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What can you do to last longer in bed?

What can you do to last longer in bed?

It’s a fairly common issue for men to not last as long as they’d like to in bed. Although it’s not a serious health concern, it can be frustrating and stressful to experience this. It can cause a lack of confidence, and even performance anxiety which can lead to stopping or having less sex. The emotional stress this creates can eventually lead to problems with relationships.

If you’re encountering this problem, the first step is to know that you’re not alone. It’s a common sexual dysfunction, in fact around 30% of men worldwide experience premature ejaculation. Secondly, you should know that there are ways to alleviate the issue, such as behavioural changes, health choices, and treatments. This guide will help you with useful tips to last longer in bed.

Daniel Atkinson
Medically reviewed by
Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead

There are several reasons why you might not be lasting as long as you’d like to. Scientists aren’t sure of exact causes, but a mix of biological and psychological triggers could result in finishing quickly. One of these reasons is anxiety , especially surrounding how you will perform sexually. Men who have a poor body image, or feel that their sexual partner will judge their performance can also feel anxiety. Men who have been victims of sexual abuse can also experience sexual dysfunction throughout their life, such as premature ejaculation.

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Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
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How long should you last in bed?

There isn’t a ‘standard’ average sex time, it depends on you and your sexual partner. Each couple might have different expectations, and there can be fluctuations within a relationship. Some couples might last longer than others, but there is no determined optimal duration.

Before worrying, it’s important to communicate with your partner and talk about your concerns. Keeping the problem to yourself could increase your stress or anxiety over the situation and worsen the problem.

Studies have shown that the average time to ejaculate is around five minutes. But it’s important not to compare yourself to others, and first ensure that both you and your partner are happy with the duration of your sex.

If you feel like you’re finishing too quickly it’s worth researching and finding ways to last longer. Bear in mind that many men will experience this issue, and that it can happen occasionally throughout your lifetime. It’s likely that you’ll find a way to overcome it.

How to last longer in bed naturally - the tips from our clinicians

There are different techniques or treatments that you can try depending on your situation. You might find that simple behavioural techniques work well for you, or that you might need to try medicines or topical treatment options.

It’s best to start simply and see if you can retrain the ejaculatory reflex yourself. This will help you gain more control over how long you take to ejaculate and increase how long you last in bed.

Sometimes it can be beneficial to simply talk to your partner about how you’re feeling about your ejaculation timing. It might be the case that your partner doesn’t find it to be an issue, and that you’re feeling stressed or anxious about it unnecessarily. You might even find that after this discussion your latency time increases during sex, as you’re less stressed and anxious when it comes down to it.

It can also help to do pelvic floor exercises to control your ejaculation. By strengthening your pelvic floor you can regain control over your ejaculatory reflex. This involves flexing and toning your muscles, by holding tight and then relaxing several times.

More common tips on how to last longer are:

Premature ejaculation can be caused by hypersensitivity, so using a condom could help you to last longer. The condom, particularly a thick condom, can weaken sensation and delay ejaculation.

It can help to stop and take a break to distract yourself. By thinking about something else you will be putting less stress on performing and gain more control over when you ejaculate. It’s important, though, that you don’t completely lose focus, and remain present with your sexual partner. You can also do this by changing positions during sex, to pause and cool down for a moment.

Some men find it useful to masturbate one to two hours before having sex as a way of reducing sensitivity and psychological pressure. You’ll need to practice to see how long before sex this should be, if it’s too close to having sex you may struggle to get an erection or if it’s too long before it might not work to help you stop ejaculating prematurely.

Another tip to last longer in bed is to take a deep breath just before ejaculating. This supposedly counteracts the reflex that makes you want to ejaculate, allowing you to last longer.

The squeeze method can be used during sex or masturbation. The idea behind this is to allow you to rest when you feel like you’re going to climax, before starting again to increase your duration. This requires self-control and practice.

The technique involves the following:

  1. Having sex until the point in which you think you’re about to ejaculate.
  2. Next, you pull out and squeeze the tip of your penis for a few seconds, until you no longer feel like you need to ejaculate
  3. Continue having sex and repeating the technique as required.

The ’stop go’ method is similar to the squeeze technique, as it involves stimulating the penis until you’re close to ejaculating, then stopping this stimulation until the feeling subsides. Try this three times, and on the fourth time, allow yourself to ejaculate.

Treatments that help you to last longer in bed

If you find that the techniques mentioned above aren’t working for you, there are plenty of treatments and medications available that can help you to last longer in bed. These include sprays, creams and oral tablets.

Numbing creams and sprays can treat premature ejaculation when they’re used before sex. When applied sparingly they create a numbing sensation that allows you to last longer.

Delay spray is a numbing product that contains lidocaine to help prevent premature ejaculation. There are also pills such as Priligy, or other SSRIs which are also known to help you last longer during sex.

Some of these medications don’t need a prescription and some do. It’s important to make sure you know how to use these medications, and follow the guidelines. It’s also helpful to inform your partner before using them, especially the sprays and creams, as they might be allergic to certain ingredients.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

Expert help

Premature ejaculation can be frustrating, but there’s help available. If you speak to a clinician about your health, they’ll be able to talk you through the most suitable options for you, as well as provide expert advice on the best PE treatments and medications to help you last longer in bed.

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When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

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