I climax after 30 seconds of sex. What should I do?

I have a problem with premature ejaculation, and numbing spray only spoils the mood

I am a single male in my 20s who often goes on dates, so usually when I have sex it is with somebody new. I climax way too early and often ejaculate prematurely. Is there anything I can do about it? I love sex but I find myself stressing about it because of performance anxiety. I sometimes pretend during intercourse that I haven’t ejaculated yet just to avoid the shame. At times, I only last for 30 seconds. I have a numbing spray, but it is very awkward to use and it can spoil the mood when I stop to apply it. How do I approach this problem, especially when getting with new people?

While many women and men say they want athletic lovemaking with prolonged intercourse or penetration, many others say the opposite. The latter group either prefer a short amount of penetration with less chance of discomfort or irritation – or no penetration at all. This is especially understandable for women, since female pleasure and the means to orgasm are best achieved via direct stimulation of the clitoris, which is located outside the vagina. Early ejaculation is a treatable issue, but try not to stress about it. Being anxious about your “performance” will only exacerbate the situation. Instead, work on improving your ability to please your partner with skills that do not involve your penis, such as oral and manual stimulation. There are many highly erotic, non-penetrative techniques and it’s time you stopped worrying about how your penis performs and think about what else would directly please your partner. Combine good communication skills with your personal seductive style to elicit information about his or her preferences, and practice sharing what you need with them. Even people who do not worry about early ejaculation would be wise to adopt this course of action.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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