Why does oral sex last longer?

Men who struggle with premature ejaculation usually last longer when receiving oral. So why does PIV sex push them over the edge?

Woman with a question

Jen writes:

I wonder whether you can help answer something for me. Every time we make love, my partner only lasts a short while. Like, less that a minute.

I can tell that this makes him unhappy so I try to give him all the reassurance. Luckily he knows how to please me in other ways and we get by.

But the thing is – if I go down on him, he can last longer. 5 minutes, sometimes more. I know that he really enjoys oral and I get into it too, so it’s not like a less intense experience I’m sure. It would be amazing if he could make love for the same time. But that never happens, even if we’ve done very minimal foreplay. He just can’t hold on.

I’ve asked him about masturbation and how long he can do that for. He says longer than 5 minutes too. So what is it about my pussy that makes him pop so fast?

I like your writing, by the way ?

That’s a great question, Jen, and it’s one of the intriguing quirks of human sexuality. There’s a compliment to the pulse-racing powers of your lovemaking in all this, so top marks to you both for that. But it can be a frustrating experience for both of you too, so let’s consider how it might be possible to switch things up.

Firstly, your man is far from unusual in this respect. Research shows that most men last longer during masturbation (4.4 minutes on average) and foreplay (including oral) that they do during intercourse. They might not last massively longer, but the difference is significant.

Why does this occur? There are two main reasons, and it’s usually a combination of them both:

His psychological perception of sex. In other words, what does the act of penetration mean to him? The intense sensation of entering your pussy can trigger a whole bunch of emotional flashbacks: early learnings around sex and masculinity, performance expectations and pressures, accumulated memories of previous early-finishes and ‘failures’.

For guys who struggle with PE, this can be quite the headfuck. Even if he doesn’t feel the anxieties that prevent him maintaining control of his arousal, it’s all happening at a subconscious, limbic level. And this is the neurological process that plays a big part in orgasm and ejaculation.

His technique needs work. Consider the movement of intercourse – thrusting, balancing, positioning – compared to the laid-back posture of masturbating or receiving oral. He uses muscle groups that produce tensions throughout the body. He takes shallower, faster breaths. He contends with gravity, angles and tempo. Bad form (often picked up from watching porn) is a major reason for early acceleration towards ejaculation.

That fact that we can last longer during certain activities gives us something positive to work with. Psychological causes of PE can be addressed by learning how to lower our emotional arousal around intercourse. Visualisation and mental rehearsal techniques enable us to fully experience the sensations of sex and no longer obsess over our ‘performance’.

Faulty technique is addressed by understanding how the curve of sexual excitement works within our bodies, and how our breathing patterns and muscle tensions affect acceleration. Small adjustments in movement can make a big difference. There’s more to this than trying to breathe and move slowly.

It’s worth mentioning one more positive takeaway. Guys are sometimes advised that their PE is a genetic or biological condition that they are pretty much stuck with. The best advice offered is to get really good at giving oral. If this was the case, guys who struggle to make intercourse last would ejaculate just as quickly from other forms of stimulation. See my article on what causes PE for more discussion of genetic influence.

Yes, some of us are built to last longer than others. But with a willingness to observe our own bodies, develop our sexual mindset and work on a few techniques, we can all make the very best of what nature gave us. This includes guys who want to last longer at masturbation and foreplay too.

We can all learn how to manage our sexual excitement and stop stressing about performance. This includes your partner, Jen, if he’s willing to get on board.

Thanks for asking the question, and I hope you and your partner continue to find this site helpful. Thanks for the kind words too.

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