How To Last Longer In Bed: 25 Techniques For Better Control

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photo of six different delay sprays, priligy, viagra and numbing condoms

In the twelve years since I started this website, my partner and I have tested a huge range of methods to last longer in bed. We’d need all four hands, feet, and other bits to count how many techniques we’ve tried!

You can see some of the many desensitizing products we’ve given a go in the photo above. Some we still use from time to time as they proved to be effective; others either didn’t work well or gave me unpleasant side effects.

As well as going down the relatively easy ‘numb your penis with lidocaine’ path, there are many natural techniques to try if you’d like to improve your sexual stamina.

Some you just need to remember to do, such as spending less time in any positions you know make you climax quicker. Other techniques, like the start and stop method, require some time and dedication to reap the rewards.

Although some of the desensitizing options are very effective, I recommend trying the natural techniques too. If you’re currently sexually active, a spray or pill is an understandably attractive solution because it works right away. But if you’re single, or have plenty of time alone, you have nothing to lose in learning to delay your orgasms naturally.

The techniques

1. The start and stop method

The start and stop method is simple to learn and made a huge difference to my ejaculation control in just a few weeks.

The simple explanation is that you set yourself a time target such as 10 or 20 minutes. Then either during masturbation or sex, you stop and rest every time you feel yourself getting too aroused – until your time is up.

The idea is to learn where your ‘point of no return’ is and practice avoiding it by resting, or changing your position, rhythm, or speed. That’s why it’s sometimes called ‘edging’.

The trick is to learn how far you can push it in one position, speed, or rhythm before needing to stop. If you reach orgasm, you left it too late. If you need a long time to rest before starting again, try stopping earlier next time.

If you usually finish within a minute or two, 10 to 20 minutes might mean a lot of stopping and starting, which is fine. Stick with it though, and in a few weeks you’ll hopefully find you need fewer pauses.

2. Try a delay spray

delay sprays

Using a delay spray is a great way to reduce the stimulation you feel, and can add many minutes to your lasting time.

I used one when I first started trying to deal with the problem, had excellent results with it, and found it was a great confidence booster.

The best thing is probably that it’s an instant solution, especially if physical sensitivity is your main difficulty during sex.

The downside is that it’s not a cure, and you’ll need to use it each time you have sex. Take a look at my recommended delay sprays for more information about them, and some options to try out.

3. Choose less intense sex positions

Some sex positions are naturally easier to hold for longer; others will have you erupting faster than an Icelandic volcano.

Good positions are those that promote slower, shallower movements. They also tend to be ones where you don’t need to put in as much physical effort.

I know some men might find all positions are too intense, in which case I think extended foreplay in which you focus on your partner will help build your confidence. But if you do last long enough to have intercourse, keep these positions in mind.

May be easier to last longer:

  • The cowgirl – you lying down with her sitting on top.
  • The reverse cowgirl – her on top facing away from you.
  • spoons – her lying on the side and you behind her.
  • Side by side facing each other – both of you lying on the bed, with legs intertwined.
  • Sitting on the bed or in a chair – with her on top, you can relax more.

May be harder to last longer:

  • The missionary position.
  • Any position from behind (apart from spoons).
  • Most standing positions.
  • Oral sex.

4. Switch positions if you get too aroused

Changing sex position when your arousal is spiraling out of control is a great way to turn the temperature down a notch – at least for a while.

Another great trick is to completely withdraw and lavish your partner with your hand, tongue, sex toy, or anything else that they enjoy until you’re ready for action again.

5. Masturbate before having sex

Another classic technique is to masturbate an hour or two before you have sex. It might sound simple, but doing this made a big difference for me. I still keep this technique in mind if I haven’t seen my partner for a few days.

I don’t think the exact time beforehand is important. Just do it earlier in the day you think you’re likely to have sex so you’re less ready to explode when you next see your partner.

If you have the kind of partner who likes to have long, lingering sex sessions and is happy to wait for you to recover, then why not get them to help you out?

You can return the favor too, which takes the pressure off you to have amazing long-lasting sex the first time around. Then you can do whatever you enjoy doing together until you’re ready for action again.

Taking turns to try out some amateur massage is a great way to fill the time (and a good excuse to cover them in oil) .

6. Go for a second round

It’s very common for men to have less control the first time they have sex – especially after a gap of a day or more. Most mature adults understand this, so don’t worry if it’s all over quickly the first time.

Just be willing to continue the action with manual or oral stimulation. And when you’re ready for more, there’s a good chance it will be for considerably longer.

7. Try the 7 and 9 technique

This one is all about rhythm. Try to follow a stable pattern of 7 fast in/out strokes, followed by 9 slow in/out strokes. My partner is a particular fan of this technique, finding the rhythm enjoyable and exciting.

