Learning how to last longer in bed is one of the most common reasons why men seek out my sex therapy services. Just about every man worries about orgasming too quickly, regardless of the actual amount of time he tends to last. Fortunately, there are a few straightforward, actionable strategies for lasting longer during sex.
Change Your Masturbation Habits
Your masturbation habits play an enormous role in what partnered sex is like for you. Unfortunately, most men don’t seem to realise this. If you want to learn how to last longer in bed, you have to take an honest look at your masturbation habits. Here are some dynamics to address:
How long you masturbate
Most guys masturbate to get the job done. It’s a purely utilitarian experience, usually accomplished as quickly as possible. (It may also be a pattern that stemmed from your early childhood experiences, trying to masturbate quickly before your parents walked in on you.)
But if you masturbate quickly, you’re training your body to reach orgasm quickly. Instead, you want to try to draw out your sessions and make them last much longer. Think about how long you’d like to last with a partner, and be thoughtful about that timeline when you masturbate.
There are few topics that can evoke such widespread and intense anxiety as penis size. Just about every man — regardless of the actual size of his penis — worries about being too small. Here’s what you need to know about penis size, and what to do if you’re afraid your penis is smaller than 'normal'.
How focused you are on orgasm
If you’re a utilitarian masturbator, you probably also aim to take a straight path to orgasm. But again, this only serves to teach your body to take a straight path to orgasm when you’re with a partner.
Instead, try to build some teasing into your masturbation practice. Think of arousal on a one to 10 scale, with one being barely turned on and 10 being orgasm. Get yourself to a six, then back down to a three, then back up to a seven, then down to a five, then back to a six, then down to a two, then up to an eight, and so on. (It doesn’t have to be that exact pattern; that’s just an example.)
Find your point of no return
If you aim for an immediate orgasm, you probably have no idea what happens in your body in the moments leading up to an orgasm (otherwise called your “point of no return”). That means you’re likely to get caught off guard by an orgasm when you’re with a partner. When you masturbate, try to get a better sense of what happens in your body as you near an orgasm.
Take a Porn Hiatus
To be perfectly clear, I think that porn can be a part of a healthy sex life. But I think most people aren’t particularly thoughtful about how they use porn in their solo sex life.
Porn can make it a lot harder to be in touch with your body as you masturbate, since you’re watching the screen in front of you. That makes it more difficult for you to understand where you are in your arousal process, and more likely that you’ll actually get caught off guard by your orgasm.
As you’re learning to be more in tune with your arousal, it can help to masturbate without porn for a period of time.
Men have long bemoaned the idea that women can have multiple orgasms, but men can't. Men, after all, have to deal with the frustrating refractory period - after an orgasm, their penises stay limp no matter how much they try to coax them into action. Their energy levels are depleted, anyway, and they often just want to sleep.
Learn to Manage Anxiety
Not being able to last as long as you want in the bedroom can cause a great deal of anxiety. That anxiety, of course, only serves to make you orgasm faster. If you want to last longer, you have to learn how to manage that anxiety.
I know this isn’t the “sexiest” sounding piece of advice, but one of the best ways to help yourself last longer during sex is to start some sort of mindfulness or meditation practice. Ten to 20 minutes of mindfulness practice every day can work wonders for addressing performance issues. Fortunately, Lifehacker has you covered with plenty of resources.
Focus on Your Partner’s Pleasure
One of the ironic things about performance issues is that many men end up over-emphasising intercourse - the one sexual activity that actually requires the cooperation of your penis. But the reality is that you can pleasure your partner in so many other ways. (And if you’re having sex with a woman, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to pleasure her with your hands or mouth better than you can pleasure her with your penis.)
If you’re concerned about not being able to last long enough, make sure you help your partner feel pleasure or an orgasm before moving on to intercourse. That will also help give your confidence a boost.
Take Breaks and Switch Things Up
During the actual act of intercourse, you can help yourself last a lot longer by not rushing your way straight through. Here are some ways to do that:
- Try to replicate the same six to three to seven to five pattern I mentioned above. (Again, you don’t have to copy that exact pattern, just the general idea of letting your arousal rise and fall.)
- Change the pace of your thrusting. Alternate between slow and fast.
- Change the depth of your thrusting. Alternate between deep and shallow.
- Take breaks from intercourse to go back to manual stimulation or oral sex.
Switching things up in this way keeps your partner on your their, so it won’t feel as though you’re doing this just to delay your orgasm.
Don’t Use Numbing Sprays
Finally, a note about numbing sprays and creams. These kinds of products make you last longer in the bedroom by dulling the sensations that you feel. They can sometimes be effective, but they’re far from a foolproof option.
But the problem is that they just aren’t that pleasant to use, and they don’t address any of the underlying issues that cause early ejaculation. They just aren’t a great long-term solution.