What causes premature ejaculation? 

It is evolutionary advantageous to ejaculate quickly. In the past a man who came quickly was able to have sex and get a woman pregnant quickly and more reliably than men who came slowly. Imagine if you were a caveman and you took 40-50 minutes to ejaculate. You would be less succesful at fathering children than men who came in 1-2 minutes. Times have changed and now we are fortunate to have plenty of time to enjoy sex and take our time. Men generally however are still programmed to ejaculate quickly.

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So coming quickly is probably normal but times have changed. Like a lot of things in life there is a spectrum or range of time that men take to ejaculate. Some men come in less than a minute, some take much longer. What determines how long each individual man takes? It is thought that our physical and psychological make up determine our time to ejaculate. Our early sexual experiences also play a part.

There is debate about whether early masturbatory experiences affect a mans time to ejaculation. It is possible that fear of being caught masturbating or anxiety, play a part in the development of premature ejaculation. It is possible to learn to delay ejaculation and it is likely that some men have simply learnt to ejaculate quickly and some slowly during their early experiences of masturbation.

Sexual therapists like Dr Helen Kaplan think that men who have premature ejaculation do not develop a normal sense of how their penis feels when they are highly aroused and excited. They think that this sensory deficit is what lies behind the cause of premature ejaculation. Therefore the key to curing premature ejaculation is learning to overcome this sensory deficit.

You may be puzzled and confused by the above statements. If you suffer from premature ejaculation you may be thinking that you know exactly how you feel when highly aroused and excited sexually.

To explain further we need to look at the science of learning behaviour. In order to control voluntary bodily functions we need to have well developed sensory awareness and feedback. For example if you are deaf as a child it is dificult to learn to speak since you lack the feedback of the sounds of speech. Similarly, if you play a sport such as football or golf you require the feedback from seeing where the ball goes when you kick or hit it. It would be difficult to learn to play sport without the feedback from our senses.

The same principles apply with ejaculation. The first few times that boys masturbate or have sex with a girl they are often so excited that they ejaculate before they fully realise what is happening. This is completely normal. Some boys then become more familiar with their sensations of rising sexual excitement and they are then are able to learn how to make their sexual pleasure last. Some boys do not seem to develop a full awareness of the sensations from their penis and do not learn to control their climax. These boys go on to become men with premature ejaculation problems. This seems to happen for a variety of reasons:

Some men just become too intensely excited to register the sensations from their penis.

The early sexual experiences of some men took place in tense situations such as in the back of a parked car or on the sofa of a girl’s living room whilst her parents were upstairs. These men were listening out for potential interruptions and they “tuned out” everything else, including their sexual feelings. They simply ejaculated as quickly as possible and then never unlearned the habit.

Other men with premature ejaculation are not fully aware of their sensations because they are over concerned with their sexual performance. These are often competitive men who want to get a high grade as lovers rather than relaxing and fully enjoying their sexual experience.

A lot of men with premature ejaculation feel excessively pressured to please their partner. Whilst having sex they are preoccupied with thoughts and fears of being criticized or rejected by their partner and by checking out their partners sexual responses. They are so preoccupied that they are unable to remain in toch with their own sexual feelings.

Some men feel too much guilt about masturbation, about having sex or about their sexual fantasies to be able to or allow themselves to register their feelings of pleasure.

These men who are over excited, anxious or guilty are concentrating too much on their thoughts and negative feelings. They therefore tune out their erotic feelings. They avoid prolonged periods of sexual arousal. They do not learn to become fully familiar or in tune with the natural feelings of intenses sexual pleasure which occur in the time leading up to and particularly just before ejaculation.

In summary men with premature ejaculation have always been quick to climax and not learnt to register fully their sexual sensations. The tendency to come quick as beome a habit and never been unlearned. The good news is that it is possible to develop greater awareness of the sensations from your penis and learn to control and delay ejaculation.

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