Premature ejaculation (PE)—coming too soon—is men’s number one sexual complaint. From the teen years until age 60, it affects around one third of American men. After 60, erectile dysfunction becomes more prevalent, but even among older men, a University of Chicago study suggests that 20 to 25 percent continue to have trouble with ejaculatory control.
What can be done about PE? There no question that professional sex therapy helps. According to the best studies I’ve seen, sex therapy resolves the problem in more than 80 percent of cases, with some therapists claiming cure rates of 90 percent or better. But sex therapy is pricey. Most therapists I know charge at least $100 an hour, and curing PE can take several months of weekly sessions and cost upwards of $1500.
Does Sexual Self-Help Work?
As a result, many budget-minded PE sufferers turn to self-help resources—which are controversial. At sexology conferences I’ve heard distinguished sex therapists dismiss self-help resources as useless for PE and other sex problems. “My practice is full of clients who tried self-help books and got no benefit.”
Well, duh. When self-help resources work, people don’t consult sex therapists. Therapists see a skewed sample, only those who obtained no relief from self-help and proceeded to professional therapy.
Full disclosure: I’ve written two sexual self-help books (1980 and 2003), and have received piles of thank-you notes from readers they’ve helped.
The best research suggests that self-help materials successfully resolve PE and many other common sexual difficulties in about two-thirds of cases. When the one-third who don’t benefit consult sex therapists, professional counseling helps about two-thirds, with better success rates for PE.
Self-Help for PE
Which brings me to a recent Belgian study showing that a 41-page self-help booklet helped most men cure their PE and learn to last as long as they wanted. Researchers at the University of Liege worked with 487 PE sufferers. Sixty-six were placed on a waiting list, and 392 were given a self-help booklet in French that outlined the standard sex-therapy program for learning ejaculatory control.
After two months, those on the waiting list reported slight improvement, but 65 percent of participants who read the booklet reported substantial benefit (p < 0.001). Two-thirds of the booklet readers said they’d gained control over their ejaculations, could last much longer, and felt much less distress and considerably greater sexual satisfaction. Follow-up at 14 months showed persistent benefit. The researchers concluded, “Brief biblio-therapy (i.e. the self-help book) improves PE.”
Of course, for English-speaking PE sufferers, a booklet in French doesn’t do much good. But yours truly has produced a similar resource,The Premature Ejaculation Cure: Last As Long As You’d Like in Bed, a PDF downloadable from my Web site, GreatSexAfter40.com. (I’m 64. My site emphasizes sex in the second half of life, but most of the information applies to lovers of all ages and half of the questions I answer for free come from people under 40.)
My PE booklet:
• Explains that rapid ejaculation is not some horrible psychological disorder or a sign that the man isn’t into his relationship, but just a bad habit that’s usually pretty easy to cure.
• Discusses several simple sexual techniques men can use either solo or with a partner to learn to last as long as they’d like.
• Reveals that switching from genitally-fixated, porn-style sex to leisurely, playful, whole-body sensuality is the foundation of curing PE. Most women prefer sex based on whole-body sensuality, so men who use my booklet not only cure their PE, but often find that their lovers also feel more sexually satisfied, an erotic win-win.
Check out the quotes from just a few of the hundreds of men who have used The Premature Ejaculation Cure. As the recent study shows, self-help for PE works, and if my booklet doesn’t help you, I’ll gladly refund your purchase price.