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- It’s common to feel like you want to last longer in bed, especially if you ejaculate prematurely.
- To last longer in bed naturally, slow down movement and use condoms or the pause-squeeze method.
- You can ask your doctor or a sex therapist about pelvic exercises, numbing medications, and Viagra.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
If you are worried that you finish too quickly in bed, you’re not alone — around one in three men in the US report having issues with premature ejaculation. It’s unclear why this happens, but scientists think it’s a combination of psychological and biological factors.
If you aren’t able to have sex for as long as you would like, there are several strategies that can help.
How long does the average person last?
According to a 2005 study conducted across five countries, vaginal sex generally lasts for around 5 to 6 minutes.
That’s a lot longer than what the adult film industry often depicts: sex going on for hours, which can give a false idea of how long sex should last, says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologist at the Orlando Health Medical Group Urology PUR clinic.
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However, it’s important to note that there’s no correct amount of time for sex to last and it’s up to you and your partner to decide the optimal time for you both.
Why you might not be lasting as long as you want to
It’s common for men to finish too quickly once in a while, but if you nearly always ejaculate after less than a minute of sex, you may be diagnosed with premature ejaculation.
It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly why this happens to you, but here are some common culprits:
- Psychology: Studies show that anxiety, particularly anxiety about your sexual performance, is linked to premature ejaculation. Feeling depressed, stressed out, or guilty can also make you more likely to finish quickly. Men may also experience premature ejaculation at higher rates if they have poor body image or are victims of sexual abuse.
- Experience: Your level of sexual experience can also affect how long you last in bed. “Men may also climax faster if they are not having sex often or this is their first time engaging in any sexual activity,” Brahmbhatt says.
- High amounts of free testosterone: Studies show that men with premature ejaculation tend to have higher levels of free testosterone, which can lead to symptoms like loss of energy and low sex drive. However, scientists say that more research is needed to determine why this is the case.
- Hyperthyroidism: Premature ejaculation can also be caused by hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland in your neck produces too much of a hormone called thyroxine. Researchers aren’t sure why thyroid issues affect your sex stamina, but after being treated for hypothyroidism, men are much less likely to experience premature ejaculation.
How to last longer during sex
If you are struggling with finishing too early, here are 12 things you can do that may help.
1. Get support from your partner
2. Use condoms
3. Learn the pause-squeeze method
4. Do pelvic floor exercises
5. Slow your roll
6. Change up positions
7. Try edging
8. Masturbate before sex
9. Distract yourself
10. Ask your doctor about numbing medications
11. Take Viagra
12. Talk to your healthcare provider or a sex therapist