Man Doing Pushup

#GateKeepersofMen Series

Episode 6

When “Not Lasting Long Enough” is the Problem

Should you be able to “last longer” in bed?

I recently saw an article published in a well-known Men’s magazine which mentioned that one of the most common Googled questions about sex was “how to last longer in bed” with more than 60,000 searches per MONTH.  Suddenly, I knew I had to write about this since there are many things that men should have clear and know.  

Premature ejaculation is a very common concern among men.

Even more so, premature ejaculation (PE) is considered the most common sexual dysfunction in men.   Once considered to be purely psychological (meaning: all in your head) that could only be treated with behavioral therapy or crude attempts to decrease sexual stimulation, upcoming research has shown that this condition is far more complex than we originally knew (so.. it’s not all in your head).

Man Having Premature Ejaculation Problems

But,  how long should I last?

There are many definitions and categories for PE.  For example, in 1970 Masters and Johnson stated that “too quick” meant when a man was unable to satisfy the partner to reach orgasm in less than 50% of intercourse attempts.   This was obviously criticized since it was dependent on the partner’s ability or inability to reach sexual pleasure.   Then other researchers came up with the term ‘Intravaginal Ejaculatory Latency Time” (IELT) and found that the average amount of minutes that men were able “to last” was about 7 minutes.  On the other hand, those with PE lasted an average of 2 minutes. 

What are the different categories of PE?

Premature ejaculation can be:

  1. Primary:  or life-long (a man who has always had the problem)
  2. Secondary:  a man who acquires the problem later in life.  (Mostly associated with Erectile Dysfunction)

These first two are the more common classifications since the following two categories are still under scrutiny given the lack of research data on the topic.

  1. Psychogenic (or psychologic):  These men tend to respond to psychological or behavioral therapy (i.e. sex therapy)
  2. Biogenic: men who do NOT respond to behavioral therapy.

How do I know if I have premature ejaculation?  What are the signs of PE?

It is important to note that PE is a self-reported diagnosis.   The only way a doctor can know about this is if the patient tells him/her.   These men usually report:

  1. Report problems maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  2. Say they are unable “to last” long enough
  3. Report desire for treatment and resolution of the problem
  4. Show embarrassment or shame (which prevents them from asking for help).
  5. Tend to wait years before seeking medical advice.

When should I seek help? 

At the end of the day, PE is a real problem for those who suffer from it.  I’ve seen men in my practice that fear they might lose their marriage because of premature ejaculation. 

If you feel that the relationship with your partner is being affected because of “not lasting long enough”, you should seek care.  There are different ways a specialist can help you.  We encourage you to call our office for an appointment.  We will be honored to guide you through your journey towards an improved quality of life.


This article was authored by Dr. Jonathan Clavell. Dr. Clavell is a urologist who specializes in men’s health including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie’s Disease and BPH.  

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