Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 10/26/2021
When it comes to sexual performance, more stamina is almost never a bad thing. Being able to last longer in bed can enhance both your own and your partner’s sexual pleasure, making sex a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience for both of you.
If you’re aiming to increase your sexual stamina and last for longer during sex, there are several things that you can do, from making changes to your habits and lifestyle to using medication.
Below, we’ve shared 24 simple, science-based tactics that you can do to increase your stamina, improve your sexual performance and make sex a longer-lasting, better experience for you and your partner.
Before we get into specific ways that you can boost your sexual stamina, let’s briefly cover what sexual stamina actually is.
Sexual stamina, as most people define it, is your ability to sustain sex before you need to take a break. A variety of factors can limit your sexual stamina, including:
Orgasm and ejaculation. For many guys, reaching orgasm and ejaculating is the main factor that limits their sexual stamina. After you ejaculate, you’ll generally need to take a break and let your refractory period pass. If you have premature ejaculation (PE), you may find it difficult to have sex for more than a few minutes before you reach orgasm and ejaculate.
Erectile dysfunction (ED). Sometimes, your ability to maintain an erection can interfere with your sexual performance. If you have ED, you may start to lose your erection during sex, affecting your stamina.
Physical exhaustion. Sex can be tiring, especially if you and your partner like to go at it hard and heavy. If your physical fitness isn’t the best, you might start to feel tired before you’re ready to reach orgasm.
Psychological factors. Sometimes, your mind can affect your ability to perform as well as you’d like in bed. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or stressed, this could interfere with your sexual enjoyment and affect your stamina and performance.
Increasing your sexual stamina is all about identifying the specific factors that are limiting your enjoyment and performance in bed, then taking action to fix them.
There are many ways to improve your sexual endurance and increase the amount of time you spend in bed with your partner. We’ve shared 24 below, along with the latest research to back up each one.
Because sex is a mild to moderate form of cardiovascular exercise, anything that you can do to improve your heart health should have benefits for your sexual stamina and performance.
Try to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. You can do this by briskly walking around your neighborhood, going on a bike ride, working out at home on a treadmill, stationary bike or rowing machine, or just going for a jog in the park.
Regular exercise strengthens your heart, allowing you to take part in physical activity for longer before you get tired. It’s also great for boosting blood flow, which is essential for firm erections and optimal sexual function in men.
Although your cardiovascular fitness has the biggest impact on your stamina, it’s also important to work on your strength and conditioning.
Stronger muscles and healthier joints make the physical side of sex much easier, letting you do more in bed. You’ll also look better, feel better and gain some confidence -- all of which are key for sexual performance.
Try to train your muscles at least two days a week. This could mean training with weights in the gym, doing a group strength workout like CrossFit or doing pushups, squats and other forms of bodyweight exercises at home.
One easy and effective way to make your sex sessions last for longer is to spend more time on foreplay with your partner.
This could mean kissing, touching or performing oral sex on each other. Try taking things a little slower than usual and focus on connecting as closely and strongly as you can with your partner from a physical perspective before penetration.
Not only can extra foreplay increase the amount of time you spend together in bed -- it can also make penetrative sex more intense, exciting and pleasurable.
L-arginine is an amino acid that’s found in protein-rich foods. Your body converts L-arginine into a chemical molecule called nitric oxide, which plays an important role in increasing the diameter of your blood vessels and promoting blood flow throughout your body.
Because of its role in promoting blood flow, L-arginine is often viewed as a natural compound for improving erectile function and sexual performance.
You can find L-arginine in most animal-based sources of protein, including fish, poultry, red meat and dairy products.
As well as prioritizing foods that contain L-arginine, it’s best to eat a balanced, healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals.
Focus on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources and whole grains, all while limiting your consumption of simple carbs.
Sometimes, when you focus solely on making sex as pleasurable as possible for you, it’s easy to reach orgasm early.
To improve your stamina, try taking a mental step back and making sex about how you can please your partner as much as possible.
This could mean switching between different speeds and intensity levels, trying a position your partner likes more than you or taking a break from penetration for oral sex.
Since you’re focused on your partner’s pleasure rather than your own, you may find that you’re able to have sex for longer without having to constantly fight off the urge to reach orgasm.
Research shows that obesity is associated with an increased risk of sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
For men, being overweight or obese may increase your risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction by 30 percent to 90 percent.
For optimal health and sexual function, try to maintain a body mass index, or BMI, that’s in the normal range.
If you’re overweight or obese, try to lose weight. Our guide to obesity and erectile dysfunction provides more information about how your weight can affect your sexual health, as well as the steps that you can take to improve your sexual performance and stamina.
Because erections are all about healthy, consistent blood flow, good heart health is essential for maintaining optimal stamina and sexual performance.
