Self-Help For Premature Ejaculation Overview

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photo of over the counter treatments for premature ejaculation, including priligy, condoms, and seven desensitizing sprays

Having experienced the frustration of premature ejaculation myself, one of my main goals with this website is to discuss the different self-help and over the counter treatments I’ve tried.

In this overview article, I’ll first cover some of the background information about premature ejaculation that I personally found helpful to understand.

I’ll then discuss the different methods to tackle it that I’ve tried over the years. Please note that this article isn’t intended to be a substitute for medical advice; the ideas here are based on my own experience and extensive background reading.

I’ve tried to include a balanced mix of products you’d need to either get a prescription for or buy yourself, along with behavioral techniques that anyone can try.

I know it’s tempting to throw money at serious problems like premature ejaculation. I know because I did it myself.

However, I think it’s good to be aware that there are plenty of affordable and free options if you’re on a tight budget. Many of the desensitizing products are relatively inexpensive, and it’s free to practice the behavioral techniques once you know how to do them.


Background information

  1. How many men have premature ejaculation?
  2. Definition and types of premature ejaculation
  3. What causes it?
  4. The different types of treatment
  5. What’s the best treatment?

Treatment options

  1. Delay sprays
  2. Behavioral techniques
  3. Medication
  4. Other options

Background information

1. How many men have premature ejaculation

It’s understandable that many men might hesitate to discuss premature ejaculation with their doctor or acknowledge it in surveys. This makes it challenging to pinpoint its exact prevalence.

In 2011, a study analyzed several past research projects and found that the occurrence of premature ejaculation varied widely, affecting between 4% to 39% of men, depending on the specific research.

Fast forward to 2021, a different group of researchers estimated that between ‘20% to 30% of sexually active men’ experience this condition.

Whatever the true figure is, it’s evident that premature ejaculation is a widespread concern.

2. Definition and types of premature ejaculation

The exact definition of premature ejaculation can differ depending on where you look. However, most experts identify two main categories:

  • Lifelong PE – This is when the issue is present from a man’s very first sexual experience. He will always or nearly always ejaculate within one minute of starting penetrative sex.
  • Acquired PE – This emerges after a man has had a period of normal sexual functioning, potentially months or years without the issue.
  • Normal variable PE – This is a common scenario for many men. Their performance can be inconsistent: sometimes they might ejaculate rapidly, while other times they can maintain for a longer duration.

It’s also worth noting that some believe premature ejaculation is more of a subjective issue. For instance, even if a man can last longer than three minutes, he might still feel that he’s experiencing premature ejaculation.

3. What causes premature ejaculation?

The Mayo Clinic suggests that the exact cause of premature ejaculation still isn’t known. While it was once mainly attributed to psychological factors, many medical experts now think it’s due to a mix of mental and physical reasons.

Some of those factors include:

  • Imbalances in hormones or brain chemicals.
  • Issues like inflammation or infections in the prostate or urethra.
  • Past quick masturbation habits.
  • Experiences of sexual abuse.
  • Low self-esteem or concerns about body image.
  • Feeling guilty, leading to hurried sex.
  • Worrying about performance or not lasting long.
  • Concerns about erectile dysfunction causing rushed intimacy.
  • General stress.
  • Overly stimulating sexual situations.

4. Which type of treatment?

Before we look at specific treatments, it’s helpful to categorize the main approaches. For those leaning towards self-help methods, here are your primary choices:

  • Topical anesthetics: These include desensitizing sprays, creams, and even condoms designed to reduce sensitivity.
  • Behavioral techniques: Methods such as the stop-and-start, kegels, and the squeeze technique can be helpful.
  • Medications: These can be found over the counter or purchased online.

For those considering professional guidance:

  • Consult a doctor: They might suggest self-help methods to start with. Beyond that, they might propose counseling, prescribe specific medications, or address any underlying medical issues that could be contributing.
  • Seek counseling or therapy: This is particularly beneficial if you suspect a psychological root to the problem or if it’s impacting your personal well-being and relationships.

5. What’s the best treatment?

There’s isn’t a single treatment that works equally well for all men. Some experts have suggested in studies that medical treatments, such as antidepressants and delay sprays, are usually the most effective. In my experience, delay sprays are an effective and immediate fix for the problem.

There’s also some evidence that self-help behavioral techniques like the stop and start method can be effective. Personally, I’ve seen significant improvements using these techniques, even though they took time.

While it might be tempting to opt for quick fixes like delay sprays or pills, it’s also worthwhile to invest time in naturally improving your control.

And although it might feel a bit awkward initially, talking to your doctor can be an invaluable step. They can help pinpoint the root cause and guide you to the right treatment.

Self-help treatment options

1. Delay sprays / topical anesthetics

photo of four delay sprays: edge, dynamo delay, promescent, and stud 100

Delay sprays, often called topical anesthetics in the medical world, are an immediate and easy way to tackle premature ejaculation in my experience.

While they aren’t a permanent fix and need to be applied each time before sex, they are effective for many men.

The main advantages

  • No prescription required.
  • Use it only when you’re about to have sex.
  • Acts quickly, often within 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Can help extend your performance by several minutes or more.
  • Most are compatible with oral sex and can be used with or without condoms.

Potential issues

  • Results vary, so they might not work equally well for everyone.
  • Overuse can lead to excessive numbing, making it difficult to maintain an erection until the effect wears off.
  • Might produce a tingling or burning sensation.
  • Proper usage is important to ensure it doesn’t transfer to your partner.