8. Don’t stop just because you had an orgasm

image of a woman lying on a bed

Sex should only end when both of you want it to end – not simply when you ejaculate. So if she’s still up for more, use your hands, give her oral sex or whatever she enjoys.

You might even recover in time for the second round while she’s getting even more aroused, increasing the chance of a mutual climax if you get the timing right.

I know this is similar to point six, but it’s so important that I think it’s worth rephrasing in a different way. The key point is to not think sex is over just because you came.

Your partner will tolerate your quick finishing a lot more if you give them some manual or oral sex, and stay awake for a second attempt.

Don’t make the rookie error of casually rolling onto them in bed, skipping foreplay, coming in a minute, rolling off, and falling asleep.

9. Have regular sex to get used to the intensity

Whether you’ve recently become sexually active, or have been for years, if you have sex regularly you should find you have better control.

I know from experience that when I have sex every day, my control is much better than when I only see my partner once or twice a week.

Obviously, it’s not always possible to arrange for sex to happen more regularly. But it’s an idea worth mentioning to your partner if they are invested in helping for both your sakes.

Practice makes perfect, as they say.

10. Keep calm and breathe

If your breathing during sex becomes fast and shallow, or you start making more noise than usual while breathing, it could be a sign you’re getting closer to the point of no return.

Fortunately, you can reduce your arousal by controlling your breathing during sex. Breathe IN slowly for 4 seconds. HOLD for 4 seconds. Then breathe OUT for 4 seconds.

If you can maintain this pattern, especially when feeling more aroused, it can help you stay in control of your body.

11. Relax your body

One of the reasons some positions are better for control is because it’s easier to stay relaxed in them. If you notice yourself tensing your stomach muscles, thighs, and glutes especially, then try to relax instead.

If you lie on your back with your partner on top, it’s easier to stay relaxed, and you should find you can breathe deeper and get back in control again.

12. Relax your mind

Relaxing the mind is a trickier beast to pin down. According to sex therapists, if you go into sex worrying about finishing quickly, you’re more likely to do so.

So try using positive affirmations during sex to relax yourself. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. Tell yourself you’re a good lover, feeling calm, and that everything is just fine.

Alternatively, work on your general level of stress and anxiety in life. If you’re under a lot of stress at the moment, then doing meditation, yoga or relaxation exercises daily could make a big difference.

If that all sounds a little too esoteric for you, just remember the breathing. That can help with both bodily and mental relaxation.

13. Wear a condom

trojan extended pleasure condom

Unprotected sex feels amazing but can feel just a bit too good sometimes. Adding a condom can really help knock the sensitivity down a level, and give you a fighting chance of coping with the intense stimulation

Try an extra thick condom for even more desensitizing, or a special delay condom to add a little extra numbing.

14. Use plenty of lubricant

The more lubricated your partner is, the less stimulation and pressure you’ll feel, especially when you first penetrate them, and so the longer you’ll last. It’s a good reason to spend plenty of time on foreplay.

Always have a bottle of quality lubricant to hand in case your partner doesn’t create enough lubricant naturally. If you’re pushing and it’s not sliding in nicely, get the lube out and make life easier for both of you.

15. Focus on the whole body

You’ve probably heard the classic advice of thinking about something boring or unpleasant. In my opinion, this is a crap idea. It’s no fun thinking about unpleasant things during sex, and your partner deserves your full attention anyway.

Instead, try to focus on all the different sensations in your body, and your partner’s too.

Don’t allow your mind to get stuck thinking only about the sensation in your genitals. Think how every part of your body feels from your toes to your fingers. Enjoy the complete experience.

16. Relax and do nothing

As I said before, relaxation is key. So much so, that relaxing to the point of doing absolutely nothing can help you last longer.

If you’re on your back you can try to totally relax and let her take control for a minute or two. Alternatively, both of you can simply lie still together with you inside and have a tantric moment.

This gives you a chance to focus on your breathing and lower your arousal level, as well as connect on a more profound level.

17. Vary your speed and depth of thrusting

If you go at it hammer and tongs, you’ll ejaculate sooner – it’s as simple as that.

Women also like variation. Sometimes thrust slowly, sometimes pause deep inside her, sometimes do very shallow thrusts and tease her at the entrance.

Personally, I’ve found that it helps to mix two things. Sometimes I’ll stay deep inside, and then only move in and out a little, so the depth is maintained.

And then I’ll almost totally withdraw, only moving my penis head in and out very slowly. I might then do a few very slow shallow thrusts, followed by a very slow and deep thrust.

