How can I last longer in bed?

Q:

How can I last longer in bed?

A:

Lasting longer in bed is something that many people with penises feel concerned about. They think that to please their partner and be a great lover, they must last as long as possible, i.e., hold off on orgasming. This can lead to high levels of sexual performance anxiety as not cumming is often going directly against one's natural physiology. There are two main things to try to make sex more enjoyable if you feel that you reach orgasm too quickly:

One is that our bodies can be taught to orgasm more quickly or slowly through touch and sensitivity conditioning. When you masturbate, try bringing yourself close to orgasm and then stopping. Repeating this cycle, often called edging, can help your body not get carried away when you are having partnered sex. This does not work for everyone or every time, but with practice, it can also simply help you understand our own body's responses better.

The second thing to remember is that one's partner's orgasm does not mean sex is over. Sex is so much more than penial penetration; sex is anything that you and the person you are connecting with find physically and emotionally pleasurable. Because of this, you can last longer by simply mixing up what intimate activities you engage in.

Lastly, remember that sometimes we think that we aren’t satisfying our partners when we really are. By communicating openly and honestly, we can come to understand what will enhance the quality of sex we are having, which oftentimes has little to do with how many minutes we are inside the other person. By having diverse sexual activities, you can keep things fresh, enjoy as much pleasure as you both want, and learn to experience intimacy in new ways.

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Written by Laura McGuire
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Dr. Laura McGuire is a nationally recognized sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, and inclusion consultant at The National Center for Equity and Agency. Dr. McGuire earned her bachelor's degree in social sciences from Thomas Edison State University and her graduate degrees in Educational Leadership for Change from Fielding Graduate University. Her experience includes both public and private sectors, middle schools, high schools, and university settings. In 2015, she served as the first Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program Manager at the University of Houston, and in 2017, she became the first Victim Advocate/Prevention Educator at the US Merchant Marine Academy.

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