Q&A: How To Last Longer During Sex And Masturbation Techniques

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QUESTION: I have always had problems lasting long during sex with my ex-girlfriends. Sometimes when I masturbate I will not feel like I have ejaculated yet and there will be semen-like stuff on my hand. Is that stuff on my hands before I ejaculate a problem? Also is there a way I can increase the time I last during sex?

A Common Question

Thank you for your question. Learning how to delay ejaculation (“last longer”) is one of the most common sex topics asked about by college aged men (and – by the way – men in their later twenties and thirties, too), so you are definitely not alone in terms of your experience or your questions.

Pre-Ejaculate (or Pre-Cum)

The “semen-like stuff” on your hand during masturbation is most likely pre-ejaculatory fluid (sometimes called “pre-ejaculate” or “pre-cum”). This (typically clear) fluid comes from the Cowper’s glands, which are a pair of pea-sized glands that lie on either side of the urethra and just below the prostate gland.

Pre-ejaculatory fluid helps to neutralize the otherwise acidic environment of the urethra, thereby helping to protect the sperm. It also serves as a lubricant.

Men vary in the degree to which pre-ejaculatory fluid is noticeable prior to ejaculation. Although it is often just a few drops, some men find that it is noticeable enough either in their or their partner’s hands, or even through their underwear if they are aroused while still clothed. Pre-ejaculatory fluid, however, is not associated with a man’s ability to delay ejaculation.

Masturbation Techniques To “Last Longer”

Two common techniques that men use to learn to delay ejaculation are called the Stop-Start and the Squeeze techniques. Initially, both techniques tend to be used during self-masturbation but either one of them can be expanded to include sexual activity with a partner.

In general, they work like this: stimulate your penis until just before what is sometimes called the “point of no return” (when you know that you will ejaculate no matter what happens), then stop all stimulation to your penis (for Stop-Start) or gently squeeze the head of your penis (for the Squeeze technique). Allow your arousal to subside slightly and then begin the cycle again.

At first, it is common for men to mis-judge the timing of the point of no return, and to ejaculate even though they did not yet want to. Fortunately, it is just practice and you can always try again. Over time, as you learn to pay attention to your own arousal and excitement through these exercises, you will likely be able last longer during sex with a partner.

You can read more about these and other strategies for delaying ejaculation in Coping with Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner & Have Great Sex.

Longer Sex? Or Other Opportunities For Pleasure

Finally, although learning to delay ejaculation is a common concern of men in their teens, twenties and thirties, it is worth noting that many men and their partners find enormous pleasure in expanding their sexual repertoire.

In other words, rather than focus on intercourse and lasting a certain amount of time, look for opportunities to explore ways of pleasuring each other in various ways such as kissing, sensual massage, oral sex, hugging, bathing together, breast touching, cuddling, mutual masturbation and sharing fantasies.

It is also important, of course, to pay careful attention to what your partner wants, likes and needs in terms of pace, type of stimulation, and other expressions of like, love and sexual attraction.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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