Sex Therapy for Premature Ejaculation

What is sex therapy?

Couple Cousulting a Sex Therapist for Premature Ejaculation

While sex therapy for PE involves mainly the man. Sometimes his partner can also participate.

Sex therapy for premature ejaculation is a form of psychotherapy with a therapist specialized sexual dysfunctions. Sex therapists (or sexologists) are often members of a professional association or accreditated by one. For example, where I live in Quebec, Canada, sexologists are members of the Professional Order of Quebec sexologists (POQS), an NPO assuring the protection of sex therapists’ patients. To be a member of the POQS, each therapist needs the required level of competence and education to treat sexual dysfunctions.

In the USA, a similar organism exists, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). The AASECT also certify that each therapist has the required degree and competence.

If you are interested in trying a sex therapy for premature ejaculation, you have to choose a sexologist certified by your country/state main professional association. Unfortunately, some unqualified therapists do not have the required level of education, and they can sometimes present themselves as legit sexologists. Since sex therapy can be expensive, always verify your therapist certification first. If you’re looking for a certified sex therapist near you, our interactive map can help you find the closest professional.

You can also try to replicate some sex therapist exercises yourself within your own self-therapy. While this likely won’t be as effective as a real professional sex therapy, it is way less costly. Also, self-therapy could be a proper preparation for sex therapy. If you’ve read on the subject and try some exercises yourself before you attend a professional therapy, you will be more at ease during your first therapy sessions.

What Does a Sex Therapy Session Consist of?

Patient following a sex therapy for premature ejaculationDuring a therapy session, your therapist will ask you some questions about your life experiences (including your relational and sexual experiences). They will try to identify some thoughts and behaviors that you have developed over the years that may cause or contribute to your problem. Your therapist may ask you to try some exercises at home that will help you address your issue. You can find on this page some examples of premature ejaculation exercises.

Usually, during your first sessions, you’ll be alone with your therapist. If you are in a relationship, that both you and your partner feel comfortable with it and your therapist think it would be useful to the therapy, it’s possible to have couple session.

The Type of Sex Therapy for Premature Ejaculation

Different type of psychotherapy exists. You can find here the main form of sex therapy for Premature Ejaculation for which we have studies that show their efficacity. The list also includes other unproven or untested types.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of therapy based on the assumption that some negative thoughts are the origin of faulty behaviors (in our case, rapid ejaculation)1. From all the form of therapy that has data to back up their efficacity, it is the most used2. Other than Premature Ejaculation, it is also used to treat anxiety, mood, personality and eating disorders among other troubles3.

Several negative thoughts or behaviors may cause or contribute to your premature ejaculation. Here is a short list4:

  • Anticipation of failure (“I always come quickly; therefore I won’t last this time either”);
  • Difficulty relaxing their bodies (always contract their muscles, including their PC muscles);
  • Overfocus on arousing stimuli and partner (“My partner body is so great”) and not focusing on his own arousal;
  • Misconception about sex as a learnable skill (“Sex should be spontaneous,” “Sex can’t be learned,” “Some are good at sex, I’m not”);
  • Unrealistic beliefs about average sex time (“I should be able to make love for hours without ejaculating”);
  • Unrealistic beliefs about partner pleasure and orgasm (“My partner should always have an orgasm”);
  • Fear of losing his partner / being cheated on (“If I don’t last long, my partner will leave me / cheat on me”);

On top of working on cognitive processes (thoughts), cognitive behavioral therapy often includes a standard behavioral therapy within it.

Standard Behavioral Therapy

The conditioning principle is the foundation of a standard behavioral therapy. The idea behind a behavioral sex therapy for PE is that an inadequate learned response to arousal could cause rapid ejaculation. Thus, premature ejaculators may have never learned how to control and modulate their arousal level. If you’re wondering how an inadequate arousal response can make you ejaculate too fast, you can consult this page.

The behavioral therapy consists of a series of exercises (sometimes called a re-education) to help the patient learn a new arousal response.

Functional-Sexological Approach

F. de Carufel and M. Trudel, two researchers from Montreal, developed a new form of therapy5 based on the reduction of “physical arousal” response. Since uncontrollable organic factors set the point where our ejaculation reflex is triggered, the therapy consists of learning ways to decrease the arousal response via breathing techniques, muscles relaxation, and choice of sex position for premature ejaculation.

Other Types of Therapies

You can also find other types of premature ejaculation therapy offered by some therapists. There is, to my knowledge, no serious study that confirms their efficacity. If you have any study on the subject, please send it by email, we would really like to read about it. That doesn’t mean that they do not work, only that they haven’t been tested by a research team. Still, considering the cost, I wouldn’t advise a non-proven form of therapy.

Psychodynamic Therapy and Psychoanalysis

Psychodynamic therapy is a form of therapy based on the belief that a psychic tension between the unconscious and conscious part of the psyche causes the problem. While some therapist uses this therapy to treat PE, I’m not aware of any study that has shown it efficacity for this particular condition.

Hypnotherapy

There is some anecdotic success story about how hypnosis could treat Premature Ejaculation. Yet, there is no serious study about the efficacity of hypnotherapy for Premature Ejaculation.

Find a Sex Therapist Near Me

We’ve developed our own tool to help our reader locate a certified sex therapists near them. If you’re looking for a sex therapist, you can check our interactive map and directory of sex therapists.

Sources:

  1. Beck AT (1993) Cognitive therapy of depression: a personal reflection. Scottish Cultural Press, Aberdeen (Scotland), Ellis A (1962) Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. Lyle Stuart, New York
  2. Field TA, Beeson ET, Jones LK (2015), “The New ABCs: A Practitioner’s Guide to Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive-Behavior Therapy” (PDF), Journal of Mental Health Counseling37 (3): 206–220
  3.  Hollon SD, Beck AT (2013). “Chapter 11 Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies”. In MJ Lambert. Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 393–394
  4. Metz ME, Pryor JL (2000) Premature ejaculation: a psychophysiological approach for assessment and management. J Sex Marital Ther 26(4):293–320, McCarthy B (1988) Male sexual awareness: Increasing sexual satisfaction. Carrol & Graf, New York, Zilbergeld B (1992) The new male sexuality. Bantam Books, New York
  5.  De Carufel F, Trudel G (2006) Effects of a new functional-sexological treatment for premature ejaculation. J Sex Marital Ther 32(2):97–114