The length of time a man spends having sex varies wildly based on the moment. At certain times, fast and furious is necessary; for others, the longer it takes, the better it is. Of course, marathon sessions are a little less plausible for those with kids at home. That’s why so many parents have come to embrace the quickie. But when you find yourselves on a rare night alone at home or in a hotel away from the kids, it’s best to make the moment last. So the question rears it’s head: how to last longer in bed?
It’s not exactly news that it takes men less time than women to reach orgasm. And once it happens, sex is often over. After ejaculation, men go through a refractory period where they are unable to achieve another erection for a certain length of time (women have little to no refractory period). It’s normal and it varies, but it does have a way of interrupting intercourse. The only way to defer it is to delay orgasm, which is why we’ve put together a list of tips for lasting longer in bed.
But first, a friendly reminder from Dr. Carol Queen, the staff sexologist over at Good Vibrations. “Sex is not a linear situation, but a fluid one,” she says. “You don’t have to do all the same things in the same order every time.” Besides, she says, being able to last a long time isn’t necessarily the key to your partner’s sexual enjoyment (did someone say oral sex?). Of course, you don’t want things to end too quickly, either. We’re all looking for our happy medium.
That said, here are the best methods to try if you want to last longer in bed.
1. Try the Edging Technique
Edging refers to a form of orgasm control where an individual will decrease stimulation just before reaching the point of ejaculatory inevitability. In other words, it means getting down — and slowing down — before hitting the point of no return. According to Queen, it’s best to test out the technique on your own before bringing it into the bedroom. “Edging is all about that old maxim ‘Know thyself,’ and the best way to start learning is during masturbation when you can really focus on the physical and sexual changes that lead up to climax,” she says. And it’s not just your partner that stands to benefit. Some men claim that edging can actually lead to superior orgasms. They say patience is a virtue. If that’s true, then maybe an orgasm after edging is nature’s way of patting you on the back.
2. Put the Squeeze on Your Boys
If you’re reading articles like this, then chances are you’ve heard of the “squeeze technique” before. Basically, it refers to squeezing the penis in the area between the shaft and the glans just before ejaculation. The idea is to put a hold on the ejaculatory response and get your focus back in the game. According to Queen, “the squeeze” is intended to interrupt the ejaculatory process. It’s an old-school maneuver originally outlined by acclaimed sex researchers Masters and Johnson to treat premature ejaculation. And, yeah, it works.
3. Have a Pregame Ritual
Remember those pesky ol’ “refractory periods” we mentioned earlier? Well, here’s an example of when they may actually work in your favor. Masturbating before sex is a way to give yourself time. By utilizing the refractory period, says Queen, you give yourself a better shot at lasting longer with your partner.
4. Slow Your Role
Good sex is a marathon, not a sprint. “Many guys go fast during intercourse,” says Queen. “Going slowly can be more sensuous, intimate, and pleasurable, and may make it easier to keep track of an impending orgasm.” So if you want to last longer in bed, simply try slowing down. Seriously. It’s not a race. In fact, it’s one of the few areas of life where coming in first gets you ranked last.
5. Change Positions Strategically
Scratching an itch requires a little bit of rhythm. You’ve got to get the right speed and hit the right spot to find relief. Orgasms aren’t so different. And those who want to last longer might need to disrupt the tempo. “Changing sex positions is a fine source of distraction,” says Queen. The more unfamiliar, the better. “It’s much harder for the body to orgasm in a position that it hasn’t orgasmed in before. If you usually orgasm lying down then it might take you longer to reach orgasm standing up. This is due to proprioception, or the way your body understands its position in space and which muscles to rely on,” says Duran. “Switching positions or sex acts can be a great way to keep the party going while giving your body time to switch focuses.” For more, check out our list of four sex positions to help men last longer in bed.
6. Toy Around
Wherever sex goes, toys will (maybe) follow. If you’re looking for an external aid to help you last longer in bed, try thinking about a cock ring. It won’t work for all guys, but Queen says they can help extend erections by restricting the blood flow out the penis. You can also wear them around your, er, balls. According to Andy Duran, educational outreach and affiliate manager at Good Vibrations, most men have a “tell” for when they are getting close to ejaculation. “The testes will begin to rise up closer to the body just before reaching orgasm. By gently pulling them back down, or wearing a cock ring that does the same, you can sometimes delay the orgasm from happening for a bit longer,” he says.
7. Distract Yourself
It’s a cliché, but there’s a kernel of truth to it: Think about sweaty gym socks — or whatever distracts you — when an orgasm is approaching. While it’s not proven, thinking non-sexual thoughts does help ignore the sensation and provide you with some time to recoup.