Q: Why can't some guys last long in bed?
A: This question really depends on a person's perspective. Several studies have found that penile-vaginal intercouse lasts an average of 5 - 7 minutes for most couples. Research also finds that lasting 2 minutes might be the norm for about 40% of men. Anything less than 2 minutes is considered premature ejaculation (PE). This is the most common sexual disorder, especially among young men, with about 30% of men suffering from PE. So, what might seem like "not lasting long" for some people may actually be perfectly average, or even better than average, for most people.
However, if a guy wants to last longer in bed, there are some things they can do. One method is the "Start and Stop" technique. This is something that can be done with a partner or while masturbating. Just stimulate the penis like you normally do until you feel like you're getting close to orgasm. Then stop stimulating the penis and wait for the sensation to die down. Once you aren't close to orgasm anymore, begin stimulating the penis again. Continue doing this until you've reached the desired amount of time and then stimulate yourself until you reach orgasm. This can train the body and brain to last a certain amount of time before orgasming. It does take a while to retrain yourself, but this technique works for most men.
Another method men can try is using condoms. Condoms can somewhat reduce sensation during sex. This is sometimes seen as a negative thing by men, but it can be a benefit for men who experience premature ejaculation. You can also purchase special condoms that have a mild analgesic coating on the inside, which can slightly deaden the nerves of the penis while the condom is worn. This can further elongate the time before ejaculation.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that this is only a "problem" if it's keeping people from enjoying sex. A great way to help both women and men enjoy sex more is to have lots of foreplay before engaging in penile-vaginal intercourse. It typically takes women about 20 - 30 minutes of stimulation to reach peak arousal and have an orgasm, so hopefully a couple is engaging in foreplay long enough to allow for that to happen. Foreplay is really the key to satisfying sex.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.