If you’re worried about your stamina in bed, you might want to talk to your primary care provider about your cardiovascular health.
Your primary care provider may check your blood pressure, lipoprotein profile (cholesterol) and blood glucose levels to see if you display any warning signs of heart disease, diabetes or other conditions that could affect your blood flow and cardiovascular function.
If appropriate, they might prescribe medication or suggest changes that you can make to your habits and lifestyle to improve your heart function and promote optimal sexual performance.
According to data from the CDC, more than 35 percent of American adults have a “short sleep duration,” meaning they get an average of less than seven hours of sleep per night.
Lack of sleep is associated with numerous health issues, including diabetes, obesity, depressed mood, anxiety, hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease.
Research has also found a clear relationship between poor sleep and some sexual performance issues — including erectile dysfunction.
If you frequently get less than seven hours of sleep per night, try making changes to your habits to improve your sleep quality.
This could mean setting yourself a sleep schedule and sticking to it, or using an over-the-counter or prescription sleep aid to fall asleep faster.
Our guide to falling asleep faster shares 11 science-based methods that you can use to doze off easier and stay asleep throughout the night.
Lots of guys reach orgasm and ejaculate too early because they rush into sex and barely take a moment to slow down.
To improve your stamina, try taking it slow and steady. Instead of having intense sex, dial it back a notch and have sex at a slightly slower pace, with a focus on enjoying your shared experience with your partner as much as you can.
To keep things interesting, try mixing different intensity levels. When things become a little more intense and you feel orgasm approaching, slow down again to get your breath.
Not only can this delay orgasm and increase your stamina -- it can also make sex a much more dynamic, interesting experience for both of you.
If erectile dysfunction is getting in the way of you enjoying long, satisfying sex session, you may want to consider having a cup of coffee, or two, or three.
While consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety, research performed using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests that men who consume two to three cups of coffee per day are less likely to develop ED than their peers.
We’ve dug into this research more in our guide to the relationship between caffeine and erectile dysfunction.
Just make sure not to go overboard on the coffee if you usually have sex in the evening, as the long half-life of caffeine means it may keep you awake at night.
While it’s completely okay to enjoy a glass or two of beer, wine or a cocktail when you’re out and enjoying life, drinking to excess can have a negative impact on your sexual stamina.
Despite the common belief that drinking slows down orgasm and ejaculation, research suggests that alcohol is more often a source of sexual performance problems, such as whiskey dick.
In a study of men with alcohol dependence published in 2007, research found that 72 percent of the men had one or more forms of sexual dysfunction, with premature ejaculation, low sex drive and erectile dysfunction the most common.
For more reliable erections and better stamina, make sure to limit your alcohol consumption to a drink or two before sex.
As a man, after you reach orgasm and ejaculate, it’s normal to need a little extra time to recover before round two. This is known as your refractory period, and it can last for anywhere from just a few minutes to an entire day.
If you often reach orgasm too early, you may want to try masturbating a few hours before sex to slow down orgasm and ejaculation during round two.
Done right, this technique can be surprisingly effective. However, it’s important to get the timing right. Masturbate too close to sex and you’ll get stuck in your refractory period, making it difficult to get hard for your partner.
Masturbate too long before sex and you won’t notice as much of a benefit. Try experimenting to see what type of timing, whether it’s a few hours before sex or an entire day, works best for you.
Pelvic floor exercises, or kegel exercises, are exercises that train the muscles that extend from your punic bone across to your tailbone.
These muscles are involved in controlling urination, as well as certain aspects of the ejaculatory process.
Research has found that pelvic floor exercises can increase sexual stamina in men affected by premature ejaculation.
There’s also some evidence that pelvic floor exercises might help to improve erectile function in men with ED.
Most kegels are easy to perform. In our guide to pelvic floor exercises, we share a simple kegel exercise routine that you can do in a few minutes a day to improve your ejaculatory control and potentially boost your stamina.
Smoking has a negative effect on numerous aspects of your health, from your heart function to your risk of developing cancer, respiratory disease, type 2 diabetes and other conditions.
It’s also seriously damaging for your sexual performance, as nicotine -- the addictive chemical that’s found in tobacco -- is a vasoconstrictor that can constrict your blood vessels and restrict blood flow throughout your body.
In other words, the longer the men had smoked and the greater the amount of cigarettes they smoked on a daily basis, the more likely they were to display signs of severe ED.
The researchers also found that many of the men who quit smoking showed real improvements in erectile health and sexual function after one year.
If you smoke and think ED or reduced lung function could be affecting your sexual stamina, you should try to quit.
Our guide to quitting smoking shares tactics that you can use to break free of nicotine addiction, resist cravings and give up smoking for good.
It’s okay to watch porn occasionally, but when it becomes a habit, there’s a chance that it could have a negative impact on your sex drive, stamina and overall sexual performance.
