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What Can You Do If Your Partner Orgasms Quickly?

Tackling the problem as a couple is kinder and often more successful.

Key points

  • Premature ejaculation is a common sexual concern. Surveys suggest that about a third of men orgasm within two minutes of entering a partner.
  • When dealing with the challenge, loving, compassionate communication is key, and a team approach is more likely to be successful.
  • Options for solving the problem include trying different strategies to increase a partner's staying power or finding other ways to enjoy sex.

How long should it take your partner to orgasm?

Chances are you have an answer to that question, even if you don’t acknowledge it to your partner. But orgasms are tricky business because even the best-laid plans don’t always succeed between the sheets. We can’t dictate how the body reacts in sexual situations. Our sexual bodies march to their own drummers – they don’t accommodate our sexual ideals. We cannot tell the body who to desire, which fantasies to find compelling, or how much stimulation is needed to orgasm.

Dmitry Zimin/Shutterstock
Source: Dmitry Zimin/Shutterstock

When it comes to orgasming quickly, guys have it rough. From an evolutionary perspective, orgasming fast is a clear advantage. That’s because, thousands of years ago, the longer it took him to come meant more opportunity to be attacked by predators like lions or bears. Guys who orgasmed quickly would be more likely to successfully reproduce, at least in comparison to guys who took their good old time before impregnating their partner, all the while risking being interrupted at best, eaten at worst. Thus, what we call “premature ejaculation” today is historically an adaptive sexual style. Our modern ideals about sexual performance are based on a different reality, however.

Today, surveys suggest that about one-third of guys orgasm within two minutes of entering a partner. Many men are upset and even ashamed by this, whether or not they acknowledge it. Certainly, we see a very different image being portrayed by porn. This can be disappointing for heterosexual women too, who may long for more extended love-making sessions. Women by and large need much more time than two minutes if they are going to orgasm during thrusting.

It’s a difficult situation because most women don’t want to shame their partner by commenting on their staying power. Making a big deal about his coming fast can result in his feeling performance anxiety, which can complicate matters further. As a result, this challenge may be ignored and remain unaddressed within a couple. But not talking about it is not a solution. If a woman is repeatedly disappointed, she may become angry with her partner and/or lose enthusiasm for intercourse.

How to Solve the Problem as a Couple

What to do? Of course, communication is key – but loving, compassionate communication is a must. Keep in mind that there’s a double standard here. If you came sooner than you wanted, your partner would probably find that exciting. Rather than make the entire conversation about him, I’d suggest you bring up his timing in the context of more general communication about sex. Talk about what you both like about your sexual relationship, and what you both might want to try. Ask him if there’s something he’d like from you and explain that you’d like to see if you can work together to make sex last longer.

Taking this “team” approach is much kinder and will probably be more successful than implying that your lover has a problem and it’s his alone to fix. Ask if he’s open to trying different strategies that may extend his staying power, such as masturbating earlier in the day, wearing condoms to dull sensation, or experimenting with different sexual positions that he may find less stimulating. Increasing foreplay time for you may enhance your pleasure. He can also masturbate with a sex toy, thus giving him an opportunity to practice managing his orgasm on his own.

Talking with his doctor about medical options may help too. For example, some medical practitioners prescribe off-label use of medication that can make orgasm more difficult, such as SSRI anti-depressants or numbing creams. Medications that enhance erection – like Viagra and other PDE5-inhibitors — can help by enabling him to more easily become erect again. This may help to reduce his anxiety which may also benefit his staying power. If performance anxiety or other emotional stuff gets in his way, seeing a sex therapist can be helpful.

But even if nothing changes, just because he orgasms does not mean your fun has to stop. Have a dildo handy so that you can continue to play after he comes. In fact, it will do you both good to expand your sexual repertoire. Less dependency on his erect penis will benefit you both because penises (like all genitals) are notoriously unreliable body parts.

Premature ejaculation is a common sexual concern for men and their partners. You certainly aren’t alone with this challenge. Remember that conversations about sex can be anxiety-producing for everyone. Be a responsible lover and initiate these discussions only when you are feeling loving, supportive, and ready to participate in “team” solutions.