How long does your sex last?
And when you give guys some anonymity, they admit it. The most popular response to a reddit poll on “how long does sex normally last” was 1-2 minutes.
That’s a major problem.
The reported ideal length of sex is between 10 and 25 minutes, and 80% of guys suffer from some form of premature ejaculation and can’t pull that off.
Both men and women want longer lasting sex, but guys lack the sexual stamina to make it happen.
I had this same problem. I tried EVERYTHING to improve it. Eventually, I figured out what worked, but figuring it out was a huge pain in the ass. The advice floating around the Internet is terrible, and I suspect that most of it is written by people who haven’t dealt with the problem.
Which brings us here. Me drinking enough wine to talk about sex on the Internet. We’re going to cover a lot, so be ready to take notes.
I’ll start with step one: addressing the psychological factors behind lasting longer.
Step two is the exercises you can do to start lasting longer.
Finally, step three is what to do during sex to make sure you last as long as possible.
And to help you in the process, be sure to download the app, Stamena, which will help train you to last longer.
If you go into sex thinking that you won’t last very long, you won’t. Sliding in with any sort of anxiety about your sexual abilities will make you cum much faster than you want to.
And if you consider it biologically, it makes sense. The insecurity makes you anxious. Your body can tell that you’re anxious. The anxiety suggests that this isn’t a very safe environment for you to be naked with your eyes closed and unprepared to defend against one of these.
So what does your body do when you’re anxious during sex? It reduces the amount of time you’re in a vulnerable state by subjecting you to either premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction.
The only cure is to approach sex with a confident, positive outlook on how you’re going to perform.
The best way to do that? Talk to your partner about it.
If you bring up your concerns about how long you’re lasting and that you want to work on it with them, they’re not going to think less of you. Rather, they’ll think higher of you for wanting to improve your sex life together, and want to work on it with you.
It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, and you’ll find that just being open about it will solve half the problem on its own.
No partner? No worries. You can easily do the exercises without one.
There are only two things you need to do regularly to control premature ejaculation: kegel exercises and masturbation practice.
If you do nothing else in this article, do this.
The best way to improve your ejaculatory control is the strengthen the muscles that control ejaculation. Makes sense, right? You do that through kegel exercises, and reverse kegels, which train your pelvic floor muscles to help you control when you ejaculate.
If you’ve never heard of kegels before, I wrote more in-depth articles on kegel exercises for men, and reverse kegels, to help you out. But you can get by with the abbreviated version below if you’re familiar with it.
Here’s what I want you to do:
This is called your Pubococcygeus muscle, PC muscle, or pelvic floor, and while it can control the flow of urine, it also controls your ejaculation.
Strengthening it will make you last longer, and eventually even allow you to stop yourself from reaching the “point of no return” and quickly bring yourself down from near orgasm.
To train it, we’re going to tie small weights to your penis, then you’re going to get hard and flex it to lift the weights.
Okay just kidding, it’s a little easier than that.
All you have to do to train your pelvic floor is “kegel exercises” which involve flexing it repeatedly, and “reverse kegel exercises” which involve pushing out on it repeatedly.
But, like any muscle, you can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect it to get much stronger. You need to keep increasing the difficulty.
The best way to do this is to use the app “Stamena” that gives you specific directions on how long to clench and push for, and the different speeds to do it at. If you’re on Android, you can use Kegel Trainer.
As you do more of it, you “level up” in the app and start holding and pressing for longer and for more repetitions. You’ll start seeing serious improvements in your sexual longevity around level 8+.
I set a reminder in the app to ping me 3 times a day to make sure I didn’t forget. You don’t have to do it that frequently, once a day is fine, but doing it 2 to 3 times a day will get you there faster.
Once you get to level 20+ you can cut back and just do it for maintenance. But like any muscle, when you stop using it you’ll get weaker. So keep training.
If you want to last longer, you have to start masturbating differently.
Many guys who have trouble lasting a long time have gotten themselves into bad habits from how they masturbate.
If you typically open the spank bank, go full jackhammer on your dick and finish up in a minute or two then yeah, you’re not going to have very much staying power with the real deal.
Here’s your new rule for masturbating: nothing less than 10 minutes. I don’t care if you have to spend 8 of those minutes just staring at it, you can’t let yourself cum in less than 10 minutes. Once that’s comfortable, up it to 15, then 20.
Now, here’s what you should be doing during those 10 minutes.
When a guy isn’t lasting very long in bed, it’s because his “pleasure graph” is looking something like this:
A quick escalation straight to cumming. To last longer, you’re going to train yourself to have your “pleasure graph” look more like this:
This is done through “edging,” which you’ll do during sex later but also need to incorporate into your masturbation.
Here’s how it works:
As you’re getting more aroused, remember the STAB technique to slow yourself down:
Ideally, you should combine all of them to get better control over your ejaculation, but start with one and then add others in until the technique becomes second nature.
