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How to Last Longer in Bed: 14 Ways to Help

Jill Johnson

Medically reviewed by Jill Johnson, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 7/21/2022

When it comes to spending time in the bedroom, perhaps the only thing more embarrassing for a man than not being able to perform is “performing” a little too quickly. 

Awkward as this experience might be, it’s actually not uncommon. Though estimates vary, some research suggests that up to 30 percent of men deal with symptoms of premature ejaculation at one point in life or another.

Even if premature ejaculation isn’t an issue for you, understanding how sexual stamina works -- as well as the steps that you can take to improve yours -- can give you a better understanding of your body and help you to delay ejaculation if or when you want to.

It can also help you to enjoy longer-lasting, more satisfying sex with your partner -- a benefit that may have additional advantages for your relationship.

14 Science-Based Ways to Last Longer in Bed

Below, we’ve shared 14 science-based ways that you can improve your sexual stamina and last longer during sex. For each technique, we’ve also explained why it works and how you can use it for a better, more satisfying sexual experience. 

Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises

If you want to have better control over when you climax during sex, one of the best things that you can do is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Your pelvic floor muscles are located below your penis and control the flow of urine from your bladder. You can feel your pelvic floor muscles in action when you tense while peeing -- they help to stop your urinary flow and prevent you from defecating.

Pelvic floor exercises, or kegel exercises, are linked to several improvements in sexual health, including more control over ejaculation.

For example, in a 2014 study, 40 men with lifelong premature ejaculation engaged in 12 weeks of pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. 

At the end of the treatment period, more than 80 percent of the patients had gained control over their ejaculatory reflex and increased their intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) -- the total amount of time required to climax after penetrating the vagina.

On average, the men increased from an IELT of less than 40 seconds to a range between 123.6 and 152.4 seconds by the end of the 12 weeks.

To give kegel exercises a try, start by identifying your pelvic floor muscles. Then, strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor by tensing these muscles, counting to 10, then releasing and giving yourself another count of 10 to relax.

It’s important to perform these exercises in a seated position. Make sure to empty your bladder first to ensure you can perform the exercises comfortably.

Repeat this process for 10 repetitions three to five times a day, such as in the morning, evening and before going to bed. Over time, you may notice improvements in your ability to control your orgasm and ejaculation during sex.

Focus on Foreplay

One of the simplest ways to last longer in bed is to spend a little less of your time on penetrative sex and more on foreplay.

Not only can focusing on foreplay extend the amount of time that you spend in bed -- it can also make sex more exciting by giving your partner some time to warm up and really get in the mood before intercourse begins.

Even a few minutes of foreplay can also significantly increase the intensity of sex, producing a more pleasurable experience for you and your partner. 

According to a survey of over 1,000 women published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, more than 70 percent of women either reported clitoral stimulation helped them orgasm during sex, or that it was essential for them to successfully reach orgasm at all.

Only around 18 percent of the women surveyed reported they orgasm from sexual intercourse alone, so take advantage of foreplay time to use your mouth, fingers, or a toy to stimulate your partner and make sex more enjoyable for both of you.

Try Different Sex Positions

Trying out new sex positions is a simple way to add variety to your sex life, but it could also help you last longer during sexual activity. 

The idea behind changing sex positions is to reduce sensitivity for yourself while increasing the level of sensation for your partner. 

Although there’s no scientific research on which sex positions are best for delaying ejaculation, some people report that the cowgirl position -- which involves your partner straddling you while you lay on your back -- helps to delay ejaculation by preventing vigorous penetration.

Similar to the cowgirl position, another popular option is to sit on a chair and have your partner lower herself onto your lap while facing away from you. Again, this gives your partner a greater level of control and keeps you from thrusting too deeply or quickly. 

Sex positions are all about personal taste, and through experimentation, you and your partner should be able to find something that offers the right mix of comfort, pleasure and control over orgasm and ejaculation.

Try the Stop-Start Technique to Slow Down Ejaculation

The stop-start technique is an old-fashioned therapeutic technique for slowing down ejaculation and increasing the amount of time you can last in bed. 

It’s simple: when you feel like you’re about to ejaculate, simply stop stimulating your penis until you feel the urge to orgasm go away. You can repeat this process several times while you and your partner have sex to extend your stamina by avoiding orgasm and ejaculation.

