PE: The 'other' male sexual problem
May 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET

PE: The 'other' male sexual problem

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Given the ease with which the average person can rattle off brand names like “Viagra” and “Cialis,” or joke about “four hour erections,” it would seem that erectile-dysfunction drugs are just about as common as ibuprofen.

We take it for granted, but the little blue pill has drastically changed the way we think about erectile disorder (ED).

Once known as “impotence,” ED was originally thought to be caused by anxiety, nerves, or low self-esteem; now it’s commonly known to be a health issue that hinges on the flow of blood to the penis and taking a pill to deal with the issue is often no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong: this is not to say that Viagra and its brethren – Levitra, Cialis and the new FDA-approved Stendra – are the be-all end-all, or even that they’re unequivocally effective. It’s just that these medications have helped to spur a national dialogue (and often a debate) that has changed the way we think about sexual problems.

But now that ED has come out of the shadows, what about the other major male sexual issue — premature ejaculation (PE)?

As I discussed in an earlier column, PE, (the inability to maintain intercourse for more than a minute without ejaculating) is known to affect up to a third of all men, making it even more prevalent than ED. And yet we tend to think about PE in much the same way we once thought about erectile disroder - shrouded in myth.

Most still think of PE as a function of psychology or behavioral conditioning, rather than physiology and neurochemistry. For example, many wrongly assume that:

  • PE only affects young men who are sexually selfish or immature
  • it's the result of early masturbation habits
  • it hints at deeper, psychological issues

But in my professional work, I’ve observed that men who struggle with PE don’t do anything differently than men who don’t have the problem. They don’t masturbate differently; they don’t have different psychological issues; they don’t approach sex differently.

Much like a predisposition toward right-handedness, premature ejaculators are often just born that way.

Fortunately, PE is increasingly recognized as a health issue, and this is a relief to those men who struggle with it and can’t help but ask themselves: What’s wrong with me?

As with the little blue pill, the pharmaceutical industry has been on the hunt for a PE drug. Just as the discovery of Viagra was somewhat of an accident (its erectile-enhancing qualities were only discovered after the drug was being developed as a potential heart medication), it’s been observed that certain SSRI-based medications can delay ejaculation.

Ironically, what is a sexual side-effect to many may actually be a sexual boon to the man who suffers from PE, and so some doctors will prescribe the off-label use of an SSRI to help manage the condition.

One drug – Priligy – is a short-acting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that is being marketed in parts of Europe as a premature ejaculation pill, but it has not yet received FDA approval here in the U.S..

Another medication potentially awaiting FDA approval is PSD502, a topical numbing agent that can be applied to the penis to decrease penile sensitivity. The use of such numbing agents as a treatment for PE dates back to 1943, but these products have had their limitations.

  • For one thing, it’s been difficult to establish a recommended dosage.
  • For another, these topical solutions need to be applied at least 20 to 30 minutes before intercourse in order to be effective.
  • Additionally, if numbing agents are being used, the man may be required to use a condom to ensure that his partner’s genital area does not also become numb.
  • While helping to diminish penile sensitivity, a numbing agent does not address a man’s “ejaculatory trigger” which is neurochemically activated.

Still, those behind PSD502 claim to have developed a formula that doesn’t suffer from many of these drawbacks. Like Priligy, PSD502 is not yet available, but a very similar product has been FDA-approved based on a pre-existing monograph.

Dubbed Promescent, this product carries many of the same benefits of PSD502 and effectively decreases penile sensitivity without transmitting any numbness to a man’s partner.

But as helpful as a product like Promescent can be, I still counsel men to focus first on partner-communication, as well as “sex scripts” that de-emphasize intercourse while vouchsafing female pleasure – both of which I discuss exhaustively in my e-book, “Overcoming Premature Ejaculation.”

From there, many men who suffer from PE may find that they still need to pursue a broader “biopsychosocial” approach: one that combines behavioral, medical, and interpersonal approaches. In the absence of a single “silver bullet” to do away with PE, it’s often necessary to do a little bit of everything.

Let’s not wait for the next blockbuster drug to arrive in order to have a meaningful, well-informed conversation about PE. It may never come, but the conversation should.

Post by:
Filed under: Men's Health • Sex

soundoff (1,160 Responses)
  1. anxiety coach

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?


    May 5, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. regency vans

    There's certainly a great deal to find out about this topic. I like all the points you've made.


    May 5, 2021 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV AC Los Angeles


    May 5, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Eye Doctors Of Arizona


    May 5, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lasik Surgery Phoenix


    May 5, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bowling alley near me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 5, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mark Page

    You are so interesting! I don't suppose I've truly read through anything like that before. So great to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 5, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Optometrist Phoenix Az

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?


    May 6, 2021 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. car wash near me

    Good info. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    May 6, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv roof repair service near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Forklift Repair Shop Los Angeles

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 6, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ipa Beer

    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your web page, I truly appreciate your technique of blogging. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site as well and tell me how you feel.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. laundromats near me


    May 7, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dashboard restoration near me


    May 7, 2021 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Forklift Rental California

    Excellent article. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!


    May 7, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Helles Bock Beer

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I like all the points you made.


    May 7, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. buy chloroquine phosphate

    chloroquinw https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine tablets amazon

    May 7, 2021 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. priligy

    priligy 30 mg dapoxetine prescription usa

    May 7, 2021 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Service


    May 7, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. redtube co


    May 7, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Social Media Marketing Firms Near Me

    After looking over a handful of the blog posts on your web site, I really like your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and tell me your opinion.


    May 8, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Social Media Marketing Santa Ana

    Right here is the perfect webpage for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 8, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Help


    May 8, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Social Media Marketing Jobs Orange County

    Hello! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your web site for more soon.


    May 8, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Google Marketing Jobs

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 8, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Generator Near Me


    May 8, 2021 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Slide Out Orange County

    There's certainly a great deal to find out about this topic. I love all of the points you made.


    May 8, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Local Marketing Firms

    Howdy! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.


    May 8, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Video Marketing Association


    May 9, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Video Marketing Service


    May 9, 2021 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Seo Marketing Company Near Me


    May 9, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Video Marketing Agencies


    May 9, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Internet Marketing Mentors


    May 9, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Inspection Los Angeles

    After looking at a number of the blog posts on your website, I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know your opinion.


    May 9, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Internet Marketing Pictures


    May 9, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Beds Los Angeles


    May 9, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Social Media Marketing Event


    May 9, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Digital Marketing Associations


    May 10, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 10, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Digital Marketing Pictures

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 10, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Local Marketing Firms

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your blog.


    May 10, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Digital Marketing Quote

    I love reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    May 10, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Google Marketing Agencies


    May 10, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Content Marketing Boutique

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new things you post…


    May 11, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Videos


    May 11, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Digital Marketing Quote


    May 11, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Social Media Marketing Center

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 11, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Jobs Orange County

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 11, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Reviews

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the internet. I'm going to highly recommend this web site!


    May 11, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Local Marketing Firm


    May 11, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Store Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.