How Premature Ejaculation in Men Affects Their Female Partners

By Ross Pomeroy - RCP Staff
May 19, 2020
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In a new study, women who reported that their male partners had symptoms of premature ejaculation (PE) were less satisfied with their relationships and reported slightly lower levels of sexual arousal, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction.

The study, which probed a 2006 survey of 1,779 Finnish women, was published last Friday to the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Åbo Akademi University psychologists Patrick Jern, Ida-Maria Sola, and Daniel Ventus spearheaded the research.

Premature ejaculation is a nebulous term used to describe when a man orgasms within a few moments of beginning sexual activity, but perceptions of what constitutes "premature" differs between the general public and sexual health experts. Popular culture suggests that penetrative sex should last a long time, but in reality, it most often lasts between five and eight minutes, while anywhere from one to fifteen minutes is "normal". Men falling on the lower end of this range might think they have a problem with premature ejaculation, when in fact they are within statistical norms. The International Society for Sexual Medicine states that orgasm in less than a minute should be considered "premature." Other groups say the cutoff should be less than fifteen seconds or even be limited to before penetration.

“It’s usually the case that about 30 percent of men... worry about not being able to control their ejaculation well enough. But only one to two percent of men report that intercourse usually takes about one minute or less,” lead researcher Patrick Jern recently told ScienceNorway.

Returning to the current study, what could explain why women were less satisfied in relationships with male partners suffering from self-reported PE? Most obviously, it could be that sex is not fulfilling due to brevity. On the other hand, it could simply be that women who were already unsatisfied with their relationships are more likely to exaggerate premature ejaculation symptoms in their partners. Alternatively, men who think they have PE could be less able to perform sexually due to stress or anxiety, and this could damage the relationship as a whole.

Regardless, there's no reason for PE to hinder a heterosexual relationship. Sexual fulfillment is key to relationship success, and can be attained through a variety of other ways besides penetrative intercourse. In fact, most women do not climax from vaginal sex, so men often need to employ a repertoire of techniques and tools to help their female partners attain sexual fulfillment.

Men suffering from severe premature ejaculation can try numerous treatments, ranging from medication, to behavioral techniques, to physical exercises.

Source: Patrick Jern, Ida-Maria Sola & Daniel Ventus. "Do women’s Relationship Satisfaction and Sexual Functioning Vary as a Function of Their Male Partners’ Premature Ejaculation Symptoms?" Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 15 May 2020.

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