Ask Debby Herbenick | premature ejaculation, fishy vaginas

Debby Herbenick answers your most penetrating sex questions. This week: Another dude hoping to increase the size of his junk.

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Q I have a serious problem with premature ejaculation, and it is getting worse. I am 28 and married and I am just getting tired of not being able to satisfy my wife during intercourse. She can come during intercourse—she just needs longer than a couple of minutes. I have tried to relax. I work out a lot and am fit. I have tried the pausing, but then sex just becomes more pausing than anything else. I do other things so she can have a good time, but it would be great to be able to have intercourse and hang in there long enough for her to finish also. I have thought about seeing a doctor for Prozac, but there has to be another answer.
A
As many as one third of men would like to last longer, typically (like you) to satisfy their partner. My first suggestion is to check with your wife to see if this is something she would like to change. Some women prefer to experience orgasms from oral sex, sex-toy play, fingering, BDSM play, breast stimulation or some other form of sex awesomeness. She may love your penis but not feel like having an orgasm from intercourse is necessary for her. If that’s the case, maybe you can learn to chill out and enjoy sex just the way your body works. If she’d like at least occasional bouts of longer intercourse and so would you, I’d suggest you try some tried and true techniques to help men last longer. The stop-start technique is typically best learned in masturbation and eventually applied to sex with a partner. It involves building arousal during masturbation and then backing off just before the point of no return (when you’ll come no matter what), starting again, then stopping and so on. If this is what you mean by “pausing,” then what’s wrong with pausing? A lot of guys do it and it’s not at all weird. Performance-enhancing condoms are another option and can help men last several minutes longer, which is often enough for them and their partners. These are available at local drug stores and online, and they work by gently and lightly decreasing sensation to the penis (benzocaine is the active ingredient in brands I’m familiar with). If you opt for talking with a health-care provider, that’s also an okay route. Depending on the medication prescribed, the dose of antidepressants used is sometimes far lower than would be used to treat depression or anxiety; in fact, some studies have found that even occasional use of certain antidepressants can be helpful. That’s a conversation between you and your doctor, though, as they’re not right for everyone. Finally, I know of no reason that working out a lot would help with PE, although a few studies have found that regular yoga practice can help men with PE and other sexual function issues. Check out Coping with Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner and Have Great Sex (New Harbinger, $14.95).

Q How can I naturally increase the girth of my penis? There has to be some way.
A You can’t. Not unless you consider wearing a device such as the AndroPenis for months on end to be “natural.” (It’s a penis-traction device that stretches your penis while you wear it; it looks like a penis brace, if there was such a thing.) There is limited research data on this device, but at least there’s some. It may add as many as four centimeters of length and as much as 1.5 centimeters of girth—or it may not, as it does not work for everyone. And again, one needs to wear it daily and let the “progressive traction force” go to work. Personally, I would wait until more long-term safety data are available before going this route.

Q Do you know anyone who has had the G-spot amplification procedure? I know there is no information on the overall safety of the procedure but was wondering what your opinion was on it.
A My opinion of “G-shot” procedures is not a good one. Most doctors I know who specialize in women’s sexual health and/or vulvovaginal health advise against the procedure. Some doctors use collagen injections. Another method uses hyaluronan. One doctor I know tried to inject into the front vaginal wall after several patients requested the outpatient procedure and she found it extraordinarily tricky to do. She said the collagen would come right out and she didn’t know how many doctors could guarantee that they were truly getting the substances in the front vaginal wall to begin with, without leaking right out. She immediately stopped giving them as far as I know. Some doctors I know think it’s a scam at best and a disservice to women at worst. Of course, there are certainly physicians around who give them but, as you said, there is zero scientific data that show it actually works to enhance women’s orgasm or pleasure.

Q Ever since I started having sex, I have tended to get really nervous right before intercourse and this makes me unable to become erect. I can eventually become erect, but it takes a very long time. It is almost like I’m having a panic attack, as I can feel my heart beat really fast and I can feel it pulsing throughout my body. I have been having sex with one girl for about four years now and everything is fine with her most of the time. It tends to happen when I’m with a new girl who I’m not comfortable with yet. I’m sure it’s a total mental thing, but now I have myself so convinced that I won’t be able to become erect that I avoid any situation that would lead to sex. I’m hoping you can help me out because I’m 21 and starting to get a lot of attention from the opposite sex and would love to explore.
A Feeling nervous before sex is common, especially among men. Feeling panicked is not so common and if it gets in the way of exploring how you want, then I can see why you’d look for some help. Good for you for doing so! Fortunately, sexual anxiety can often be helped. I would highly recommend reading the updated versions of either The New Male Sexuality (Bantam, $18; my favorite book for men about sex, and also a favorite of my college students) and/or The Sexual Male: Problems and Solutions (WW Norton, $21.95), which is focused more specifically on erectile issues. My male college students like both of them a lot. And I know quite a few of them feel that their performance anxiety issues have been helped by reading this. If you read them both and still are freaking out about sex, by all means consider meeting with a sex therapist (sstarnet.org) and/or a regular counselor or therapist (find one through apa.org), who may be able to give you tools to practice so that you can learn to relax and enjoy sex.

Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a research scientist at Indiana University, sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. Send letters to Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., c/o Time Out Chicago, 247 South State Street, 17th floor, Chicago, IL 60604, or send e-mail to inandout@timeoutchicago.com.


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