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My girlfriend left me because I cannot last more than a minute in bed. Please help me

Between The Sheets

Dear Eve, I am having a hard time performing during sex. I used to masturbate back in the day and I think this affected my sexual performance; I can barely last a minute during sex and this has made me lose my girlfriend. What might be the problem, cause even my penis size has reduced. Please help?

Dear Reader,

Keeping in mind that I don’t know all details of your medical history, it sounds like you might be struggling with premature ejaculation (PE), which occurs when you are unable to sustain an erection for the duration of time that you would like it to last. As you have stated, you “used to masturbate back in the day”. This gives me the impression that you used to masturbate “excessively”, to the point that your body forgot what sexual intercourse feels like.

Solo vs team

Generally speaking, masturbation is a solo affair in that you prepare your mind and your body on your own, and then seek sexual gratification at your own time, in your own way. In addition, whatever you use to masturbate is to your specification, meaning you determine the firmness or softness of it. Again, this goes back to the idea of having things your way, without the need or consideration of another.

Sexual intercourse, on the other hand is a whole other affair; it requires a partner and effort on your part as well as theirs. It also requires their desire and their contribution to sexual intercourse, with and without clothes on. This means you can’t just get what you want, when you want, the way that you want it. If they are tired, uninterested, unhappy with you or some aspect of your relationship, stressed because of work, have a major challenge going on eg the death of a significant person to them, the loss of a job or business or even the birth of a child then they may not be able to meet your sexual needs.

This can be frustrating because unlike with masturbation, you are having to make room for another person who may not want or be able to have intercourse with you. Additionally, the feel of a sexual organ on another sexual organ cannot ever match the feel of a non-sexual organ or object, regardless of whether you’re male or female.

What does this mean for you? It means if you have taught your body to respond only when you masturbate, you may have a difficult time recognising or responding to the feeling of a real living, breathing human. This also means you will need to take some time to allow your body learn how to respond to a human partner again.

Try this

1. Stop masturbating completely or cut down your frequency by half and then wean yourself off it until you’re at zero. The point is, give yourself no choice but to reconnect with yourself, your body, your partner and your life by removing the option of easy sexual release that comes at the expense of all those things.

2. Speaking of reconnecting, if you are doing it too much to the point where you are disengaged from your real life, re-engage with your real life.

3. Understand that this can and probably take some time and will require some patience so…give time, time and be patient.

4. Turn this into a mind game. Masturbation being what it is, fantasy is a critical component. However, with sexual intercourse, it’s almost as if you literally need to think about anything else *except* whatever sensations you’re experiences during sex.

5. Include your partner so that you’re both on the same page about what’s going on and how you’re trying to address it. A problem shared is a problem halved.

6. If you feel yourself about ejaculate prematurely, you or your partner can hold the base of your penis firmly (as firm as is comfortable; please be careful) and wait a few seconds for the feeling to pass. This may take some practice so be patient because it will come in handy in moments when you feel yourself losing your erection.

7. Other things that you can try include using condoms that have a bit of numbing agent so that you’re not so sensitive. Be careful about not getting this numbing gel on your partner otherwise you’ll both be numb thus defeating the purpose of sex.

If none of these suggestions work, you will need to come and see me or another professional who can help you get to the root of what’s going on with you. My hope is that you will connect with something in this article that will be useful to you. I wish you a more fulfilling sexual experience.

Maggie Gitu holds an MA in Marriage & Family Therapy. She practises as a Marriage, Family & Sex Therapist. Reach her at [email protected] or via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu 

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