Estimates are that about 20-30% of men experience premature or rapid ejaculation. (The name of this condition has been changed to rapid ejaculation in the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association because of the stigma associated with the word "premature." But since most people still know it as "premature ejaculation," I'll use the terms interchangeably.)
Rapid ejaculation has been studied by medical doctors, pharmaceutical researchers, and psychologists to understand the nature of this condition. It is defined as lasting less than 2 minutes during penetrative intercourse, or ejaculating before intercourse can occur. The problem with this definition is that there are other sexual activities that can cause a man to ejaculate, but the focus is on penis-vagina intercourse. When sex therapists were asked in one study, "How long should a man last during intercourse," most said that 3-5 minutes was good; less than 3 minutes was too short, and more than 7-8 minutes was too long.
Yet we have men calling The Buehler Institute all the time who last 5 minutes or longer. The real issue sometimes appears that the female partner is unable to have orgasm during intercourse--sometimes regardless of how long a man can last. That's because most women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm; penis-vagina intercourse doesn't always provide the right friction.
If you are a man and your partner complains that you don't last long enough, it could be that she expects you to "give" her an orgasm. Instead, a woman needs to know her own body so that she can communicate to her partner how to move or stimulate her clitoris so that orgasm takes place.
People also don't spend enough time in foreplay for a woman to have an orgasm. Most women need about 20 minutes of being touched, fondled, and caressed before becoming aroused enough to have an orgasm. Sometimes men don't engage in foreplay because they are afraid of becoming too aroused and ejaculating even more quickly. However, they would benefit from having more foreplay because it would allow them to better understand their body's sexual response during arousal.
Sometimes men genuinely don't last very long at all, perhaps just a few strokes of penetration and intercourse is over. For those men, there are a few choices available. Some are using lidocaine or numbing creams or condoms. Of course, this can cause a problem if the partner gets numb, too! Another is to take a prescribed medication, which is actually an antidepressant which not only can have side effects but its effects can poop out over time.
In sex therapy, men can learn a lot about how they think about themselves sexually; be able to talk openly about their disappointment and feelings of inadequacy; build themselves up to be more confident; and learn some behavioral techniques for lasting longer. To be honest, men with premature ejaculation are often anxious about other things, including how long therapy will take, whether or not it will really work, what the sex therapist will think of them, how much it will cost, if the sex therapist knows what they are doing, etc. Just calming down enough to address a problem with patience and understanding can be therapeutic for men with premature ejaculation.
If you have felt frustrated, or if your partner expresses frustration, you owe it to yourself to try a natural remedy that can not only extend intercourse (if you decide that's a goal you really want, sometimes that changes in the course of therapy), but help you be a better lover. That remedy is sex therapy. Call us. Psychotherapists are not permitted to discuss success rates, but we can tell you that many men and their partners have benefitted from treatment for premature ejaculation.