If you’re concerned about how long you’re lasting in bed, you’re not alone: nearly all men will face this dilemma at some point in their lives.
When you’re struggling to keep going, it’s likely because you’re ejaculating too quickly or you’re unable to maintain an erection; in any case, this can lead to performance anxiety, which often spirals into self-doubt and self-esteem issues. And since worrying about it only makes the problem worse, it can be a cycle that’s hard to break.
If you have a physical or psychological issue that’s causing sex to be over too quickly (or even if you simply want to keep going for a little longer than you already do) there are a number of ways to help you stay the course — from simple behavioural techniques to over-the-counter and prescription treatments.
How long does a man usually last in bed?
According to research, sex between a man and a woman lasts for around 5.5 minutes on average (this tends to be longer for same-sex couples). If you’re finding that sex is often over much faster than that, it’s not uncommon to look for tips for lasting longer in bed.
Of course, there’s no “optimal” length of time when it comes to sex. Every couple will have different experiences and expectations, with many finding they can enjoy a healthy, satisfying sex life without it needing to go on for longer than a few minutes.
What causes a man not to last longer in bed?
There can be a number of reasons for man not lasting longer in bed, but it’s usually because he’s suffering from one of the following:
Both of these conditions are fairly common, and can be triggered by a number of physical and psychological factors. Fortunately, both can also be treated using a range of medications and self-help techniques.
Premature ejaculation (PE)
What is premature ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation occurs when a man climaxes too quickly during (or before) sexual intercourse. It’s most often experienced by men in their late teens and 20s, but will affect 40% of men at some stage of their lives.
Causes of premature ejaculation can be psychological (such as stress, depression or performance anxiety) or physical (including diabetes, high blood pressure or excessive alcohol consumption). In any case, premature ejaculation can often lead to self-esteem issues and relationship problems.
How can you prevent premature ejaculation?
There are a number of ways to treat premature ejaculation and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling sex life. Before seeking medical treatment, it may be best to try some self-help ways to delay ejaculation; such as:
- Masturbating an hour or two before sex
- Using a thick or numbing condom
- Taking breaks during sex
- Trying to think about something else (something boring and unarousing)
If self-help techniques are proving ineffective, then you might want to consider medicinal premature ejaculation treatments. Treatments for premature ejaculation include:
- Over-the counter premature ejaculation treatments such as a desensitising spray (which reduces penis sensitivity and helps to delay ejaculation)
- Prescription premature ejaculation treatments such as a topical anaesthetic (which numbs the penis and reduces sensitivity) or oral tablets (which delay ejaculation by stopping the ejaculation reflex from reaching the brain too quickly)
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection during sex. It can affect a man at any age, but it’s most common in older men; around 50% of men aged 40 and over will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.
As with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction can be triggered by psychological factors (such as stress, depression and performance anxiety) or physical ones like high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heavy drinking, obesity or smoking.
How can you prevent erectile dysfunction?
More often than not, erectile dysfunction is the result of lifestyle factors rather than any underlying condition. With that in mind, simple lifestyle changes to prevent erectile dysfunction include:
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight
- Exercising more often
In addition to these self-help techniques for preventing erectile dysfunction, there are a number of effective erectile dysfunction treatments. There are four main erectile dysfunction tablets, which include:
- Sildenafil (including the widely-known Viagra and generic Sildenafil tablets)
- Tadalafil (including Cialis and generic Tadalafil tablets)
- Avanafil (including Spedra)
- Vardenafil (including Levitra and generic Vardenafil tablets)
There are also topical creams for erectile dysfunction (such as Vitaros), which are applied directly to the penis to increase blood flow and help produce a healthy erection. All of these ED treatments are available via consultation from The Independent Pharmacy. We also stock Viagra Connect, the only over-the-counter ED treatment in the UK.
How can you last longer in bed?
Whether you suffer from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or you simply want to keep going for a little longer during sex, there are a number of tips for making sex last longer. Here are just a few ways to prolong sex:
- Communicate: open communication can remove nerves and embarrassment, so talk to your partner about what works and what doesn’t
- Engage in foreplay: there’s no need to rush into penetrative sex; foreplay can be just as satisfying and can help prolong the experience
- Take it slow: you’re likely to ejaculate quicker if you thrust vigorously, so slow down your movements a little (you can vary between fast and slow)
- Experiment with positions: you may find that certain positions help you last longer, so try a few different positions with your partner to see what works
- Masturbate before sex: masturbating an hour or two before sex can delay ejaculation and help you last longer
- Wear a condom: condoms can reduce sensitivity and delay ejaculation, especially if you use an extra thick or numbing condom
- Distract yourself: while you’ll want to stay “in the moment”, you can delay ejaculation by focusing your mind on something more mundane (try memorising a recipe, for example)
- Try ‘squeezing’: if you feel yourself about to ejaculate, firmly squeeze just below the head of your penis using your thumb and forefinger
Lasting longer in bed home remedies
Lifestyle changes to last longer in bed
Your diet and lifestyle are important factors that can influence your ability to last longer in bed. Sleeping well, exercising regularly and eating healthily can all help improve your sexual performance. Cutting down on your alcohol intake will also help, as excessive alcohol consumption will impair your ability to last longer.
What to drink to last longer in bed
While too much alcohol is best avoided, there are plenty of things you can drink to help you last longer. Drinks to help last longer in bed include water (staying hydrated reduces fatigue and can increase sexual stamina), milk (which contains essential fats that help to produce sex hormones) and pomegranate juice (a superfood that is shown to enhance sex drive).
Exercises to last longer in bed
Pelvic floor exercises are not just for women; they can also help men to sustain an erection for longer and give them more control over ejaculation. Doing pelvic floor exercises 3-5 times a day (alternating between fast and slow movements) can help to increase blood flow, which may help you to last longer during sex.