Not only does the stop-start technique let you have sex for longer -- it can also help you to feel more comfortable with the sensation that occurs when you’re about to ejaculate.

This can make it easier for you to detect when orgasm is approaching and either slow down or stop your movement until the sensation passes.

Experiment With Edging

If you want to last longer in bed with a partner, you may want to do a little solo work first. One way to do this is by edging -- bringing yourself close to orgasm while masturbating, then giving yourself a break to recover before continuing.

Edging is kind of like a solo version of the stop-start technique that you can use to quickly and easily familiarize yourself with the warning signs that you’re about to ejaculate. 

By practicing this technique, you may find that when you’re with a partner you can quickly bring yourself back from the point of no return if you want to extend the experience. 

Use Breathing Exercises to Relax

Sometimes, a little breather is all it takes to let the sensation of an orgasm pass and give you more control over ejaculation. 

If you feel like you’re going to reach orgasm and ejaculate too early, try to slow down and give yourself five to 10 seconds to breathe. Or, if you feel more comfortable, try to continue having sex, but use slow, deliberate breathing to help you relax and gain control over the situation.

Slow, deliberate breathing can be combined with the stop-start technique to help you relax and fully get over the sensations you feel during sex before continuing.

Take your mind out of the moment by focusing on the process of breathing in and out. You may find that simply focusing on your breathing distracts you from the sensation of sex, allowing you to delay orgasm and last for longer. 

Use Visualization Techniques to Calm Yourself

Visualization is the process of using mental visual images to draw yourself into a specific scene or environment, such as a relaxing space free of any worries.

Used effectively, visualization techniques can help you to feel more relaxed, which may make it easier to deal with premature ejaculation. Certain mental scenes may also serve as distractions, letting you reduce the mental stimulation of sex and improve your performance in bed. 

Although there’s no high quality research on the effectiveness of visualization for PE, many guys find that simply being mentally distracted in bed can improve their sex stamina.

For example, thinking about something totally unarousing -- for example, paying your taxes or a new project that’s coming up at your workplace -- can help to take your mind out of the moment and prevent early ejaculation. 

Learn the Squeeze Technique

Another way to put the brakes on an imminent orgasm is the squeeze technique. When you’re sexually aroused, blood flow to the penis increases. The idea behind the squeeze technique is that pushing some of this blood back out might help to inhibit your ejaculatory reflex.

Similar to the stop-start technique, the squeeze technique involves gently but firmly squeezing below the glans (head) of your penis as you feel orgasm approaching. Then, wait for about 30 seconds before continuing sexual activity with your partner.

You can repeat the squeeze technique -- or pause-squeeze method, as it’s sometimes called -- as often as needed whenever you feel as if you’re about to reach orgasm and ejaculate, or ask your partner to do it for you.

It’s important to communicate with your partner when using this technique. If you prefer to have your partner squeeze for you, make sure to clearly explain to them how much pressure to apply to your penis and when to squeeze. 

Masturbate Before You Have Sex

If you’ve ever had sex more than once a few hours apart, you’ve probably noticed that it takes a little longer to reach orgasm and ejaculate the second time around.

The idea behind this is that after having an orgasm and ejaculating, your body starts to enter a recovery phase referred to as the refractory period. During the refractory period, you might find it harder to get an erection, or even to feel interested in having sex.

The length of the male refractory period can vary. For some men, it’s less than one hour, while for others, it may last for up to 24 hours.

One popular way to take advantage of the refractory period for better performance in bed is to masturbate before sex. The theory behind this approach is that by timing your masturbation for a few hours sex, you’ll still be partly in the refractory period when the moment approaches. 

Even if you choose not to use this particular method, you might find that masturbating earlier in the day or even shortly before sexual activity could help you last longer. 

It’s important to time this method carefully, as masturbating too close to sex could cause a new set of problems -- namely, erectile dysfunction

Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Exercise is vital for maintaining your health and wellbeing as a man, and cardiovascular fitness is particularly important when it comes to sexual performance.

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, high levels of cardiovascular exercise may have a protective effect against common forms of sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

There are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of cardiovascular exercise, whether it’s jogging with your dog, playing basketball with a few friends, riding your bike around your neighborhood or going for a hike.

The key is to stick to a form of exercise that you enjoy. After all, exercising regularly becomes a lot easier when it’s something that you can tolerate. 