Set aside 20 minutes a night for this kind of practice. The more the better.
If you have a partner you’d rather do this with, tell her what you’re working on, and ask her to help you either with manual/mouth stimulation or by having slow sex with a lot of stopping and starting.
It will be very tempting to just let yourself go when you’re hitting those 9.5 peaks, but trust me, exercising like this will be worth it.
Plus it’s a lot of fun.
If you’ve been doing your training, then you’re already going to last much longer in bed.
But we can layer more on top of it. These next four strategies will significantly improve your staying power, just by taking the same principles we’ve been using for masturbation to the bedroom
Foreplay frequently goes in this order, because women typically expect men to initiate the next stage of sex:
Kissing / touching -> Cunnilingus -> Fellatio -> Sex
There’s an obvious problem though: you’re going straight from intense oral stimulation to sex.
That’s no bueno. You want to be going into sex at a 4 or 5, not at an 8.
Here’s what you do. You’re already talking to your partner about lasting longer (unless you skipped down here, shame on you), so tell her that it’d be better if you got her off once manually (to get her warmed up more), then she went down on you, then you went down on her after.
Kissing / touching -> Get her off once manually -> Fellatio -> Cunnilingus -> Sex
When you’re receiving oral, after you get to 9.5 a couple times (same edging technique as before, just this time you yell “stop” at the peaks), switch it up so you can cool down while you go down on her and get her off a few times.
Also, tell her to push against your PC muscle (using two or three fingers or a fist works well) while she’s going down on you. It makes you last longer and feels great, but it’s hard to do during actual sex.
Then, when you’ve peaked enough times, getting a cooldown period with minimal stimulation while going down on her will increase how long you last significantly.
Alternatively, depending on how long your refractory periods are, you could get off when she’s going down on you then recover for round two (which lasts longer) while going down on her. Up to you.
Edging during foreplay is easy, but during sex it’s a little different. You don’t want to keep stopping and starting thrusting since that’s going to be frustrating for her, and it’ll give you performance anxiety from worrying about cumming too soon.
Instead, you can edge yourself during sex by switching up your positions.
Some positions will move you up arousal stages faster. Others, less so. It’s a combination of:
A position with her legs more closed (more friction) plus you doing the thrusting while lying down (e.g. missionary) will be high stimulation and get you off faster.
But a position with her legs spread and you standing or kneeling will have less stimulation. Same story if she’s on top of you moving back and forth instead of up and down.
(If you’re not sure what I mean by “back and forth” (vs “thrusting”) well… this is the only way to explain it (NSFW).)
You need to find your “low stim” and “high stim” positions. Get in the high stim positions when you’re at a 5 or 6, then switch to low stim positions when you’re at an 8 or 9 to bring it back down.
And while you’re switching, take a few seconds to squeeze your PC muscles!
The way you breathe also affects how quickly you ejaculate.
You’ve heard about how you can trick yourself into being happier by making yourself smile, right? Well, you can also make yourself more or less aroused by changing your breathing.
If you want to be less aroused and feel less anxious, slow your breathing and make sure you’re taking deep belly breaths with your diaphragm. Taking quick breaths in your shoulders and chest is what you do when you’re about to cum, so if you’re doing that, your body thinks you’re close.
Breathe like you’re fine and you’ll become fine.
Those first three tips will help you stay in the 5-9 range. But what happens when you get to 9.9 and you don’t think there’s any way to stop yourself from cumming?
This is what training those PC muscles has led to.
Assuming you’ve gotten them strong enough, all you need to do to bring yourself back from that “point of no return” is stop thrusting and clamp HARD like a long kegel hold (or a combination of shorter ones if you found that worked better for you).
The longer you squeeze, the more you’ll come down. With practice, you can take yourself from a 9.9 to a 6 or 7 in a few seconds, and add another ~5 minutes to your sex.
Here’s the catch, though. It works better the closer you are to cumming when you do it, so you’re going to have some misfires. But with practice, you’ll start noticing when is the right time to squeeze, and you’ll get better and better at pulling yourself back from the edge.
And what about the other squeeze technique? Where you grip the head or shaft of your penis and squeeze it to restrict blood flow and bring yourself down? You can use that as well, but it creates more of an interruption and it’s hard to argue that it’s good for you. Try the kegel squeeze first.
That’s it. One psychological change, two exercises to keep you in good sexual shape, three techniques to manage how quickly you heat up, and the last second squeeze to bring you back. That’s all you need to control premature ejaculation and have great sex.
It’s just a matter of execution. Do the exercises, be open with your partner about what you’re working on, and you’ll see results in less than a month.
Last thing, this is the first article in a series. The next article is about how to have multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms as a guy, have fun with it!
Then consider joining the 22,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles, and book notes.