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How to Chat About Premature Ejaculation With Your Partner

by | May 25, 2022 | Sex

Whether it’s acquired premature ejaculation or lifelong premature ejaculation, coming to terms with ejaculation problems can be a hard pill to swallow, let alone deciding to reveal that info to your sexual partner. The early blowing of your load, aka rapid ejaculation, can be a real driver of awkward discomfort in the bedroom for all involved. And sadly, most sexual encounters that end with premature ejaculation are often clouded with embarrassment and shame.

But, that needn’t be the case.

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a highly prevalent male sexual dysfunction. Although the true prevalence of the dysfunction is unclear, it may affect as high as 20–30% of men regardless of age and ethnicity. So, rest assured you and your partner aren’t alone in dealing with problems in the bedroom.

The thing with premature ejaculation is that the penis isn’t at fault. It’s the brain. For most men, the most common causes of premature ejaculation stem from psychological factors of stress, depression, and anxiety (ever heard of performance anxiety?).

Despite the reality of constantly experiencing feelings of inadequacy, losing your masculinity, or worry about your partner leaving you, premature ejaculation does not make you any less of a man. And, if your partner is willing to leave you over premature ejaculation before you have a chance to address the problem, you may want to reconsider their place in your life in the first place.

If you’re a proactive guy, finding a solution for premature ejaculation is a whole lot easier with the support of a partner by your side. So we’re here to share some tips on how to bring up premature ejaculation in a relationship. Because, extra relationship issues are the last thing you’ll want on your plate when dealing with how to delay ejaculation for a fulfilling sex life.

What is premature ejaculation?

Characterised by a persistent pattern of “coming too soon” during sexual intercourse, premature ejaculation is the most common form of erectile dysfunction in men.

As per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5th Edition (DSM-5), for the sexual dysfunction to be correctly classified as premature ejaculation, there must be:

  • A recurrent pattern of early ejaculation problems within approximately one minute of vaginal penetration during partnered sexual activity

  • A recurrent pattern of early ejaculation for a minimum of six months

  • A cause of significant distress to the man experiencing it

Premature ejaculation can be classified as lifelong premature ejaculation or acquired premature ejaculation.

What’s the difference between lifelong premature ejaculation and acquired premature ejaculation?

Lifelong premature ejaculation occurs all or almost every time since your very first sexual encounter. This form of erectile dysfunction is also referred to as primary premature ejaculation.

Acquired premature ejaculation develops after you’ve experienced sexual activity without having experienced ejaculation problems for a duration of time prior. This form of erectile dysfunction is also referred to as secondary premature ejaculation.

What are the causes of premature ejaculation?

The causes of premature ejaculation can differ from person to person and involve a range of psychological and biological factors.

Psychological causes of PE:

  • Anxiety and nervousness, including performance anxiety

  • Fear of losing an erection or being caught in the act

  • Previous sexual experiences that were traumatic

  • Poor body image

  • Depression

  • Stress

  • Relationship problems

  • Medical conditions

  • Masturbation habits

Biological causes of PE:

  • Increased penile sensitivity

  • Abnormal hormonal levels

  • Abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters

  • Inflammation of the prostate or urethra

  • High blood pressure

Medical conditions that cause PE:

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome

  • Prostatitis

Other causes of PE:

  • Masturbation habits

  • History of watching porn

  • Certain medications

How can premature ejaculation cause relationship problems?

Whether you’re in a short or long term relationship, ejaculation problems don’t only affect your sex life. They can affect the connection, trust, and sexual intimacy shared between you and your partner, especially when an open line of communication isn’t maintained.

Better communication is always the first step towards overcoming ejaculation problems and strengthening the relationship you have with your partner.

How to prepare for a discussion about premature ejaculation with your partner?

You may have heard the expression, “If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail”. This theory completely applies when preparing for a conversation with your partner regarding premature ejaculation.

There are a few steps you can take prior to chatting with your partner about sexual performance, including:

Visiting your doctor

Before raising the topic of premature ejaculation with your partner, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. After assessing any other health problems and completing a physical examination, your doctor will be in a position to diagnose premature ejaculation and provide advice on how to treat premature ejaculation.

A treatment plan will likely feature a personalised combination of behavioural techniques to delay ejaculation (e.g. the squeeze technique), medications (e.g. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to improve penile blood flow, pelvic floor exercises, and psychological therapy.

Once you’re aware of the best treatment options, you’ll be better equipped to form a plan of how to overcome sexual problems in your relationship, and how to approach the conversation with your significant other.

Rehearsing what you’re going to say

Once you’ve enlisted the help from your trusted health professionals of choice, plan out how you’re going to approach the discussion with your partner. Write out key points that you want to cover and rehearse them to the point where you’re reasonably confident in your understanding of:

  • the type of premature ejaculation diagnosed by your doctor

  • the appropriate treatment of premature ejaculation

  • how your partner can best assist you in regaining normal ejaculation

  • ways to achieve delayed ejaculation and prevent premature ejaculation in future sexual encounters

How to discuss premature ejaculation with your partner?

