If you’re getting frustrated (or have been frustrated) by the rapidity of the sex acts in your relationship, you’ve come to the right corner of the Internet. When sex seems to last only a few minutes—due to your partner losing their erection or ejaculating too quickly—it can be overwhelming and disappointing.
There is no easy way to have a conversation when your partner doesn’t last long enough for you to enjoy penetrative sex. How do you broach a topic that is both embarrassing and not the person’s fault?
BRIDES asked a clinical psychologist to help us navigate these muddy waters.
Communication is something you’ll often see suggested when it comes to this sort of issue—and for good reason. Having good communication skills with your partner establishes trust in all aspects of your life together. “True sexual intimacy needs trust to survive. A person needs to feel as though their partner will keep all their secrets and will never harm their heart. Be gentle with each other and yourself,” says Sunny Rodgers, a clinical sexologist and sex coach.
You need to set up a space where the two of you can talk about everything from your hopes and dreams to your sex life. Couples who communicate their needs have better, healthier relationships. “The better the communication of likes, dislikes, and length of lovemaking is, the more exploration can be shared in a comfortable atmosphere,” Rodgers tells us. “The better communication is between intimate partners, the better sexual experiences become.”
Bring the erectile issues subject to your partner.
Of course, saying you need communication in a relationship is a pretty tall order for a complex, emotionally fraught topic. You may not have previously set up these open windows of expression to negotiate your partner’s ego and how fragile some men can be around their penis.
Even if we don’t want to admit it, male partners are often not great at opening up when it comes to their penises, especially when they aren’t working “the way they’re supposed to.” This thinking is problematic, but in a society rife with sexual shame and toxic ideas around masculinity, it’s a reality.
Rogers suggests making this conversation not about criticism, but about the growth and development of your relationship. It’s about making your relationship stronger and not hurting anyone’s feelings. Be clear about that. Come to the conversation with positive energy and lots of empathy. Let your partner know this is going to be a touchy subject, but that communication is the stuff of good sex.
“Start by telling your partner that sex feels GOOD,” Rodgers says. “Then segue into something you feel comfortable sharing about your sex play together. You can tell your partner that you’d like a faster rhythm or that a good hair tug makes your orgasms better. Communicating desires like these with your partner can not only take your sex life to the next level, it can start the pattern of a healthy conversation about sex.”
Basically, keep it really positive. No one wants to hear “You’re not lasting in bed and I’m not enjoying sex with you.” No matter who you are in that situation, that’s hurtful. You don’t want your partner to shut down; you want to find solutions. When you keep your partner’s self-esteem high, you have a more productive conversations.
Focus the mind.
“The brain is a more powerful sexual organ than genitalia, because it’s where sex drive stems from. So, including a husband’s mind in the process of longer lasting sex play is a good idea,” Rodgers tells us.
Getting your partner to stay in the moment is a huge component of lasting longer in bed. “Keep their mind completely focused on the now,” Rogers says. “Many men fantasize during sex play. Or they are so focused on their own pleasure that they naturally speed up during sex play. By [focusing] their mind, they can last longer.”
Slow everything down. Ask him to focus on each individual thrust and to make sure he’s mindful of your pleasure, rather than rushing to the finish line. “Being mindfully intentional during sex play can greatly enhance the entire pleasure bonding experience, as well as make it last longer. Plus, from the feedback I’ve received, I can share that [women] also appreciate the attentiveness,” Rodger explains.
Edging is when your partner (or you) masturbate, engage in oral sex, or have intercourse right to the tipping point of orgasm, only to stop, regain mental and physical stasis, and then start the whole arousal process again.
(We have a whole guide to this kind of play right here).
This is a helpful practice for conquering premature ejaculation. Keep in mind, it isn’t going to be easy, and it likely will take time to completely get it down. Be patient. Once your partner is used to holding themselves back and having control of their orgasm, they’ll be able to control it in bed.
Try a C-ring.
A c-ring is a ring that goes around the base of the penis or over the balls and penis, sitting behind them. If you haven’t gotten down with cock rings yet, you’ll definitely want to read our colorful manifesto on the topic.
They are “specifically designed to restrict blood from leaving an erect penis; erection rings can make erections last for a longer period of time, and in some cases create a stronger climax,” Rodgers says. “I suggest new users choose an erection ring made from stretchy material to start with so that it’s easy to put on, and to be on the safe side, I do not recommend using an erection ring for longer than 30 minutes at a time.”