We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. Now, onto today’s topic: how to help a guy last longer during sex.
Q: “I’ve been dating this guy for about two months, and now we’re in a relationship. We’ve just started having sex. It’s pretty good. Not great, but I know we’re still finding our rhythm with each other. The main thing that’s bothering me is that he doesn’t last very long. Maybe three or four minutes, tops. My last boyfriend was able to control himself much better, sometimes going for 20 or even 30 minutes. I miss having sex for that long. I want my current boyfriend to last longer, but I don’t know how to bring it up without embarrassing him (or myself).”
A: Thanks for the question! First of all, kudos for you to recognizing that the two of you need some time to get used to each other! It’s very possible that your boyfriend will start lasting longer once he’s gotten over some of those “sleeping with a new person for the first time” jitters (more on this below). Nonetheless, there are still plenty of things you can do to help sex last longer. Here are nine tips.
1. Give It Time
As I just mentioned, there is a very real possibility that this issue will resolve itself with a bit of time. Having sex with a new partner is always nerve-wracking. We have a lot of stereotypes about men being sex fiends, but they can get just as anxious about sex as women can. When men are nervous or anxious, they tend to orgasm quickly (some men will also have a hard time getting or staying hard, or will have difficulty orgasming at all).
If you and your guy have only slept together a few times, have a bit of patience. These initial jitters typically go away within a few weeks. If about a month has passed and things are still the same, then it may be time to take action on some of my tips below.
2. Check Your Expectations
The average sex romp lasts about three to seven minutes, on average. Your boyfriend falls right within that range (and your ex boyfriend is well outside of it!). This can be frustrating for women who sleep with men, since women tend to take closer to 20 minutes on average. Orgasmic considerations aside, intercourse feels good, so of course it’s natural to want it to last longer.
I’ll share plenty of tricks for prolonging your sessions together, but at the same time, it’s helpful to be aware of what the norm is. Wanting your guy to last 20-30 minutes is kinda like wanting to have 5-10 orgasms during sex: it can happen, and there are things you can do to try to make it happen, but it is unfortunately a pretty lofty goal.
3. Take It Slow
If you’re in a brand-new relationship with your partner, be compassionate when bringing up the idea of lasting longer in bed. This is one of the biggest sources of anxiety for men, and he almost certainly already knows that he’s not lasting very long. Think about the Golden Rule, and imagine how you would want him to talk about any sexual difficulties you have. For example, maybe you struggle to reach orgasm with a partner.
For now, I’d suggest trying out some of the tips below, but without directly saying anything like, “I want you to last longer.” Once you’re in a more serious, trusting relationship, it’s easier to talk more openly. I’d suggest saying something like, “I love having sex with you. I never want it to end. Quickies are fun sometimes, but do you think we can try going for longer other times?” If he says he doesn’t know how to last longer, or worries there are other issues at play, I’d suggest seeking out a sex therapist (might I humbly point you in the direction of my program, The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure).
4. Mix Things Up
Now let’s transition into some actual techniques for extending sex in the moment. Most heterosexual couples spend a few of minutes on foreplay, then move on to intercourse until completion. I dislike the word “foreplay” because it implies that these activities must come before intercourse, like an appetizer (can someone come up for a replacement? “Interplay”? Or maybe just “play”?).
You can make things last a lot longer by playing around with the order of the specific activities that are usually a part of your sex life. Take breaks from intercourse (or whatever your default activity is), and go back to “foreplay”. Here’s one example of how a session could look: spend some time giving each other erotic massages. Move on to hand jobs. Start having intercourse. Go back to hand jobs. Go back to intercourse. Move on to oral sex. Masturbate in front of him until you reach orgasm. Go back to intercourse. Then finish him off with your mouth. Switching things up in this way is fun in the moment (it’s so hot not knowing what comes next!), and brings an element of surprise to your sex life.
5. … And Encourage Him To Mix Up His Strokes, Too
A lot of men tend to default to hard, fast, and deep thrusts during intercourse, which is a sure-fire way to orgasm quickly. It’s better to mix up your strokes. Aim for a couple of fast strokes, followed up a couple of long, slow, shallow ones. If he’s in control in a particular position, grab his hips and say, “I want you to go really slow for a minute. As slowly as you can possibly go.” Or try, “I want to feel your whole penis moving in and out of me. Pull out as far as you can go.” Or, you can show him what you mean by getting into a position where you’re in charge, like woman on top.
6. Suggest Optimal Positions
In that vein, you can also suggest specific positions that can help him slow down and focus on longer, shallower thrusts.
7. Play Red Light Green Light
What most men need if they’re getting too close to orgasm is to take a break and let themselves calm down. The problem is, a lot of guys feel embarrassed about having to take a break. Some guys even see it as a sign of “failure”.
One really hot way to get him to take these breaks is to play the adult version of red light green light. Tell him beforehand that you want to play a game. Whenever one of you says “red light,” both partners have to stop what they’re doing and stay perfectly still until the same person calls out, “green light.” If you can sense him starting to get close, say “red light.” This game can make taking a break feel like a really sexy, taunting tease.
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