18. Refocus yourself physically

This isn’t my personal favorite, but I know some men say it helps. Any small repetitive action with your body can help shift your attention from your groin. For example, gently curling the toes on one foot repeatedly.

19. Don’t start off hard and fast

At the beginning of any sexual experience, the pleasure can be overwhelming. Take it easy when you first penetrate your partner – get used to the pleasure and build up slowly.

If you can get through the first couple of minutes without too much stimulation, you might go longer than with a frenzied start.

20. Count an action

This is a variation on the classic distraction technique, and better than thinking about paint drying.

Try counting your thrusts or your breath, or anything else which is easy and rhythmic to focus on. Not my personal favorite, but again, some men say this technique helps.

21. Spend longer on foreplay, with a focus on your partner

man and woman in bed

This is one of the most important tips I can give you, stemming from the basic concept that men often get aroused faster than women.

The longer you spend on good foreplay (giving her as much pleasure as you can think of) the better.

First, it takes the pressure off you, especially if you give her an orgasm first. Second, it raises her arousal to be closer to yours, so you may not even need to last so long when you do eventually have sex.

Finally, surveys show time and time again that many women wish that foreplay lasted longer. I also know from personal experience of talking openly with different partners, that they always like lengthy foreplay.

Sure, a quickie is exciting from time to time. But that’s no excuse for always skipping foreplay so you can get to the main course.

22. Talk to your partner about it

If you talk openly about having problems with your sexual stamina, it will take the pressure off you. You can then work together and many of the techniques in this article will be easier to implement.

I recommend doing this with positivity and a sense of humor. I’ve actually experimented with the way I tell women I have a ‘problem’. They always react better when I frame it with smiles, laughter, and jokes than when I get all serious and vulnerable about it.

I don’t mean to ridicule yourself or be flippant. It’s more about keeping it lighthearted and showing you’re aware of the problem and in control of working on it, and it doesn’t have to be in awkward silence.

23. Explore tantric sex

Tantra has a lot to say about the way people have sex, and how there are other ways to go about it. It’s worth looking into as one of the core teachings is about slowing everything down.

One idea you can try now is to spend time massaging your partner before you get to more sexual foreplay.

She may love you for it, and perhaps make her more likely to want sex more often if she’s currently avoiding it due to your quick finishing.

24. Kegels and reverse kegels

Kegels are potentially very useful for ejaculation control, but it’s important to understand how and when to do them correctly (read my article about kegel exercises for full instructions.)

The idea is to develop your pelvic floor muscles through exercises you can do in your own time. The muscles used are identified by stopping yourself mid-flow when peeing.

That same squeeze/contraction is something you can then do to stop yourself from ejaculating just before it happens.

You can also learn to keep the same muscles relaxed during sex up until that point of ejaculation. By actively relaxing that pelvic area, either through general relaxation or reverse kegels, you might find you last longer.

25. Consider talking to your doctor

I’ve left this until last because I know many men don’t feel comfortable about sexual problems with their doctor.

However, your doctor can give you qualified advice, based on your personal medical history.

There are several possible physical causes, as well as psychological and behavioral. If this is a severe problem for you, it’s worth considering – even if it sounds like an embarrassing or awkward idea. A doctor can also explain the pharmacological options.

They can recommend or refer you to a counselor or sex therapist if they feel there might be a psychological or behavioral cause.

Final Word

The key point to take away is to keep an open mind, be willing to try different approaches and move on if they don’t work.

My view is that the best approach is to hit the problem from every possible angle. The more techniques you put into practice, the better chance you’ll have of improving your sexual stamina.

Your ideas

What works, or doesn’t work, for you? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Hi All, this article is very inspiring. I recently lost a girl to having ED. A girl I really cared about. I’m at a really low point. I want to last longer so bad. Obviously I need to practice. I bought the fleshlight and having been practicing the start and stop method. I’m committed to making this go away. I don’t want to feel this bad ever again. I’m willing to put in the work. Any advice on next steps for those who have been in a similar place? Thanks

    • Hi Doug
      I’m glad to hear the article was useful for you. I’d say just keep practicing and be patient – combining the fleshlight with the start and stop method is a good method in my opinion. I would keep reading up on the problem though, check out other websites and see what other/new advice is out there.

  2. Great article thank you Ethan! I can never last longer than 2 or 3 minutes most times and it is causing me serious problems in my relationship. I will try your techniques and see if I can increase that time. I would like to last 10mins or more – do you think it will take much time before I can do that if I try everything you recommend?

    • Hi Tarn
      You are welcome! It’s hard to say, to be honest. It depends on the reason for your difficulty in control at the moment. But I think there is every reason for optimism that at least a couple of the techniques will make a difference in quite a short period of time.

