Increasing Stamina
February 1, 2005 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Heave ... oh. There is no SI unit short enough to measure how little stamina I have in sex. This is frustrating for myself and my partner. What can I/we do to increase my endurance? Only having sex post-refractory period has worked but probably is not a viable long-term strategy. I have only recently become sexually active--will this work itself out?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (34 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I guess I'm blush-ful enough not to want to get into specifics myself, but get yourself to your local sex-positive bookstore or website. This is one of the most common sex-related problems, and there are *tons* of resources out there -- I think I've seen it mentioned in every sex advice book I've ever looked at (which means you won't have to walk up to a cashier with something titled "30-second man," for instance; almost any sex guide will do). Actually, even many women's magazines ("Cosmo" springs to mind) offer suggestions pretty regularly.

You're not alone, and you've got tons of support and info out there.
posted by occhiblu at 10:45 AM on February 1, 2005

Some really basic advice to get you started here.
posted by occhiblu at 10:52 AM on February 1, 2005

Do it more often, without the guilt afterwards, and practice stimulation up to the point of climax and then pull back. Do this until you go crazy, then rinse & repeat. Divorce your mind from the ultimate outcome, shift to focus on her when you're ready to pop. Go at it again.
posted by Pressed Rat at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2005

I have only recently become sexually active--will this work itself out?

Hell, yeah. You'll eventually become so used to the idea of just having sex that you stop thinking "Wow! I'm having sex! She's so hot! This is awesome! Whoops!" Then you'll have a longish period where you're into it, but you can control sending your army to its death.

Then you'll get to a point where start thinking "Is there a ball game on tonight? How much beer do we have in the fridge. Oh, yeah, I'm having sex. Focus. Focus. Did I pay the cable bill? No, focus, damn it!..."

Seriously, once sex is more of a pleasant event that happens semi-regularly rather than some mythical destination, the problem will probably work itself out.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2005

This will likely work itself out. In the meantime, there are lots of different things you can do to make it less frustrating for you and your partner:

- focus on non-penetrative sex. You don't mention if you're straight/gay but I know that for many women, there's a huge sexual world out there that has very little to do with intercourse and is worth exploring. Spend some time while you're working on this focussing on ways you can pleasure your partner without releasing your hair trigger. Have your partner focus on ways of making you happy that are less phallo-centered to give you more time being sensual together
- chemical solutions. I've never been one for numbing creams and the like, but you should know they do exist and people debate their usefulness. anti-depressants often have the [usually annoying] effect of delaying orgasm, they are sometimes used for doing this on purpose.

This page has some more suggestions, as does this page [some nsfw pix on the second one]. My first major boyfriend was in the same camp as you and I wound up in the weird situation of comparing a few subsequent boyfriends to him wondering "Why is this taking so LONG?". Since there is a large subset of women [assuming you are straight] who rarely climax through basic in-and-out sex anyhow, this is an opportunity to work on your non-intercourse techniques.
posted by jessamyn at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2005

I'm assuming male, teens? Yeah, it'll work itself out, trust me. Your hormones are raging and your biological imperative to procreate is in overdrive. It'll calm down. In the meantime, practice giving head.
posted by mkultra at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2005

also, it's a total cliche (hey they're cliche for a reason), but think about baseball

(unless you think baseball is sexy. if so, pick some other type of image that just _cannot_ be a turn-on for you)
posted by poppo at 11:14 AM on February 1, 2005

Control, control, you must have control:
1. Deep, measured breaths.
2. Relaxed abdominal muscles.
posted by driveler at 11:26 AM on February 1, 2005

Thinking about Yoda wouldn't hurt, either.
posted by driveler at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2005

I highly recommend The Guide to Getting it On. It's a fun book, and there's a chapter on your particular question called "When Your System Crashes." (Complete list of chapters here)

I think their basic advice is to practice (alone, at first) getting close to coming and then backing off, getting close again and then backing off, which helps you realize when you're at the point of no return and back away from it, which will keep you from coming so fast with your partner. Also try relaxing your butt cheeks (easier if she's on top).

Another possibility is to have an orgasm, turn your attention to your partner's pleasure for a while, then do it. You get two orgasms out of the deal that way! Let go of the idea that proper sex needs to follow a certain script or order of acts.

Anyhow, get the book. If you're new to sex you'll probably find a lot of the other chapters useful and enlightening as well. Good luck.
posted by bonheur at 11:42 AM on February 1, 2005

Yep, there's a whole sexual world out there that doesn't involve intercourse -- go experience some of it.

Now, part of the rest of this advice depends on whether or not it's a physical overstimulation or a mental overstimulation.

If you can determine that it's a physical overstimulation, doubling up on the condoms can help. Be aware that this can also mean that the top one will pull off if you're on the smaller side or if they're lubricated. That's a short-term solution. A longer term solution is to spend a lot of time masturbating, both with and without lubricants. You'll eventually wear off some of your overstimulation. ;) It's kind of like drinking wine or beer ... at first, you can only taste the alcohol, but later on you'll be able to start to discern flavors and the taste of the alcohol itself becomes MUCH less apparent.