Plan for the right place, and the right time

Timing and location are two factors that matter when treating premature ejaculation as a topic of conversation. To maintain privacy and discretion of your relationship, you probably want to avoid blurting out the news of your erectile dysfunction in public. A private home setting is more practical. Alternatively, the discussion can occur when you’re out for a walk together.

In terms of timing, aim to have the chat at a time when you’re partner is likely to be relaxed yet responsive. So, that’s a no to breaking the news moments before they’re about to leave home for work. And, a potential yes for a chat during a shared dinner.

Maintain an honest, two-way conversation

A conversation about your penis is never going to be easy. At best, it’s going to be slightly uncomfortable. At worst, it’s going to be slightly uncomfortable. So, you may as well acknowledge the discomfort and lean into the fact that at least you’re being accountable for the ejaculation issues responsible for destroying your sex life.

The thing is, you and your partner are on the same side. So, aim to have an open, honest, two-way conversation that enables you both to interact and share your feelings in a judgement-free space. Reassurance and support are two largely important facets of learning how to last longer in the bedroom. But, it is a two way street. Make sure you allow enough time to express your concerns and hear your partner’s, too.

Explain what happens when you experience premature ejaculation

Trying to vocalise how premature ejaculation makes you feel can be difficult, but it’s an important step towards providing your partner with a better understanding of the challenges you’re facing. The more open and honest you are, the better your partner will understand how premature ejaculation is affecting you on a personal level. There’s no shame in being vulnerable.

Avoid the blame game

Firstly, premature ejaculation is not your fault.

Premature ejaculation occurs as a result of a number of psychological and biological factors. It’s a medical condition beyond your control, not a sign of weakness. And it’s definitely not a thief of your masculinity.

Secondly, in case it wasn’t obvious, your erectile dysfunction is not your partner’s fault either. Entering the conversation with the intention to assign blame onto your partner is an argument just waiting to happen. Try to avoid pointing blame if the conversation gets a little heated, too (that’s something your future self will definitely thank you for).

The only thing to blame for your erectile dysfunction is the lack of blood flow to your penis (and even that’s a stretch considering premature ejaculation occurs on its own accord, without human interference).

State the facts

Once premature ejaculation has been diagnosed, it’s human nature to research the heck out of every resource you can lay your eyes and mind on. And rightfully so; it’s important to understand what’s going on inside your body.

But, filling your head with endless facts, stats, and information about premature ejaculation isn’t only good for trivia night at the local pub. It’s good for your peace of mind. And it’s great for your partner’s peace of mind, too.

Sharing the facts with your partner will help to break down the barriers of understanding what’s happening to your body, why it’s happening, and what you can both do to treat premature ejaculation together.

As a starting point to finding facts on premature ejaculation, check out:

Speak about the next steps

Towards the latter end of your conversation, try to cover off on the next steps of treatment for premature ejaculation you’re planning to take. By sharing your plan of attack, your partner can help to keep you accountable, and offer support when you need it most.

Your plan to treat premature ejaculation may incorporate:
  • Proven premature ejaculation medications to improve penile blood flow and overall sexual function

  • Behavioural treatments to achieve better sexual satisfaction

  • Kegels (aka pelvic floor exercises) to strengthen the pelvic floor and delay ejaculation

  • Therapy to improve self confidence, decreased libido, and interpersonal relationships

  • Self-help techniques e.g. using a thick condom to minimise penile sensitivity when sexually stimulated

Can seeing a sex therapist for treatment of premature ejaculation help?

During sex therapy sessions, a professional therapist can help to address psychological causes of premature ejaculation, as well as relationship problems and issues relating to self-confidence and self-doubt.

Depending on the unique circumstances of each situation, sex therapy can help men with premature ejaculation to:

  • Learn behavioural techniques to help delay ejaculation

  • Identify beliefs and thought patterns that may be contributing towards premature ejaculation

  • Identify challenges in the relationship to overcome

  • Build self-confidence for better sexual pleasure

  • Reduce existing anxieties surrounding sexual encounters, including performance anxiety

  • Explore ideals of sexuality and other ways of being intimate with your partner beyond orgasm and ejaculation e.g. experimenting with oral sex and foreplay instead of penetrative vaginal intercourse

  • Speak more openly with your sexual partner about intimacy, sex, and your needs

  • Solve conflicts in sexual relationships

  • Learn to accept where they’re currently at with sexual relationships and finding effective ways to cope

Let’s get your health sorted!

Ejaculation problems can be complex. Depending on the underlying causes, treatment of premature ejaculation often requires a multi-pronged approach.

The first step towards delaying ejaculation for a better relationship is to start a PE conversation with a doctor for advice specific to your situation.


This guide is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.

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