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8th July, 20205 min read

How to make sex last longer

How to make sex last longer
Medical reviewer: Healthily's medical team
Author: Alex Bussey
Last reviewed: 09/07/2020
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our editorial policy

There are no rules to say how long sex should last, but it’s common for men to worry that they ejaculate (or come) too quickly.

If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to last longer in bed, it might be worth sitting down with your partner and having a conversation about your concerns. If you’re both happy and fulfilled by your love life, there may be no reason to worry about how long you last in bed.

But if you’re still wondering how to make sex last longer, you may find it helpful to try some of the self-help strategies designed to help men gain more control over ejaculation.

Ways to last longer in bed

There are a few things that men can try to delay ejaculation, and make sex last longer.

Masturbate 1-2 hours before having sex

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), many men find that they have more control if they ejaculate shortly before they have sex.

This may be because masturbation helps to desensitise the penis, reducing the sensations that trigger an orgasm. This will increase the length of time that it then takes you to ejaculate.

Some people also think that masturbation releases hormones that slow your sex drive, or helps you to get rid of any pent up sexual tension. But there’s less evidence to support these ideas.

Man sitting on bed appearing stressed or depressed

Try the squeeze method

The squeeze method is a technique that’s often used to treat men who are struggling with premature ejaculation. It helps you to stop an orgasm before it occurs, and it can also help you to gain more control over ejaculation.

To practice the squeeze method, you or your partner should stimulate your penis until you think you’re about to ejaculate. When you get close, squeeze the penis where the glands or head meets the shaft; using your thumb and forefinger to press down until the urge to ejaculate goes away.

You should then wait for 30 seconds before resuming sexual intercourse.

Over time, practicing this technique should help you to recognise the signs of an approaching orgasm, and help you to slow down, stop or distract yourself before you ejaculate.

Try the stop-start method

The stop-start method (sometimes called edging) is another technique that you can use to increase control in the bedroom. Like the squeeze method, it helps you to recognise the sensations that occur in the build-up to an orgasm so that you can learn to control your body’s response to sexual stimulation.

To practice the stop-start method, you or your partner should stimulate your penis until you feel like you’re about to ejaculate. You should then stop, and rest until the urge to ejaculate has passed.

Do this 3 to 4 times before allowing yourself to ejaculate.

As with the squeeze method mentioned above, you’ll need to practice this technique every time you have sex. It can take a couple of weeks to see any benefit.

The stop-start method is recommended by international organisations like the European Association of Urology.

Close up of couple opening a condom in a bedroom

Wear a thick condom

Some people find that condoms help to decrease sensation, and make the penis less sensitive. Thick condoms may do this better.

You can also try condoms that are treated with numbing agents to further decrease sensation.

Try numbing sprays and creams

You can use topical numbing agents that contain local anaesthetic to desensitise your penis and delay an orgasm. Evidence suggests that these treatments are fairly effective, and you can buy them from most pharmacies.

However, it’s important to note you may not feel yourself ejaculate. Numbing agents can also cause vaginal numbness in your partner.

If you intend to use a spray or cream to delay your orgasm, apply it 10-30 minutes before intercourse so that it has time to work, and make sure that you wash it off 5-10 minutes before having sex.

You could wear a condom to prevent the medicine from numbing your partner’s vagina. Some sprays are also available that don’t cause vaginal numbness.

When should I worry about ejaculating too quickly?

Although there’s no ‘normal’ length of time for someone to last in bed, experts say that regularly ejaculating within 1 minute of entering your partner may be a sign that you’re suffering from premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation is common and thought to affect up to nearly a third (31%) of men at some point in their lives.

It can be caused by stress, tiredness or relationship problems, but it could also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as depression, a thyroid problem or an issue with your prostate gland.

If you’re worried about premature ejaculation you should book an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to assess your condition, look for any underlying causes and maybe recommend some useful treatments.

Quick Quiz
Premature ejaculation (ejaculating within 1 minute of penetration) is fairy common. True or false?

Ejaculation problems [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Can premature ejaculation be controlled? [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Ejaculation Problems - Sexual Advice Association [Internet]. Sexual Advice Association. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Premature Ejaculation - Causes and Treatment | familydoctor.org [Internet]. familydoctor.org. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

How is premature ejaculation diagnosed and treated? | ISSM [Internet]. ISSM. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Hatzimouratidis K, Eardley I, Giuliano F, Moncada I, Salonia A. Male Sexual Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation [Internet]. uroweb.org. 2015 [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Should You Masturbate Before Sex? [Internet]. Healthline. [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Richardson D, Goldmeier D, Green J, Lamba H, Harris J. Recommendations for the management of premature ejaculation: BASHH Special Interest Group for Sexual Dysfunction [Internet]. bashh.org. 2006 [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Premature Ejaculation: A Patient Guide [Internet]. urologyhealth.org. 2016 [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Althof S, et al. An Update of the International Society of Sexual Medicine’s Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Premature Ejaculation (PE) [Internet]. issm.info. 2014 [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

Harding M. Premature Ejaculation. Causes of premature ejaculation [Internet]. Patient.info. 2016 [cited 6 July 2020]. Available here.

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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