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How to Last Longer in Bed? We Ask our Doctors

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last longer in bed

One of the longest-standing questions in human history is how to last longer in bed. Performance anxiety and premature ejaculation are top of the list when it comes to confidence between the sheets. Nothing is more frustrating than building up to the big event, and boom, it's all over in a few seconds.

It is so annoying that the harder you try to slow things down, the faster things seem to happen. Lying there and thinking of other things like putting the garbage out makes it worse.

Premature ejaculation (PE) is when the male ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse. The standard definition of PE is reaching the point of ejaculation in less than 60 seconds. A study of 500 couples from 5 different countries found that the average time to ejaculate during intercourse is five and a half minutes.

The 'normal' time taken to reach orgasm for a man has no actual definition. It is up to individuals whether they are happy with how long things take. However, this is not always in your control. At some point, most people will 'come' too quickly, which is not a big problem. If you find it happening more than half the time, you may want to seek help and do something about it.

If you are unhappy with your staying power, remember you are not alone. Most men want to last longer, and most men won't admit they can't. Unfortunately, there is no cure-all for premature ejaculation in men. Thankfully, you can do plenty of things to increase stamina and keep going that little bit longer in bed!

A man's average time to ejaculate is around 5 minutes. So if someone brags, saying they can last for ages, don't worry, they are probably lying!

So, what techniques can you use to last longer in bed?

Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels) for More Sexual Control

Stand in front of a mirror while naked and try and lift your testicles without touching them. The muscles you use for this are your pubococcygeal or PC muscles (aka pelvic floor). Or, when having a pee, try and stop and start the flow. Again, this is your PC muscles at work.

By strengthening their PC muscles, most men can completely cure premature ejaculation. In one study, 40 guys with lifelong premature ejaculation issues undertook PC rehabilitation exercises, and the findings were pretty conclusive. All 40 men had a baseline intravaginal ejaculatory latency time of 1 minute. After this 12-week study, 82.5% regained control of their ejaculation times.

PC rehabilitation is also proven to help men with Erectile dysfunction. A study examining if pelvic floor exercises can restore erectile function in men had remarkably encouraging results. A group of 55 men was given pelvic floor exercises by a physiotherapist, lifestyle advice (intervention group), or just lifestyle advice (control group).

After three months, all the men underwent testing, and the intervention group had significantly improved erectile function than the control group. Both groups followed the same exercise plan. After six months, the assessment showed that 40% of men had regained normal erectile function, 35.5% improved, and 24.5% failed to improve.

The evidence is conclusive that Kegels (pelvic floor exercises) are perfect for longer-lasting sex and delaying orgasms.

Don't Drink to Excess.

'Brewer's droop' or 'whiskey dick' is a common side effect of drinking alcohol and the cause of many sexual failures. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels meaning blood flows around your body more efficiently. So one would assume this means more rigid erections, unfortunately not.

Wider vessels mean blood can flow freely into the penis – but sadly, it flows out again just as quickly – giving you brewer's droop. Most men find that a few drinks won't affect their erections. Many find it lightens the mood and makes things a little more relaxed.

Alcohol is a depressant. Too much will dampen the mood, kill your libido (and your partners), and make it difficult to achieve an erection. This doesn't mean you have to cut out alcohol totally; most experts advise drinking in moderation for your health in general.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men shouldn't have more than two alcoholic drinks a day, and women one. Your liver can only process and break down at the rate of around one unit per hour. So, if you drink heavily over long periods, alcohol builds up in your system and damages your body and sexual organs.

Alcohol consumption and depression and inextricably linked. Drinking alcohol releases endorphins (pleasure hormones) that bind to opiate receptors in the brain, making you feel good. Unfortunately, even for those who drink moderately, alcohol causes shrinkage to brain areas that deal with cognitive ability and learning. Alcohol interrupts signals between the brain and sexual organs.