As we’ve covered in our guide to porn-induced erectile dysfunction, some research has found a link between porn usage and decreased sexual satisfaction -- an issue that could contribute to a reduced level of interest in sex.
If you watch porn frequently and feel like it’s having a negative impact on your real-life sexual performance, try scaling back your porn consumption or taking a break from porn altogether.
If you sometimes lose your erection during sex, or find it difficult to maintain an erection that’s firm enough for penetrative sex, you may want to consider using ED medication.
They’re fast-acting and reliable, making them excellent options if ED is preventing you from lasting in bed.
Our guide to PDE5 inhibitors explains more about how these medications work, as well as how they can help to promote harder erections and better sexual performance.
We offer several FDA-approved ED medications online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
Although real, FDA-approved ED medications can improve your erections and sexual stamina, it’s best to avoid any “male enhancement” pills sold over the counter.
These pills are usually marketed as natural options for boosting stamina and improving sexual function.
While some do feature natural ingredients, many are spiked with unlabeled drugs and other substances that may have negative effects on your health.
A simple way to delay ejaculation is to use the stop-start technique. This involves having sex as normal until just before you reach orgasm, then either slowing down or stopping until the urge to ejaculate fades away.
For better results, you may want to try deep breathing during the “stop” phase, or thinking about something other than sex.
The stop-start technique is easy to do and typically effective, although you may need to practice it a few times before you have sex to get the timing right.
Although research on the long-term efficacy of this technique is mixed, studies have shown that 45 to 65 percent of men report short-term improvements.
Another way to avoid premature ejaculation and increase the amount of time you can have sex is by using the squeeze technique.
The squeeze technique is similar to the stop-start technique, but it involves squeezing the head of your penis just before you reach orgasm, then waiting for around 30 seconds for your body to gradually recover before continuing sex.
Like the stop-start technique, the squeeze technique may require some practice. You may want to combine this technique with the stop-start technique for optimal results, or get your partner to perform this technique when you need some assistance.
If you find sex too physically sensitive and tend to reach orgasm and ejaculate early, you might want to try a premature ejaculation spray such as our Delay Spray for Men.
Formulated with the topical anaesthetic lidocaine, it works by reducing the level of sensitivity in your penis without causing excessive numbing.
You’ll still enjoy a pleasurable sensation as you have sex, but it won’t be so intense that you reach orgasm in just a few minutes.
Applied 10 to 15 minutes before you have sex, topical products such as sprays make it easy to tailor the sensation level of sex to whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Our guide to lidocaine spray for premature ejaculation goes into greater detail about how these products work, as well as how you can use them effectively for better sexual stamina and more pleasurable sex.
It’s kind of like the stop-start technique, only it can be performed during masturbation rather than during sexual activity with your partner.
The idea is that as you get more familiar with the feeling of reaching orgasm, you’re more able to control yourself and avoid going over the edge.
Although there’s no research on the benefits of edging, some guys swear by it as a way to boost sexual performance and increase stamina.
If do-it-yourself methods like the stop-start or squeeze technique don’t seem to work, you might also want to consider using oral medication to delay ejaculation and improve your stamina.
Although there’s no prescription medication that’s made specifically to slow down ejaculation, a few antidepressants have been used off-label for years as treatments for premature ejaculation in men who don’t respond to lifestyle changes.
Used as prescribed, these medications can help you to control your climax and last significantly longer in bed.
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective one. If you find sex overly stimulating, try wearing a slightly thicker type of condom when you have sex.
Many condom brands sell “extended pleasure” or “delay” condoms that are made specifically to slow down ejaculation.
Some of these are thicker than regular condoms, while others make use of numbing ingredients to reduce the physical sensation of sex.
Just be aware that you might need to try several condoms before finding one that offers the right combination of a comfortable fit, delayed climax and acceptable sensitivity.
Finally, if you think a psychological issue might be affecting your sexual stamina, it’s always best to seek professional help.
From depression to sexual performance anxiety, a large range of mental health issues can have an impact on your sexual health.
For example, research has found that depression is “associated with a significantly increased risk of premature ejaculation.”
You can seek help by talking to your primary care provider, or by reaching out to a mental health professional online using our online mental health services.
As part of treatment, you might receive medication, therapy or a combination of different options to help you overcome any psychological issue that’s affecting your sexual function.
Better stamina means more satisfying sex, both for you and your partner. From exercising and eating healthy to making use of medication, there are several things that you can do to improve your endurance and have a longer-lasting time between the sheets.
To get started, try implementing one, two or more of the techniques listed above, then seeing if there’s any improvement in your sexual performance.
If you’d like to talk to a healthcare provider about increasing your sexual stamina, you can view our range of proven, science-based premature ejaculation treatments online.