Stop-Start Technique For Controlling Premature Ejaculation
THE START-STOP TECHNIQUE
The original treatment for controlling premature ejaculation was developed in 1955 by Dr. James Semans. It's based on stopping and starting sexual stimulation in a graded way, so that a man is exposed gradually increasing levels of sexual stimulation. As his tolerance for prolonged duration of sexual stimulation increases, so does his degree of control over ejaculation.
The idea is that he controls his arousal at each stage of this process so that he learns to cope with incremental increases in sexual stimulation without becoming more aroused. It's a very effective technique provided that it's used rigorously and practice is maintained.
The man receives stimulation from his partner until he feels he is getting near to the point of ejaculatory inevitability. Stimulation stops at that point until the man feels that his arousal has dropped.
It then begins again, and the process is repeated a number of times until he becomes much more accustomed to receiving stimulation without getting over aroused. It's possible to do this oneself without a partner using masturbation and stopping when you're about to reach orgasm. You can then use a similar approach to extending the length of sex in bed with your partner.
Does The Stop-Start Technique For Stopping Premature Ejaculation Actually Work?
Developed by Dr James Semans, and long regarded a good way to control ejaculation, there's lately been been some debate about whether or not the stop start technique for controlling premature ejaculation is actually any good or not.
Semans really was a pioneer way ahead of his time, and developed a treatment method for premature ejaculation that no-one had heard of before.
He said that most men were scared of the fact that premature ejaculation might be psychological, and tended to see a doctor to get a physical cure. However, as he observed, women were dissatisfied with sex where men came so quickly (so much so that a definition of premature ejaculation might be that the man "ejaculated before the woman had reached orgasm").
Now, in response to this demand for greater control in men and better sex for women, Semans was to develop a treatment method that was basically all about encouraging men to learn how to tolerate sexual stimulation without ejaculating.
And the way he did this was what we know as the "stop-start technique". Starting with masturbation, a man would stimulate himself to the point where he was about to ejaculate, and then he would stop stimulating himself and wait until his arousal had dropped.
Now you all know this point, it's called the "point of no return", or the "point of ejaculatory inevitability", and the sensations that build up at this point are unmistakable and very well known to every man who's ever masturbated or had sex.
These feeling serve as a good indication of ejaculation, or the fact that ejaculation is about to happen.
So stimulation is stopped at this point, and according to Seman's treatment protocol the man waits until the sensations in his penis and pelvis have decreased and he knows that he's no longer on the verge of ejaculation.
This cycle is repeated as many times as may be necessary during masturbation to allow the man to develop greater tolerance of sexual stimulation.
As Semans put it, this was the mechanism of prolonging the ejaculation reflex. Now the man's erection might or might not soften, but that's irrelevant, because stimulation of the penis will always bring it back to full hardness. It's the interruption of stimulation, the pause, and the resumption, that allows a man to receive sexual stimulation without ejaculating too quickly.
Now naturally enough, the treatment protocol moves from masturbation by the man, to masturbation by the partner, to sexual intercourse as it develops. This requires the full co-operation of the man's sexual partner. (Sometimes this can be difficult to attain because women resent the fact that the man has to learn how to control ejaculation by interrupting sexual intercourse and allowing his arousal to drop.)
So the idea was that in stage two, the woman would masturbate the man until he told her that he was about to ejaculate, and at this point she would remove her hand and stop stimulating him. The process was repeated over and over many times, until in the final sequence or cycle of stimulation man was allowed to ejaculate.
In addition, the couple went through a progressive series of exercises, starting with a dry hand, and finishing with ample slippery lubricant which mirrored the environment of the vagina. When good control had been established during masturbation, the man and woman would use the same process during intercourse - stimulation to the point of ejaculation, then pausing, then continuing to make love.
Semans claimed that it was possible for a man to be so tolerant of sexual stimulation that he was able to tolerate indefinite stimulation without ejaculation even when using lubricant. If hat was transferable to sex, then the man would have marvelous ejaculatory control!
While this seems to be a very simple technique, Semans reported great great success with it. Obviously one of the downsides is the interruption of sex during partner-masturbation and partner-intercourse. In the latter, the penis is withdrawn, and the man allows his arousal to drop before recommencing intercourse.
This does, I admit, sound slightly tedious and difficult, but for men who ejaculate quickly, it is certainly preferable to uncontrolled premature ejaculation.