  3. Thank you for the helpful article Ethan. Can I ask you, which do you think is better – a delay condom, spray or gel? I want to try one, but am not sure which is supposed to be the best out of all of the different types?

    • Hi Al
      You’re welcome! It’s always good to know the articles are appreciated. Personally, I prefer sprays over gels for sure. In terms of spray vs condom, I think it’s a personal choice. Condoms are easier to use, and perhaps more subtle. But I find them sometimes a little too strong in the numbing because of the double action of benxocaine + layer of protection that a condom naturally adds.
      I’d say give both a go, as most of them are relatively inexpensive.

  4. Great Article, your honesty and advice is truly Admirable Ethan. I Started reading this article around a year ago after Suffering from PE for Several Years, I experimented with Many of your Suggestions And Found that Most or Maybe All Had a Small Positive Effect… I Have Come to the Conclusion that Admitting to Myself i had a PE Problem, Preparation, Consideration for My partner All helped me Focus my Attention Away From “The Addiction” to Experience Climax Asap While Also Extremely Aware That i Have got to Last Longer than the Ad Break in Corrie.. I Honestly believe in my case that my Body/Brain was Kind o Addicted to Climaxing Very Similar to a Drug Or Alcohol Problem. Your time and Effort with this Page gave me Food for thought and the Tools to Overcome a 7/8 yr Sexual Hell!!!. If this helps just 1 Man/ Couple Along the Way Just a little then Great.
    Thanks Again Ethan

    • Hi Buster
      Thanks for your comment and kind words! It’s great that the article was useful for you, and very interesting to hear back from a reader who has had a year to try the techniques and expand on them.
      I think you’re probably right in that many of the techniques can help a little – which is why it’s good to try more than one at once and start to make bigger changes to the way you have sex, rather than try one technique in isolation and hope it cures you.
      I also think it makes sense about being too into the climax. Whether it’s an addiction or not, I don’t know, but it’s easy to get too focused on that as your own end goal. Removing that mentally means you can slow down, prepare better like you say, and focus on your partner’s pleasure.
      Thanks again

  5. hi there great read. I’ve been on a drought of sexual activity for nearly 4-5 months, just recently I’ve been seeing this new girl who is great. thing is i can get a Erection no problem hell i even make her cum 10-15 times shes a squirter.

    problem is she loves it hard, i used to be able to keep a erection no issues, but it seems after a few mins it wants to go limp. this is without a condom, im wondering if its the dreaded ED or if i just need to use a condom more often my preferred brand is Large Magnums as the one size fits all ones from other brands are way to tight and wont work.

    its as though the tip is too sensitive iv tried to masturbate prior to engaging in sex with her, i’m talking 4-5 hrs prior. i would prefer to stave off using pills but i’m not sure what else i can do. i’m 35, recently changed lifestyle to be body builder all natural no steroids, just countless hours on a BowFlex ultimate. lost 85 lbs in a month. diet changed to mostly plant proteins nutribullet shakes.

    is my only option pills, or the pubococcygeus muscles exercises as im sure ill do those wrong?

    • Hi Jason
      Thanks for your comment and compliment. It sounds like there could be various things going on here. But if you feel the tip is sensitive, then harder sex might be a bit too much, in which case try experimenting with a condom and see it that helps. You could also try using lube to have less friction on your penis tip.
      There might also be something going on because of the big change in lifestyle, exercise and diet. Perhaps things will settle down in time as you get used to the sex again and your new routines. But do you find it’s better or worse following exercise, or after eating particular meals or taking supplements? Those can all play a role too, so it might be worth working out when your body performs better in bed related to your other activities.
      If you’re not keen on the pills, then there are other options for sure. But I’d try my ideas first and see if you can work something out naturally.

  6. hi there!!! i usually ejaculate just minuits into sex and i dont fined it happy i wish i could get a help to kick start a good sex.

  7. I do experience that problem of not taking long during sex and am with the view of using Eros delay cream. Can it really help me????

    • Hi Moses
      I haven’t used Eros cream myself, so can’t comment on how well it could work or not. If you look at my delay spray reviews though, you’ll find lots of information about different ones that are more established and well-known that Eros, which is a very new one.

  8. I tried a delay spray last week after reading your article and it did help a lot. But it made it harder to get an erection. Is this usual?

    • Hi Thomas
      Unfortunately, they can cause some difficulty in getting an erection. That’s why I recommend only using a very small amount to start off and see if that’s enough to help delay ejaculation without the erection problem. It’s also good to apply it when you already have an erection and are feeling turned on, rather than too far in advance of sexual activity.
      Great to hear it helped though – that’s a step in the right direction.

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