What Is Premature Ejaculation?
In general terms, premature ejaculation (PE) occurs when a man ejaculates earlier than he intends to. More specifically, three criteria are used to define PE:
The time period between penetration and ejaculation (also called the latency period) is shorter than desired.
Men feel they cannot control when they ejaculate.
Men feel distressed about their situation.
When considering PE, it is helpful to have realistic expectations. Typically, the normal time to ejaculation is between 5 and 7 minutes.
PE is sometimes classified as lifelong or acquired. As the term suggests, men with lifelong PE have struggled with early ejaculation since their first sexual experience. The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) defines lifelong PE in this way:
A male sexual dysfunction characterized by:
ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration, and
the inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations, and
negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.
In contrast, men with acquired PE develop PE after a period of normal sexual functioning.
The ISSM describes acquired PE as follows:
A clinically significant reduction in latency time, often to about 3 minutes or less (acquired premature ejaculation), and negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother frustration and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.
The most severe type of PE is called ante portas ejaculation, which occurs before any penetration.
Researchers are not sure what causes premature ejaculation, but PE has been linked to health conditions like prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), anxiety and other psychological issues, and (rarely) hyperthyroidism. In addition, men with erectile dysfunction (ED) may experience PE because they have “learned” to ejaculate before losing their erection.
Some experts theorize that PE could be genetic in some men. Others believe that a chemical imbalance or receptor sensitivity changes in the brain are involved, at least for some men.
Many men with PE feel embarrassed, anxious, depressed, and worried about pleasing a partner. Single men sometimes avoid new relationships because of the stress of PE.
Men who are concerned about PE are urged to see a healthcare provider.
What are the Impacts of PE?
In a large, recent studies of U.S. males (1,2,3)
Per subjective report of subjects who think they have PE, this was 49.6.
Men who have poor ejaculatory control at least some of the time was 77.6%.
Men ejaculate sooner than they would like was greater than 50% of the time and 32.5% of these men reported emotional distress due to this cause.
Psychosocial Implications on Men (2, 9, 10)
Inability to delay ejaculation causes distress, frustration, and/or avoidance of sexual intimacy.
Men with PE have significant reduction in levels of sexual functioning, enjoyment and satisfaction.
PE also negatively impacts self-esteem, confidence and overall quality of life.
Men express concern that there is no effective treatment for PE in clinical settings.
Psychosocial Implications on Women (9,10,11)
Female partners of men with PE reported greater sexual problems with decreased satisfaction and increased distress.
52% of female partners of men with PE report orgasmic problems.
78.6% of women report personal sexual problems while in a relationship with a PE man.
22.8% of women reported that a PE problem had led to a relationship breakup.1
What are the differences in achieving orgasms for men vs women?
Difference in Time to Achieve Orgasm. (,2,3,4)
Average time to Female orgasm during penovaginal intercourse is 13.41 min.
Average time to Male orgasm during intercourse is 7.0 – 8.1 min in the U.S. and 5.4 – 6.0 min internationally.
Women need almost 2x the amount of time vs men to achieve orgasm.
Self-perceived male time to ejaculation vs actual is overestimated by 1.9 min (31%) compared to actual.
In the largest study on female orgasm ever conducted in 2018 women reported what the techniques required to achieve an orgasm: (1)
Spending time to build up arousal – 77.2%
Sex that lasts a long time – 18.5%
In addition, 45.9% of women reported duration is an important contributor to good sex. (9)
1. Prevalence, Characteristics and Implications of Premature Ejaculation/Rapid Ejaculation. Althof, SE. s.l. : The Journal of Urology, 2006, Vol. 175, pp. 842-848.
2. The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): The United States of America in 2011 Chapter III – Premature Ejaculation Among English-Speaking Male Internet Users. Shaeer, O. s.l. : Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013, Vol. 10, pp. 1882-1888.
3. An Update of the International Society of Sexual Medicine’s Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Premature Ejaculation (PE). Althof, SE, et al. s.l. : Sexual Medicine, 2014, Vol. 2, pp. 60-90.
4. Self-reported Premature Ejaculation and Aspects of Sexual Functioning and Satisfaction. David Rowland, PhD,* Michael Perelman, PhD,. s.l. : Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2004, Vol. 1, pp. 225-232.
5. 012 Average Time to Orgasm (TitOr) in Females during Heterosexual Penovaginal Intercourse. Bhat, G., Shastry, A. 6, s.l. : The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2019, Vol. 16. S6.
6. A Multinational Population Survey of Intravaginal Ejaculation. Marcel D. Waldinger, MD, PhD,*† Paul Quinn, PhD, ‡ Maria Dilleen, MSc,‡ Rajiv Mundayat, MSc,‡. s.l. : Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2005, Vol. 2, pp. 492-497.
7. Waldinger, M. D., McIntosh, J., & Schweitzer, D. H. (2009). A five‐nation survey to assess the distribution of the intravaginal ejaculatory latency time among the general male population. Waldinger, M. D., McIntosh, J., & Schweitzer, D. H. 10, s.l. : The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009, Vol. 6, pp. 2888-2895.
8. Women’s ExperiencesWith Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure, and Orgasm: Results From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women Ages 18 to 94. Debby Herbenicka, Tsung-Chieh (Jane) Fua, Jennifer Arterb, Stephanie A. Sandersc,. 2018, VOL 44, NO.2, JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY, pp. 201-212.
9. Female Partner’s Perception of Premature Ejaculation and Its Impact on Relationship Breakups, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction. Andrea Burri, PhD,* François Giuliano, MD,† Chris McMahon, MD,‡ and Hartmut Porst, MD§. s.l. : Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2014, Vol. 11, pp. 2243–2255.
10. Classification and definition of premature ejaculation. Arie Parnham1, Ege Can Serefoglu2. 4, s.l. : Translational Andrology and Urology, 2016, Vol. 5, pp. 416-423.
11. What Does Premature Ejaculation Mean to the Man, the Woman,. Alessandra Graziottin, MD* and Stanley Althof, PhD†. suppl 4, s.l. : Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2011, Vol. 8, pp. 304-309.
12. Prevalence, Characteristics, and Implications of Premature Ejaculation/Rapid Ejaculation. Althof, SE. s.l. : The Journal of Urology, 2006, Vol. 175, pp. 842-848.