Arousal Without Anxiety
If you are ejaculating right away and or losing your erection, I want to introduce a third option for you ~ learning how to experience your arousal without anxiety. That is what my approach is all about. My goal with helping you understand your arousal from a connected, centered and calm place inside your body.
Often, men want to know what is happening for other men with this issue. You might wonder, “where am I on the spectrum of early ejaculation?” It is actually really helpful to understand how you compare with other so you can better understand how long until you are able to have control.
3 Categories of Early Ejaculation
I break up severity into three categories – mild, moderate or severe.
Mild early ejaculation is when you sometimes have control but are not sure why it is easier to control at certain times than others.
You might last anywhere between 30 seconds to 10 minutes – most often lasting about 2 to 4 minutes. You may sometimes feel a sense of control but are not sure why that is. Mild early ejaculators typically need about one to three months of continual practice or therapy to gain more control.
Moderate early ejaculation is when you have rarely lasted more than a few minutes at any point during your life, always ejaculating between 30 seconds to 3 minutes with no feelings of control. A moderate early ejaculator will typically need about 2 to 6 months of practice or therapy to learn control.
Severe early ejaculation is less common. This would be when you ejaculate very easily with little or no touch, or immediately before or after penetration. Severe early ejaculators usually need 4 months to 2 years of ongoing practice or therapy to gain control.
Is premature ejaculation Psychological or physiological?
One of the most commonly asked questions I get in my practice from early ejaculators and other therapists alike is how much of this is psychologically based and how much of it is physiologically based? I always answer that it is a combination of both. Some people may lean more heavily in one direction but there’s always elements of both.
Let’s walk through some physiological factors.
As I have already mentioned, people who struggle with early ejaculation are often experiencing the fight or flight stress response – often times without even having the awareness that this is what is happening for them because it’s all happening so quickly.
The fight or flight stress response is when the nervous system responds to a perceived threat to survival.
For early ejaculators, this means that the arousal triggers stress and anxiety in the body and that stress and anxiety overwhelms the body – making it nearly impossible to feel pleasure. You would experience this tension in your body when you get aroused. Maybe you sense tightness in legs, chest or arms. Your response would be similar to other scenarios when your body has wanted to escape from a dangerous situation.
For example, if you want to run away to protect yourself, you are experiencing FLIGHT. Your legs are activating to take you away from the stressful situation.
FIGHT can be felt as tightness in hands or forearms – where your body is literally gearing up to fight. There can also be tightness in groin or pelvic floor.
Others report they feel numbness. The numbness can be an attempt to distance yourself from the tension.
It is important to note that tension in the body acts as a brick wall to sensation and pleasure.
Arousal may still be building very rapidly but you’re disconnected from how aroused you are. Meaning your arousal increases but you literally cannot feel it – the stress keeps you from experiencing the sensations.
Another physiological or trained experience is how you masturbate. Do you take your time? or quickly hurry though the experience? If you are hurry right through your pleasure, you are just training your body to cum quickly.
Another possible physiological issue could be how you actually find or get into your arousal, especially when you are masturbating.
Many men use porn during masturbation. I personally do not believe porn in and of itself is a problem, yet, lately, much research has come out explaining some of the ways that porn can affect our brains and relationships to our bodies and I have witnessed this to be true with many of my clients.
The topic of how porn can affect out systems is a much larger one that I will go into into here today but I want to add in a little bit about how porn and early ejaculation can be a poor mix.
Using porn to get aroused keeps you from being able to feel what’s going on in your body. This is because watching porn puts you in an immediate state of high arousal through visual stimuli, giving you instant gratification with no build-up in the body or integration of how your cock even got hard. For men who struggle with early ejaculation and also depend on porn during masturbation, it important to explore how your relationship to arousal may be compromised because of a lack of familiarity with the build up of arousal in your body. When you start to feel arousal – with the stress and excitement of a real life partner, your body probably gets overwhelmed and you just cum right away way before you want to.
This way of relating significantly inhibits your connection with your arousal and ability feel pleasure elsewhere in your body.
Social and Performance Anxiety
Porn use can also make social and performance anxiety worse. For example, if you can easily masturbate to your favorite porn on one occasion, but have difficulty maintaining an erection and/or orgasm quickly with a real life partner, chances are you may be have social or performance anxiety that is growing stronger with your use of porn.
An example of this is a client of mine who I’ve been working with for about 6 months, who has severe early ejaculation issues.
At home, he only masturbates to practice lasting longer, and for the last 10 years he hasn’t masturbated for any other purpose. This has taken the joy and pleasure out of masturbating for him. He says it like a chore, a way to practice lasting longer for the times when he has a partner.
The more we delved into how he was masturbating, he realized he was trying to mimic the speed he saw porn stars fucking. What he found was that his body disengages when he follows somebody else’s performance plan, and that increasing the speed so rapidly actually results in a numb feeling in his cock.
Even though he was able to last longer with hard and fast stroking, which was a huge part of his goal, it didn’t actually feel good. He started to feel pleasure only when he slowed down, speeding up only when his body was ready to.
The bottom line is: you don’t know how much porn is affecting you unless you stop using it for a period of time. If you are concerned that porn is affecting your arousal and sex life, we have created another course directly addressing the most common side affects of porn overuse and what you can do about it.
Lastly, sensitivity may also be a physiological issue. This is where your nerves are highly sensitive to sensation and cause the stress response of “oh no, I’m going to come fast!” creating the panic in the body.
In the long-run, it is a good thing to be sensitive because it makes it easier to feel pleasure, but you need to teach your body not be overwhelmed by the sensations while arousal is building.
To learn the psychological factors contributing to early ejaculation, read part 3 in the Premature Ejaculation Series.