Suzi Godson advises on what to do if your boyfriend is anxious about foreplay or direct stimulation of the penis.
Q. My boyfriend doesn’t like foreplay. He always bats my hand away when I touch him intimately, saying that he gets too excited.
I tried talking to him about it (we are both 27) but he says that if he is overstimulated he won’t last long when we have sex.
I feel we are missing out on a big part of sex and connecting with each other.
A. You don’t say how long your boyfriend lasts when you have sex, but it sounds as if he is avoiding direct stimulation because he is anxious about premature ejaculation (PE).
Although we hear a lot more about erectile dysfunction, PE is an issue for large numbers of men.
In the biggest US study of sexual behaviour, nearly a third of men aged 18-59 reported that they had experienced episodes of premature ejaculation during the past few years.
The definition of PE is “ejaculation that always or nearly always occurs prior to or just after penetration”, but it is more arbitrary than that because men have uniquely personal perceptions of what constitutes climaxing too quickly.
Until relatively recently, many men assumed that a large penis and a marathon sex session were the keys to female orgasm, but growing awareness of the importance of clitoral stimulation to female satisfaction and orgasm has led to a revision of those ideas.
Unfortunately, a great deal of pornography continues to propagate unhelpful myths about size and stamina, and as a result, young men continue to have a distorted idea about how long they should last during intercourse.
Although all couples are different, most sex lasts about as long as it takes to boil an egg.
A 2009 study carried out by the Haga Hospital in the Hague found that the mean time to climax once vaginal penetration had commenced was 5.7 minutes.
During this month-long study, the men or their partners pressed a blind electronic timer immediately before intercourse and after climax.
Because the clock was not displayed they couldn’t see the times, and in subsequent questioning, most of the men overestimated the time they had taken to climax by nearly two minutes.
Younger men, who are less sexually experienced, are of course more excitable and this can exacerbate the issue.
Your boyfriend probably thinks that not letting you touch him is helping to delay the inevitable, but it is making matters worse.
Unless he becomes more accustomed to you touching him, he will never build up any tolerance to sexual excitement and, as you say, this severely limits the amount of fun you can have together during foreplay.
Although he may resist at first, one of the best ways to help your boyfriend to last longer during intercourse would be to bring him to orgasm manually before you even attempt to have sex.
This would satisfy your desire to be intimate with him.
Once he climaxes, he can relax and take his time pleasuring you, safe in the knowledge that his refractory period will prevent an accidental release.
His excitement will build again and he can then use his second erection for penetrative sex.
He will soon get used to the idea that ejaculating twice is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Although sexual difficulties are a challenge to any relationship, there is a silver lining.
Couples who have the maturity and wisdom to interpret problems such as PE as an opportunity for honest mutual sexual support tend to have much a stronger physical and emotional connection in the long run.
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