My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year and from the start we had chemistry, soon followed by intimacy. While we’re very open when it comes to our relationship, there’s one topic I avoid: his endurance in bed. We’re both young, just stepping into our twenties. Do I chalk up the short couplings to youth and wait for him to grow out of it? Or is this something that’s best looked into as early as possible? I don’t want to bruise his pride by forcing the subject; he is, after all, very attentive in all other things.—NT, Ottawa, Canada
The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox
Well, hello there, northerly neighbor—good to hear from you. Based on the wording of your question, I’m a bit confused. Is he lasting too long or not long enough? I’ll assume it’s the latter since most of us would not complain if time spent between the sheets was unexpectedly longer than anticipated. (Or maybe we would.)
To answer your question, there are really two main causes of his premature ejaculation: extreme sensitivity or extreme levels of arousal. If he’s extremely sensitive, the head of his penis will cause him to go into “spasms” that result in the mother lode simply due to the sensations he feels. If this is the case, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about it.
But if the root of the matter is caused by extreme arousal, then he has a case of overactive sex glands for which hormones are to blame. When a guy becomes sexually aroused, these glands drive hormones into the blood stream. When the hormone levels get too high, he loses control and the result is an orgasm. I think the best advice I can offer here is to remain aware of his level and know when to ease up a bit. But have fun with it! See if he has a trigger point that puts him over the top and stop just shy of going there. And as far as bruising his ego, just let him know you need a little more attention to other things before you pay attention to his thing. That way you both walk away satisfied.
The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
Not to be brutal or cause alarm, but if you’re both in your twenties, I think this is the time that all the equipment should be working fairly effortlessly, so I wouldn’t wait to say anything. Carpe diem, sister; you’re not getting any younger and you’ll be doing both of you a favor by being part of the equation to figure this out. The conversation might be awkward, but the outcome, as they say on those annoying, late night ExtenZe commercials, could be “really fun.”
I’m a firm believer that difficult conversations are always made a bit easier by using the Oreo method, which is: put the difficult-to-discuss news in the center of some good (and honest) news. Start by telling him what you like (I’m assuming that “very attentive in all other things” is referring to some other mad bedroom skills) and then transition into what you’d like more of.
For example, “Baby, I love it when you ____. You know exactly how to _______ to make me ______.” (Work with me here, people, this isn’t 1900.com.) “But you know what I think would be even more fun than that? You. In me. For longer.” (Did I just say that?!) Or something else suitably dirty, enticing, and a little porn-esque to turn him on. (Maybe we are 1900.com.) Then ask him what he thinks will work to achieve that result … perhaps a condom will make him less sensitive? Or does he need to build up his resistance a little with you doing all sorts of nasty, fun things to him to take him just to the edge and then … stopping? Think of it as training for a marathon; you run a little bit longer each time and then one day, you’ve got the endurance and will to run twenty-six miles. Hopefully your proverbial twenty-six mile “time” will be somewhere between three and five minutes, as opposed to eleven seconds.
If you’re thoughtful and gentle in your approach, his ego should be just fine. Good luck … and have fun!
The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
I would bet that his shortcoming is something that will be with him even as he advances in age, and there’s no time like the present to address this. I’m sure he’s aware of his issue and up until now hasn’t solved it, so a little help from you could be welcome.
You are correct about the pride thing and so your best approach here is to stroke his … ahem … ego. Frame it by saying how amazing the sex is and you just wish it could last longer. “Hmm, gosh what do you think we could do about that … stallion?”
Offer the following Rules of W suggestions:
- Wrap it. Use condoms. A plastic coating over his private parts decreases the sensation and should prolong the intercourse.
- Whack it. He should masturbate before you two get started. I’m assuming no more than fifteen to twenty minutes is all the advance time he’ll need. The second time around should last longer. And each subsequent time should, too if you’re so inclined—and reclined.
- Will it. Thinking of something other than the actual sex can be a nice delay tactic, but he’s on his own here. The old adage is to think about baseball. This works fine if you’re thinking about frumpy, hairy, fat 250-pound pitchers like Eric Gagne, but a whole other problem could arise if he wanders into women’s softball and the likes of six foot tall, blonde, ponytailed USA pitcher, Jennie Finch.
- Work it. You get on top and control things for a bit. He won’t get as much of a consistent pump and gravity can assist you here, too.
- Whiskey it. Get him this magical drink to delay the ole bunny from coming out of the hat. Caveat: he shouldn’t overindulge, lest he get the infamous “whiskey dick.”
Some or all of the above will turn your one pump chump into a long-time champ.
The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer
Wow, I am way—and I mean WAY—out of my experience level here! If I were with someone who came up short n the endurance department, I would be curious to know some other things and would play detective. For instance, I would wonder if his endurance problem extends beyond his encounters with you. In other words, has he maintained for longer amounts of time with his previous partners? Is it a challenge for him to rise to any occasion? Does he seem to be self-aware of the issue?
I’m going to assume that your needs are not being met either in this Quick Draw McGraw situation. This is where I would start the conversation with him. Most lovers have a vested interest in pleasing their partners. Tell him what you need.
I’m also wondering what you mean when you say that he’s attentive in all other areas. Does that mean that he can make it worth your while with other parts of him while you’re in bed? Or does this just mean that he is a great guy out of the sack? If he’s talented in bed in other ways, remind him that you love it when he does X and Y, yet you need more … well more time. You want the moment to last longer. I know that in the Zen Buddhist framework, all we have is this one moment, but I don’t think they meant that having sex should only take a moment.
On the flip side of this philosophical outlook, you might want to share this by saying with him, “Life is not measured by moments, but by the moments that take our breath away.” He needs to take your breath away and that may take time.