If there’s one bedroom topic that concerns men as much as size, it’s stamina — how long they can last in bed. The Internet is filled with solutions for those who feel like they don’t have enough lasting power. But only some of them are worthwhile. How can you tell which are worth your interest and money?
According to one study that measured the performances of 1,587 men, the average time a man can maintain intercourse without ejaculating is seven minutes. Men who suffer from premature ejaculation — a diagnosable condition — average two minutes. “Though not all men who want increased stamina would be diagnosed with [premature ejaculation], the treatment options are mostly the same,” according to Dr. Christopher Asandra, chief medical officer with NuMale Medical Center.
Which are worth your while, and which aren’t?
Biofeedback is a method that trains the mind to better control the body. By becoming more in tune with the triggers that cause you to ejaculate too early, you may be able to better control them. Dr. Philip Werthman, urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, CA, says this is a viable solution for some men.
Antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can sometimes be used to treat premature ejaculation, says Asandra.
“Medications like SSRIs, such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, can delay orgasm in men, but they can also cause problems,” he explains. “These drugs take hours before they’re effective and can sometimes cause unwanted side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, erectile dysfunction, and decreased libido.”
According to Asandra, Kegel exercises may be able to help men as much as they do women. But they require a consistent commitment. They work by strengthening the pubococcygeus muscle.
“To do Kegel exercises, flex the same muscle you would use to stop the flow of urine,” he says. “Clench this muscle for 10 seconds, then release, aiming for at least three sets of 10 reps each day.”
Desensitizing creams and gels work to lessen the sensations in a man’s penis. But most of these creams also desensitize the tissues in his partner. Asandra says there is one product he recommends, called Promoscent, that absorbs well enough so your partner isn’t affected.
A somewhat dramatic solution is adult circumcision, or the removal of foreskin. Circumcision can desensitize the penis. But if not done correctly, it could backfire. According to a 2011 study, incomplete circumcision can actually cause premature ejaculation.
A recent study found that men with a higher body mass index (BMI) lasted longer in bed than those with lower body fat and weight. As BMI increased, according to the study, the number of people with premature ejaculation decreased. Those who were overweight lasted an average of 7.3 minutes. But don’t go stock up on pizza and beer just yet… this study was limited to 200 men and relied on self-reporting. Not to mention…
…a greater amount of evidence suggests that being overweight or obese could make your sexual stamina worse. “Since most American men over age 40 are overweight or obese and we know that obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are major causes of erectile dysfunction, then treating the underlying problem may be beneficial,” according to Werthman. This is particularly true for men suffering from clinical premature ejaculation or other forms of erectile dysfunction — not just those seeking to win an award for performance.
If changing your diet allows you to lose weight, it could be worthwhile. But Werthman says some specific foods can increase the amount of free testosterone in the body, which is necessary for healthy erectile function. “Certain foods like fenugreek can increase free testosterone,” he says. “As a matter of fact, fenugreek is the source of the compounds called Testofen, found in many over-the-counter supplements.”