them, give attention to their erogenous zones, and switch gears so that your mind isn't so worked up about your own orgasm.


Your sex life is unique, which is why the Lover app also offers personalized 1:1 coaching to address your needs. Download it here to book your first session or try "Coming As You Please," our course designed to help you overcome delayed ejaculation!


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