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Penis Size and Ejaculatory Problems

Dr. Olson,

I am in my early forties, and I’ve never had sex except to masturbate. Is it normal to cum too fast? I cum in about five minutes. What is the average size of a dick if you don’t mind my asking? I am just admitting I am gay, and I get nervous around guys because I get aroused quickly. 

Since I often write about sex, two questions about men frequently appear in my inbox: (1) How big is the average dick? and (2) What is the average length of time it takes to cum? We can separate the question about cumming into two issues: young men want to slow it down, and older men want to speed it up.

Men are fascinated by their penises. Nothing brings them so much joy, but nothing produces more anxiety. I don’t like the term “sexual performance.” Are we expecting a standing ovation? 

Locker rooms are fascinating places to research penis size. Men try to avert their eyes, but at the same time, they secretly scan the competition. “Show-ers,” made confident by their impressive size, strut around exposed, while “growers” hasten to get into their underwear. 

The Basics about Penis Size

The average length of a soft penis is three to four inches. The average length of an erect penis is five to seven inches. More variation exists in the size of flaccid penises than in erect penises. Ethnic variations exist. Experts consider a penis to be abnormally small if it measures less than three inches when fully erect. 

Men worry more about penis size than women. Size matters, but extraordinarily large penises have their problems too. 

If you have a big belly, your penis may be longer than you think. Your penis begins at your pelvic bone, not on the skin’s surface, but the part of the penis from the pelvic bone to the skin’s surface is not visible. Men who have a significant amount of belly fat usually appear to have smaller penises than they have. Skinny guys’ penises look bigger because more of it shows. 

Place your finger on the top of the penis at its base. Push your finger through any fat you have until you reach the bone of the pelvis. For some of us, this is no small task. Measure from the bone to the tip of your penis. That’s the actual length of your dick. 

Ejaculation

Three principal problems relate to ejaculation: premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and retrograde ejaculation. The average time to ejaculate during active intercourse is about five and a half minutes. A couple must decide if that is too long or not long enough. No universal rule dictates what is too fast or too slow. Some men brag that they can edge for hours without cumming. 

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is when a guy cums too quickly during sexual activity. When sexual excitement is high, and hormones are surging, ejaculation may not take long at all. But the good news is if enthusiasm remains strong, a second round will take longer. Some think older men make better lovers because the ejaculatory process naturally takes longer. 

You probably do not have a problem with premature ejaculation unless you cum too quickly more than half the time you have sex. 

Physical causes of ejaculatory difficulty include prostate problems, overactive or underactive thyroid, and recreational drugs. The list of psychological problems is longer: depression and anxiety, stress, a new relationship, relationship problems, prior problems of sexual functioning, early sexual experience, and religious or cultural beliefs about sex.

You can do several things to delay ejaculation: masturbate a couple of hours before a planned sexual event, wear a thick condom, tell your partner to slow down when you feel close to cumming, or distract yourself by thinking of something unpleasant or dull. 

The squeeze technique can be helpful. While your partner is masturbating you, as you begin to have a feeling of ejaculation urgency, have your partner squeeze the head of your penis for ten to twenty seconds. Wait another thirty seconds before resuming sexual activity. A partner can repeat this technique several times before allowing you to ejaculate. 

The stop-and-go technique means as you edge closer to cumming, take a break before a return to more intense lovemaking. 

These techniques may require practice to be effective.

Antidepressants taken for depression may delay (or even inhibit) ejaculation. This side effect can create problems for those who need these medications but may have potential benefits for others. All medications have potential side effects; review them with your doctor.

Delayed Ejaculation

Experts define delayed ejaculation as an unwanted delay of thirty to sixty minutes or an inability to ejaculate over half the times you have sex. Both physical and psychological factors may be responsible.

The most common psychological problems are sexual trauma, strict upbringing, relationship problems, stress, or depression. Physical problems include diabetes, neurological problems, increasing age, and medications. If you struggle with delayed ejaculations, first consult your physician to see if physical problems are responsible.

Alcohol and drugs may serve as a social lubricant and can reduce inhibitions, but they can also result in problems with ejaculation.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation happens when semen travels backward into the bladder instead of out through the penis. Men with retrograde ejaculation still experience the sensation of an orgasm, and the condition does not pose a danger to health. Prostate gland or bladder surgery are the most common causes of retrograde ejaculation. Other reasons are diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and medications used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

Involve Your Partner

If you have problems with your sex life, involve your partner and talk with him or her about your concerns. They have an investment in a solution too. A willing and cooperative partner can help resolve many problems. On the other hand, when a partner’s cooperation feels too much like a demand, it can be counterproductive. Your partner may also have problems that contribute to difficulties with your sex life.

The whole purpose of sex is procreation and pleasure. Obsessing when it doesn’t meet your expectations almost always compounds the problem.

Put some fun back into your sex life.

 

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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