“If only it would last”

I hear it from men, and I especially hear it from their disappointed partners.  “If only it would last.”

Premature ejaculation (PE) is very, very common. About a third of all men (and their partners, sadly) are plagued by this problem.

The good news is that for most men PE is fixable. It may take some work, but with some effort most can overcome it.

In a moment, I’ll outline some exercises that can help you or your partner.

But in a world of quick pharmaceutical fixes — Viagra, Levitra and Cialis come to mind for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction — there are now medications being developed that will fix most PE. Some men are already using SSRIs, which are principally prescribed as antidepressants, to very effectively slow things down. In the UK there are tests underway of a “new” drug that contains the active ingredient tramadol hydrochloride which has been used for pain relief since the 1970s but has now been redesigned for treatment of PE. Those tests look promising and I’m betting we’ll see it available commercially in Britain and elsewhere soon.

There is now also a brand new topical anesthetic spray, Promescent, which is approved by the FDA. It contains Lidocaine. It works by decreasing penile sensitivity — but doesn’t inhibit the engorgement of the spongy tissue that makes the penis erect — and so prolongs sexual activity and delays ejaculation.  Desensitization may not sound like a good thing but if it helps with staying power many couples are willing to give it a try. This is an over the counter product–no prescription required.

Also, a new medical procedure for PE is in the works, developed by Dr. David Prologo (yes, his name really is Prolong-o) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.  Recent research has found that many patients with premature ejaculation have a higher than average number of dorsal penile nerve (PDN) branches, accounting for their sensitivity and therefore their getting off too fast.  What Prologo discovered is that by freezing the DPN it can effectively dull the brain’s response to sexual stimulation, giving the patient a longer time before ejaculating without causing erection problems.  He has performed four surgeries to date, three with 100 percent satisfaction and the fourth showing  some significant improvement.

The old ‘tried and true’ treatments for ED come in the form of exercises. There are two types.

I like for guys who have partners to work with both, unless they do not ordinarily masturbate.  In that case, just work with the Squeeze Method.

The Squeeze Method (with a partner, or solo)

[1] This is best done by a couple, but the man can do it alone by masturbation if there is no partner or the partner is not willing to participate.
[2] The couple starts by being as relaxed as they can, and free from distractions.
[3] The couple kiss and caress until the man is aroused, and then the partner takes his penis in hand and begins stroking it.
[4] The man concentrates on his feelings of arousal, to increase his sexual awareness. (He does not try to think of other things in an attempt to distract himself from ejaculation).
[5] When he feels he is about to ejaculate, he signals to his partner.
[6] The partner immediately stops stimulating him and applies firm but gentle pressure around the penis where the glans (head) meets the shaft. The partner keeps applying the pressure for 10-20 seconds.
[7] The partner then lets go, and they wait without doing anything for about 30 seconds.
[8] The procedure is repeated several times before ejaculation is allowed to occur.

The Stop-Start Technique (solo)

[1] The man sets time aside to be private and to masturbate with dry hands.
[2] He slowly strokes almost to the point of ejaculation and then stops before the point where ejaculation is inevitable.
[3] He should do this three times.
[4] On the fourth time, he is permitted to ejaculate.
Learning to be aware of where the ‘point of no return’ is may take some effort. It takes time to build control.  That’s where practice comes in.

Once a man has achieved the measure of control needed to make it through the above four steps successfully it’s time to go through the same process but with a wet hand using lubricant to make the feel slicker and more like ‘the real thing.’

The end of Love for the Holidays… as seen on Facebook

We tend to see — or, more often, “feel” — the world around us from the vantage point of individual experience, through our own narrow-focus lens of pain and pleasure.

Holiday times are especially hard for many people.  We all know this. But when they’re hard for you, it seems all you can see is your own life from your point-of-view.

Many of us feel very alone at this time of year. This is never more true than when a relationships comes to an end and you’re suddenly… alone.

Becoming suddenly single seems to be a relationship status that loves company at this time of year.

That’s what some interesting data visualization research drawn from Facebook member profiles shows.  And seeing it puts it into a whole new perspective.

David McCandless and Lee Byron, tech researcher-journalists, scanned 10,000 Facebook records over the course of a year to see when people’s statuses used terms about relationship breakups.  What they learned is that right now during the two weeks leading up to Christmas is peak season for the relationship valley known as The Break-Up.

Shift in focus. Here’s how to visualize it:

Seeing you’re not alone may be not be the consolation you desperately want if you’re going through a breakup or right on the brink.  But if knowledge is power then perhaps you can use the visual shift to your advantage: to work together without acting rashly until this season has passed, or to commit to being more compassionate and mindful with your partner through this time, or to get outside help, or to put what you know to be an inevitable end into a more grounded, potentially fruitful perspective.

By the way, in case you didn’t notice, there are other times too when a relationship is very likely to end:  Spring Break and the days leading up to it, April Fools Day, just about any Monday.

The good news is if you and your significant other stay together up until Christmas it’s likely to turn out all right. People rarely break up on Christmas Day.

Here’s a presentation by David McCandless at the TED conference last summer in Oxford via YouTube.  The Facebook breakup data starts about 6’30” in.

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