As well as damaging your brain, liver, pancreas, nervous system, and heart, alcohol plays havoc with your mental health. Specifically, it can lead to low mood and worsen any preexisting mental health issues you may have. Using alcohol to 'drown your sorrows' often buries issues deeper unless addressed.

Alcohol also can decrease testosterone levels interfering with hormone synthesis. It also increases visceral fat, which also reduces testosterone production. 

When you consider alcohol's powerful effect on your body, it is pretty plain to see how it can adversely impact your sex life. So, avoid drinking too much if you want to last longer in bed.

Smoking Causes Erectile Dysfunction

It is hardly surprising that smoking is one of the biggest causes of erectile dysfunction. Smoking is the single greatest cause of death and disease in the world. Studies report that chronic smokers are 1.5 to 2-times more likely than nonsmokers to report ED. Importantly, studies also show that quitting smoking, especially in younger men, has a hugely positive impact on sexual health.

Cigarette smoke severely damages your cardiovascular system, and erectile function relies on a healthy vascular system. Smoking reduces your HDL (good cholesterol) and increases your LDL (bad cholesterol). It also raises your total cholesterol, triglycerides (lipids), and fatty deposits in your blood system.

Smoking also constricts your blood vessels making it more challenging to gain an erection. High blood pressure, increased bad cholesterol, and damage to the heart is devastating to your sexual health. Without good blood flow, you will struggle to get it up.

Giving up smoking has huge benefits for your general and sexual health. Younger guys, in particular, who put enormous importance on their sexual vigor and prowess, will benefit from improved cardiovascular health. Erections will be easier with increased blood flow helping them gain an erection, have more energy, and feel significantly better.

In general, over 50% of men over 40 will experience some form of ED. Smokers are far more likely to develop ED regardless of age and other conditions. Several studies have shown that smoking can cause erectile dysfunction (ED), disrupting the body's nitric oxide (NO) pathways. NO is a vasodilator released into the blood, causing vessels to widen, increasing blood flow, and lowering blood pressure. Without this vital chemical compound, you cannot get an erection, yet another reason to quit smoking!

So, if you want to last longer in bed, give up smoking.

Masturbate in Advance

One surefire way to last longer in bed is to masturbate an hour or two before sex. Masturbation is completely normal and can help you train yourself to delay things.

One effective method is just before ejaculation to gently squeeze the penis just below the 'head' for 10 - 20 seconds, then carry on. Practice the stop and start method (edging), taking a deep breath before continuing; this will help delay ejaculation. This method can be beneficial, and with practice, you can regain a significant degree of control and last longer in bed!

PE Creams, Sprays, and Wipes

Premature ejaculation is estimated to affect up to 39% of all men. Studies into anesthetic creams, sprays, and wipes show them to have the potential to transform men's staying power.

Lidocaine and benzocaine are local anesthetics used to 'locally' numb body areas to relieve pain or for minor surgical procedures. They are available in creams, wipes, and sprays for the treatment of PE. Some condom companies use small amounts inside their products to help desensitize the penis enough to delay ejaculation.

These products are applied directly to the sensitive areas of the penis and can start working within 5 minutes. Many studies claim that PE wipes, creams, and sprays can significantly increase the time from erection to ejaculation. This type of anesthetic is usually safe, and people typically don't experience severe side effects.

Mild side effects can include mild irritation, rash, and itching; this can occur in the man or woman unless using a condom. Please take extra precautions using PE creams, sprays, and wipes with condoms. They can weaken the material exposing you and your partner to potential sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. These treatments can also cause desensitization for your partner unless washed off before intercourse.

Try to use the smallest amount you can to gain desensitization to avoid unwanted side effects. Importantly only use this treatment as directed. There are cases where people have used them for pain relief and cosmetic procedures using far too high a dose. Overuse can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia.