Finally, maybe one of the reasons Seman's patients showed such dramatic improvements in length of their ejaculatory latency was that he was basically educating them in sexual techniques of which they were ignorant.
Or you can do it using acupuncture:
The Squeeze Technique As Treatment For PE
Interestingly enough, with Masters' and Johnson's claimed a lot of success with their "squeeze technique" - but it's not been so for other therapists trying it. Did they claimed a higher success rate than they actually achieved? (The essence is: squeeze the glans before ejaculation till the urge to ejaculate diminishes. Repeat as required. I simplify, and shorten, but that's basically it.)
Maybe, but perhaps their success rate was down to their relationship with their patients - a long relationship, extensive and deeply committed. However, bedroom antics by my patients have taught me that craving extended sex is best dealt with by having more fun in the bedroom, including genital frottage and vaginal penetration, to get used to sexual stimulation.
One of its advantages over the squeeze technique is the latter involves firm pressure being applied to the base of the penile glans between the frenulum and the coronal ridge on the opposite side at the point where the man becomes aware of the premonitory sensations of emission.
This certainly reduces his sexual arousal, and often causes his erection to decrease in rigidity, thereby moving his sexual arousal back down to a lower level, so that he can continue with sexual activity for longer, but it's sometimes uncomfortable, and certainly disrupting to intimacy between the partners. In my opinion, stop start technique is more amenable to incorporation into sexual play than the squeeze technique, and I think it actually also works better.
Personal Experience With This Premature Ejaculation Cure
Ian Kerner is a certified clinical sexologist who has written about his own experience of learning to control his ejaculation. He says that it was the stop-start method that finally smashed his relationship into pieces (though his girlfriend at the time does not sound like a particularly accommodating woman).
According to his account, with so much stopping and rather less starting, she finally lost patience, shouted "Are we having sex or parking the car?", and stormed out of the room giving him an ultimatum that he had to have his sexual performance figured out, his premature ejaculation cured, by the time she got back from a business trip. And then he went into a place of feeling like a little boy incapable of controlling his bodily functions.
He says, in fact, that he considered PE his "tragic downfall". With more experience and knowledge, of course, Kerner soon discovered that he's actually one of a vast body of men who have little ability to overcome premature ejaculation, and who are looking for a cure.
He says as many as 30% of men suffer from this particular sexual dysfunction, although I actually believe the figure is between 50% and 75% of men, a statistic based on my experience over 12 years working with men sexual problems. Also, that 30% figure is based on self-reporting. (And we all know what self-reporting did around average penis size statistics... the length of the male member goes up every time it's measured, and that's without any extensions or increases in length due to erection!
But premature ejaculation may actually be natural - it does make sense from the point of view of evolution that the fastest ejaculating males would be a more likely to succeed in fertilizing a female, and be safer from predators than those who required a prolonged session of mating before they ejaculated.
If PE is not in fact a sexual dysfunction, but a completely normal way of functioning based on normal human physiology, perhaps the term "premature ejaculation" could be replaced by another such as "naturally fast ejaculation". I should add at this point it is also possible that rapid ejaculation is a by-product of the way that we learn to masturbate as adolescents - furtively, fast, looking for a quick reward, not caring about prolonging our sensations, just looking for the reward of orgasm: there's no question that this behavior can really hardwire a tendency to want sexual gratification quickly into the human male brain.
Kerner's personal story was all about how he tried to deal with PE in the usual ways: masturbating before dates, using alcohol, and donning two condoms. He even talks about distracting himself, which is possibly the most classic and the most useless way of controlling your ejaculation - thinking about corpses during sex does not make for a pleasant experience! He even tried herbal medicines and a dab of cocaine on the tip of his penis, but those strategies did not work either.
After the ultimatum from his girlfriend, Kerner says that he tried to find a cure using biofeedback, self hypnosis and "masturbation training" from a so-called specialist... but needless to say, of course, he'd achieved no greater control by the time he went to bed with her after the business trip..... in fact, he must have been very nervous because he spontaneously ejaculated before he'd even achieved penetration. His final - and successful - attempt to find a premature ejaculation treatment that worked was with the help of a sex therapist who enabled him to achieve much longer lasting intercourse by using the techniques of behavioral therapy.
A Review Of Treatments For Premature Ejaculation