The advantage of building the aforementioned skill of backing off and cooling off and then continuing again is that you can build up some astoundingly mind-bending orgasms. It's like a terraced mountainside, and you keep getting higher and higer till eventually your brain just detonates.

If it's a mental, nothing much is going to help except for practice with a partner. ;) I don't reccomend focusing on ho-hum stuff, but I do very much reccomend focusing on HER and HER pleasure. Don't forget that it's also acceptable, although it might be frustrating for her and should be discussed ahead of time, to pull out or slow down at a particular point if you need to cool off.

In the short term, to make things more fun for your partner, you might think about getting really good at cunnilingus. If you haven't already, that is. Spend some time figuring out what you can do with your fingers and tounge that really makes her hair curl, and when she's almost to orgasm or has come to orgasm a few times, then have intercourse.

Good sex takes work. Don't get discouraged.
posted by SpecialK at 12:28 PM on February 1, 2005

If she's on top, she can diddle her clit while riding you. That'll help her come faster.

Seconded on the cunnilingus and focus on HER pleasure. There's a lot to be done before penetration.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:33 PM on February 1, 2005

I started with mental multiplication.

Also, multiple position changes can help. For me, missionary brings my orgasm much more quickly, so I will then switch to her-on-top which buys several minutes. :)
posted by eas98 at 1:04 PM on February 1, 2005

There was a previous AxMe question about "prolonging the little death" that I'm much too lazy to search for myself.
posted by LionIndex at 1:37 PM on February 1, 2005

List the prime numbers in your head. I last twice, three times as long when I'm working out primes. If you're lucky, your girl will like brainy guys who can do prime numbers in their heads, giving you the opportunity to say them out loud, which will turn her on and make her climax faster. You'll meet in the blissful middle.
posted by kindall at 1:42 PM on February 1, 2005

My problem with math problems, chord changes, reciting the Gettysburg Address or Supreme Court decisions involving the 6th Amendment is that I get too caught up in them. Seriously. It's a major distraction. If you choose to go that route, don't take it too far.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:52 PM on February 1, 2005

Visually integrate beautiful things. Hold your breath. Retrace paths. Create another layer of levelness with physical and mental cues.
posted by sled at 2:28 PM on February 1, 2005

Relax, don't do it, doo doo doo dee doo...ahem.

Seriously, relax. Focus on your abs, lower back and butt muscles for a second, and you'll probably find you're as tense as hell. Unless she's coming at you with an unlubed pineapple, there's no reason to have your midsection so worked up.

Once you're nice and loose down there, think about how your whole body feels. Breathe. Shift your focus outwards across your chest and shoulders, down your arms and legs, feel it in your palms and the soles of your feet. It's amazing how the rest of you feels when you pay attention, and it's amazing the effect this has on stamina. You're awash in a sea, feeling the ebb, flow and power of the tide, not operating a jackhammer powered by a 9 volt battery.

Forget these guys who think about baseball and prime numbers as well - there's no point getting lucky if half of you is back in high school math thinking about the game after class. Focus on what you're doing, by which I mean your partner. Look at your partner, in the eyes if you can. Look at their mouth, their hair, their shoulders, their...well, you get the point. Different parts of your brain kick in - parts that keep the reptile "breed! ejaculate now before they escape!" parts of the brain in check. Stay cool. Once you start closing the eyes, tensing up and breathing rapidly, it's all over.

Unless you get clear "just do me now, fast and furious" signals, go for long foreplay. Your confidence will improve dramatically once your partner has climaxed a few times (I'm da man!), and a lot of the pressure for the final leg of the race will be off. If you're taking too long with the prelude, they'll let you know.

Oh, and smile occasionally. Don't take it so seriously. When you've got that deep eye gazing, laughing, casual tumble thing going, you'll be a man, my son.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:50 PM on February 1, 2005 [3 favorites]

Forget these guys who think about baseball and prime numbers as well - there's no point getting lucky if half of you is back in high school math thinking about the game after class.

Uh, I do beg to differ. The longer it lasts, the more I enjoy it.
posted by kindall at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2005

Good advice, obiwanwasabi. Anonymous: I can't emphasize how many complements you'll get if you're good at running your hands all over her body and finding the specific areas where she's sensitive or gently ticklish or erogenous right at that moment.

And yeah, forget the guys that think about baseball or prime numbers. Goddamnit, it doesn't matter how LONG YOU last and how good YOU feel, it's how good you make HER feel when you last THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME. Which is determined by HOW SHE FEELS and can only be determined by PAYING ATTENTION TO HER not counting fucking prime numbers.

On preview: *smacks Kindall around with a recently dead trout*
posted by SpecialK at 3:12 PM on February 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

Listen to obiwanwasabi. His advice here is sage.
posted by rushmc at 3:19 PM on February 1, 2005

Goddamnit, it doesn't matter how LONG YOU last and how good YOU feel, it's how good you make HER feel when you last THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME.