An added benefit to working out more frequently is that you may also see improvements in your weight, mood and sleep, all of which can have a positive impact on your erections, stamina and general sexual function.

Aim for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and try to incorporate at least two days of strength training as well.

Change to a Healthier Diet

Over the years, several studies have found that being overweight or obese can have a negative impact on your sexual performance.

For example, a study published in the journal Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski found that obese men have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, while a scientific review published in the Austrian journal Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift noted a link obesity and sexual dysfunction.

In addition to exercising more, eating a balanced diet can help you to get rid of excess body fat and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). 

Try to eat according to your body’s needs by calculating your basal metabolic rate -- the number of calories you need to carry out life-sustaining functions -- then adjusting based on your activity level.

Certain foods, such as whole grain carbohydrates, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables may improve blood flow throughout your body, helping to reduce your risk of issues such as ED.

Above all else, try to limit foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium, which could have a negative effect on your blood circulation and sexual performance. 

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Try Desensitizing Condoms or Premature Ejaculation Spray

When all else fails, another option to help you last longer in bed is to reduce the sensation you experience during sex by using desensitizing condoms, sprays, or creams.

Wearing a condom, in general, might provide some degree of desensitization, but you can also find condoms that are treated with a desensitizing gel like benzocaine to give you more control over your sexual encounters.

Many other topical medications for extending your sexual stamina also use topical anesthetics such as benzocaine.

For example, our Clockstopper Climax Delay Wipes and Delay Spray for Men use benzocaine to give you greater control over your level of sensitivity during sex, all without excess numbing or discomfort. 

Applied five to 15 minutes before sex, these over-the-counter products can help you lower your risk of dealing with premature ejaculation and provide a nice confidence boost that can prevent sexual performance anxiety. 

Talk to a Therapist

If you’ve tried some of the methods above and you’re still struggling, you may want to consider seeing a sex therapist or other mental health professional.

Although it may seem awkward to talk about your sex life with a stranger, therapists are trained to handle these particular challenges. You may even want to consider couples therapy if you’re struggling to connect with your partner as a result of sexual performance issues.

Several methods of therapy are used to treat feelings of anxiety and stress about sex, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

While the idea of using therapy to treat premature ejaculation and last longer in bed might seem unusual, there is some science to back it up.

For example, a 2011 scientific review noted that there are several studies that suggest a benefit to psychological interventions such as therapy for premature ejaculation, although the evidence is currently “weak and inconsistent.”

Often, talking with a therapist can help you to deal with other issues that may be affecting you in bed, such as a stressful workplace or challenges in your relationship.

We offer an online therapy service that you can use to connect with a licensed therapy provider online and take part in private psychotherapy from your home. 

Ask Your Healthcare Provider About Medication

You’ve likely heard of FDA-approved medications like Viagra and Cialis for promoting stronger erections, but there are no medications that have been approved specifically for increasing the amount of time you can last in bed. 

However, some medications used to treat depression, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) paroxetine and sertraline, are commonly prescribed off-label as treatments for premature ejaculation.

A common side effect of certain antidepressants is delayed orgasm, so your healthcare provider may recommend using this type of medication if you often reach orgasm too early.

Because these medications are not approved for the treatment of premature ejaculation, studies on their effectiveness are limited. There are, however, a few smaller studies that support the use of SSRIs for PE.

For example, in a 2019 review and meta-analysis published in BMC Urology, researchers found that the SSRI paroxetine was well-tolerated and more effective than fluoxetine and escitalopram in the treatment of premature ejaculation. 

Our guide to premature ejaculation pills goes into more detail about how these medications can work to help you last longer in bed. 

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The Final Word on Lasting Longer in Bed

Contrary to what porn and pop culture might have taught us, sex doesn’t need to be a marathon to be enjoyable. However, being able to “go the distance” certainly isn’t a negative thing when it comes to pleasurable, satisfying sex. 

If you’d like to improve your stamina and last for longer the next time you have sex, try one, two or several of the tips above. 

If you find it very difficult to last in bed and feel concerned about premature ejaculation, you may also want to talk to a licensed healthcare provider about treatment options.

We offer a large range of premature ejaculation treatments online, with prescription medications available following an online consultation with a physician. 

14 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.