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Can you make sex last longer?

Can you make sex last longer?

Only a matter of time. 

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a personal experience that, by its very nature, quickly turns into someone else’s business. 

Because of this publicity, and societal pressure on penises to perform, PE can put a major strain on an individual’s mental health, as well as the relationships they engage in. 

But our culture’s strange insistence that penetrative intercourse is Mankind’s Greatest Act has led to at least one positive outcome--there’s been a ton of research on ways to last longer during sex. 

Here’s what the science suggests: 

Use condoms. 

First, let’s state the obvious: sensation reduction, the one “downside” of condoms, might be your most accessible solution. 

If you’ve tried corner store rubbers and still experienced trouble, there are many types of condoms designed to address PE. The most widely studied is the extra thick condom, which has been shown to prolong erection and even enhance its intensity. 

Another option is a condom with local anesthetic to extend pleasure, like benzocaine or lidocaine. Just make sure to pause to allow the product to do its work (perhaps the perfect time to set the mood and put on The Playlist?)

You can also purchase these topical agents separate from the condom, if you’d prefer. Which brings us to… 

Embrace topical agents of change.

Applying topical numbing agents might give you pause, but rest assured that they are safe for use (unless you have an allergy), and that research supports their ability to… give you pause. 

Numbing agents have been proven effective for increasing partner satisfaction and, in technical terms, “the time it takes to eject.” 

A quick-dry desensitizing spray makes the application pretty seamless, won't disrupt your mood, and allows you to build and adjust the number of sprays for desired effect. 

Explore add-ons. 

While using an actual dildo is a surefire way to make penetration last longer, there are many aparati designed for penile stimulation, too. 

You might be thinking: isn’t stimulation the culprit here? Technically, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. Context and location of stimulation may play a part. 

For example, a 2019 study found that alternative methods of masturbation was a promising therapeutic approach to PE. The researchers claimed this could be for a few reasons, one being that the patients are getting used to this “uncommon stimulation style” that cannot be “easily duplicated by their partner's vagina.” 

In other words, simply adding stimulation outside of vaginal penetration can change the way your body functions. 


Edging, or slowly working towards orgasm and then stopping before the climax, has been researched less than pre-sex masturbation for treatment of PE. 

However, intentionally getting to know the bodily sensations you experience before orgasm--and communicating your need to stop or slow down--is an excellent way to include your partner without killing the erotic moment. 

If you’re not exactly sure how to edge, check out the basics. 

Go to a psychiatrist.

A common treatment for PE is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs). Don’t ask a psychiatrist to tell you exactly why--despite their growing popularity, the exact impact of antidepressants is still largely a mystery. 

One thing’s for sure though: these medications can also help address issues of anxiety, depression and self-esteem that are caused by experiencing PE. 

Extend the pre and post.

Extended foreplay and aftercare are easy ways to make the experience of sex last longer. It's a time to explore different kinds of intimacy, even non-physical intimacy, or to isolate one partner's pleasure and focus attention there. Devoting time to the build up (and wind down) is a fun way to enhance a sense of closeness. 

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