Methemoglobinemia is a rare disorder where too little oxygen reaches your blood cells. The condition can come on quickly and cause headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, rapid heart rate, fatigue, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Drugs Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

It is not only alcohol that can cause things to flop. Illegal and some prescription drugs can also impact your ability to gain an erection. Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, opiates, barbiturates, MDMA, LSD, and amphetamines can contribute to erectile dysfunction. However, some people experience the opposite and find sex more intimate and enhanced by using drugs. So, if you want to stay longer in bed, our advice is to steer clear of illegal drugs.

Prescribed Medication for Sexual Dysfunction.

Doctors can use several prescription drugs to combat PE and ED and help you last longer in bed.

  • Antidepressants. SSRIs such as escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), or paroxetine (Paxil) can delay orgasm and reduce interest in sexSSRI medications can make it harder to become aroused, sustain arousal, and reach orgasm. Some people taking SSRIs find they can't orgasm at all. 
  • Analgesics. Tramadol (Ultram) is a powerful pain medication. It also has side effects that delay ejaculation, and some doctors recommend it off-label to treat PE. Side effects might include nausea, headaches, sleepiness, and dizziness. Do not take Tramadol and SSRIs at the same time.
  • Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. These are a group of medications prescribed by doctors to treat ED. Some men find that Sildenafil (Viagra®) or Tadalafil (Cialis®) help premature ejaculation. Side effects might include headaches, facial flushing, and indigestion. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors and SSRIs can be used together for maximum impact.

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Sildenafil (Viagra®) and Tadalafil (Cialis®) can help you recover faster after ejaculation. Why not give it a try!

Exercise for Better Sex

There are countless reasons why keeping fit will help improve your entire sex life and help you last longer in bed.

Exercise Makes You Feel Good.

Body image significantly affects how attractive we are to our partners and how we see ourselves. Being more confident within yourself will undoubtedly make you comfortable when naked. Furthermore, being self-assured is commonly a powerful aphrodisiac for your partner.

Exercising and being physically fit enhance your attractiveness and energy levels. One study discovered that those who exercise 2 to 3 days per week had higher overall self-esteem. 80% of male participants and nearly 60% of females rated themselves above average or considerably above average in sexual desirability.

Exercise Releases Endorphins (so does sex!)

Every time you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which (along with other hormones such as oxytocin) make you feel good. Those who exercise (and have sex) regularly will be aware of 'runners high,' caused by the release of hormones. This feeling becomes addictive. The more you exercise and have sex, the easier it becomes to become aroused and last longer in bed. The link between sexual satisfaction and fitness applies to men and women. So, dust off those jogging shoes, and go for a run.

Exercise Reduces Erectile Dysfunction

Poor heart health and circulation issues will cause erectile dysfunction. Erections rely on good blood flow. Blocked arteries, high blood pressure, and poor cardiovascular health will certainly not help. Exercise keeps the heart pumping healthily, reduces visceral fat, and lowers cholesterol, reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction. So, exercise is vital for more staying power.

Eat Well For Longer Lasting Sex

A healthy diet is imperative to sexual and all-around general health. There is no point in exercising to improve your sex life if you live on fast food and pre-packaged junk. Eating well is pretty simple. However, convenience and the fast pace of modern life make ordering a pizza or opening a packet easier than eating fresh, healthy food.

Eating fresh homemade food is the best thing you can do for your body. Fruit and vegetables are nature's fast food. Vegetables, salad, pulses, rice, and grains are easy to prepare and take very little preparation. Fresh fish is quick to cook and readily available.

You should limit the consumption of animal products, including meat, cheese, butter, and cream. Cholesterol does not exist in the plant world, so by reducing your animal intake, your bad cholesterol will start to lower. Along with exercise, your cardiovascular health will begin to improve. Remember, a better heart and lungs mean better erections.

By combining the right lifestyle choices, strengthening your pelvic floor, and, if necessary, using medicines, men can delay their ejaculation time and last longer in bed.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please consult a doctor.