Premature ejaculation is a common, yet debilitating illness that has kept many men from fully enjoying sex for days, months, and even years. One study foundthat up to 39% of men have been affected by premature ejaculation. Dr. Kaminetsky discusses how various treatments such as medications and behavioral techniques can be helpful. This research has found that behavioral techniques might be a simple, yet powerful solution to help men struggling with PE find relief from their symptoms and enjoy sex once again. Below are some of the many behavioral techniques and ways they can aid men with PE to find joy again.
What is PE?
Before you learn about these behavioral techniques, it’s important to have an understanding of PE and see if these symptoms might fit your current situation. Premature ejaculation, also known as PE, is a condition in which a man ejaculates well before he intends to. At times, this ejaculation might occur before penetration, during role-play, or a couple of seconds or minutes after intercourse. While you might have great sex and want to last longer in bed, it’s important to note that this is not necessarily PE. People with PE will often feel guilt, have diminished feelings of self-worth, and will often develop anxiety because their condition is keeping them from enjoying sex or fulfilling their partner.
If you begin to experience these changes in mood and find it difficult to overcome your PE after several days, you might need to start seeking ways to help your PE. Many men find that using products, such as delay sprays, can help reduce their PE symptoms. Delay sprays are sold over the counter and contain an ingredient known as lidocaine. Lidocaine has long been used in the medical field as a numbing agent and can help reduce pain. It’s a great tool to help people with PE reduce sensations to the penis while still allowing them to enjoy sex.
However, for some men, using products might not be an overall solution. For instance, if you’re now starting to experience anxiety before you perform, or are suffering from depression due to your condition, behavioral techniques might be able to help.
Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
As mentioned earlier, many men begin to suffer from a vicious cycle of performance anxiety due to their PE. For instance, let’s say you experience one bout of PE, and then continue to suffer from PE in your next encounters. The more you suffer from PE, the more you begin to tell yourself that the next encounter will be the same. You might have thoughts such as, “It’s going to happen again and I’m going to make a fool of myself,” or, “If I don’t perform well this time my partner will leave me.” In psychology, these thoughts are known as catastrophizing, and they can quickly lead to more anxiety building up for men.
One of the best ways to handle catastrophic thoughts and anxiety before your sexual encounter is to use breathing techniques. Breathing exercises are proven to be one of the most powerful tools to combat stress and anxiety. Best of all, they work almost immediately to help you feel calm and level-headed again. The way these breathing techniques work is by activating the part of the nervous system that counteracts the fight or flight response in the body. When you’re nervous, you might begin to breathe faster in preparation for a fight or flight. However, using breathing techniques activates the part of the brain that tells your body it’s okay to slow down, and that you’re not in any danger.
To do these techniques, simply breathe in for about four seconds. Hold your breath in for five seconds, and slowly breathe out for six seconds. This is known as the 4-5-6 technique, and is a great and easy way to get started on your treatment for PE. In addition, doing deep breaths before sex can help you find relief and reduce anxiety before performing, hopefully helping ease your PE symptoms.
Therapy For Trauma
In addition to anxiety, many men that suffer from PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma also suffer from sexual issues like erectile dysfunction or ED. This is because PTSD causes people to be in a constant state of fear, never allowing someone to fully unwind and relax with their partner. If you’ve been dealing with recent trauma, you might find it’s also difficult to stay relaxed and might experience PE.
The treatment for trauma and PTSD will involve behavioral therapy such as CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a type of therapy that can help take negative thoughts, such as those related to trauma and even to your PE, and reframe them into positive ways of thinking. While this won’t be an easy fix, taking CBT and other forms of behavioral therapy is vital in helping you find long-lasting relief from mental illness. In addition, if your PE is a byproduct of these more serious mental illnesses, it’s always best to tackle the root of your issues before committing to other more serious or long-term solutions, such as medications, for your PE.
The Bottom Line
Not many men know that behavioral techniques like breathing, relaxation, and therapy can help them find relief from their PE. If you’re currently struggling to find help, consider talking to your doctor or a therapist about behavioral therapy or using these techniques next time you’re with your partner.