Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/8/2022
Hypnosis: the most ridiculous plot device of 20th Century cartoons, TV shows and even some movies. It’s hard for many people who grew up with cartoon images of zombified servants doing the bidding of evil masters after watching a pocket watch dangle to take it seriously.
It’s even harder, frankly, to imagine taking hypnosis seriously when someone tells you that talking about your sexual history during a hypnosis session could have a seriously beneficial impact on problems with premature ejaculation, or PE.
To be honest, we’re suspicious too — for the large number of times that hypnosis has been mentioned as a plausible mental health therapy, there aren’t a lot of studies about its efficacy — particularly when it comes to treating physical conditions like premature ejaculation.
But, believe it or not, experts are convinced that it may offer some benefits.
And we’re going to unpack those benefits. But first, we should understand the concept of hypnosis and how it pertains to your sexual performance.
Let’s start with something important: a medical definition for hypnosis and hypnotherapy generally.
Hypnosis is not actually a type of therapy, so much as it is a “tool.” Hypnosis is considered a waking trance state — an alternate form of consciousness in which a person’s attention is focused inward rather than outward.
Some consider hypnosis a sort of meditative state that allows the unconscious mind to be accessed for therapeutic benefits.
You’ve seen a somewhat accurate representation of the hypnosis process on TV — it’s generally done through muscle relaxation, music, visual focus on an object, etc. So, the pocket watch thing? Not too farfetched, believe it or not.
The idea is to help patients access thoughts, memories and feelings that are often too difficult to access without an overwhelm of emotions.
For PE sufferers, that could mean memories of sexual abuse, a traumatic sexual experience or other things psychologically linked to your performance in bed — all of which could result in loss of libido PE.
Research has explored hypnosis in PE treatment as a diagnostic tool, as an adjunct to more traditional therapy types and as a treatment.
So in any of these use cases, does hypnosis for PE actually work?
This is a hard question to answer. While some studies and resources encourage the use of hypnosis as a treatment for PE, there’s not much in the way of studies exploring the benefits of hypnosis for PE.
As recently as 2021, the consensus seems to be that hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for some people suffering from premature ejaculation.
It’s considered a form of psychosexual counseling, alongside methods like meditation practice and relaxation techniques for people with psychological distress due to PE.
Where we come to a hurdle with this is pointing to any studies that show a particularly clear result. In fact, research generally shows that, even in the case of studies with encouraging results, most of the data fails to include variables like patient particulars, procedures used and more. In short, there are often shortcomings.
It’s hard to determine a clear path to benefit from this and leaves a lot of variables to the discretion of individual hypnotherapists.
Regardless of the treatment type, be it hypnosis or something even stranger, the idea of curing premature ejaculation is a bit misleading.
Premature ejaculation isn’t really a disease that can be cured, so much as it’s a dysfunction that can be moderated or reduced.
With respect to the hypnosis professionals out there, curing premature ejaculation is impossible. Your best bet is to find a treatment or group of treatments that help you manage the condition to remission so that you rarely — if ever — see symptoms rear their heads.
How do you do that? Well, the experts have found some potential treatments.
Because premature ejaculation is a chronic condition, treatment is, unfortunately, going to mean practice, patience or — more than probably — some combination of the two.
For instance, there are some physical techniques that have shown benefits for people suffering from PE. One is the self-explanatory start-stop technique: a sexual strategy where, during intimacy, you stop when you feel the urge to finish building, and start again when you feel the urge subside.
Another option might be the famous pelvic floor exercises known as Kegels (yes, men can do these too), with the goal of strengthening pelvic floor muscles to increase ejaculatory control and, consequently, stamina in intimate relationships.
You could also investigate the squeeze technique: another self-explanatory PE treatment where, when you feel the urge to ejaculate, you stop everything and squeeze the tip of your penis to decrease your level of arousal. Squeeze for 30 seconds, then get back to the activity at hand.
Although, we definitely recommend explaining this to sexual partners ahead of time to avoid awkwardness.
All of these techniques are somewhat proven to be effective, but they have flaws. Namely, the reliance on self-control, and the fact that in most cases, medical experts have not established a most-efficient system for how to do these well.
There might also be medication to consider.
Depression and anxiety can both have a negative psychological impact on your sexual life, but even if treatment for these conditions doesn’t help, the medications may.
A 2007 study suggested that men who take SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) could see improvements in their PE symptoms because SSRIs, as a side effect, can slow the body from reaching climax."
Therapy might also help people who suffer from PE. A sizable number of men who suffer from issues in the bedroom actually experience them because of psychological issues.
Forms of therapy like sex therapy, talk therapy, couples counseling, etc. have proven effective in the treatment of all types of erectile issues. Consider exploring online counseling for your options.
In addition to therapy, techniques and medication, there are some other treatments for PE that you can explore if you’re curious.
What we will say, however, is that none of these treatment options are going to benefit you without some professional guidance from a healthcare professional.
Among the many treatments that have more evidential backing than a swinging pocket watch is the idea of topical numbing agents administered through sprays or medicated wipes.
Benzocaine wipes offer a simple, rub-it-on-wait-and-go formula: you wipe the numbing benzocaine agent over your penis (or spray it) and your sensitivity will be decreased.
Benzocaine wipes work and are considered effective—one study found it improved satisfaction and reduced distress in most users. (we make a version ourselves—learn more about our Delay Spray or Clockstopper Benzocaine Wipes if you’re interested).
If you’ve learned anything from our suggestions, it’s that hypnosis isn’t the most ridiculous treatment strategy for premature ejaculation, nor is it the least realistic option.
Premature ejaculation is still a relatively new field of medical research. While the coming decades may yield a better picture of the solutions to, uhh, “early arrival,” right now, there’s only so much we can offer you.
What we can say is that sexual dysfunction can be the result of sexual performance anxiety, medical conditions and even chronic stress — and treating those can help with PE itself.
That said, we can continue to offer you resources, like our 101 guide to premature ejaculation, which contains answers to more of the questions you likely have about PE.
What’s left to do from here isn’t another treatment or another exploration of information — it’s taking action.
Talking to a healthcare provider today is the smartest way to address PE, and it’s the most proven way to get the right treatment for your unique needs. Get in touch today and get started with treatment, so you can finish other things on your own schedule.