Well, yeah, and to last the right amount of time, I count prime numbers. Believe me, she likes me lasting longer as much as I do.
posted by kindall at 3:50 PM on February 1, 2005

For me, him coming quickly isn't a big problem, because it is only after sex that I really feel relaxed and fully aroused. So do it once for a few minutes, then explore other diversions (basically whatever works during foreplay can work here - muff diving, manual stimulation, etc. - except that you can take your time and she'll likely be even more into it), then do it again. It always lasts longer, and is more satisfying, the second time.
posted by mai at 4:27 PM on February 1, 2005

"breed! ejaculate now before they escape!"

Damnit!, that was going to be my advice.
posted by fake at 4:33 PM on February 1, 2005

Any practice that requires conscious control of your breathing and physical movement will help. Whether you practice yoga, kung fu, gymnastics, synchronized swimming or calisthenics, control of your breathing leads to control of your body.

I can personally recommend the sexual tai chi teachings of Mantak Chia. He addresses premature ejaculation at great length, but also provides great insight into a different view of sexuality (and life) than is prevalent in the West. You can get a flavor for the philosophy and Master Chia's writing style through the article list.

I particularly like Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2005

Or you could just not care ...

"Sitting up in bed, she watched him undressing.  Her face hardened in a contemptuous scowl as he removed his purple boxer-shorts.  
- Who dae ye expect tae satisfy wi that? she asked.
- Masel, he said, getting into bed beside her."
(Irvine Welsh extract)
posted by bonaldi at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2005

And, of course, always ask her what she wants, and do it.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on February 1, 2005

If she's on top, she can diddle her clit while riding you. That'll help her come faster.

And, of course, always ask her what she wants, and do it.

Unless she's coming at you with an unlubed pineapple, there's no reason to have your midsection so worked up.

I don't think anonymous said anything about having a female partner.
posted by ori at 11:48 PM on February 1, 2005

First off, don't worry! The nerves make it much worse. The first thing to realise is that a great number of men have this issue. I think it's natural to some degree. Our animal sides are designed to spread the seed as quickly as possible.

So don't feel guilty, stressed, or unusual. In fact... let you into some secrets here... I've been having sex for nine years and I still have plenty of "whoops" moments. I've even been known to masturbate more often close to a big date, to alleviate some of that built-up excitement!

Have tried the Mantak Chia stuff, but I'd warn that this could take a lifetime of practise - plus (at least in my experience) it can actually make you come more. So I think some basic practical steps, of the kind described above, are a more useful starting point. Here are my two tips:

First, concentrate on your partner. If you spend two hours pleasuring them (and making _them_ come) they're seriously not going to care if you come in a second. Then you're into the post-refractory period thing, which really is fine and nothing to be embarrassed about. But in practice you'll probably find that the longer you take over them, the more relaxed you become, and therefore the less urgent everything seems.

Second, you have got to learn to stop and start. If you're finding that physical sensitivity just makes you want to burst, learn to stop the action. Even if you've only been going a few seconds. Get your partner to collaborate on it (a simple "stop!" normally does the trick, even with someone who doesn't know your predicament!) As you continue, stop every time you get more excited - actually this can be a very sexy routine, because it teases your partner and builds up the tension. And as time goes on, you should find that the stop/starting takes you past the point where you desperately need to come. (Incidentally the suggestion above about wearing thicker condoms makes some sense too.)

But it's all about THEIR pleasure. So get your hands, lips and everything else working before your lower regions get into it.
posted by skylar at 2:19 AM on February 2, 2005

Lots of good advice on this thread. Mayor Curly and obiwanwasabi pretty much nailed it.

But keep this in mind as well: It's not always mental, it can be physical as well. Do a google search on Kegels. It's an easy and discreet excercise that you can do to build up the muscle that "holds back the flood". This is basically the same concept as masturbating to the point of orgasm, stopping just short and repeating. The pc muscle that allows you to stop just short may need to be developed. You can develop it by doing kegels. Recommended for women as well by the way...
posted by sic at 3:19 AM on February 2, 2005

sic: Mayor Curly and obiwanwasabi pretty much nailed it.

heh :)
posted by gen at 7:30 AM on February 2, 2005

Ori: my bad. Was relating to my experience. T'shame.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:19 AM on February 2, 2005

I too second the Mayor's and obiwan's suggestions, they're all good.
posted by matteo at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2005

This will probably work itself out as you become more sexually active, but if it doesn't and the other methods described above aren't helping you, there are pharmacutical alternatives.

Certain anti-depressants are very effective in curtailing ejaculation. I would suggest talking to your doctor about it. If you are currently on an SSRI, you may be able to convince your doctor to switch you to one that more effectively hinders ejaculation.
posted by wezelboy at 11:19 AM on February 15, 2005

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