The stop-start technique is the simplest way to make sexual intercourse last for longer. Yet many men get it completely wrong. Yes they might gain a minute or two, but sex becomes a stilted, mechanical affair. In this article, I’ll explain how to master this trick and wow your partner in the process.
First, the mechanics: stop-start means that you pull out of your partner’s vagina (or ass, mouth, armpit) when you feel close to ejaculating. Once everything has cooled down, you re-enter and go for it again. These little breaks in the action might be for a few seconds or however long you need to regain your composure.
The interruption of movement, and hence stimulation, helps to lower your sexual excitement. A variation of this method is the squeeze technique, famously developed by sex therapists Masters and Johnson. This introduces a firm squeeze to the head of the penis after withdrawal, to further reduce excitement like only a firm squeeze to the head of the penis can. I’ll cover this in another article, along with the ‘death grip’ and the ‘perineum prod’. You can barely contain your anticipation, I know.
Will the stop-start technique frustrate her more than your premature ejaculation?
Once intercourse begins, many women need sustained vaginal stimulation in order to get close to orgasm. A steady build-up of friction, with variation in speed, depth and angle generally works best. And here we are trying to take pauses in stimulation so that we can last longer. What could possibly go wrong?
Anyone who has watched Netflix over a lousy internet connection will know that pauses can seriously compromise the experience. Some women might actually opt for the man to come sooner rather than repeatedly taking breaks. There’s always a chance he’ll get hard again for round #2, right?
Women have performance concerns too, like not drying up and what exactly are they supposed to do while you are cooling down? Communication with your partner is fundamental here. She might enjoy being kissed or having her pussy eaten during the breaks. There is also an opportunity to switch to an even hotter position (a common performance trick in the world of porn).
Also note that for many women, the duration of penis-in-vagina intercourse isn’t a big deal. They might not reach orgasm from PIV sex alone, and enjoy different forms of stimulation. Guys have a tendency to fixate on lasting longer as the ultimate sexual badge of honour. But if our partner isn’t going to orgasm from PIV anyway, we need to be more resourceful.
With all of this in mind, let’s move on to stop-start epic fails and how to avoid them.
How to suck at the stop-start technique
Things go wrong when men take ‘stopping and starting’ too literally. We’re talking awkward, robotic pauses where he pulls out and time stops. This is especially likely if a) he doesn’t have a plan of what to do in the breaks or b) he’s left it too late and is on the brink of ejaculating. In the latter case, he’ll freeze in fear of any further stimulation or body contact tipping him over the edge. Awkward for him, tedious for her.
The main problem is knowing what to do while you’re cooling down. If you don’t communicate with your partner, or at the very least read some signals, you’re cruising for trouble. Here are some quotes from women, lifted from a Reddit discussion on this very issue:
“If I’m about to cum, I’d be annoyed.”
“For women who struggle to cum during PIV, I imagine it would be more frustrating.”
There are times when we are so determined to perform for longer, we become oblivious to her most obvious cues. If she looks you in the eye and says “stick it back in and do not stop”, forget all about stop-start. Let go and do exactly as you’re told.
Then there’s the risk of over-cooling. For reasons of performance anxiety, over-thinking, distraction or tiredness, we might lose our erection and not get it back. It happens to the very best of us. In these situations, remember to PURRR:
- Positive – no whinging or whining.
- Understand – this is not a black mark on your masculinity.
- Relax – this is not a drama.
- Reciprocate – there are many ways to give her pleasure that don’t require a hard-on.
- Round #2 – you’ll be ready to go again sooner than you think.
How to win at the stop-start technique
So we know how to make the stop-start method awkward and desperate. How about playing it assured and confident instead? The key here is interaction with your partner. As your own arousal builds, observe her responses: her breathing, her sounds, the direction of her gaze and the movement of her body.
Remember to use your words, and don’t be afraid to take the initiative. When you stop and pull out, smile and say “Oh, do you want more of this?”. Or pull out and gently tease her pussy with the head of your penis; this lowers the stimulation for you and frustrates her in a good way. Or tell her to get on all fours, or to climb on top. Hold back and tell her she has to wait a little longer, slowly running your fingers all over her body. When you finally plunge back into her, her anticipation will be heightened and you’ll stay in control.
When you pause, does it need to be a complete withdrawal? Perhaps if you are sensitive or close to orgasm, but stopping inside her can be super hot with the same effect. It’s an opportunity to grind her clit and let her enjoy that filled-up feeling.
“I like when he stops deep inside me while I’m orgasming. But it can’t be too often throughout sex or it would kill the buildup for my orgasms.”
“How to stop yourself from cumming? Slow down by all means as I like that too. But let me continue to enjoy the penetration, OK?”
If you follow her cues and notice what she enjoys, there are so many ways to keep it hot. You might go down on her for a minute or two, or reach for her favourite toy. Play with her ass during the breaks, suck on her breasts while your finger circles her clit, run your hands all over her body. This isn’t about frantically trying to excite her or ‘give her an orgasm’ by any means possible. It’s about both of you enjoying the variety of hot, spontaneous sex. Learn to interact and follow her queues.
Here’s a bonus tip: when you pause to cool down, try to fully relax your glutes and PC muscle. If you’re not sure where your PC muscle is, try to pause the flow when you’re taking a pee – that’s your PC muscle contracting right there. If you’ve ever tried doing kegels, that’s also the PC muscle you’ve been working out.
Muscular tension is part of the build-up to ejaculation, so learning to relax your butt during sex is a particularly useful skill. After pausing, some men give their PC muscle a single, deliberate squeeze before fully relaxing down there. This helps them to really feel the difference, and release as much tension as possible. Take deep, slow breaths and you’ll be good to go again.
The takeaway: get creative with those pauses
The stop-start technique can prolong the duration of intercourse. When we pause with some imagination and confidence, there’s no reason why the sex can’t be mind-blowingly hot for both partners. Communication and reciprocation are the key elements here.
Personally, I also view stop-start as a form of training. We can get used to the intense sensations of penis-in-vagina for longer. And just as importantly, it enables us to be sexually resourceful and understand exactly what our partners enjoy. In effect, this switches our mental focus away from ‘OMG I’m cumming already’ and opens us up to the whole, shared experience. That’s an ideal habit to develop for the longer term.