Sex column: Tips to last longer and stay stronger

Sex tips for men: You may need to seek expert counsel or medical help for premature ejaculation, especially if your condition is causing you severe anxiety or affecting your sexual life. However, you can always focus on pleasuring your partner with or without penetrative intercourse

loving couple

Don’t stop or I’ll kill you!”

Despite her warning, he stopped. It was over before it started. Or so she felt when her boyfriend of 3 months lasted barely 3 minutes in bed. 

Deepa Iyer, 40, a Mumbai-based writer and issuer of empty threats, obviously did not murder the guy. But she did ghost him for a week after that miserable episode. “What was the point? As soon as he was done, he didn’t even bother to try again. He said something lame like it had been too long. He was also worried that if he didn’t go on he might lose his erection. He should have masturbated or something before to make sure that he would last,” she vented as she remembered his performance, or lack of it.

Also read: Sex tip: Do people seek sex outside marriage when they are not happy with their spouse?

Whether one should masturbate or not before sex is a personal choice. The refractory period or the recovery period after an orgasm varies for each person. Some men may take a few hours or even a day before they are stimulated while others can get aroused within a few minutes. If masturbating beforehand can help ensure longer foreplay and delay ejaculation, and if that is what your partner desires, go for it. But, not if it means not being able to be aroused or if it affects your libido during sex. If the idea is to ensure mutual pleasure, then it is more important to be there for one’s partner than focus on getting it over and done with. 

Deepa was put off by the fact that her ex was selfish because he didn’t do a thing to reciprocate the pleasure despite knowing she wasn’t sexually satisfied. 

Does Deepa’s ex suffer from premature ejaculation or is he just a jerk?    

Dr Vijayasarathi Ramanathan, Consultant in Sexual Medicine, Bloom Chennai explains, “Premature ejaculation in many cases is an expectation problem rather than an actual issue. If the partner is satisfied within 2 minutes of intercourse after 40 minutes of foreplay, then it is not an issue. Thinking sex is over after ejaculation and walking away without respect for the partner is a bigger problem than not being able to last longer. If a man would wait for her to achieve orgasm, then the woman would appreciate it and the duration of intercourse wouldn’t matter so much. In fact, one needs to stop considering ejaculation as the outcome or measure of sexual gratification and find a way to work around it.”

Having said that, Dr Vijayasarathi shared some practical tips and suggestions to maintain an erection longer while highlighting the importance of setting the right expectations. Here’s our takeaway from the conversation.

Also read: Sex in the time of Covid: Keep it virtual and carry on

Don’t let porn be your guide!

The pornstar who goes on and on is just like the hero punching one villain after the other in any fictional movie. Like the movie, porn is edited to show the hero in the best light. Any comparison will only make one feel miserable as it is not realistic. Another big myth is that a simulgasm (both partners climaxing at the same time) is important during penile-vaginal intercourse for complete sexual gratification. Porn makes you believe that this is not only desirable but also possible every single time. Another myth is that the baby created after that will be healthy and smart. 

A big problem with porn sites is the advertisements for products that claim to help you achieve and maintain an erection. Most people who are too embarrassed to go to a doctor end up buying these products, especially ones that claim to be herbal or natural. Some of them may contain heavy metals or steroids and are likely to do more harm than good. 

Premature ejaculation (PE) may be subjective 

couple in love

One of the ways to define PE is the inability to control ejaculation sufficiently for both partners to enjoy sexual interaction*. This means instead of focussing on what is the average or normal duration for an erection, it is necessary to understand what the partner desires. So if the average time to ejaculate from the moment of penetration is 5 minutes, a person may last 10 minutes but still feel like he is ejaculating prematurely. On the other hand, there are many couples who may be sexually satisfied even if a person is able to maintain an erection for a shorter time. 

Pune-based chartered accountant, Sarita Shah, says, “I have only had two lovers till date and both of them ensured that I came first. I prefer woman-on-top because I seldom orgasm in any other position. Without knowing about my preference, both my ex-husband and my current boyfriend encouraged me to be on top. After that, it didn’t matter how many minutes intercourse went on and sometimes I orgasmed multiple times but even if I didn’t orgasm again, I didn’t mind it at all.” 

Fear of losing an erection or ejaculating too quickly is real

Of course, not all people suffer due to poor expectation setting. Some men even ejaculate the moment they penetrate. There are some ways to overcome this situation. Using an anesthetic spray at the tip of the penis is one way to reduce the sensitivity. But, one needs to be very careful while using this spray and a condom is a must so that the ingredients are not absorbed by the partner. A simpler alternative that may work is a thick condom. This can be used even by couples trying to conceive by pricking the tip of the condom. 

Also read: Sex tips for men: When #lockerroom mentality spills into real life

Exercises for a firmer erection and improved ejaculation time

Primary or lifelong PE is a complex condition that may be related to erectile dysfunction and needs expert attention. However, if PE is variable and happens sometimes or is a new development related to being anxious to impress or perform, you may be able to control your erection and ejaculation with these simple mindfulness exercises.

The idea is to learn to stay calm and not be anxious due to loss of erection, to get a firm erection and to control ejaculation. Try two to three sessions per week of 15-20 minutes. You can try self-stimulation or partner stimulation during these sessions. 

You can also try Kegel exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This involves contracting the muscles in your genital area for a count of 5 while breathing normally. You can seek help to identify your pelvic floor muscles and to perfect the technique. 

Intercourse dysfunction is not sexual dysfunction: If the man can perform while masturbating or during other sexual activities, and is only losing an erection or ejaculating quickly on penetration, it is distressing. But labelling it sexual dysfunction may be devastating to many. That is why it is important to look at sex beyond intercourse: Dr Vijayasarathi Ramanathan

Here arethe steps

1. Start by relaxing the mind 

2. Stimulate the chest, abdomen and other areas first

3. Lead up to penile stimulation

4. Avoid excess arousal to the point of ejaculation

5. Allow the erection to go down partially

6. Resume penile stimulation to regain erection

7. Repeat this cycle about 10 times during each session

Also read: Sex tips for men: What is your partner thinking of during sex?


You may need to seek expert counsel or medical help for PE, especially if your condition is causing you severe anxiety or affecting your sexual life. However, you can always focus on pleasuring your partner with or without penetrative intercourse


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