Q: 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: Learning how to delay ejaculation (or “last longer”) is one of the most common sex topics asked about by young men. You are not alone in terms of your experience or questions.
The “semen-like stuff” on your hand during masturbation is most likely pre-ejaculatory fluid (sometimes called “pre-ejaculate” or “pre-cum”). This fluid is typically clear and comes from the Cowper’s glands, which are a pair of pea-sized glands 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. Pre-ejaculatory fluid ranges from about 0.2mL to 5mL. Pre-ejaculatory fluid is not associated with a man’s ability to delay ejaculation.
There’s A Technique For That
Two common techniques that men use to learn to delay ejaculation are called the Stop-Start and the Squeeze techniques. Both techniques are initially incorporated into self-masturbation; after a man becomes experienced with them during masturbation he may expand what he learns to sexual activity with a partner.
In general, they work like this: a man stimulates his penis until just before the “point of no return” (when he knows he will ejaculate no matter what happens). Then he stops all stimulation to his penis (for Stop-Start) or gently squeezes the head of his penis (for the Squeeze technique). Finally, he allows his arousal to subside slightly and then begins 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 plan to. However, it is just practice and they can always try again. Over time, as a man learns to pay attention to his own arousal and excitement through these exercises, he will likely be able last longer during both masturbation and partnered sex.
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.
Variety Is The Spice That Lasts
Finally, although learning to delay ejaculation is a common concern of young men, men of all ages and their partners often find pleasure in expanding their sexual repertoire. 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 to pay 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. Sometimes people think their partner wants them to last a long time during sex when a partner may be content with little time spent in intercourse, or may prefer other kinds of sexual stimulation. Open conversation about sex helps make it better for everyone involved.