Premature ejaculation is the most common type of sexual dysfunction in men, impacting about one in five men between the ages of 18-59. The total lifetime prevalence is around 30-40% of all men.
That said, it’s important for couples to feel safe talking to each other about their feelings and needs. If one or both of you feels alone in this situation, it can exacerbate fear, loneliness, and resentment. Here are some tips to consider.
Talk about it directly
Avoid taking it personally
Actively listen to one another
Keep educating yourself
Don’t make jokes
Put the problem in front of you (not between you)
Commit to treatment together
At first, you might resist acknowledging the situation with your partner.
Usually, this temptation comes from a place of good intentions. For instance, you might worry about creating a tense situation or offending them. You may also assume that you’re capable of fixing the issue all on your own.
But talking about the issue directly is crucial if you want to see positive change happen. You may even feel a sense of relief getting it all out there.
That said, timing is important. Try to avoid having the first conversation just before, during, or after sex. Aim to be neutral and even-keeled. For example, you might start the discussion by saying, I love you, and I trust you, so that’s why I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind lately. Is now a good time?
People often blame themselves for their sexual dysfunction. Subsequently, partners may also blame themselves and assume they’re doing something wrong to cause the problem.
In reality, neither of these assumptions is entirely accurate. Premature ejaculation is a medical condition. In some cases, it’s classified as lifelong, meaning it has occurred in all or most sexual encounters.
Many times, premature ejaculation coincides with other medical issues, like erectile dysfunction, irregular hormone levels, and prostate or urethra infections. Furthermore, it also tends to go hand-in-hand with anxiety. The anxiety may be directly associated with sexual performance but can also be connected to other problems.
Intimacy isn’t just about satisfaction in the bedroom. Emotional intimacy requires trust and safety. Partners need to feel they can count on one another during vulnerable times.
With that, try to make a genuine effort to listen to one another genuinely. That means:
- Staying curious and open to what your partner has to say
- Avoiding distractions when talking to one another
- Listening to listen (rather than listening to talk)
- Asking clarifying questions when you don’t understand something
In addition, don’t push your partner to talk about something if they don’t feel ready. Nobody wants to feel pressured into an unsafe conversation. Instead, let them know that you love them and are here for them no matter what.
People may become defensive, angry, or upset when they don’t fully understand the situation.
That’s why learning more about premature ejaculation and its causes, symptoms, and treatment is important. Maintaining a sense of objectivity about what’s going on can help you feel more empowered.
Even if you naturally use humor to cope with discomfort, now isn’t the time. It’s important to exhibit maturity and openness when discussing your sex life.
It’s normal to want to lighten the mood. But cracking jokes or responding sarcastically sends a clear message that you aren’t comfortable being serious about a serious issue.
Premature ejaculation is treatable with sprays and wipes, but treatment may also consist of some combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
It’s important to be supportive of your partner during this time. Both of you should aim to treat the issue as a “we-issue” rather than pointing fingers at the other person. By embracing the “we-versus-it” mentality, you achieve a sense of unity and may feel more motivated to find solutions together.
As much as possible, stand with your partner on this journey. If they want to experiment with a new technique or have been advised to try a different protocol, stay open to exploring these possibilities.
Don’t automatically assume that you know what’s best, and be patient. Change takes time, but recovery is possible if you are both dedicated to growing together.