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Premature Ejaculation: The Two Causes of Men's #1 Sex Problem

Premature ejaculation is men's most prevalent sex problem.

Ever since Viagra's 1998 approval, erectile dysfunction (ED) has dominated media coverage of men's sex problems. But ED is actually less prevalent than rapid, involuntary "premature" ejaculation (PE).

University of Chicago researchers have conducted the most widely cited research into American sex problems. Their two studies (cited at the end) are based on a representative sample of 2,865 men, 18 to 85. They show that from 18 to 59, PE is much more prevalent than ED, and that among men 60 and older, one-quarter of men continue to experience it. As a result, sexologists consider PE men's #1 sex problem. The numbers:

Erection problems*
(% reporting any during previous year)
18-29: 7
30-39: 9
40-49: 11
50-59: 18
57-64: 31
65-74: 45
75-85: 43

Premature Ejaculation*
(same criterion)
18-29: 30
30-39: 32
40-49: 28
50-59: 31
57-64: 30
65-74: 28
75-85: 22

(*One study tracked ages 18-59, the other, 57 to 85)

PE has a convoluted history. The 4th century Kama Sutra chided PE sufferers for frustrating women. However, during the Victorian era in England and America, women were not considered sexual, but merely passive receptacles for men's lust. Because women's pleasure was not an issue, neither was PE. In fact, Darwinians considered rapid ejaculation a sign of virility. Those men, they argued, were more likely to father children and pass their genes, including presumably those for PE, to future generations.

However, by the 20th century, PE was again problematic. Psychoanalytic theory blamed it on neurotic ambivalence toward women. But during the 1960s, Masters and Johnson conclusively showed that a simple self-help program could teach more than 90 percent of men to last as long as they wanted within a few months. Their success launched contemporary sex therapy.

PE has two major causes: youth and pornography. Young men have very excitable nervous systems. They're primed to ejaculate and don't even need sex to do it (wet dreams). In addition, in our culture, men are supposed to orchestrate sex, but few young men know much about lovemaking. This causes anxiety, which makes the nervous system more excitable and more prone to PE, which often becomes a conditioned reflex that can last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, pornography has become the leading sex educator of men. Internet porn is available for free 24-7. In a previous blog, I argued that porn does not cause rape (read more). But porn causes sexual harm. It teaches sex all wrong, deluding men about what good sex is. No wonder so many women complain that men are erotically clueless. Here's the deal, guys: Porn is almost entirely genital. Boy meets girl, and faster than dropping a zipper, they're deep into oral sex and intercourse. Porn-style all-genital sex puts tremendous pressure on the penis, which reacts by ejaculating quickly. Porn-style sex cements PE.

Fortunately, in just a few months, the vast majority of men can break the PE habit and learn to last as long as they'd like. The cure combines deep breathing and relaxation with doing the opposite of what you see in porn, namely embracing leisurely, playful, massage-based, whole-body sensuality that spreads erotic arousal from just the penis to every square inch of the body, taking pressure off the penis.

Many surveys show that women prefer lovemaking based on leisurely, playful, whole-body sensuality. Of course, this lovemaking style includes the genitals, but unlike porn, is not fixated on them. Men who embrace the self-help PE cure gain not only ejaculatory control, but also happier lovers. Ironically, women become happier not just because the man lasts longer--only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during intercourse no matter how long it lasts (read more)--but because the program that cures PE teaches men to make love the way women prefer, with the emphasis on whole-body sensually.

Anyone interested in the self-help cure for PE can visit my site, GreatSexAfter40.com, and read the article on the self-help cure for premature ejaculation.

Studies cited:
Laumann, E.O. et al. "Sexual Dysfunction in the United States: Prevalence and Predictors (Age 18-59)," Journal of the American Medical Association (1999) 281:537.

Laumann, E.O. et al. "Sexual Dysfunction Among Older Adults: Prevalence and Risk Factors from a Nationally Representative U.S. Probability Sample of Men and Women 57-85 Years of Age," Journal of Sexual Medicine (2008) 5:2300.

 

San Francisco journalist Michael Castleman, M.A., has written about sexuality for 36 years. more...

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