I recommend

The spray I’ve personally found to be most effective is Promescent, which you can find at

Other articles to read

The best delay sprays

Promescent review

How to use delay sprays

2. Behavioral techniques

image listing different Behavioral techniques for premature ejaculation

There’s a broad range of self-help methods to help with premature ejaculation. Some of them are straightforward adjustments to the way you have sex, such as:

  • Masturbate earlier in the day you have sex.
  • Use a condom.
  • Limit the time spent in the missionary position or from behind.
  • Have more foreplay and oral sex.
  • Have sex more often.

Then there are specific techniques you’ll need to dedicate some time to learning and practicing, like the start and stop method, sensate focusing, kegels, and arousal control.

The main advantages

  • No need for medication.
  • Zero recurring expenses.
  • Generally safe, provided you’re doing the techniques right.
  • Potential to entirely rid yourself of premature ejaculation.
  • When mastered, these methods can help you last significantly longer, not just by minutes.
  • Tweaking your intimacy routine can be a win-win for both you and your partner.

Potential issues

  • May not be effective if underlying physical or mental issues require targeted treatment.
  • You need time, patience, and persistence to see results.

I recommend

You can find information about these techniques widely online, including on this site (see the useful articles below).

If you’d like a more complete guide, take a look at my book reviews below in which I discuss some popular sexual stamina guides.

Other articles to read

Premature ejaculation book reviews

My tips for lasting longer

The start and stop method

My guide to kegel exercises

3. Medication

priligy and viagra

First of all, I should mention that I’m not a doctor. Everything I know about drug treatments stems from my own journey and personal research.

From what I’ve gathered, oral medical treatments can be categorized as:

  • Antidepressants: Some doctors prescribe these for men dealing with PE.
  • Dapoxetine (Priligy): Originally designed as an antidepressant, it later gained recognition as a premature ejaculation medication in certain countries.
  • Tramadol: A potent painkiller that seems to help some men last longer during sex. However, its potential side effects and risk of dependence are very concerning.
  • Erectile dysfunction drugs: Medications like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) might help some with ejaculation control, though they come with their own set of side effects.
  • Herbal and alternative remedies: Drawing inspiration from age-old remedies worldwide, some ingredients find their way into products available online. Their safety profile can be a bit disconcerting, as many are sold as supplements, bypassing rigorous clinical testing.

Advantages of oral medication

  • Some have clinical backing, potentially adding several minutes to men’s performance.
  • They offer discretion as they can be taken regularly without needing to tell anyone.
  • Provides an instant solution without the need to practice any techniques.

Potential issues

  • Side effects, ranging from mild to serious, including other sexual dysfunctions.
  • Some require a doctor’s prescription.
  • They are not a cure, so you need to take them on an ongoing basis.

I can understand why oral medication will appeal to some men. It’s easier to pop a pill than spend months practicing techniques.

However, I’ve had enough side effects when trying them to know that they don’t come without risks. I recommend weighing up the pros and cons carefully before taking any oral medication, and discussing it with your doctor rather than buying them online from websites that aren’t well-established and trusted.

I recommend

Because I’m not a doctor, I don’t feel comfortable recommending medication. It’s a decision best made in consultation with a healthcare expert.

For those interested, I’ve documented my experience with these drugs below.

Other articles to read

Dapoxetine review

Viagra review

Tramadol for premature ejaculation

4. Other options

I’ve covered many of the main treatment choices above, but there are a couple of other options worth considering in addition to those.

Delay condoms

benzocaine condoms

Delay condoms work in a similar way to delay sprays and creams, but the desensitizing effect is often more pronounced because of the condom material.

Brands like Durex, Trojan, and Pasante produce these condoms, incorporating a bit of benzocaine on the inner lining. This compound reacts with body heat during use and numbs the penis.

From my personal tests, they generally do the trick, but there is a trade-off: they can sometimes lead to a loss in erection and diminish the overall pleasure, likely due to the strong numbing.

I recommend

You can find Durex Performax and Trojan extended climax control in many pharmacies, adult stores, and even some supermarkets.

Other articles to read

The best delay condoms

Tips for using condoms without losing your erection

Fleshlight Stamina Training Unit

fleshlight stamina training unit

Using a sex toy can be beneficial for those who are single or live by themselves when it comes to honing ejaculation control techniques. At the very least, it gets you used to heightened physical sensations for when you’re with a partner.

My choice was the Fleshlight Stamina Training Unit, which was great for practicing the start and stop method. Its intense sensation really puts you to the test and makes your solo sessions feel more genuine.

I recommend checking out their official website if you’d like to try one.

You can also read my review of the Fleshlight Stamina Training Unit to find out more.

Master the art of oral sex

man kissing a woman on a bed

Working on my oral skills was a game-changer in addressing premature ejaculation, not to mention it made me a more versatile lover overall.

Improving in this area just requires picking up a few effective techniques and making a commitment to do it more and do it right. This way, regardless of how long you last in the main event, you’ve always got a surefire way to please your partner.

As an example, I always used to overcomplicate things with multiple movements, speeds, pressure, rhythms, and the hard tip of my tongue.

Over time, I learned that some women prefer a simple and repetitive movement that hardly changes from start to finish.

If you’re completely new to oral sex, a good movement to try is to just lick upwards from below the clit to above it with the flat top surface of your tongue over and over again – kind of like an ice cream.

Read tips for giving a woman oral sex


The key to overcoming premature ejaculation for me was persistence and a willingness to explore different options.

There’s a plethora of desensitizing products available globally that can offer immediate help. Additionally, there are many resources that will guide you through behavioral techniques for natural control.

Think of it as a two-pronged strategy: the short-term fix with desensitizing solutions, complemented by the long-term approach of natural techniques. Start with what brings immediate results and, alongside, invest time in holistic solutions for lasting results.

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